Blood Dance in the Dust Bowl
Kunto was the youngest of three children, as her name implies. Had she not shown talent as a sangoma she would not have been the last child. Her grandmother trained her. When she hit puberty, her sister, the eldest sibling, disappeared. Kunto search for her desperately between her lessons. She soon learned of treachery in her tribe. Her missing sister had been offered in sacrifice to a malevolent spirit. Had she simply died, Kunto would not have obsessed, but her sister was sill alive. She saw her regularly in her visions, suffering unimaginable horrors. Kunto withdrew from her tribe then, setting herself up a hut overlooking the ocean.
Kunto became feared and respected by her tribe. They visited only if they were desperate enough to seek her help or to leave tribute. Kunto never stopped searching for her sister, but even with her talents, the answer eluded her, obscured in some way. Then, a strange opportunity presented itself. A pale man by the name of Dominic, whom she’d almost confused for a spirit, came to visit her. Kunto had never met such a creature before, although she’d heard rumors. His curiosity was insatiable. Just when she’d thought she’d answered every question, he came up with ten more. She’d never had someone so intensely interested in her. It was exhilarating. She eve tried to him her skill. He readily listened and memorized each technique, despite not being able to apply them. They shared many years, growing closer, as they realized they shared many beliefs. She came to love Dominic and he her, in his way.
It wasn’t enough, however. Her sister, whom she knew was alive as Kunto saw her in her visions, suffered still. Dominic had abilities of his own that she was as cut off from as he from hers. She knew she could use these abilities to find her sister if Dominic would embrace her. She never got the chance to ask him.
“You can’t ask it of him,” it was the first Gregory had spoken to her. “It will change you. Make yo different than the woman he loves.”
“But he should understand my reasons better than anyone.”
Gregory’s sad gaze turned to her. “Yes, that is why when would grant you request, however it would pain him.”
“She suffers still! Will continue to suffer! I can’t stand by to let it happen.”
Gregory smiled sympathetically. “I know. As much as I wish it to be different, it is part of the reason Dominic loves you. I won’t let Dominic do the deed, however. That.. would unmake him. I know of someone near, one of our kind who might help.”
Kunto’s spirits rose. To be granted time. To expand her vision.
“I must warn you. I will not allow Dominic to be hurt in this. If you decide to be changed, he will not remember he ever loved you.”
Kunto was devastated. She couldn’t speak at first. “You would make me choose?”
“No. Not me. The choice is one you presented yourself.”
It was true. This was the choice he had to make many times. To live for herself or for her sister. “You know what I will choose.”
Gregory nodded. “You will not like what you find.”
Kunto whirled on Gregory. “What do you know?”
“Nothing. It is a feeling, but I trust it.”
“I would say goodbye.”
Kunto didn’t cry when she broke the news to Dominic. She followed Gregory’s instructions and found her sire. She learned much under his wing. She returned to Dominic. Gregory was true to his word. Dominic barely remembered her. Perhaps it was guilt that drove her, or a lingering sense of attachment, but when Dominic once again requested to learn from her, she acquiesced. When Dominic decided it was time to move on, he thanks her and left without emotion.