Wednesday, November 2, 2011

From the Diary of Pilar Leal

Oh my god, I couldn't believe my eyes today! A child…a beautiful little boy was brought into own town today! Four traders came in with their long rifles, carrying this little human boy they had acquired from one of the Oankali villages. We didn't ask any questions, as we don't really want to know where he came from. We really just want to know if he's as normal as he looks. They say he can talk, and not just baby talk, either! They say he can speak as well as any adult! But how is that possible? I don't think he's even two years old, yet. He can barely walk and spends most of his time crawling around in the dirt, eating grass and leaves and bugs, the most horrible things. Tate watched over him but doesn't stop him.

He reminds me of my own son, Tino. He's been away for months now…left one day without even saying good-bye. He was our one hope for children of our own…our one hope that we might be able to have human children again, like before the war…before the worms took us and broke our bodies so that we would have to be dependent on them to have babies of our own. I hope we decide to trade for him…and that the others will decide that he should live here, with Mateo and me. It would be so wonderful to have a little one running around again…after…so long. So many years.

There's someone at the door. I shou…

Oh no…the worst possible news. My Tino is dead. The little one says that one of the miscreant traders did it when he was taken by them. He says that the one who did it is dead, but Mateo isn't satisfied with that. The others are culpable, he says, and he's out right now, recruiting friends of ours to go and confront these men. But they have guns! All four of them! And we have no weapons in our village, only tools! Jesus save my Mateo from this madness that has taken him! I miss my son dearly, and I weep to know that he is dead, but taking vengeance in this way will likely leave me a widow as well as a mother who has just lost her last and only son! I have to go after him, try to talk some sense into…

Everything went to hell last night. I heard the gunshots, then the screams, then nothing. I ran to Gabe and Tate's house and saw a large group of people already gathered there. Three of the traders were dead, and the other was having his wounds tended to when I arrived. And there in the midst of it laid my Mateo. I thought for sure he was dead! But the Lord was watching over him, and he survived the gunshot. They had to pull the bullet out of his leg, but Yori says he'll walk again soon and that he'll live. She's less sure about the trader, a man named Damek. I hope he lives. There's been enough death already, and since we can't make more of ourselves, each life becomes more and more precious.

Tate has really bonded with the baby now, so chances are, he'll be staying with the Rinaldis. I'm jealous, but since all the blood was spilled in their house, I guess they have the right to keep him. Maybe I'll get a little girl for myself soon and then we can see about having children running through our streets again…for the first time, I mean…

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