The Gate, My Beloved; My Story, Its Key
by Amanda C. Davis
There is nothing here, in the bright bronze center of the desert--nothing but the great walled city with gates shut tight, and at the base of them, clutching them for comfort, me.
I have come so far that I forget where I started. The city begs for stories, in words I can only hear through my fingertips. My head is full of them, but I do not know whether they are mine.
Here is one.
There was a daughter of a goatherd with seventeen daughters--neither eldest nor youngest, only a kid in the middle of his flock. When he choked on a hard piece of bread, his many captive wives fled to the far corners of the desert with whatever daughters they could catch. No mother caught her, so she lived with her father's bones and tended the goats. Once she followed a lost goat to a cleft in the rock where it had wedged itself and there remained bleating. She tugged it free, and two of its legs broke. She ate the goat and made shoes of its hide.
A sad story. All true stories are sad. I claw at the gate, but it will not open for such a story. Here is another.