TITLE: THE EYES OF THE BONE PRESSER
GENRE: YA Historical
Taawa peaks over the eastern horizon, wedging splinters of light between Earth Mother and a cloudless Sky Father. Orange light bleeds into the cerulean dawn, casting a purple hue across the parched desert.
I steady the clay olla on my head and hurry toward the brilliant display. Will this be the day, I wonder, as my heart skips a beat.
Behind me, thunder reverberates in the distance. Sky Father, dark and angry, races to vanquish Taawa with threatening black clouds--the People caught in the crossfire.
"Hurry," I command over my shoulder to the other maidens.
A group of turkeys rests in my path. I kick a rock at them, and they squawk and scatter out of my way. The dogs see the turkeys flee and pursue them, creating a squabble in the waking morning village.
"What's your hurry? Dream your golden-eyed boy would be at the reservoir today?"
The maidens erupt into giggles, sounding much like the turkeys.
"As it happens, Little Sister, I have enough sense not to leave myself at Sky Father's mercy, should he bless us with rain."
"Yes, wouldn't want to mess up your beautiful hair!"
"That, Cousin, I would not." I turn and, walking backward, offer my cousin a smile. "For then it might look like yours."
I glide back around and quicken my pace as I round the trash middens and leave the maidens dawdling behind, whispering jokes, probably about me. But their jealous remarks don't bother me. I'm used to them.