Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sensation at Black Sands (Ahu's Story Part 13)


Ahu and Ahuahu had been at Black Sands now for some months. They no longer lived with Atahai the old widow as their house has been completed with the help of Ahuahu’s new friend Kamaka. They now fished together and would laugh a lot. Kamaka had a son a few months old like Tangaroa and two daughters from a previous wife who were in their teens, Hinewai and Hatiti who was the elder. The girls would do everything together often to be seen hand in hand as they wandered about in the village.
Kamaka’s wife Hoata and Ahu became friends and tended the vegetable plots and gathered fruit with their young babies jiggling around on their backs. The two teenage daughters would go down to the beach after the men had been fishing to help bring the catch back to the village.
After one good day fishing Kamaka told Hinewai to help Ahuahu drag the boat up into the dunes while he and Hatiti took the catch back to the village. It was hard for the two to push and pull the large canoe well above the tide line. Hinewai said “I am tired I wish to sit down and rest” and with that sat down on the sheltered side of the boat. Ahuahu continued to stow the ropes and paddles safely until he was satisfied all was well.
“Come sit by me, and tell me about the scar on your face.” Said Hinewai cheekily.
“No we should head back to the village,” said Ahuahu holding out his hand to help her to her feet. She took it, held on and with the other hand reached out and touched the scar on Ahuahu’s cheek. As she did so Hinewai looked directly at him and smiled, not only with her mouth but with eyes also.
“You should not have done this” he said releasing her hand. He turned and set off for the village alone. Hinewai continued to smile, “I think he likes me“ she said to herself.
Later that evening when Ahu and Ahuahu were at their house together, he said, “Ahu, I have to tell you something.”
Ahu nodded and kneeled down waiting for him to speak. Thereupon Ahuahu recounted what had happened. Her heart fell. She could say nothing, but her tears said everything. Wiping them away with the back of her hand, she finally spoke. “Do I not please you still?”
Ahuahu nodded. “You know that I love you. What should I do?”
“You must go to speak to Kamaka now, before there is talk.”
“Now?”
“Yes, the whole village will be talking about it in the morning, Go now.” She pleaded.
With much sadness Ahuahu went round to Kamaka’s house and called out to him. “Kamaka, I wish to talk to you.”
Kamaka came out of the hut, and walked up to Ahuahu.
“Kamaka, you have been a good friend to me. I need to tell you that Hinewai touched me on the face when we were at the boat. Ahu said that I should speak to you.”
Kamaka smiled. “Yes, I know. The girl has been beaten.”
“How did you know?”
“They are silly girls Ahuahu. Hinewai just had to tell Hatiti what she had done. I should have beaten Hatiti too, but I could think of no good reason. I trust you Ahuahu and you have honoured that trust by telling Ahu first. But now we will have to see who else may have seen her touch you.”
Clearly someone had seen Hinewai and Ahuahu as the rumour spread around the village early the next day. By noon the sensation was forgotten Kamaka and Ahuahu were still speaking and laughing with each other and Ahu was looking after two babies while Hoata was digging for oca tubers in the thick vegetation. However Hinewai and Hatiti were still giggling making new plans.

Note: In Polynesian culture there are touches that are not appropriate, e.g. do not pat older people, as you would a child or pet; do not touch the head, not even playfully, this applies to all age groups and do not presume to touch older people unless they touch you first.

12 comments:

  1. Girls. Girls, hormones, and gossip seem to never make a good mix. Especially when there is at least two girls to encourage each other. Misery is not the only thing that loves company. You have this story unfolding nicely.

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  2. Nasty girls..teenagers are a handful the world over..I wish our little family could live on a little island alone..raising babies..fishing and planting..the world doesn't half mess up a good thing..this unfolding into a mighty story OldEgg..Shakespeare on the beach..Jae

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  3. Hmmm, things get more interesting and the lesson here is the grass is not always greener (or the volcano is not always hotter? Not sure on that one). Panic and terror can drive people to do strange things and split families apart but these are also not what stories are about.

    I see a lot of strife and grief here, perhaps a death or two. Good tension, palpable. Great series, I have much to learn! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. "She has been beaten". Gak. Stuck in my craw. Good fluid storytelling Neil.

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  5. Thanks for the lesson in Polynesian culture and for such a great story. I also liked your use of the prompt. A gossipy sensation is never good.

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  6. Kate thought the idea of beating a teenager was "Gak"! The scene in this ongoing story is set before European settlement (about 1840) when the abuse of children both there and in our own culture was commonplace. Clearly my writing is fiction but hopefully reflects the customs and attitudes of the period. Clearly from the last line the beating has not altered Hinewai's attitude much, let's hope she picks on someone her own age next!

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  7. Not only is your story entertaining, it's teaching me things too! Excellent .

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  8. I love your sense of pacing. Your prose just flows from one word to the next, carrying my along with the sweep of language.

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  9. Oh, oh! Trouble afoot perhaps. This where Ahu has to be trusting, and Ahuahu sensible. Interesting and realistic development; must'nt
    try and anticipate so will have to wait impatiently for the next part.
    There should be more smacking of naughty children - the modern generations have produced a lot of obnoxious little 'gits'. Who is Neil?

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  10. I agree with Nara about your pacing. Your stories sweep. Before I know it, I'm at their end, having no idea how I got there but glad to have been so swept.

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  11. Looks like those two are going to be trouble.

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