Sep 26, 2012

Sibinka's Back!

Twitching and fretting on a hot, plastic chair she whispers redundantly
- Fa, Sibinka a venit inapoi! Fa, Sibinka a venit inapoi! (Sibinka came back!)
Stoianka’s eyes pop wide and bulge with dread and curiosity,
- Fugi fa! Chiar? (get out of here, really?)
- Da, fa! Am vazut-o aznoapte in obor! (Yes! I saw her last night in the yard!)
- Taci fa! Cum? ( You don’t say! How?)
           - A intrat in obor de la deal (she came down the hill into the yard)

          Frightened but curious the old ladies hurdle closer. One of them, baba Desa, spreads the sign of the cross over the entire bunch while humming a short prayer, and with her eyes half-closed she spits three times on four sides to scatter the lurking demons. She spits three more times toward her old friends and two times inside her own black shirt. Then baba Slavica blesses the crowd chanting a hymn heard at the last village liturgy and touching the back of their hands with her thumb. Baba Mila stands to her scrawny bent legs crosses herself three times opens and closes her mouth twice to call on the good spirits and rope the devil on the hill with Sibinka.

- fa trebe sa ne descantam de rele, si sa dam de pomana! (We must wash our sins and give tribute) a voice shrieks from the back… eyes turn and stare morosely at baba Lubica, standing pale and plump in the back of the crowd.
- Da, fa, trebe, sa chemam popa. (yes, we must call the priest)

As if by remote they all turn to the quietest woman of the group, baba Danica, she’s been seated at the far side of this congregation listening and observing. In her right hand a wooden cross dangles by a dark leather string. She flips the cross about rhythmically and every so often brings it up to her lips in a pious pagan kiss. Now with all eyes on her she remains silent and steady to the alarmed and inquisitive stare. Obedient and calm the group waits for her to bestow her decision.
- Sibinka is back, she says and the old bunch is packing closer and tighter. In a village pierced by mining and farming aggregates the sound of silence is only heard in the black of the night, yet now in broad daylight one can hear a pin drop on the velvet grass as Danica speaks.
- Fa, Sibinka vrea ceva d-aia a venit inapoi! (Sibinka wants something, that’s why she’s back here!)
Babele (the old ladies) fretfully check one another… ce vrea? What does she want? Is on every set of lips.
- Milos al meu o vazu sus pe cioca la Repedea, umbla dupe caprele ei, (my Milos saw her up the Repedea hill following her goats.) says baba Bosa.
- Slobodan vandu caprele si gradina Sibinkai de la statia de tren (Slobodan sold her goats and garden up the train station hill,) baba Desa informs the crowd. 
- Fa Sibinka are 40 de zile sa-si gaseasca pacea sus la cer printre spirite ori sa treaca in negura de strigoi. (Sibinka has 40 days to find her peace up above among the spirits or down below, with the unrested.

The women cross themselves in the name of the father , the son, the holy ghost, amen. Waves of spit wet their chins and spot their shirts. Danica speaks again:
-Fa, lui Sibinka-i trebe pace, trebe sa-I facem pe mosu ei de 63 de ani sa se caiasca.. ori o sa ne otraveasca recolta, schilodeasca, ori o sa ne ia cu ea.  (Sibinka must have peace, we must let her have her way with husband of 63 years until he repents and pays tribute or she’ll poison our harvest and livestock, cripple or take us with her. She won’t rest until the one across the street Smilea, skins his feet and has him scream three days before dusk and three days before dawn.

-Si ce facem?  (So, what we’re going to do?) The granny patch, simultaneously ask Danica expecting her answer to restore their peace.  She has been doing it for more then thirty years, ever since the age of 11 when her mother, Vukica, initiated her in the trade of spells and witch hewing.  She’s well known and feared for her work up and around the slalom villages of Majdanpek area. Crowds of all ages flock to her porch day and night for readings, and remedies. Her work is organically remunerated; her sleight of hand is worth a chicken, drops of her thick flowing brews have the value of a 2ltr moonshine barrel, her dust soaked or demon cussed rags are worth thousands, currency or items worth just as much as they baba Koana

Hanging on the inside of her shirt on a long knotty string a small wool pouch dangles in Danica’s hand, “I have what we need for Slobodan to give Sibinka her 63 years due pleasure. Caressing the pouch between her index and thumb she warms up the dust and grits, place one pinch in his left ear and one in his mouth, wait til he coughs and spits than spread the rest of the pouch on his legs and bottom of his bed in the shape of V. He will then go limp and follow Smilea into the Repedea woods to repent.
He’’ll be as mellow as a lamb after this dust, I assure you. 

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