It was decided I would die on my birthday, my parents and the guardians agreed. Death was to take place in the Quuadravik. The town square. All the ritual killings took place there and for my parents, there was honour attached to the place of my death. Lesser children were killed by the Gorthachiv, the garbage hole, and disposed of immediately. My body would be in repose for a week, to allow celebrations and fraternising of the higher families.
My schooling stopped on the day the deal was set, there was a month for my body to be prepared for the day. Each morning I took a ritual bath with bitter herbs infused the water and honey, cleansing every part of me. In the afternoon my hair was plaited in the intricate patterns, one for each day, I carried a countdown calendar to my own demise on my head. Evenings were spent with the local guardian, it was their responsibility to ensure my mind, heart and innards were scourged of the evil that had brought this death penalty to me.
What crime did I commit? That of laziness, around the Quuadravik, was the Path of Right Thinking, the local rule was: To step on the Path, a person must complete the entire Path before continuing their journey. I was walking with Dorinek, listening to his boasts, not caring about the unlikeliness of the tales because he had the most gorgeous blue eyes and they were fixed on me. A classic case of girl meets boy. Being in this bubble of “teen love” I accidentally stepped onto the Path. I lithely jumped across as if I hadn’t touched it and continued gazing into those blue eyes. Dorinek told me to go back. He got all grumpy with me and stalked off, I didn’t see him again. From what I heard he immediately told the guardian of my folly and the rest is history.
So there I was on the afternoon of my birthday, plaited, dressed and ready for the procession to the town square when the great guardian arrived from Dromdrevc. My parents although quite high in our town, were not high enough for a visit from him on a death day. But there he was, and there I was and very shortly afterwards the two of us were in Dromdrevc in front of the guardianship…