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Funny Historical Fiction Romance

The fire crackled, releasing embers into the air. The breeze was biting, but mother and daughter didn’t notice as they huddled close together. The daughter, a seven-year-old, dark-haired with black eyes, like that of an eagle, huddled even closer to her mother. Her mother wrapped her even tighter. A fly could not survive, had it gotten in their middle.

“The mosquitos are biting, mom”, the child complained, looking up to her mother. “I’m sorry, sweetie. It will soon be over, don’t worry”, the mother crooned, stroking her daughter’s back. “I don’t know why we had to come on this trip anyway. We could have gone anywhere else, literally, but we had to come to the woods! THE WOODS! Who still does that anyway?!”, the child exclaimed, rolling her eyes at the absurdity. Her mother smiled. Teenagers, she thought, always so dramatic. “Well, your Dad, apparently”, she paused, “what if I read you a story? That’d be entertaining, and we could pass the time that way” Her daughter looked at her mom like she had grown two heads, “First, no story is entertaining, EVER, and second, I’m not a kid anymore. I don’t want to hear a story!”, she said the last part with utter disbelief. It was like she couldn’t believe her mom still taught her a kid that liked stories. The child’s mother smiled, “Fine, since you’re all grown up, how about I tell you about a Legacy?” “A legacy. What is that? Like a really old way of saying story?” Her mother chuckled, “No, I’m talking about a legacy of one of our greatest ancestors. My great-aunt” Her daughter rolled her eyes, sighed heavily, like she had just been tasked to carry the weight of the world, “Sure, why not. It’s not like I have much to do around here”, she replied, looking dejected. “Okay, but I’m actually not going to tell you. I’m going to read it you”, the mother said. She stood up, to take the book in which the Legacy was written. The little girl looked even more chagrined at the thought of a reading. Her mother came back beside her, holding an old, very frail-looking book. Her shoulders dropped, “Great”, she muttered sarcastically.

*** I have done mother’s bidding for long enough I will do no more. I have done so much for her, I do not remember what it is like to do for me. I do not know if it is my responsibility I fulfill. I do not know if it is respect I give. I do not know if it is obligation I delegate. I do not know if I am just a pawn. I do not know anymore. And perhaps, it is her Legacy I build. I do not know. What I know is, I will do it no more. What I will do now, Is write my own Legacy. After all, it is said, What is written down shall come to pass. So, I shall write my own down, And it shall come to pass. This is my Legacy. My Legacy is of three parts. The first I want. The second I love. The third I long for. All these I pray for, Every night, after the last of my candle flickers out, I pray for. The first; that which I want, Is Love. Love is many things. It has been called different names. For the believers; it is a light. For the subjects; it is a god. For the broken; it is a curse. For the autonomous; it is a choice. For the non -believers; it is a myth. Love, a small word, Yet a thousand names. For me, it is a want. I have never had it. As such, I do not know what to call it. All it has ever been to me, is a want. Now either be it a light or a curse, I want it. I want to feel it. I want to feel it in my heart. I want to feel its light, hence, a believer. I want to feel its power, subject to its sovereignty. I want to feel its poison, and know it is a curse indeed. I want to make the choice, if I could. I want to know its truth, for I do not believe it is a myth. This way, I could give it a name. I want love. I want that feeling of belonging to another. And another belonging to me. I want the companionship, the warmth. The laughter, the burdens. The healing that can only be found in a lover’s touch. The conversations, gathering with friends. The knowledge of knowing you are loved. I want to feel this love. And tell of it to my children. And the children born of them.

*** The second; of which I love, Is Passion. In this, lies my art; Poetry, in which I bleed. Music, in which I heal. Dance, in which I come alive. Photography, in which I picture. Movie, in which I create. These are all I have passion for. These are all that represent me. These are all that lives in me. These are all I love. These are my art. These are the moon and stars to me. These things, I dream of, I dream of living them, I dream of a world where all I know is them I dream of a place where time exists only for them. I dream of a time when all I would do is live them. And it is of them, I wish to tell to my children. And the children born of them.

*** The third; to which I long for, Is Freedom. It is of this I wish, For that weightless feeling that I think of when I see a bird. I do not speak of freedom to do as I wish, as most of my age mates do, I speak of freedom to be. Freedom to realize, know, and therefore, love myself. Freedom to look in the mirror, and recognize myself. Freedom to be. I speak of freedom to wake up, Drink my coffee; because that is what I wish to do, Play loud music; because I feel like it, and no one is around, Write poetry, because I want to convey the lightness in my heart onto paper. And then after I have written till I have cramps in my hand, I want the freedom to do what I wish, Even after a day of doing what I wish. That is the freedom I speak of. The freedom that absolves me of the responsibility I never seem to put down. The freedom that allows me the chance to think of myself, and not bloody others. The freedom that gives no thought to what society deems girls ought to do. The freedom that is locked out, far away from the world, in a little corner of a haven. The freedom that just lets me be. The freedom that gives me peace, Because, in this freedom, I do all that I love. It’s all I do. And in this freedom, I find peace. It is of this freedom I wish to tell my children, And the children born of them. At the center of these all, I write. Though it may seem a waste, but, I write of that which I want. I write of that which I love. I write of that which I long for. I write of them all, So that they can be done. I write them, So they we may write them as wishes. So that they may be told as stories, And that they may be read of as my Legacy. To the children to be born, Even light years away. This is my Legacy.

***

The mother flipped the book shut. The fire, having reduced to smoke, now polluted the air. There was silence, as mother and daughter sat, each basking in the aftermath of the reading. And then, “Wow, that has to be the longest poem I have ever heard”, the daughter exclaimed. There was a sparkle in her eyes, one that had not been there before the reading. “Yeah? Well, that’s what I thought too, the first time I read it”, her mother replied. “But, wow, that was so…”, the little girl paused, searching for the word to use. “Powerful”, her mother supplied. “Yes. Yes, powerful. Her legacy was so....”, at a loss for words again, the little girl trailed off, “wow”, she ended on a breath. As her mother stood up, meaning to put the book back, her necklace dangled. Recognition lit in her daughter’s eyes, “Is that what you wear on your necklace?”, she asked, leaning forward to touch the pendant attached to the necklace lying around her mother’s neck. Her mother looked down, “Yes. It is her Legacy”, she traced the pendant. It was a dreamcatcher, but not like any other. On the dreamcatcher, the attachments were neither feathers nor beads. Instead, they were, the symbol of a heart, a half-moon with a star resting in its curve, a bird in flight, all woven and then attached to the hoop. And at the center of this hoop, a pen was woven. She pointed to each one after the other, “This is her want, her love and her longing”, she said, respectively, “and at the center of it all, she writes” The little girl looked awestruck, “Wow.” “She was the first ever writer in our family. Which was why she dedicating that last part to her writing, it was a very big part of her and she had to honor it”, the mother said, “You see, writing was sort of considered a waste of time during her time. She was the first to break that cycle. And ever since then, there has always been a writer in each generation. I’m mine. Your sister is hers. There have always been musicians, photographers, dancers, movie directors or producers too. Your Aunt is a dancer, as you know. You have always felt connected whenever you’re recording, haven’t you?”, her mother asked, a knowing light in her eyes. “Yes. I’ve never known why I always felt that way whenever I was singing. Like…….” “Like you were born to sing”, her mother completed. “It is her Legacy; to break grounds, to love, be passionate and be free”, the daughter said. “Damn good Legacy, if you ask me.”

September 03, 2020 07:02

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17:44 Sep 04, 2020

This is amazing! Did you write that poem yourself? It’s beautiful. Great job, Moji (I love your name)! Keep writing! ~Aerin P. S. I saw your bio—I, too, despise editing. I’m currently finishing up editing my first novel, and IT’S SOOO ANNOYING! P. S. S. Would you mind checking out my newest story? Thanks!

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