The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 168

“So…” mused Maite as she absentmindedly wandered the ruins of the baserri. “If this baserri was like most, there was the foyer and off to the side a kitchen. The barn would have been opposite the main entrance. And above would have been the rooms.” Looking up, she saw nothing but blue sky. She imagined how the rooms might have collapsed as the building burned. While the outside walls were stone, the interior was mostly wood and would have burned quickly, she imagined. 

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!

She walked over to where she guessed the barn was, gingerly stepping over piles of stone and scorched red roofing tiles. “The children’s rooms would have more likely been over the barn, to better warm them with the animal heat.” 

Kepa wasn’t sure she was talking to him or to herself. Or maybe even Garuna. But, he continued to follow her with his stick, ready to move rubble at a moment’s notice.

Maite pointed. “There. That larger pile of stuff. Let’s look under there.”

Kepa nodded as he put the end of his branch under one of the stones. He grunted as he pushed it down, slowly moving the rock to the side. He repeated this process a few times before stopping to take a break.

“I’m not used to this kind of work,” he said.

Maite seemed not to hear him as she knelt down at the pile and rummaged through some of the looser dirt and rocks. 

“Aha!” she exclaimed as she pulled something out of the pile.

“What is it?” asked Kepa, wiping the sweat from his brow.

“A book,” replied Maite. “Or, more precisely, a journal of some kind.”

“A journal?” asked Kepa. “Back then, weren’t the priests the only ones who knew how to read or write?”

“Bai,” answered Maite. “I think that’s right.”

She opened the journal as Kepa looked over her shoulder. The pages were filled with strange symbols that were indecipherable to him.

“Unless you had a very special education,” continued Maite with a smile.

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