Flash Fiction Friday – When Mama Died

This poor, neglected blog, you knows. I’ll do better, pinky promise. Today I bring you a short piece that’s part of the backstory of one of my D&D characters. I love this character so much, and it’s also nice to be able to write, and even be kinda poetic-proseish like below, but not feel the pressure of a larger project. So here we go:

When Mama died

When Mama died, Seshmet was not yet five, a kit too young even to go to school. She had by then only partway deciphered the symbols of sounds and her handwriting was a scrawl of wide, angular shapes in the sand that collected on the roof.
When Mama died, Seshmet heard the worst sound she would ever hear. It was half sigh and half groan and all pain. The sound drew her from her perch in the living room window into the kitchen where all the adult had gathered. The afternoon sun spilled in from the kitchen door, casting long, trembling shadows and making the shroud wrapped around the stretcher, around the limp thing on the stretcher, blindingly white around the unsettling stains. The sound, was the sound of Baba’s heart breaking.
When Mama died, Seshmet became the child of all of Len-Kalah, for everyone loved Mama. She was loved by the scholars for her knowledge of science and architecture, which stretched far back into the depths of history and across the continent. She was loved by the artists, for the flair with which she combined this element with that to make something beautiful. She was loved by the priests for her devotion to the Builder, for the charms around her bracelets and the offerings she made in the temple before every project begun. She was loved by the builders, because she did not lock herself away with her blueprints and her footprints mingled with their own in the dirt of the building sites. Indeed, she was loved by the city itself, for being the maker of the Eastern wing of the Library, an architectural masterpiece of its age, where Seshmet would eventually study.
As years went by, and as is often the case with the very young, Seshmet forgot what it was like when Mama died. She forgot the shroud with its stains, she forgot the burial rites and the smoke from the pyre. She forgot how quickly her family altered with grief. In the end, all that remained in Seshemt’s mind of that time was the sound of a falling granite block in her dreams, and the memory of the worst sound she would ever hear.

This almost came out much longer but I managed to curb the desire to include every piece of detail I know about this episode in the character’s life. Good for me! Now I’m off to study some more, and watch Fear the Walking Dead before bed.

One Reply to “Flash Fiction Friday – When Mama Died”

  1. Pingback: Twice Fortnightly – Back in Action! – Emma Lindhagen

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