I’m intrigued by flash fiction, so much that I tried my hand at it.
There are many patakís in the diloggún that are simple; and their plots lend themselves well to the genre of Flash.
This is my first attempt at Flash. It’s 447 words, and in that short span, it reveals something powerful about one orisha that many of us think as physically “weak”.
How far from the truth that is!
The village hunters told her, “No woman should use a knife to kill; it will destroy you, and make you sick.” But she and her children were hungry, and the hunters would not feed them unless she had sex with them. She had no use for men or sex in her life now; she only wanted to feed her children. And it was for this reason that she stood alone in the forest, afraid, but determined to hunt.
The air was hot and sticky. Salty sweat stung her eyes, and she lifted an arm thickly swathed with cloth to wipe her brow. In her free hand she clutched a knife; her knuckles were ashen, she held it so tightly.
Her stomach rumbled; she trembled, weakened with hunger and overcome with fear. Yet she knew they were as hungry as she. Gathering her strength, she rustled and shook the low-hanging tree branches. She kicked at the twigs and leaves, and made noise; it wasn’t a lot of noise, but she knew it was enough to attract the leopard.
And it was.
Silently, it stalked her as she stumbled through the underbrush; but she knew it was there. She got quiet, and braced herself for its attack. It came at her, a snarling, hungry beast flying through the air.
By instinct, without thought, she lifted her left forearm and felt powerful jaws clamping down. The thick cloth protected her arm, but not entirely, and she felt sharp teeth grazing her skin. The leopard twisted her to the ground, and bit harder, but she brought her knife up and into its soft chest, twisting it hard as she herself let out a primal scream. She heard ripping flesh, and the sickening sound of metal scraping bone. Hot blood sprayed her face.
The jaw went slack, and the leopard lay on top of her, dead.
It took all of her strength, but she rolled the animal off herself; and she stood, shaking. Carefully, she unwound the cloth from her forearm and saw that the teeth barely punctured her skin, and she smiled. She hummed as she skinned the beast, and let the innards slip from its flesh. Carefully, she packed the fresh meat into the leopard skin, and carried it home, to her children.
Oshún felt strong, powerful; and she smiled, for even without a man, her children would eat well tonight.