July 9, 2014 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
This story is set in the cold-season before school begins for Tairiekie.
“Tai-tai, hurry up.”
It wasn’t so much that Tairiekie’s father was rushing her as that he’d called three times in the last half an hour, and that he kept using her baby-name. She was at least a little past being called that.
“Almost ready, father.” She tugged the sleeves of her under-shift straight.
It was new; the whole outfit was new. The festival of Tienaabaa¹ was about new creations. It was also many layers thick, because the festival of Teinaabaa took place on the shortest days of the year.
“Do you think that my project will win an award?” It was her last year competing in the children’s level. She had won an award every year before, but she’d only taken first place twice.
“I am sure you will do us proud. Are you dressed yet, Tair-tair?”
“Almost.” She had done the embroidery herself; she tugged her overvest to fit better over what was supposed to be a chest and wasn’t, quite, yet. The loose vest looked more like a child’s clothing than a grown woman’s, but all the decoration made it look loved and proper, at least.
Four layers of blue swished back at her in the silvered mirror in her parents’ room. Blue, for Tienaabaa. Blue for winter. Blue for the engineers, her mother, her father… and likely her as well.
She clattered down the stairs in her dyed-blue boots. “I’m ready.” Everyone at the festival would know she was loved and cherished. Everyone was going to know how brilliant her festival demonstration was, too.
Her father kissed the top of her head. “You will make your parents proud, Tairiekie.”
1. Tienaabaa (TEEN-ah-bah) is the deity of the wind and the water, the mind and creation. Formerly Tienebrah, (Tee-EN-eh-brah), the word was Calenyenized in the mid 1200’s.