Virgulle’s Vestral 7

Monday 23rd May 2011

Certain tensions relieved

ONCE inside Fuang’s cottage, I enacted the pantomime I had planned, pointing to my lower abdomen, then squatting and making a hissing sound while grimacing to show my adversity.

He smiled at my antics, led me up some stairs, opened a door, bowed his head, and left me alone, at last, to my ablutions. I chose to immerse my face in a basin of warm water rather than remove my shift and bathe in the tub. A mirror showed that my hair needed attention, but I preferred not to use the only available comb, which looked somewhat entangled and unloved.

I examined a folded set of papers which protruded from a wicker basket.

On the outer pages were large, black symbols and colour portraits, one of a male dance trio doing something with a ball. The paper being light and thin, I unwrapped the first sheet carefully, discovering similar images and a printed script I did not recognise.

The next page depicted a young woman, naked but for a thong, smiling at me in a friendly manner. I smiled back, tucked her away and returned the papers to the basket.

I found Fuang downstairs, in a room suffocated by drug-smoke and belongings, gabbling into a communicator. He gestured towards a chair, but I remained standing and he soon ceased talking into the device. I seized the moment to address him:


I bowed my head slightly. He replied with four short sounds, which I then repeated back to him:

“Wott… o… yare… rite.”

Thrice more I told him my name, at which point he made a not unconvincing attempt at pronouncing it himself. I nodded, regarding him quizzically, hoping that he would reciprocate, which, thankfully, he did, though not without a little prompting and a certain bashfulness.

“O K Martin.”

“O K Martin,” I repeated.

“Know… know… juss Martin.”

“Know… know… juss Martin.”

“Know… R… Martin.”

“R Martin?”


He stood up, took a pace towards me and tapped his chest with his forefinger.




He sighed. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

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