- So, you came from the Blue Village? – the old woman asked, tearing off a blade of grass and twirling it around her fingers. In the darkness warmed by the light of a great bonfire, one could hear the joyful screams of young girls playing by the fire and with music.
- Yes – Nuszka replied – not far from here
- Mmm – the woman nodded, being well aware that Blue Village is a day away on horseback – you’re well equipped then, with a tattered dress.
- They robbed me on the way.
- Of course, there are plenty of bad guys over there in the woods … How is your village progressing with the construction of the Three-Headed statue?
Nuszka cursed inside the idea of telling a lie about the fact that she comes from the Blue Village. She knew nothing about the statue. Before she could utter a word, the woman’s watchful eye caught her consternation.
- Jadzia told me everything – she said, pretending that she was directing all her attention to the smooth blade of grass that she held in her hand
- About the statue?
- No, everything she knew about you – the woman looked at Nuszka from the corner of her eye to see the girl’s frowning eyebrows
- Did she?
- Oh yes. It’s just that she knows very little – this time the woman looked straight at her and Nuszka had the impression that her big gray eyes pierced her – and still I told her not to say anything to anyone. She said you were lost.
Nuszka lowered her head and sighed heavily.
- I’m not from the Blue Village, but I can say no more. I need a safe place to gather my thoughts now, so if you agree, then…
- Alright sweetheart. You’re safe here – the woman’s big eyes shone with emotion, as if she remembered something that made understanding Nuszka easier.
The woman turned her gaze to the dancing women and laughed softly.
- There are no men here today. I’m old, but I can still dance – with unconcealed effort, but eagerly she stood up and encouraged Nuszka to do the same – come on, girl! Don’t let me go alone!
It has been a long time for Nuszka since the last, carefree dances, so she got up vigorously, let the old woman grab her arm and walked with her towards the fire, looking around at what was happening around her.
Groups of women gathered here and there. Some, chuckling and braiding each other’s braids, told stories only known to them. Others were focused on fortune-telling that Nuszka had never seen before. The youngest girls simply chased each other in the meadow and jumped on the elders’ laps. The atmosphere was light and mysterious at the same time.
Walking and looking around in a happy mood, Nuszka for a moment had the impression that she saw a familiar, hunched figure in the distance. When she looked back at the same spot a second later, the figure was gone. Quickly forgetting that moment, she surrendered herself to the magical aura of this female congregation…