Yes to Both

I thought of a few sceneless conversations I’m going to just hang here—somewhat—disembodied for now.

This one stems from my speculation that my MC would be young enough to be associating the feeling she was having about her skin writing with having gotten her period only a few years prior. From that came some wondering if her condition might only manifest during menstruation or at least might peak then. In this I’m still thinking of the aged Brother Gaine playing the role of monk.

“Is it possible this particular incident is linked to menstruation?”

She sensed his hesitance to use the long word at the end of his question, but since she didn’t recognize it, she didn’t know why. “What?”

“I apologize. I don’t know the customs of Song as well as I’d thought. I don’t know if speaking of this is proper.” He raised his hands as loose fists near his face like he was trying to hide his face or maybe hit something. She could see he was uncomfortable about something, but it made no sense. So far Brother Gaine, an Outy, had been the only one to understand her skin writing.

“I don’t know what you’re asking. I don’t know what men’s ‘truation’ is.” Gaine tightened his lips into a light smile and shook his head.

“Uh, your monthly cycle,” he offered.

What was so hard about that? “I don’t think so. I think it was barely a quarter moon that day. Or the day before.”

Gaine pressed his open hands to his face and mushed on his eyes. The tight smile opened to a tight chuckle. He seemed like a hooked fish giving in.

“Not the lunar cycle,” he circled his palm in front of her mirroring the moon around the earth. Then pointed directly at her with his eyes closed, “Your womanly bleeding cycle.”

A laugh erupted from her. She caught up his hand like a butterfly at the end of her sputtering and hugged it to her chest. She dropped it gently at the fear she felt from the unexpected closeness.

“The Leaks? Is this what you’re talking about?”

“Leaks?” He looked incredulous.

“Yah. It’s not some fancy word like your, but it’s…descriptive.”

“I forget how practical the Song is. I’m sorry not to have gotten to the point more swiftly. Do you think that may have been a factor?” She ignored his return to the original question. She liked seeing him unsettled and needed to erase [feeling she had earlier witht he hand-hug thing].

“That’s what women here call it. The men say Gon’s Prow. The Gons used to paint the prow of their boats bright red. [One more sentence about that].” Brother Gaine looked like he could wait her out. So she swam deeper.

“At least that’s what they say to us. When their out on the water with just the rest of the boys fishing they use a different word: chum.”

Gaine groaned. “Yes. Well, it freaks some men out. Plus we’re all rather gross.”


“Yes, we’re gross or yes, the incident might be linked to that?”

“Yes to both.”

Ok, so that ate up all my time this morning. I can’t even recall what the second conversation was going to be. So you just get the one.

553 words on day 498