How it all begins: The Ballad of the Spermwhale and Giant Squid
excerpt from: Noola and the Whale Changeling (#1)
“The pain prepares you for life!” She had heard this fallacy so often, it had become truth. But the alleged honor did nothing to alleviate her terror. Two of her friends had already undergone the ritual and it had transformed them. Never again had she seen them laugh, and their agonized faces crumbled a little more each day. They were permanently in the midwife’s care who made every effort to restore their health and spirits They understood that suffering pain would make them strong, that made sense somehow, but why did they have to sacrifice their womanhood? What was the point in suffering constant pain every time you took a pee, had sex, gave birth? There was no way they were going to have children, they swore to that! But the day after the circumcision, her friend had been raped and now she was pregnant. One of the iron rings had been ripped out. How is it possible to survive such madness? Noola thought she should have listened to Banar and run off with him! Where is he now? If he were to ask her now, she’d run away with him in a heartbeat – she was that terrified.
Her sisters slipped the white gown over her head and they enter the cutter’s house together, an office held by her father. Her cousins were already waiting there holding fresh water, thread, towels and herbs to still the bleeding. They had sterilized the iron rings that would close her labia over an open flame.
Her mother’s sister began to sing a heart-wrenching song. The walls were covered in pelts and bones, hung with ancient daggers of bygone famous cutters and magnificent, brilliantly colored pictures of coffee and coffee ceremonies his wife had painted. The wooden floor creaked and shadows of scurrying cockroaches could be seen between the planks. Occasionally one peeked out, hoping for a juicy tidbit to fall.
The curtains hanging over the windows had been drawn. Flies circled the naked light bulb, buzzing loudly. The center of the room was dominated by a stained wooden table. The alter of a woman’s ultimate sacrifice – her joy, her youth, her womanliness and libido.
It seemed the only bearable condition was anything but the human one.
When her father entered the room, she was already on the table, vibrating with terror, her heart doing its best to leap from her chest. Her cousins held her arms down firmly. Noola tried to wrench herself free, but they were strong and merciless. The aunt’s lament coursed through her nervous system, doing nothing to ease her terror, merely amplifying it. Her father held the dagger he had already used to mutilate countless young women. His face was utterly devoid of emotion. He was no longer her father, he was Cutter.
Slowly, he approached the table, waiting for the lines in the song that indicated the first cut. Noola kicked out with her naked feet, but her cousins held her in an iron grip. Her last steps on the path to adulthood would be littered with her mutilation – pain for the rest of her days!
The cutter now stood at the table and pushed her dress up, sliding his hands along her legs, flipping the robe over at her navel. He nodded at her perfectly hairless body – the girls had done a good job.
Power must be demonstrated!
“Stay completely still and it will be over quickly!”
Noola clenched her teeth and closed her eyes tightly. Her fingers dug deeply into her cousins’ arms, her toes strained apart. Her aunt sung louder now, to drown out the coming screams of agony. Just as her father placed the dagger between her legs a shot was fired.
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To find out more, please check out the project page. The first part of a 4 part novel series will be published next June (2019)
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