The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 32

Covered in motorcycle dust, I hurry down the hill, alone, to dance the Cleansing Ceremony.

We gather on the eastern side of our village. It is where Whitman chooses to sleep. He says the sunrise deserves more admirers. During the ceremony, the one that will drive the angry spirits out of my mother’s dreams, he sits next to the dinner preparation area with his notebook open, watching and writing.

The adult men create a shape resembling a teardrop. Cav stands at the tip. The women dance around the shape, weaving between the men and the inside of the water drop, between the dry and the wet. We dance to Cav’s chants. When the spirits answer back, we may stop. This is my first time dancing the Cleansing Ceremony, and I am getting dizzy. Each time I pass Cav, the world steadies for a moment.

No Gara has spoken of Deti’s absence, but the spirits know he is missing and they make us move until even my mother is dizzy with dance and eyes Cav for permission to stop. A spirit has spoken to her. He grants it only after the spirits tells her three times. We must be sure. We must appease the spirits.

Once we have fed the spirits with our dance and remorse, I know I must go find Deti. I can’t stop thinking about his smile, how it looked pulled and painful. I can’t stop thinking the spirits are still not happy.