So many, many Years Ago

I shall now compose a story about the Ancient Pueblans who lived in Mesa Verde, where we visited today! Very interesting.

This story is written at the point of a nine year old Ancient Pueblan girl named Yaela.

The wind whips my dark hair away from my face as I climb to the alcove. I love how the wind tickles my skin and makes my yucca-fiber dress flap against me. I still get the exhilaration of being hundreds of feet in the air, although my mother taught me how to climb before I stopped crawling. Climbing is almost exactly like crawling, but on a vertical slope. And with your weight in roots and berries and the like. I pull myself up to the landing where the family home is. And my hand slips.

A hundred thoughts surge through my head in an instant. I have seen the children who fall. I have seen the adults who fall. I have seen the babies dropped. And I have seen what they look like after their hand slips from the carved hand hole in the rock. The lucky ones only need crutches or their limbs wrapped. But the worst bleed out for days. They must be placed in a dark, hollow room filled only with paintings of our God, to whip them into shape. No one knows how long they stay in there, not even then. But they are never the same.

I will never see my family again. I will never marry, give birth. I will never see the wondrous and impossible homes placed right in the mountain face. I will never drink the water that seeps through sandstone. I will never again worship or gather to eat in our hole, with practical ventilation systems; a square hole descending into the pit, circutalting cool air and at the same time expelling smoke. I will never be sung to sleep by my mother while the hearth glowed down to the embers. My father will never take me on his knee and tell me stories of evil long since expelled. I won't delight in a game with the dogs, while the other children dash along with me. Most of all, I will never deliver the corn on my back to my mother. 

She will be expecting me home, to our dark second story floor, with an open door on the balcony. When my mother is preparing dinner, my father will be hunting with the other men, and I, being nine, would catch the drips of water through the sandstone in bowls, before they hit the flagstone at our feet, and the boys would be chasing down the turkeys to sickly to eat, to keep them as pets. I do enjoy these things in our mountain-faced pueblos. Yes, we only get 300 gallons of water per year, but it is enough. And I need to get the corn to my mother. All these thoughts and more race through my head before my brother, Aztan, grabs my slender, tan arm in his hand. 

I grab onto his waist and don't let go until I stop shaking like a leaf. I then poke him in his stomach and run to deliver the corn to my mother.