"Coruscating, as a thousand fireflies were worshipped, gorging on my father's ashes. He burnt himself to death as the tradition of Yasas say ' To burn to the glory of flies'. The flies gorged on his burnt parts and a thousand Yasas celebrated to weep for their king's death. Here people celebrate to weep on their King's death. The king or queen belongs to the royal family of Yasas. I am a Yasa too. My family has been royal and lavish in itself, the maximum life expectancy recorded to be of 40 years. My grandmother, Yahoti Yoshi, the longest-living Yasa and queen of the Yasa Land was that lucky one, killed by her son to live long. To live long is a sin in the Yasa land. Here Death binds life to live their true life after that. The present life is like a dunce dancing to show his stupidity. Therefore, depression runs in Yasa veins as they don't want to live anymore. They either kill themselves or get killed by their people. As a tradition for a thousand years now, Yasas live up to just 39 or they would be killed like their queen. My father has died today, sacrificing himself to those godly flies, which fire to take the dejected souls up. This is the royalty and lavishness I was talking about.
Doldrums drum on the Yasa Land, as life is dejected. Children act they are going to school and people mourn each second to die happily. My mother died at 27 as she burnt herself alive on the sands of the Yasa beach. Ashes curl the beach as royal blood craves liveliness of thousands of Yasas shouting to get out from the beach. Every night those fireflies fly to burn the already burnt ashes. Dreams meet destiny as the moon turns blue like it has since time immemorial every night on Yasa Land. They say it will turn red if the tradition brakes.
Forest separates this land to another one on the other side called Lupa land. Here, a life called "Normal" lives peacefully. Being different, Lupas is hated as devoted enemies by Yasas but the opposite is not true. Instead, Lupas celebrate their liveliness. The minimum life expectancy there is a hundred and they vow as they enter earth to not touch Yasas even if they hate them. As usual millions of Lupas are killed every night, tortured to death. Powdered red, they are offered to the fireflies on the beach. Maimed, tortured, and killed, a thousand screeches leave the jails at night to fulfill the freedom that once gleamed in a Lupa's eyes.
I have promised that it is the one tradition that I am going to break that may free a hundred: to live up to 50. Mourning my father's death as I saw him burning himself, I broke a tradition for the first time, to mourn and not celebrate death. I didn't feel the pain or grief as sadness on someone's death has left this earth long back but it was 'Shock' this time that helped me bewail his death as I went to school that morning. Shouting on people I passed by, masquerading grief, as I saw them laugh at their king's death, I went to school. I went to school. There was my school.
Shouting as hard as I could, I left the abandoned sight. I told you before that schools don't exist in the land of tradition, faith does. We shout on things absent. Absence is our reality and existence a crime.
The celebration council was there in front of me. Bordering the forests that separated the Lupa and Yasa Land, the celebration took place in the open. I dragged my numb legs on the heavy stairs to the stage facing a happy crowd to joke about my father's death.
"Ladies and gentlemen! Here is your new queen" laughed the host
And I broke it again.
"I cried and cried and cried to grieve those hundred luminous fireflies, eating those thousand dead bodies, killing those millions of Lupas every day. I cried and I cried to see myself alive when I am 50 and to wish the audience a happy death. I cried and I cried to hate the legacies, which have gleamed burnt ashes by some little deemed gods to get a new beginning that didn't even exist. I cried and I cried to lament the end of the new queen before she could begin. I cried and cried to mourn the death of my father. I cried on despondency that has ingrained and settled itself in the Yasa blood. I cried and I cried...
When I first saw my mother's ashes I laughed but today I want to cry. I have cried and I am crying. I cried and I...
I shouted in the mic to the audience in front, got to the aisle in front with shocked faces on both sides, saw the sea in front, went to the beach near the forest, took the flies in hand, and smashed them as hard as I could. The blue moon turned the sky red and my story began to see myself incarcerated in some Yasa jail for the crime.
I saw those hundreds, who were once laughing, gushing towards me like a river with red hot faces on their swollen bodies. Feeling the force of a hundred vexed lives, I was grilled and beaten numb. Unconscious, the memory faded as I saw two police vans staring at me like the dead Yasas to life.
Staring at two bodies, I saw policemen torturing and maiming two women as my eyes flashed back to life. The bodies shrugged as red hot sticks hammered the two drooping bodies. These eyes were sure that no matter how many memories fade, they wanted to celebrate their semicentennial. Seeing those women lying on the floor, with red lively blood floating in the lake of bodies, I struggled as I finally realized that I was cuffed and lying on the floor. They were Lupas as I saw their skin pierced with holes and bleached with red colors, which Yasas added as they sacrificed Lupa bodies.
The reason for this hate is that they were gays. Women married women and men married men. Life was normal, unlike Yasa, with the lowest life expectancy to be near a hundred. They hated fireflies, mourned dead and celebrated life. Every day started with a prayer to live more and not get killed. They combated violence, followed love, and vowed to not even touch Yasa till the end of their lives.
I felt the knife hidden quite in the pocket, like any other Yasa, and tried to get up from the blooded floor. I couldn’t, landing back to the reality of pain in my body and a pool of blood. Lupa blood printed my hands blue as the sky through the window of my cell turned red.
I saw two lovely bodies shivering to kiss each other and realized that the women were still alive. As they did, death hung them together and their world flew to follow their tradition. Their brutal marks revealed a thousand stories of the quest of freedom that Lupas left on that floor, but tradition circled them to hush and suffer in silence. Gleaming as hard as they could, I saw two fireflies entering their cell through the bars and carrying their weight. The souls loved the gratitude of those two flies eating their bodies to hide it from Yasas.
Nights passed red as I woke up on the blooded floor every morning. Every morning a feast for the flies in the same cell of Lupas ready to see their souls and those flies loving their work. Cuffed I am sorry god, I couldn't do anything in your absence. Well, it's great that you have left this earth early!
One of those terrific nights I woke up to the same reality but this time I couldn't bear:
A slap! Two slaps! Three...Four... "Stop it!" said I as two men tortured a young man lying on the floor, adding blood to the pool. " We can't, he is a Lupa! piece of shit!" and a kick right in the man's stomach. They tortured him and my patience couldn't bear his silence. Not even a word came out of him. He shivered and the two men laughed. He tried to love but the two men hated. His eyes closed and satisfied that he would be dead, those two animals left their jungle to get back to their hell.
Innocence shimmered in that peaceful blood trying to fly to heaven. "What's your name ?" I asked to calm his pain. He didn't answer.
I saw his face, he saw mine. A gleam in his eyes of freedom touched the pain of softness in me. The sky roared red as we struggled to come near. Traditions broke as love showed its hidden meaning. This was the second time that I had deviated from normal eccentricity. Touching each other's face, our lips met to celebrate life. I was no more a Yasa and he was no more a Lupa. We were humans there. Happiness met sadness as love met freedom. He broke his tradition and I played my part.
Taking the knife out from my pocket, he munched the cover of the knife as his injured mouth moved to break my cuffs. Ropes fell apart as deviance was ready to leave the house of normalcy. I tore his cuffs apart and we made love in the red reflection. The sky immediately turned blue, chiding the redness to peter out its arrogance. Legacies tore apart uncertainty and stories like this moved to fire the flies free.
He thrashed the bars apart as we both fled the jail. The police looked for us in that forgotten forest as both of us dashed to the other side of the border: The lovely Lupa land.
Holding our hands together we ran as hard as we could. Happiness enthralled hate as we took those tiny steps to the land we both wished for. A smile glimpsed his face as both our faces saw each other. A thud jumped my ear as galvanization took my screech out. Blood poured from his head as I saw bullets flying from the Yasa Land. How sad that those two bullets could not enter the Lupa land and hung there in his body. He smiled and asked me to run and I did. I left him as I ran crying, petrifying, and screeching toward the land. Seeing those happy bullets ending their lives on the Lupa land was a delight. God had freed his soul and I mourned the night to break the tradition again. Freedom was the key that pain couldn't understand. Tears rolled my cheeks as redness never roared in the Lupa Land.
Morning cleared the sky as my eyes opened. Blinking, I saw men and women making symmetry on the two sides. Upon my toes on a sandy beach, I saw a man coming near me from the men's side with a bouquet of flowers. Dignity left that crowd as he uttered those peaceful words
"Welcome to the Lupa Land"
I am fifty today. This is my story of a Yasa becoming a Lupa. I celebrate it and am honored to be the queen of this land"
" And then ?" asked my two-year-old grandson.
" And then I settled on this land, became the queen, honored to take the legacy of your grandfather who died protecting me and ending the tradition of gay marriage on this land..."
"What about giving birth to my father ?" asked my granddaughter as she ate her dinner.
"Yeah Yeah! gave birth to your father after 9 months of leaving Yasa Land. ok?
"Yeah and getting us to the beach after dinner"
"Ok fine! Finish the sandwiches and we will go there"
The water rippled as I could see a thousand fireflies glinting the water. Lupas don't hate fireflies, they neither worship them. They just love them. The sea turned blue as the moon loved joining it. The kids played with the sand and I saw fireflies shaping in the body of a woman. It was Yahoti Yoshi, the woman who broke traditions. Destiny met life and challenged death. Flies came near me and sat on my shoulders, ready to take me to my mom and dad.
Grandma was waiting.
It wasn’t a sacrifice, it was love for breaking traditions. My heart pounded hard and the beauty of death came near. Glimpses of my love came near and my eyes closed in silence.
Legacies left this earth and breaking traditions celebrated to the liveliness of freedom. Freedom that could define a vision to live up to 50. Freedom to not shout in the angst of someone no more. Freedom to love your enemies. Freedom to live life and mourn death. Freedom to celebrate the making of a new tradition of breaking traditions. Freedom to get free.
Freedom of millions of Jews who once asked for liberty. Freedom of a million Rohingyas still asking for liberty and freedom of a million blacks, who have not yet faded their color. Freedom of a million atrocities cuffed like this under traditions to be broken and freedom of innocents craving for the answer of their guilt. Freedom to be happy. Freedom to dare. Freedom to make yourself. Freedom to tell these tales of freedom for generations to come and freedom to fire the flies.