Adaiba lives on island Bako and participates in the ritual of becoming a woman. She has to sell al her items of youth and find a magic object. But she kept Song, her doll.
Naise puts her coins on the scales. "16 coins for the doll," she says, and everyone is quiet. Nobody has ever deposited so many coins for toys. My mouth is completely dry. Then I hear it. The drums. The drums are playing. Something is going wrong.
Someone hits my shoulder hard as I walk past. It is the city announcer. "The volcano," he panted, and then louder, "the volcano! The volcano is active. "
Everyone looks at each other with a start. People start talking to each other. Naise raises her hand powerfully and it becomes quiet. "This means that the island knows that something is being withheld." To reinforce her words, the ground beneath us starts to shake. The scales with all my collected coins fall over. But nobody seems to care.
Again there is agitation. People talk through each other and others grab each other in fright. I feel a knot in my belly turn around. Song. Does the island knows of Song in my backpack?
Naise consults with Ato. Otu now raises his hand. Everyone looks at him expectantly. “The youngsters are the first to be interviewed, then they can start their journey. It'll be fine. We find the one who is holding back something ”
My heart is pounding so hard in my ears that I can no longer understand what else is being said. I feel the panic in my chest and walk to the exit. Someone is grabbing my shoulders. It is my mother. The cat on her shoulders looks intently at me. "Don't panic, you'll be fine." She presses me against her in a hug, so hard that I have trouble breathing.
When she lets go, she says, "We're going to Oenke."
Together we walk to our cabin. Other villagers are also en route to their homes.
I feel Song burning in my backpack. When we are with Oenke, she does not seem to notice our presence. She stares ahead. My mother's cat jumps on Oenkes lap and curls up. “Bako, Wapu. Bako. Wapu. " Oenke mumbles while she strokes the cat.
I look at my mother who lays a hand on her mother's cheek. “Oenke, mother, the volcano. We may have to evaluate. "
Very slowly, Oenke's gaze shifts to that of her daughter. “Bako? Wapu? "
I see the sadness in my mother's eyes.
"I have packed Song."
I blurted it out before I realized it. Both Oenke and my mother look at me. "What do you say?"
I don't dare say it again.
"Quickly find the fenix woman, Treasure." says Oenke, suddenly very clear. “She can help the volcano. If she is hear, you can have Song forever.” She looks at my mother. "Give her the boat with the sand so she can go quietly."
My mother swallows audibly and nods.
She takes my hand and takes me to the boats. The cat follows her quietly. Her boat is full of sand. I'm getting in. "Sail to the other island and go looking." My mother presses a kiss on my forehead. "Adaiba, find the fenix woman, she will help the volcano.”
The cat interrupts her with a lick over her nose. My mother pushes him aside and starts pushing the boat to the sea.
She pushes the boat onto the water until she stands in the sea to her waist. For a moment she raises a hand. Then there is a rumble in the distance. The volcano can be heard. My mother sees people on the beach and walks towards them. I grab the straps and start rowing.
It is already getting dark. I see the stars above me, the night is clear. On the horizon is a black shadow, that is the island of Wapu. Bako is behind me. The sun disappears behind the island. The volcano with its cloud of smoke mysteriously lights up through the setting sun. My hands feel like lead. Lonely. Sadly. I don't want to row anymore ...
My thoughts are disturbed by small tufts of sand thrown in my direction. I look at the contents of the boat, staring at the cause. A black silhouette turns around and two green eyes look at me. My mother's cat.
"What are you doing here?"
"This is better than the litter box."
Did I hear a deep male voice?
I shake my head. I am clearly more tired than I thought. But my nose gives a new indication in the form of an unpleasant ammonia smell. I feel my stomach.
"Disgusting. What is this?"
"Throw it overboard." suggests the male voice. I have to accept that my tired head is now doing strange things to me. But the voice does have a point. I pick up the paddle, scoop up the side of the scent and pour some sand overboard. The sand can no longer be sold.
"Hey, not me!" the man's voice sounds irritated and mumbles treats while I throw another shovel overboard.
"I still smell the smell!" I say angry. I scream at my own thoughts. I plump down, still tired.
"No, it's gone now." the voice is getting closer. Grunting, the eyes come closer and I realize that it is my mother's cat.
"You too?" The cat looks at my lap and carefully puts a paw on it. "Remain silent."
The cat jumps silently on my lap and spins harder.
"Cats don't talk."
The cat first massages my thighs with its paws and then curls itself up.
The cat looks at me with one eye. I dare not touch the animal. "Pat!" Commands the cat. I stroke.
"You've never talked to me."
"Was never needed."
"Did you talk to my mother?"
"Go to sleep." The cat closes its eye and falls asleep.
I need a little more time. But that's okay. Apparently I am less alone than I thought.
I am woken up by a slight shock. My boat washed ashore on the beach. I look up and stare into yellow eyes. "Litter box change."
The command immediately reminds me of my discovery last night.
"Also good morning." Then I look beyond the cat. A gigantic bookcase arises in front of me. A waterfall flows down from the top shelf and disappears like a river behind the books. The cat walks to a red book with the title "Magic pets" and gives it a cup. I climb out of my boat and pull it further onto the beach. I take my sweater out of the boat. I am hungry and thirsty. While I take my things out of my sweater, Song also appears. She rolls into the sand and I quickly pick her up. "thank you." she says and shakes the sand from her hair.
"Are you talking too?" Does Song live?
She grins. “Have you forgotten that? When you were little, we talked for hours with each other. " I'm trying to remember. In the meantime, she hops towards the bookcase. "I'm coming my love!" she cries.
Even the cat looks at her strangely.
My doll is throwing her hands in the air and seems to be in excitement about our arrival. She starts climbing the bookcase. At the first shelf she walks it all the way out until she is at the end and there she comes to a staircase of books. The cat and I quickly follow her.
"My dear, my dear," cries Song
and suddenly she stops dead.
The cat and I stiffen too.
"Song?" A vote rises above the pile of books. "Is that the Song of my heart." Another doll appears. Dark hair, thicker and firmer than my doll. Song climbs the book stairs even faster and falls into the arms of the other doll. The cat and I are startled. But after some cuddling, Song appears to have not forgotten us. "Melod, these are Adaiba and Cat."
Cat is washing and pretending he doesn't care.
I make a slight bow and then walk up the stairs. "We are looking for the fenix woman."
"Ow," Melod says, "She’s just in the bookcase."