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Sun Quest

Part 1 - Southbound

by and © Ruwen Rouhs

Chapter 14

"The meal was delicious especially the roasted meat. While the men and boys sat eating beautiful hypnotic music was played by an old woman on a single-stringed bowed instrument. She was the most distinguished priestess of the desert tribe. Her song was accompanied by half a dozen young girls clapping their hands. Once in a while the chorus was taken up by the girls whose voices contrasted with the hoarse one of the old woman. When the meat and bread was nearly gone and the jugs of sweet beverage nearly empty, three of the girls began to perform slow elegant dance steps, which alternated with wild acrobatic movements. At the height of the performance a fourth woman dressed in a tight robe emerged out of the dark and joined the group.

Mitrson left his friends and scurried to my father. He whispered, "That's Aisha my third mother. She is gorgeous! You should see her by daylight. My father married her only two months ago. She is not much older than me and I am in love with her!"

"So you have three mothers?" my father asked curiously.

"Sure!" Mitrson explained, "Everybody has several mothers. My father married my first mother, when he was just sixteen. She was more than 10 years older and a rich widow. When she didn't conceive my father married a second time. After a year I was born and then my mother, my second mother, gave birth to my two sisters. Now she has given birth to a third girl and is staying in Safe Haven with mylittle sister. After she left my father got married a third time. I know my third mother well, we were playmates!"

Before my father was able to assimilate the information in full, Mitr came around. Slapping his son across the backside, "Did he tell you he loves Aisha also? He is still too young to get married though," he laughed, "He is not even initiated. He has still to learn about love making. Till the rite of passage he is only allowed to make love with his peers or with a teacher." When my father didn't get the point, Mitr continued, "I choose you for his teacher!" waiting a moment for an answer, "I know you will enjoy your task, you proved it already!"

Aegir gaped! He stared at Buri open-mouthed. "My people have always derided boys who make love to boys. They called them sissies." He sighed, "However, if a man fell in love with another man, both had to leave the tribal community. They became outcasts. They were not allowed to return, never! If a man made love to a boy he was condemned. He had to stand trial and the elders condemned him to death. I witnessed a trial once. First the man was tortured and then killed by impaling him on a pole. The boy was given a severe whipping despite his innocence, because the man had taken him against his will! Nonetheless he was condemned to live in the wild for some time!" looking desperately at Buri, "Do you understand now? I had to leave my family to find my dream-boy and make him my love. I also have to find the sun and take it back to our dark island. I am sure then my tribe will accept me and my love, you my Buri, my Curlyhead!"

Buri put an arm around Aegir's shoulder hugging him affectionately, "Remember the sun! She is up in the sky and nobody is able to capture her. Remember the moon. He also disappears behind the horizon, but nobody is able to catch him. But I know what to do! We have to visit the place where I was born - Sivah, the oasis, out in the hot desert. From there we will travel to the mountains where the moonstone is found, to my mother's fathers. The moonstone will give us the power to surmount all difficulties!"

Reclining with a sigh Aegir asked, "What happened? Did your father see your mother again?"

"Let me tell you the rest of the story! My father asked Mitr on his way back to his cabin about Teje, my mother, and he was told to come back to his estate next evening. There the old priestess, who had played the single-stringed bowed instrument the evening before, was waiting. She took him to a small house at the back of the shrine of Ta-weret, the goddess of childbirth and fertility. There he had to wait for Teje, my mother. He was so overexcited that he didn't notice how much Teje had changed. They kissed and hugged till the old woman, who acted as Teje's chaperone, reminded him of the falling night. "We have to leave", she reminded my father, "Teje is tired! Look, her belly is getting bigger from hour to hour. Soon she will give birth to a boy!"

During the next few weeks my father was allowed to visit my mother every other day, but always in the presence of the chaperone. He spent his days working in the field with the Zaggalahs and the night either with Mitr or with Mitrson, who introduced his friends to him one by one. Then one midmorning Mitrson came running, "Rush `ödur, rush, something happened to Teje, something unexpected!"

When my father arrived at the temple he was shown to a dark, cool room. Teje was lying in bed. She looked dead tired, was pale but smiled happily. When he came up to her, she uncovered her upper body and there my father saw me for the first time. I, his little boy, was sucking her breast with closed eyes. When he bent over to kiss her brow, the old woman warned him. "She is sick, Teje is very sick, the delivery nearly killed her. Just one kiss, one for her and one for your son. Your son is the reincarnation of the mighty Geb, the god of the fertile earth and barren desert. Giving birth to Geb, always demands a heartbreaking sacrifice." She warned him thus in advance of the inevitable event to come, but my father didn't get the meaning of the old priestess words."

"The news of my birth, the birth of the reincarnation of Geb, spread like a fire in the oasis and a big celebration was initiated by the Mitr and his fellows. The next morning, when my father's head was still spinning from the sweet beverage he had had, Mitrson arrived again, but this time with hanging head. Without speaking he led my father to the temple. The predicted event had taken place. My mother had died leaving me to the care of Ta-weret, Goddess of childbirth and her priestesses."

Aegir had tears in his eyes. He didn't dare to look at Buri or even touch him, because he was afraid to upset his crying love further. But Buri stifled his pain and continued. "My father cried for weeks and weeks, while I grew up in the care of midwives. When I was about a year old, my father stole me and took me back to his clan the north. Mitr and Mitrson, who were in the plot, helped him to escape."

Aegir couldn't hold his tears back and started to cry. But Buri consoled him, "I have outgrown the grief." Hesitating a moment, he corrected himself, "That's not true, not really true. I am still sad, that's why I have to see the place my mother gave birth to me and where my mother's grave is. That's why I need the crescent. I need it to prove that I am the first born son of Teje, the first born daughter of the ruler of the Moon-Stone people and that I am the reincarnation of Geb, the mighty. The crescent of moon-stone is my sign of power!"

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