Drought’s over! (sort of) …and an excerpt

By sort of, I mean they haven’t taken away the drought status currently existing for the whole North Island. I mean it’s been raining. Which is good. Really good.

I know I haven’t been posting much. I haven’t got any photographs either. I would show you some pictures I’ve been drawing, but I can’t presently be bothered to get the camera. Between tidying up and shifting furniture around the house, I’ve managed to do a little more work on my novel Seekers of Gold. Editing, I mean.

For lack of other things to say, I shall post a short excerpt. By no means completely edited, but hopefully worthy of your readership 🙂 Tell me what you think?

~~~

Rehya struggles under her load of firewood towards the hut. Throwing it down on the ground finally, she groans and stretches, wiping the sweat off her face.

“More firewood?” Rehya looks up to see Variko standing in front of her, smiling quizzically.

“Yes,” she sighs. “Father keeps insisting on it. I don’t know why. It’s perfectly hot enough to go without a fire, and it’s not like we don’t already have enough for cooking.” She fans herself with her hands. “This has got to be the hottest summer in the history of Calta! I mean…”

“I know.” Variko shades his eyes and smiles at her. He has dark, smooth skin and thick black hair. Although two years older than she, he is only a little taller than Rehya and strongly built. He kicks at the dust on the hot brown ground, raising a considerable cloud. Rehya coughs.

“Stop it,” she says, laughing as the dust obscures her vision.

Variko waves his hand through the cloud of fine grains to clear it. “Sorry.” He leans against the mud wall of the hut, shoving his hands into the pockets of his worn blue jeans.

Rehya looks up at the sun, a blinding white blur in the intensely blue sky. “I better go.”

“Where to?”

“Father’s sent me to the market. Just for some fruit and stuff.”

“Foreigners’ fruit?”

Rehya wrinkles her nose. “Yes. Though, I quite like the apples.”

“Apples and maggots,” Variko grins, slapping her shoulder. He is referring to the fact that most of the bags of apples from the market conceal at least one or two bad fruit, rotten and riddled with maggots. Sometimes all of the apples are no good. They’re hard to grow here and the traders are struggling to make a living. They do all they can to get a little money, even if that means selling rotten apples to their customers.

“Apples and maggots, indeed.” Rehya is used to chopping the worms out of the apples. “Anyway, I must be off.” She wipes her hands on her dress and brushes past Variko, checking she still has money in her pouch.

“Anyone would think you didn’t want to talk to me,” Variko says jokingly, walking slowly after her. She turns around and walks backwards, plaiting and un-plaiting a rope of hair.

“And do you think that?”

“You seem in a hurry,” Variko says by way of reply.

“I am in a hurry. Father wants me back quickly.” She drops her eyes to the ground.

“Ah, is that what it is.” Variko frowns. There is a pause. “Well, if that’s the case, can I walk with you?”

Rehya looks up at him again and laughs. “Why would you want to do that?” She flicks her hair back over her shoulder, beginning a new plait. “Have you nothing better to do?”

“Only hunting,” Variko admits. “Mother wants deer for drying and trading.”

“Well, you should get to it, then,” Rehya says, still fiddling with her hair. “You won’t want to waste time. Deer can be difficult to find in the near forest at this time of year. Father tells me.”

Variko sighs. “I know.” Rehya watches him look at the sky, then at the ground, kicking at a stone. “I just wanted to talk to you, that’s all.”

“Another time. Goodbye! I’ll see you later. Enako!” Rehya skips ahead, woven dress blowing around her legs in the warm breeze.

“Izhith’a,” Variko replies softly as he turns to go, but she barely hears him.

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4 Responses to Drought’s over! (sort of) …and an excerpt

  1. diannegray says:

    This is a great excerpt, Tarina. And I’m glad the drought is (sort of) over 😀

  2. Love the excerpt – I want to read more now! We’re back to snow over here in the land of rain 😀

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