Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Kite in the Sky

Way back my freshman year, back when people still used aim to talk to one another, when xanga was cool, in the days when facebook was just a little sprat trying to insinuate its way into all the colleges across the nation, I had a conversation with a friend about a writing assignment she'd been given. That conversation led to this little bit of a piece. It's raw, but I kind of like it.

A long time ago there lived a strange people. They were strange in many ways, but our story is only concerned with a certain tradition they had regarding kites. Every spring the young men of the land would fly a kite with the colors of their house. They would stay outside every day from sunrise to sunset flying their kites, and the young ladies would visit with them all.

Now as spring began to draw to a close they would spend more and more time with the same person every day, until on the last day of spring each young man would go to a chosen place to wait. While they waited they would fly their kites to guide their beloved to where they were. Meanwhile the young ladies would spend the morning inside, preparing for their wedding. At noon, each young lady would set off to find the kite of her betrothed.

One year it chanced that a virtuous young man of modest descent was awaiting a very special girl. She was all that he could dream. Her smile shattered and consumed him, and the day before she had told him what none of the others thought would ever be – that she would be his wife.

And so he waited through the morning, flying the colors of his house with pride and gazing at the wonder that lay around him.
When noon came his heart began to race. Soon he would see her floating across the plain. Then together they would return to the city, where they would be joined in the holy bonds of matrimony.

As the afternoon progressed he began to be worried. He could not believe she would betray him, but she should have arrived long ago. He could not have known what was happening in the town, where the girl’s family, outraged at her humble choice, had locked her in her room.

Through the night he waited; she did not come. Five days later his heart sank inside him, for he knew he would never see her again. Whether or not he knew of her death is not mine to tell. She did die, though – locked in a room far from his love she died, lonely and afraid.

The young man then made a vow to never again set foot in his homeland. He ran off to the mountains where it is always winter. There he waited for his love, sleeping in the day and flying his kite in the dark hours, when his heart was coldest. He is there still, and if you look to the north you can see his kite in the sky, where it guides all travelers except the one that he most longs to see.

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