The children appear from the edges. Their faces set. Their bodies are covered in iridescent powders that shimmer in hues that could only be seen in dreams. We have been gathered in the square to wait. Our kin have been gathered to watch. The children walk around us in a pack, sniffing, running towards us and back again to their circle. Worn, brown leather pouches hang around their necks, swaying with their movement.
The children stop. The drums start in sync with our heartbeats. The children move again. They reach into their pouches and pull out handfuls of the same beautiful powder that is on their bodies. They swipe furiously at our skin, and the powder blends into our arms, exposed bellies, legs, and cracked feet. We are amethyst, crimson, sapphire, and gold. We are but poor imitations of them.

The rain starts slowly, blending and bleeding us into the ground. We are marked with the sins of our people, and we carry those sins with us. We follow the children; the rest follow us. This place has come to an end. The square is empty.

Photo Credit: Rachael Warecki/Camera RAW Photography
Ashley Perez lives, writes, and causes trouble in Los Angeles. She has a strong affinity for tattoos, otters, cat mystery books, and actual cats, but has mixed feelings about pants. You can find her on Twitter at @ArtsCollide.