Indri was already running, sandals slapping flagstones. ‘I know where they’ll come out!’
His legs were longer than Pina’s and he’d soon rounded the corner of the alley, dodged a pomegranate seller, vaulted the legs of Zaru the beggar, careening into the opposite wall before stumbling on. Complaints rang around her.
‘Pina, tell your brother -‘
She yelled her apologies, tucked her head down and ran after him. ‘Indri! Where are we going?’
But soon the city gate was looming overhead and she knew – outside the wall.
‘The Pale?’ she yelled. ‘You think they’ll come out at the Pale?’
Outside the protection of the city walls, where traitors were executed, where outcasts cried and screamed for home.
Indri had stopped under the golden halo of the gate.
She came panting to his side. ‘What …?’
He pointed towards the baked earth of the Pale as it cracked open.
So, what do you think is coming out of the earth? I have my own ideas, but I’d like to hear yours.
The Pale – a term borrowed from County Down, Ireland when governed by the English.
Beyond the pale – There were many ‘Pales’ (a term that signified home ground, being within paling, meaning fencing) and to be beyond it means going outside the confines of what is acceptable.