The First Priestess: Part 13FireThe First Priestess: Part 13in The First Priestess: Short Story, Writing
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Standing Deer was running as fast as she could through the jungle. Branches and leaves whipped past her, and she shielded the back of Sunflower’s head. A snake hissed somewhere, and the jungle kept getting thicker. Behind her, the noises of the battle echoed between the trees until there was suddenly silence.
Standing Deer stopped and looked back. She was out of breath and needed to rest. The dark jungle looked alive as the patches of moonlight changed with the wind, and cold air seemed to be blowing in from the direction of the village.
Sunflower awoke from her painful experience and looked at her mother. “I’m okay. I can walk,” she said. Standing Deer put her down, and Sunflower looked around. “What happened? Where’s daddy? Where are we?”
Standing Deer planted the spear she took from the river, and knelt down and opened her arms. Sunflower timidly walked in to hug her, and her mother whispered into her ear, “Your d
The First Priestess: Part 12A Father’s BloodThe First Priestess: Part 12in The First Priestess: Short Story, Writing
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After many hours of eating, drinking, and singing, most of the villagers had fallen asleep in their homes or passed out beside the smoldering fires. The panther’s body had been moved from the temple to the village center, where skewers of meat had been placed near its mouth as offerings. The moon was a quarter empty, and the sky was cloudless and filled with stars.
Fallen Tree quietly slid aside the woven panel and surveyed the village center. All seemed quiet, and he stepped out of his hut. Far away and down the lane, the temple looked like a massive burial mound, cold and dormant.
Fallen Tree motioned toward his hut, and Red Spear stepped out. He had his spear, and over his shoulder was a woven bindle that Dark Water had filled for him with fruits, grains, and meat wrapped in large leaves. He crouched low, while Fallen Tree walked more distractingly out in the open. The God Whisperer’s hut had a woven panel pulled over the door. Pro
The First Priestess: Part 11Please and PromisesThe First Priestess: Part 11in The First Priestess: Short Story, Writing
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The village was quiet as the sky darkened to a deep navy blue. All that could be heard was the blackened hut smoldering, and the chirping of insects in the jungle.
Mothers quietly cleaned the hunter’s catch beside large fires in silence. The God Whisperer said, that to remove Red Spear and his family from the village also meant to silence all gossip about them, to keep them out of mind, out of heart, and out of their lives. Yet, those villagers who had faithfully helped burn down Red Spear’s hut felt fine to continue talking about the sky’s gift, the red sky, and now the black Jaguar God. In front of the temple, two teenage boys were swatting away the flies that buzzed over the panther’s body.
Inside the temple, Standing Deer shifted in the dark. Her hands and feet were still tied, but for the past ten hours she would crawl around and search the room for something to cut the ropes, but before she ever managed to find somethin
The First Priestess: Part 10The God’s JusticeThe First Priestess: Part 10in The First Priestess: Short Story, Writing
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Several hours before sunset, Red Spear, Fallen Tree, and the other hunters were returning to the village. The sky was beginning to darken, and the air was warm and summery. Carried between the hunters were five peccaries, three rabbits, four iguanas, and two large wild turkeys. It was the most successful hunt that they had ever achieved. Red Spear was able to lead the hunters just like his father had: he caught the tracks and signs of the animals, kept the party upwind, and moved them silently through the jungle. Tonight they would all eat well, but for now Red Spear was laughing with the other hunters as they joked about Jaguar Claw’s hunting skills.
“I’d like to propose that Red Spear lead us hunting from now on!” Fallen Tree cried, a fat turkey bounced on his back as they marched through the jungle. The other hunters cheered and began chanting Red Spear’s name.
“Jaguar Claw would kill you if he heard you sa