Zhenya The Watercursed


Uisge thar airgead. It was an old siubhlachan lie, telling people the curse was actually a gift. Water over silver. The Gruag would hold you up, fresh from birth-trials, see your silver skin, your grey eyes. And your mother would smile, but everyone knew she was weeping inside; the family line was ruined, and this “gift” would be the last child she could have, as our forail spoke. Of course, science knew this was superstition, but the siubhlachan did not believe in science that was not theirs. The father would live his life in shame, knowing that their child would be an outcast amongst the outcast, as our silver skin could not be trusted because of the innate treachery of the airgead. If you pressed them for more information (as I had), you would hear the same phrases: “This is just the way of the world” they would say, or “It is always how it always has been since before the bragail”. But to me, it always sounded like A cheap way to ensure the old traditions never died.

Of course there was something that resembled mercy in all of this: They would still let you live your life in the tents, as a full romani citizen, even if this was done in name only. The southern roma were not like the northern scaffies that paraded their gypsy heritage with songs and dance in the streets of Greylight, but lived their nights comfortably in beds in cities. And so I was born and so I live; Zhenia The Watercursed, of the southern Travelers, House Leary. My father was ceann-cinnidh until my birth, where my gift ensured that he was promptly betrayed and replaced by Rian The Eyeless, a right treacherous bastard even by romani standards. My father was sent to his death by way of the night, a long walk in a dark desert with no torch. My ma was worthless after pa was exiled. She ended up dead before I turned five: drank too much one night and had a run in with a diseased futar. I spent my time with the two Watercursed that lived in our home, Racz and Alexander. And even though we knew we were outcasts, we were happy.

The Romani do not believe in good or evil, or in lifes inherent comedy or tragedy, not in the way that the reverends or royals do. We believe that life simply is, that we dress it up as either happy or sad and live with the consequences of what we’ve given to that life. Which is why I’m here now. A series of events, no more and no less. If I can ever get back to where I was, I would surely be happy, but if I must make my way alone, I will do it with a smile and a song.

Hey brother stranger you know we shall sail
Even if even if only to fail
’cause winning and losing keep the journey amusing
Down down down Your destiny trail.

Hey brother stranger you know we shall sail
So living and loving may never go stale
’cause hustle and bustle will get you some muscle
And for your coffin a nail.

Zhenya The Watercursed

Mindas The Ruined Lands Cryogensecond