MYSTERY OF EINSTEIN’S DAUGHTER
Publisher: MX Publishing
Publication Date: January 13, 2014
Zorka’s Magical Marionette Show
Slowly, to joyous calls from the marionettes, a wooden crib descended from the dark of the roof. The cot tilted and swayed like a lifeboat lowered in a storm. The marionettes crowded around it, welcoming a new baby into the world. Their hand movements and excited exclamations proclaimed their delight. The proud terracotta mother hovered over the troupe, looking down. On one foot she wore an ugly orthopaedic shoe. A marionette broke an egg for luck over the face of the new-born infant. Other marionettes swung into a wild dance, with nimble, high-stepping footwork as though to give zest to the new soul. The swirling kolo reached a frenzy.
A crash of thunder rattled the small auditorium. A disquieting barefoot human hurled herself swooping and twirling into the throng of marionettes. Dark hair fell in an avalanche of curls on the left eye, obscuring her face. A paste made from talc and tamarind seeds applied to the face, hands and feet gave a lustrous ivory glow to her skin. A black pearl drooped heavily from one ear, a pink pearl from the other, giving an odd and bewildering witchery. The wild dancing came to an abrupt halt. As though the lid had been lifted off a beehive, a buzz rose from the audience. In awed whispers, the name ‘Zorka’ seeped around the auditorium.
With an air of menacing command, Zorka ordered the marionettes to turn back and look again into the cot. One by one they obeyed. They went strangely silent as they stared down more intently at the new-born infant. A female marionette called out, beseeching someone in the outer darkness to approach. A midwife puppet appeared and examined the infant. With a high-pitched cry of anguish she turned to face the audience, her hands clasped in prayer. The music switched tempo from joyous to menacing. The musicians broke into a shrill falsetto, a wild, inhuman sound, in an attempt to frighten off the evil eye. The agonised mother cried out, realising something terrible was about to happen.
About Tim Symonds