v) The road people, Abia, Shyan, and Cang strip off their coats


The road people, Abia, Shyan, and Cang strip off their coats and kerchiefs. Cang, the smallest among them, springs into the wagon with the garments at the ready. He and Fassn improvise a leather-and-linen tarpaulin to keep the rain off the embers of their cookfire.

The bubbling of the soup has slowed. Drops of rain patter against its surface. Fassn gets on his hands and knees, blows air on the dying embers.

Shyan, outside and freezing, calls to Abia. “Isn’t there something you can do?”

Abia shrugs. “Can make soup cold. Can’t make soup hot.”

Suddenly, a frog’s tongue of flame shoots up from the wagon. Shyan and the rest wheel to see it.

A spark has caught the damp wood of the wagon. Fire licks the frame of the vehicle, racing up the side. Cang leaps away, and Fassn tumbles out with the road people’s son under his arms. Abia releases Larry from his harness as the wagon burns.

The blaze roars for an hour — longer than the storm itself. When the charred remains burn down, and the sky spits only tiny flecks of moisture, the gang approaches the ruined wagon. Amidst the debris is the burnt-up cookpot, the golden soup within boiling furiously.

While the road people tend to their son. Shyan, Abia, Cang, and Fassn share a look. They each wrap their hands with whatever leather scraps they can find, each grab an edge of the pot, and sprint toward Gabjeoš.


please, share your thoughts about this piece

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.