I have a special guest today. As part of the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour, this week’s guest is Catrina Taylor. Each week we have a specific assignment that we share on each other’s blogs. (I’m on Joseph Eastwood’s with a Flash fiction piece!) Catrina is sharing with us a real treat – a scene from her current Work In Progress, THE HUNT. Grab a snack and settle in!
“You get more wood. I’ll get our fire started and find dinner.” MelTe’ant kneels down at the pit dug by he and his Tauwin sister, and best friend, Sophie.
“You have a pile of wood and I don’t want just one of us hunting. It’s not proper. This is tradition and we both need to be able to survive within the circle. No warrior is exempt.” The petite blonde stands over him, as he starts to arrange the wood into the pit.
With a heavy sigh, “Fine.” He stands with two thick sticks in his hand, “Here, sharpen your own then.”
He grabs a flat stone from the ground and starts to work at the tip of the stick, mumbling about the process, and the hunger in his stomach.
Sophie sits not far away, working on the other stick. She finds a larger stone to use as her base and the small one to sharpen with. In minutes, with skilled hand strikes, she brings a tip to the very edge of her stick. Her stomach groans as she works. Looking up at MelTe’ant she finds herself amused as he throws the first stick into a pile and grabs another. “Grumpy much?”
MelTe’ant looks over at her and her perfectly honed hunting spear. “Something like that.”
“Alright, have out with it. What’s upsetting you?”
“Nothing that will change. Obligations are obligations. Let’s just get this night over with, so we can run the great race already.”
She watches his features for several minutes. They have grown up together, known each other since before they could crawl. She knows him better than even his parents in some cases, and he her. “I don’t know about you, but dinner sounds very good right now.”
“Yeah, nothing since breakfast makes a man hungry.”
She laughs, “You’re no more a man than I a woman, yet.”
“Let’s go.” He rolls his eyes at her. He is only thirteen, but once he runs the great race, he’ll be as much of a man of the tribe as his father. He is determined it will happen.
She nods, grabs her modified stick, holding it ready as she approaches him, “I heard birds in the far side on our way out here. I’m sure we’ll be able to figure out where to find a few more if we head in that direction.”
“You just want birds? I bet we can bring in a small boam.” He loves hunting with his father, and his greatest memory is bringing a boam back for dinner. He knows he’s not ready to take on a full-grown, but a modest sized creature would prove both a challenge and delicious.
“If we cross one we can comfortably take down, then ok, but the birds are reasonable. We can get those with limited effort and no backup.” She moves into the tree line again, with her eyes attentive to any movements. Hearing his footfalls behind her, she is comforted not to be on the hunt alone.
The pair moves through the forest, checking tracks and listening to the actions of the animals around them. When the light lowers deep into the sky and the slightest glimmer of illumination is seen through the heavy trunks around them, a lone boam trots in their direction.
Its stocky body is hard to miss. With ears that come to a point, and a snout as long as its head is wide, the creature assuredly moves with its head along the tree trunks, looking for its next meal. As it moves, branches break beneath the weight it carries. Smaller animals scurry out of the path hurriedly avoiding the two large teeth the protrude further than its mouth closes.
MelTe’ant gestures for her to slide over and out of direct sight of the creature. He moves to the other side of the path the animal is on. When the two can see each other from where they crouch behind separate trees, the listen patiently for the footsteps of dinner to approach.
Sophie quickly recalls the fastest place to kill the animal from her lessons. She watches as MelTe’ant begins whispering a benediction, and then she begins one of her own.
Moments drip by before the animal finally comes toward her tree. The large snout comes around the tree, and stops to look at her. She doesn’t move, and hardly breathes looking at it. This close to an animal like the one who tore a hole in her mother’s calf has her cautious. The animal begins to rumble in low tones, and the hair on its back stands on end. She holds her breath.
Suddenly the animal jerks forward, then harshly backward. A loud scream is heard as MelTe’ant pulls the tail back hard.
A moment later, without thinking, Sophie plunges her spear between the front bone panel cracking it hard, and stopping the heart in one move. The animal stops wiggling and fighting instantly.
Mel’s slender form releases the animal and kneels next to it. Sophie joins him, and the two begin to thank the animal for the sacrifice made, so they could continue. Together, with the tools they made, the two begin to make work of the innards and inedible parts. Once they have cleaned the animal, he takes a large tooth as a souvenir and the two return to camp to enjoy the meal.
About this author:
Introducing us to the imaginary world of Xarrok, she has hooked readers, waiting to see where her imagination takes us next.
When she is not playing in the universe of her mind, she is playing with her children who she encourages to follow her passion for words, and excel in every area they show interest. In fact, this talented word smith finds that life through their eyes is a constant lesson in self discovery, happiness and curiosity.
Inspired by her everyday world of family, infused with a an unquenched curiosity, and gifted with the ability to take us to places we could never have imagined, Catrina Taylor is an author who promises to keep you fully immersed in a world of wonder and intrigue, waiting for more.
You can find her on Twitter as TheLadyWrites or on Xarrok’s fanpage at http://facebook.com/xarrok
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Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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