"In the days before we had days, in the time before the before, when the oldest elders were not yet young, at the place with no world and between the spaces beyond places, the Great Maker made a great world."
Repetitive, familiar, drummed in, daily, repeatedly. Sacred, universal, required, strictly, carefully.
"And the Great Maker gave that great world great freedoms. And the great people of that great world made great works. And the great people of that great world did great evils. And the great works enslaved the people of that great world. And the great people were greatly enslaved to great evils."
Hear, say, read, write, recite, repeat. Learn, earn, eat, repeat.
"And the Great Maker valued one above all. And the Great Maker most valued his daughter, his only daughter. But the great evil works of the great evil people caused the Great Maker's only daughter to perish."
Lesson, morning, evening. Lesson, education, home, table. Lesson, history, Maker. Lesson, duty, requirement, community.
"And the Great Maker's wrath was very, very great. And the Great Maker did destroy the world that was. And that world was forgotten, but not forgiven. And that world must never be repeated. For the Great Maker remade the world. And the new world is a lesser world. And the people of the new world are lesser people. And the works of the new people are lesser works. And so it must be, that the evils of the new world may be lesser evils."
Tired, slowly. Rocking, watching, listening, correcting, reminding. Growing new lives, two lives, template for daughters. Moon, reflecting sun. Home but not at home.
"While the works of the lesser people are lesser, the gifts of the Great Maker are yet great. For some of the gifts are the workings of works, but the greatest gift is the clerics. For the clerics guard truth, balance law, dispense justice, and judge the doings of all. And thus the lesser people remain free of the corruptions of those that went before."
Distant, sternly. Working, guarding, recording, punishing, pushing. Growing daily bread, garden beds, leader of sons. Sun, yet colder. Away, yet not withdrawn.
"And while the clerics protect the people from within, the foe of the Great Maker has raised up enemies and dangers from without. And while the foe lives, memory of great evil lurks. And thus the memory of the fallen daughter has been locked away. And as long as that foe lives, she cannot be raised back to everlasting life."
Every lesson ends, to begin again anew. Each dark night yields to day. Every day is a day was yesterday will be today. Lessons every day, some day, which day? A day of birth. Birth remembered, remembering a memory of a day of birth. The first arrow in the quiver, a brother becoming a man.
"What do you think, hazelnut... or caramel?"
Swept clean, fresh green, never mean, tall and lean, not heard but seen. Healthy sheen, eyes keen. A number rhyme, a number prime.
"Everyone likes strawberries."
See then, be men, he when? Three, ten.
"For that price they had better be fresh."
A day to celebrate, a day to bake, bake by sun, a cake with a one, a cake with a three, baked by me, biggest sister for biggest brother, walk to town, walk with mother.
"Thank you Nara. Until next assembly."
A day to celebrate, a day to decorate. Cheery place, tasteful tastes. What we need and no more, general store, much walking, Mother talking, such a bore.
"Yes I did hear we have a visiting cleric in town. No, Prudence said he's from Empyreal. Oh, you are certain he's from Deepbloom? You must be right, Prudence can be... well, you know."
Dusty street, sore feet, given treat, stop to eat, ladies to meet, feet sore, such a bore.
Time to explore.
"Where did you last see your mother?"
Food ate, running late, running nose, running blood. Sore arm, done harm.
"I was so worried, Charity! You have my eternal thanks, most esteemed one. My apologies, but I know not your name."
Patched up, lifted up, off the ground, mother found.
"Now we had better get you home so we can bake while the sun is hot."
Blood spilt, tears spilt. Guilt.
"You can cut the strawberries."
All is well, bruises swell, bruises abate.
"Happy thirteenth birthday, Charles!"
"And the name of the first foe is Mortlock. And the name of the last foe is Baduk."
We have always been as we are now and always will be until the next moment.
And the moment is timeless.
And the moment is now.
I wake. I breathe. I feel. I bleed.