On the edge of her teenage years, Kalaya yet still had to change for the better. Manika felt helpless about her daughter’s disrespectful ways. She scolded her again and again, but the child kept her aura of arrogance and self confidence. It began to affect the whole tribe while everyone was constantly trying to dodge out of the little girls way.
Manika had even considered breeding again to produce another, more suitable heiress. But she felt like she would have betrayed Taam and failed as a mother if she did and so, time passed without a solution being found.
„I’m the heiress!“, Kalaya yelled at her mother, „I can do what I want. I’m almost a woman grown, you can’t tell me what to do anymore.“
Manika was fed up with her daughter’s behaviour. „Enough!“, she growled, not raising her voice but sounding so threateningly angry that even Kalaya hesitated to retort, „Go to your room. Now!“, Manika pressed between her teeth.
Kalaya looked at her mother with a mix of defiance and fear. But she said nothing. Frowning, she retreated to her room. Manika sighed. This child was driving her insane.
A door cracked open slowly. The lights were out but Kalaya wanted to be careful. She had to make sure everyone was asleep.
On her tip toes she made her way to the front door and slipped outside. She took a deep breath and happily ran off to the monkey bars. As if she needed her mother’s permission. Technically, this was all her’s anyway. And if she wasn’t tired, why should she sleep? She couldn’t understand why her mother would forbid her to play if that was what she wanted. She was about to grab the first bar when a translucent figure came into view.
Surprised, she let go of the iron and turned towards the ghost. She knew about ghosts – about this one in particular, her mother had told her about him once. Her father. She was not sure how she felt about him. He was but a mere slave and she felt like slaves were inferior by their nature. But this one was different. She felt manipulated and didn’t exactly treasure the feeling.
„Hello, my beautiful girl“, Taam greeted his daughter. He was so happy to see her. He hadn’t been around in a while and she had grown so much. Oblivious to the turmoil she caused within the tribe, he felt nothing but pride when he looked at her. He and Manika had really created something precious. „Look how you have grown! You will be a great creator one day.“ Taam smiled.
His words were like a remedy for Kalaya after so many arguments and fights with her mother finally someone who understood. She forgot about his lowly status for a moment.
„Hello… ghost. You are very right!“, she grinned. „I wish mother would understand. I think I like you much better. She won’t even let me play… I mean there’s no one for me to play with, at least I want to play whenever I want!“
While Taam did note that she hadn’t called him father, he tried to brush it off. The girl was not used to him after all. „Well you are a strong girl I am sure, but even great heiresses need their sleep. You might not notice know but you will tomorrow“, he winked.
„Also I’m sure your mother has a lot on her plate. As a creator you will bear her responsibilities one day“, Taam explained, „Our love was cursed! I think she never really got over that, it was so hard for her.“
Kalaya couldn’t help it but she broke into a fit of laughter.
Love? Love?! How could someone become so whiny over something so unimportant as love. What about a Creator’s duties? Kalaya considered them more important than love. Her mother had only suffered from love and she had sworn to herself to never fall into that trap.
Taam frowned for a second over Kalaya’s reaction, but he tried to keep his spirits up. This was his daughter after all and she was only a child. Maybe she had misunderstood.
„Don’t you laugh it off!“, he told her softly, „After all you came from this love. Without it, you would not exist. Bear that in mind when you talk to her next time, my sweet child.“
And with these words, he vanished into nothingness. Kalaya frowned. She had never thought about it that way… No! Love was stupid, love was for weak people. She would not allow it. But when she thought of Taam’s compliments and how he understood how great she was… A smile crept onto her lips and she thought that maybe this was a slave she could actually like.