The gifts began when the girl was five years old. Her name; Aiyana. The meaning of the name transcribed from the Native American as ‘delicate flower’. She was a child and her family would lavish gifts upon her. All of the other children in the family envied her. She was brought up in a cult-like circumstances. Headed by her uncle.

The uncle would give speeches at dinner time and at meals, stating about the omnipresent nature of Aiyana’s fate. That one day she would be brought into an entirely new state of being, as of yet not witnessed by human beings. He told the others who held table with him at meals about his esoteric journeys to the other side of the world. How he had met and conversed with Gurus from India, how he had unraveled the secrets of those initiated into the Daoist order, how he had shared his travels with Buddhist monks. His travels through-out the world had earned him all sorts of worldly experience. But he had returned home and because he had returned home, he was lacking any suitable adventure. It was unclear exactly as to the reasoning of Aiyana’s uncle’s actions. Perhaps he was creating some preliminary adventure for his niece, or perhaps his actions possessed some form of sinister motifs as of yet unseen.

On some days. The family, though possessed by poverty, would take a bed sheet out of the family home. Separate members of the family would hold the bed sheet at different corners to spread it out and formed a primitive version of a trampoline. They would bounce the five year old Aiyana up and down upon it. Chanting her name as they did so. There were different practices that the family would partake in. Such as the circle of positivity. The ritual involved placing Aiyana at the center of a group of people who sat around her in a circle shaped formation. They were then instructed to focus all of the positive thoughts that they could muster in upon the child. It was an odd occurrence and what would eventuate from the process is sporadic fits of glee and giggling from the child. So much positivity being focused in upon the child would create a special shine to the energy that encompassed her.

Apart from the odd rituals that the family, or cult, held. Aiyana spent most of her time running outside, partaking in the feast of seasonal fruits that grew in the local habitat. She would run outside, playfully, with the sun shining down on her the way it did, it seemed as if the Gods themselves had blessed her to run wild and free for the rest of her life.

Aiyana grew to an age of fifteen and was soon becoming a young woman. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday a wealthy man came to town. Tall, dark and handsome; he possessed the natural grace of a cat. The way he would move is as if he were silently stalking prey. He had some form of long-known connection to Aiyana’s uncle and when her uncle instructed the sixteen year old Aiyana to fulfill whatever desire the man had, Aiyana willingly obliged.

On the eve of her sixteenth birthday Aiyana entered a bedroom with the tall, dark man. She entered that room a virgin in her innocence and womanhood. The next day she would exit, neither a virgin, nor innocent.

After that day, the sixteen year old Aiyana was no longer treated as special. The rituals had focused in upon a new girl, one of Aiyana’s cousins. Aiyana would wake with morning sickness only to discover that she was pregnant.

Another boy, the same age as Aiyana, who had grown into his teens. He had witnessed everything that had happened to the young woman. He had witnessed it all, seen it all and he was sickened. He had become aware of the cult-like scenario in which he and she were raised. And when he witnessed the tall, dark man handing over a briefcase full of money to Aiyana’s uncle the day after their romantic interlude. The young man became sick and dizzy, nauseous was the word. For what he had witnessed revealed the true nature of their lives. The day after the event, he spent the next evening sitting in amongst the grass that had faded away. Yellow and dry. Picking up each of the pieces, each blade of grass and seeing its lifeless form. The world spun around the young man as he attempted to try and regain some semblance of passivity. Attempting to struggle against the anger that captured and enclosed in upon his soul. The ambivalent feelings twisted and tormented him until he wretched, vomiting a pasty like liquid that was reminiscent of his morning’s breakfast of porridge and orange juice. The young man, Paulo was his name, contended himself to escape from the cult and take Aiyana with him. 

He did so slowly. First he introduced himself to Aiyana and helped take care of her as she was sick with child. He eased her pains, bringing her the food and fruits that she craved from the local harvest. Feeding her whatever she desired. Together they contemplated the way in which they were raised. With these realisations, Aiyana was not only vomiting because of morning sickness, but also because of the realization of her surroundings. Ever since she was a child, she had been prepared for this moment. Being brought up with riches lavished upon her so that she would sacrifice her own life and wellbeing for the wellbeing of her child. There was an issue of contention. Perhaps if someone had explained all of these things, had told her she was being treated like a miniature Goddess in her childhood for the sacrifice of motherhood in her later adult life. Then maybe, maybe she would be content in her current position. But for all of the gifts of generosity that had been given to her, wisdom and knowledge were not part of them.

The point at which they sought assistance to abort the child was when Paulo had admitted that he had seen the exchange between the man who had taken Aiyana’s virginity and her uncle. The exchange of a briefcase full of cash. It was at this point that they ventured outside of the village and sought the assistance of others. Others who belonged outside of the cult. When they both explained the situation to an elderly woman who had a kind heart. The elderly woman took pity on the two, even if they were teenagers, she saw them both still as children. She produced a special tea that would induce a miscarriage. Aiyana drank the tea and returned to the family home.

That night as Aiyana’s womb bled out onto her sheets in the throes of a miscarriage. Her uncle came to her room and confronted the two lovers. He had been secretly observing the two and when he heard Aiyana’s cries of pain coming from her room. He went to them and began screaming at them, “You two little shits! I have given you everything anyone could ever ask for and this is how you repay me! How dare you commit such an act! How dare you! I’ll see you both dead for this act!”

Paulo who listened to the outburst in silent rage, grabbed a tomahawk that he had secretly concealed for this very occasion. He produced it from its hiding place and with a heavy blow, struck Aiyana’s uncle on the side of his head. Causing a severe blow to his skull that broke through the bone, splitting his skull with consistent strokes of the tomahawk, powered by the muscles that he had been given through laborious duties.

Paulo concealed the man’s body in the sheets that were stained with Aiyana’s blood through her miscarriage. Wrapping up and concealing his features so that they did not have to bare further witness to the split skull.

Then they both rode off and into the night, never to look back on their conflicted childhoods. But always, always haunted by the secrets of men in their evil pursuits of power over others.

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