Monday, September 30, 2013

Prompt: Not all monsters are monstrous, Part 1

Thanks to Raikuni for permission to use her powerful image, “Seedeater 1”!

Keffen crouched next to Rappeh on the broad limb of the sanguot tree, the rough bark scratching his bare feet and bottom. He tried not to squirm from the sting of the scratches he’d earned climbing the gigantic tree for the first time. He was still proud that Rappeh had chosen him to go on the hunt this morning, but it hadn’t been as exciting as he imagined, stealthily stalking a grazing gerdbet or chasing a lean panjkew at top speed through the waist-high grasses.

But they hadn’t brought any weapons other than their usual walking sticks. Keffen wondered how they were going to kill their prey, but was a little afraid to ask Rappeh. The lead hunter wasn’t generous with information or praise, but he dished out stinging criticisms of the training hunters with a vicious tongue that left the younger boys reeling as if he had swung his walking stick at their heads. Keffen had avoided a tongue-lashing so far, and he hoped that watching closely and avoiding stupid questions would spare him from Rappeh’s ire.

The night before, the hunters had danced around the central fire, celebrating a great feast of boodhin meat that would last at least through the next moon cycle. The three hunters who had brought down the enormous animal had reenacted their drama again and again, entertaining the entire village with their antics.

Keffen and his friends had tired of the performance and made up their own dance in the shadows. They had been surprised into sudden stillness by Rappeh’s appearance from the dark side of the fire circle, when Keffen was pantomiming spearing the boodhin. Rappeh had regarded them all in silence, then motioned Keffen to his side. “Meet me at the well before the first light,” was all he said, before he disappeared into the darkness again.

Keffen had hardly slept for excitement – and fear he would sleep too late and miss his opportunity to impress Rappeh with his hunting prowess. He was the undisputed champion among his peers with the bow and throwing blades. But much to his dismay, when he met Rappeh at the well, the hunter motioned him to leave everything behind. They walked out of the village with only their walking sticks and water skins work over their shoulders.

The barest scratching noise brought Keffen’s attention back to his uncomfortable perch, and he looked at Rappeh for guidance. The hunter nodded approval and pointed his walking stick down to the far edge of the clearing they crouched over. He lifted a finger to his lips, and motioned to his eyes. Watch.

Dogs in house
Houdini, Maize

Time writing:
20 minutes

September word count:

No comments:

Post a Comment