black history/futures: learning the family tree

it's feb! that means it's black history/futures month. my goal is one flash fiction story every day. all stories from the month here.

penti sat for days at the root of the family tree.

on the first day, the torrential rain soaked completely through their tunic and tan linen pants.

the second day was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. the second day was beautiful and hot. scorching, was more like it. 110F to be precise. after the rain, the heat made sure their clothes didn’t hold any water… and then eventually held so little water that the tunic an pants began to singe penti’s skin. but still, they sat and worked the people into their mind.

the third day, like always, was windy beyond belief. after the heat, the movement of the cool, dewy air in the morning was lovely. and then as the day went on, the air picked up to 40 mph gusts. penti had never felt 40 mph sand blasts and they hoped to never have to experience them again.

by beginning of the fourth day, thankfully, penti’s work was almost done.

penti was doing the work of memorizing the tree by feel and they couldn’t wait to be finished. the family tradition of learning the history by working ones way up from the root of the tree had been in place for almost 300 years.

as the most recent person to begin this family rite of passage, the tree had never been taller. and no one had ever needed a fourth day to learn every person in the lineage. obviously, each generation back one went, the more people had to be learned, blood and chosen relatives.

but the fourth day was earth and no one had ever needed time after sunrise on the fourth day.

when the rooster crowed, penti felt their knee begin to twitch. and then realized it wasn’t their knee at all…

words / writing / post-processing
276w / 12min / 4min