This 8-10 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

This is a WIP, NaNoWriMo 2015, Forest Wed. A small town in the rain forest is protected by two gods, represented by married avatars, each chosen by their god. When one of the pair dies, the gods choose a new couple from the unmarried young people–Addan, and Kaie (who was engaged)–three days later they are getting married, with Kaie speaking the shortest possible vows.

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They both knelt to pray in front of the gods, tipping their faces up to the sky so the gods could better see them. Then Addan stood, reaching out to the goddess’ statue. When her fingers touched the rain-smoothed stone, the totem on her arm shifted, the vines wrapping her wrist loosening, so she could lift the carved wood relic free, and place it in the cradle of the goddess’ cupped palms.

After several more moments had passed, Kaie did the same, though his totem seemed reluctant to loosen, and he had to ease the loops of vines over his hand before he could restore the totem to its rightful place in the hands of the god’s statue. For a time, they waited, studying the sprays of greenery that spilled over the gods’ hands and swayed gently in the breeze.

And then, so subtly it was difficult to say when it began, that swaying gained purpose, the vines spreading out across the surface of the statues, verdant tattoos across the darkness of the stone. The goddess’ statues became a riot of color with Adann’s large blue blooms, but Kaie’s handful of small yellow flowers seemed much smaller scattered across the statue of the god.

“We did it,” Adann whispered, her voice harsh and exultant, for all its quiet volume, “we’ve begun.”

Kaie glanced at her, startled, to see her eyes alight with wonder. Despite himself, he smiled, though she didn’t see, her gaze still fixed on the gods, and when she turned that radiant grin towards him, his face had returned to its sullen handsomeness.

*    *    *

Beikife is a small town in something like the Amazon rain forest, protected by a pair of married gods. The gods are represented by human avatars, two young people chosen and married by divine power. The strength of the marriage represents the bond between the gods’ blessing, so the new forest wed must find a way to connect to each other, or the crops will fail, the rivers will flood, and the cursed monsters that live in the forest will claim many lives.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

35 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    The mobile totems are shiny. I wonder how long it will take for Addan to notice (or at least, to admit) that there is trouble in paradise? It seems that even the gods notice.

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    Oh dear! This is definitely not starting on an equal footing. Poor Kale.

  3. Cara Bristol says:

    Interesting…I’m intrigued by the fact that he smiles when she’s not looking at him and then turns sullen when she is. I’m wondering what that means.

    • He’s feeling understandably grumpy, but she’s so happy it draws a reflexive smile out of him–and then he remembered how upset he was.
      You can’t dwell on a loss forever, but I think a few days is reasonable…

  4. Fascinating – lots of little details hinting at things.
    Tweeted.

  5. So much that points to problems down the road. For a moment, with his smile, he seemed a little less reluctant. I enjoy these snippets and as always, can’t wait for more!

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    I love how Kaie smiles in the last paragraph. Maybe he’s starting to see Adann differently?

  7. Alexis Duran says:

    Really beautiful imagery. And it seems the gods are reacting to Kaie’s reluctance. He’d better get with it!

  8. I love how the ritual unfolds, even as it shows the participant’s enthusiasm, or lack thereof. Hopefully Kaie starts warming up to her soon.

  9. Frank Fisher says:

    Lovely prose! This is leading up to an uncomfortable situation for Adann and Kaie, I’m sure!

  10. So original! Such tangled threads going on here (not just the vines) – loving this. I was glad he smiled, even if only for a moment…More, need MORE!

  11. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Perhaps he’ll warm up to her. A small smile of hope. 🙂 Great imagery.

  12. chellecordero says:

    I love the visuals.
    I think that Addan is aware of Kaie’s reluctance but is so happy to be in this “place” and truly believes Kaie will come along; considering his smile I think Addan might be right.

  13. How delicious can you get, Caitlin? Wonderful.

  14. Such a compelling, richly described snippet. I love the smile he gives on autopilot that fades by the time she looks back (of course).

  15. I see a lot of potential for problems here. Loved the details.

  16. I LOVE the description of this ritual, Caitlin. And you have such emotional conflict going from the outset. 🙂

  17. Amalie says:

    What lovely imagery! Very inspiring as I get to work on the fun prose part of my newest book. Great job!

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