Vanilla By Andy Tu

October 27, 2015 Comments Off on Vanilla By Andy Tu

Kila asks me which color of snow I chose today. “White is not a color,” she says when I tell her. “It must not have tasted good.” I tell her that I did not taste it.

“Then why did Madam bring you to Snowman’s house?”

I shrug my shoulders.

“Maybe Madam is preparing you for Ceremony,” she says, taking my hands into hers. “Remember Lala? The same thing happened to her before she left.”

Kila scrubs my back with the sponge. “I’ll clean you extra tonight,” she says, “just in case.”

***

Madam holds a candle as my sisters and I pull our blankets up to our chins.

“Ceremony will be a place of magic,” says Madam as she steps toward the door. “Many of your sisters are still there, waiting for you. In Ceremony, you have snow every day. There are colors that you have never seen, better than your favorites at Snowman’s house.” Madam raises the flame to her lips. “You girls are special, do you know that? You will help many people, and their lives will be forever changed because of you.”

“Why do these people need our help?” asks Kila.

Madam blows the candle out. “They are sick,” she says in the darkness. “Now please be quiet, and close your eyes until the light arrives.”

When I close my eyes, I see the face of a man with skin like the white snow. I wonder if he is the person I am going to help.

***

As I comb my hair, Madam enters and tells me to follow her.

“But I am not ready, Madam.”

Madam smiles the way she did yesterday, after I pointed to the white snow.

“Please Oni,” she says. “Hurry. There is not much time.” Madam brings her lips close to my ear and whispers, “It is your time, Oni. It is time for Ceremony.”

***

I did not get a chance to say goodbye to Kila, but I will wait for her to join me one day.

Madam holds my hand and guides me up moving stairs. We arrive at a place that looks like Snowman’s house, but bigger. I look through the foggy glass and see that what Madam says about Ceremony is true. There are many new colors. I want to taste them all.

Madam pulls me toward a man who’s holding a stick to help him stand. For a moment, I think that this is the man I saw when I closed my eyes, but no, it is not him.

“This is Mister,” says Madam. “He is the one who needs your help. Say Hi to Mister.”

I should listen to Madam, but my lips feel stuck, and my throat becomes dry. “Say Hi to Mister,” Madam says, squeezing my fingers.

***

I have helped many people and tasted many colors. When Kila comes to Ceremony, I will tell her that white is my favorite, and that it tastes like the clouds in the sky.

© 2015 Andy Tu

Andy Tu likes to talk about writing, life, death, shadows, mirrors, and original sin.

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