Moon’s first Nano Peek, “Path of the Huntress” day 1

Here’s an excerpt from Moon’s first day of NaNo writing. Keep in mind that this is straight out of her brain and onto the page. Absolutely no filtering or editing. Enjoy!

“And the spider called for the creatures to gather. The girl was afraid but she swallowed her fear and danced to the rhythm of her own heartbeat. The animal council watched, enraptured by the tale told in her motions. The girl journey had taken her so far and cost so much, and she poured all of her pain and need into each twist of her hand and curve of her feet.”

Gizam listened closely to the words as her mother told the tale and the beat of the accompanying drums, giving her the cues for how she must move. Though all the people of the Watumoyo lands could speak the trade tongue, the best merchants and the Roeni storytellers always told the tales of a region in the tongue of it’s people. Gizam kept her gaze from the Etoli villagers who watched, pushing through the nervousness threatening to fog break her focus. She was certain unlike the princess from the story her own movements were clumsy and rough. She’d never been as graceful as the other girls in their troupe, but her mother insisted that she play the part of Inchuti today.

Playing the part of the animal council, Gizam’s two brothers and several of the other boys in their troop stood and danced around her. She shifted her motion, straining to remember each expected move before it was due. This was a long dance, the longest she had ever preformed in from of an audience, and she feared one wrong footstep would lead to disaster. The boys moved in closer, and Gizam fought to keep her motioned tight and steady.

The drum beat changed and Gizam knelt as her mother continued the rest of the story. The boys walked around her as the animals considered the girl’s request and she waited for their judgment. Gizem’s breaths gradually slowed as her fear receded. The hardest part was over, and soon she would be able to remove herself from the sea of eyes she felt heavy all around her.

Performance was in the blood of the Roeni people, they lived, breathed, and loved each moment in the spot light as they traveled during the sacred part of the year to tell the stories. That was the duty of the Roeni as cast upon them by Hadasimli, daughter of the Prince of Dreams, and patron of the keepers of the tales. It was not the job of the Roeni to retain and share the knowledge of their own stories, but all the oral history of the people of Watumoyo.

It was time like these Gizam wondered if she had been born to the wrong family. She dreaded the moments when the eyes of strangers watched her. She’d always been taller then other girls her age, which made the dances and body play taught to them much more difficult for her to accomplish. Whereas must other fourteen girls in their troupe were no more than four men’s feet in height, she was nearly as tall as the tallest male in their village. This left her feeling awkward and gangly compared to the rest of her peers.

Her mother and uncle constantly told her she was graceful and strong, but Gizam knew that only said this to make her feel better. Neither was true. She’d spend all her life fighting the sickness that brought the headaches and sleeplessness that non of the healers could explain. It often left her body already weary from constant growth spurts achy and uncooperative. This was the first year she’d been well enough to travel with the troupes beyond the lands of the forests dwellers, and she found herself wondering even now if her throbbing shoulders and knees were simply from the rigorous dance, of a warning of illness coming on.

The last drum beat rung over the crowd and a the people cheered and raised hands in the air to honor the performers. Gizam slowly stood and her mother grasped her arm and pulled her forward to stand next to her eldest brother. Her family and the rest of the troupe beamed at the smiles and appreciation lavished upon them, and Gizam forced herself to look into the unfamiliar faces. She longed for the cheers to die away so she could slip away before the next story began. She was grateful that her families concern about her health led them to only ask the one performance today in the hot air of this place.

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