On her deathbed, the Matriarch remembers
She lay in her bed, completely still, her body tense, frozen, but for her struggles to breathe; the rasp of her breath filling her ears. Staring through the dim light at reed mats covering the ceiling, her mind racing from memory to memory, she saw her mother’s face.
She had been a little girl. It was soon to be Erudu, the time when the yellow sun, Sig, moved in front of red Aldebaran. The pale orange sky would turn to bright blue. In quick succession, green grasses and brilliant flowers would burst from the ground. The black leaves of subur trees would turn green, and sweet red fruit would grow from ukum bushes.
She remembered her mother had given her a yellow flower to mark the holiday. She didn’t remember its name, but she remembered it was from Terra. They grew everywhere at Mussara during Erudu. She remembered seeing yellow flowers covering the ground like carpets.
It was the first Erudu festival she could remember. It would also be her last. She would be brought to join the rest of her House at Kemet, on the edge of the desert, the land of the Great River.
She wondered that there were only three seasons here, the Inundation, the Planting, and the Harvest. She thought of the varying seasons at home, the changing leaves, the colored skies, the coolness of Ud, and the rains at Su. But soon enough, these memories would fade. Terra, the land of one sun, would become home, and she would rarely think of Mussara.
Her daughter, Batresh, leaned over her, brushing wisps of white hair from her withered face. She thought it odd, that today, the day she would die, these memories could be so real.
She could smell the sweet yellow flower her mother had given her.