The latest installment of The Crossing
The first winter with Loban and Arina was a severe one. The ground was covered with a thick layer of snow by early December. Trudging through the snow and back or school was hard work and always my clothes would be wet through. Arina kept the cycle of clean laundry going somehow and I was determined to get some good qualifications so I could work and earn enough to pay Loban and Arina back for some of their kindness.
The school term ended and I spent the vacation helping Arina make the fireball decorations for New Year. Gai had told me about the old days when the New Year would be marked with fireworks and glowing orbs hanging outside the house. Now as we made one for outside our house he told me of his parents doing the exact same thing.
My only real memories were seeing them being torn down and the occupants of the home that had dared to display them being marched away never to return. No one ever said where they went to or what happened to them. Rumours of slave camps in the mountains ran rife but we never knew.
New Year had no meaning back in the old days, each day just blurred into the next. People blurred together losing individuality. Only the seasons changed, the system could not control them but I am pretty sure it would have done if it could.
© JG Farmer 2014
Photography by Al Forbes