Thursday, November 19, 2015


Saar'boneIt took the members of the Vairr'on all the next day to decide what to do. Jannina stayed at home with her parents. They asked her endless questions about the saar'bone, and she did her best to answer truthfully. In the end they were even more confused than they had been that morning, when they had climbed out of bed without having had a wink of sleep. 

Sometime in mid-afternoon, the fog cleared and the sun broke through the low clouds to shine down on the garden. Jannina's grandfather came walking up to the hut. He looked many years older than he had the night before. 

He sat them all down in the family room, and Jannina's mum served hot chiyet. They listened as he told them what had been decided. 

The attack of the Til'chagga had been unnatural, unlike anything that had ever happened throughout the history of Aalmuvai. The consensus was that it had been the forbidden sounds from the saar'bone that had attracted the giant sea creature, and most of the Vairr'on had wanted to condemn Jannina to what they deemed a just punishment: Transport to Chamma'Nyva, along with an apology and a promise that Aalmuvai would be more vigilant in future and thereby prevent anyone from ever making such forbidden sounds again. 

Jannina's grandfather had fought against this, and had even begged the rest of the Vairr'on, he said, for a different outcome. His proposal was that Jannina instead be exiled, in secret. This, he had argued, would remove the threat to the village's wellbeing without condemning the young woman to slavery or death. He had argued that his nephew's family would take her in, faraway in the western reaches of the Yon'naal Forest, and that he would make sure that she never returned to the east coast of Krr'chamma again. 

They had listened to him, and had agreed that if the matter could be kept secret, then Jannina could perhaps start a new life. After much discussion, it had been decided. 

Jannina listened numbly to her grandfather, and to her dad's outraged protestations, and to her mum's terrified weeping. 

She did not say a word the whole time. The events of the past few days played over and over in her mind. She just sat there in stunned silence. 

Exiled. She was going to be exiled.