The red dust of the desert blew past the old wooden house. It eddied and tore itself to scraps around the wind-smoothed corners, and small cacti bravely stood the biting sand. It was peaceful, if dull, accentuated by an old woman gently rocking on her chair. Her face was lined deeply and a small frown pulled down the corners of her mouth; tiny wrinkles radiated from the corners of her eyes. She had been propped up in a sheltered place away from the wind, and so didn't see the pickup truck roll towards the house, kicking up yet more red dust.
"So, are we close?" asked one of the blond boys in the open truck bed. His sweat had plastered his fair hair to his forehead and his white polar bear looked like it was going to keel over. By contrast, the other boy only looked mildly uncomfortable, if confused.
"We're nearly there. I gotta tell ya, this is the first time that granny has had any visitors since…" the man at the wheel trailed off. "I don't think she's ever had visitors. Not since you two showed up." He eyed them almost suspiciously.
The two boys had showed up at the small town after their car broke down. While it was getting repaired at the mechanic's (which was pretty good for a town their size) the one with the polar bear had asked the locals if they'd seen or heard of someone named "Gaho", who apparently was their…foster mother? Dan had been a bit wary of the two guys (especially when the elder brother grinned apologetically and said he didn't remember a thing) but when...Matthew?...started saying things like "lived for a long, long time" and "unchanging" he decided to take them to his granny.
Granny had been a part of the house, practically a lamp fixture. She didn't eat (or if she did, she did it secretly) and usually would stare off into the east, rocking her chair. His mother had apparently known her when she was a kid, and her mother before that, endlessly spanning over four hundred years of history.
Privately, Dan thought that making digs at Granny's age was a bit mean, but he played along at the fact that Granny was supposed to be centuries old. Or something like that.
He saw the house in the distance and slowed down. He knew from experience that if he roared to a stop, dust would scatter all over the porch and cover Granny in a layer of red soot.
She cracked one eye open. Dan had come back with groceries, it seemed. She closed the eye again. The boy had been a handful when he was young, all coltish limbs and too-long legs, but it seemed that he'd grown out nicely. She wistfully remembered what his father was like-and his father before that-or was that the father before that? It was all muddy and confused when she stirred her thoughts up so she quietly let them settle.
The boy ran around and opened up the back of the truck bed-which was odd, because groceries always came from the front seat. Two young men hopped out and a white streak of fur dashed towards her chair. Almost interested, she stopped rocking.
The bear leapt upon her lap and put soft paws on her face. "I brought them." he said softly. "I brought them."
"Matoskah…?" murmured the old woman. She patted down the fur again, marvelling at its whiteness. Then she closed her eyes. A dream of a dream, a memory of a reminisce of a downy feather of happiness pushed at her eyelids, threatening to spill over. And she heard shouts and feet pounding up the wooden steps-is this imagination? A vision again?- and her hands were being held by warmer ones, softer ones, chapped from a little work.
"Mom?" she opened her eyes. And there-there-two boys. Two men. Two perfectly strange-but-familiar-but-heartbreaking-but-sweet men that were both worried, both saying things that slipped past her ears. She-for the first time in a while-shakily rose from the rocking chair and held fast to their hands. From one to the other they looked the same-their straight noses and low cheekbones and rounded, wide eyes the same as when they were born.
"Helaku." she said softly, brushing unruly, spiky hair out of her elder son's confused eyes with motherly hands.
"Kajika." she murmured, seeing glimmerings of understanding in his posture and stance.
And, for the first time in what felt like eons, Gaho bent her head and wept tears of pure joy.
By popular demand, I have done what I have secretly mocked others for doing: I have created a sequel.
And maybe a little bit of my sister too. Y'see, a lot of the reviews/replies/pms/slaps (no seriously) I've been getting about this story pertain to the fact that they wanted a reunion scene. After eight months, ten days, and approximately four-and-a-half hours, I have caved. Enjoy the VERY LAST instalment of this miniseries and have a good day.