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. The gods of a town in the rain forest chose a new forest wed couple from the unmarried young people–Addan and Kaie (who was engaged)–they marry, return their totems to the gods’ statues, patrol the edges of the village, and head for their new home. (I’ve skipped over a bit.)

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The main bedroom, set off to the side, with the family rooms between the other bedroom, was meant to give the forest wed couple privacy. Privacy they didn’t need, two people in a house that could comfortably hold five, and had held up to eight, though bursting at the seams. With so many years of life contained in those walls, the house should have felt full—full of memories, full of love, full of life—but it echoed, empty.

It didn’t help that the furniture that remained didn’t quite fill the space. They had everything they would truly need—beds to sleep on, a large table and stools to eat at, basins and jugs for water to wash in, and thick rugs to stretch out on–but the ghosts of what had been there before lingered.

“Do . . .” Adann shifted her feet, digging her toes into a rug, “…do you want the main bedroom? I don’t mind sleeping in the children’s room.”

“Neither of us are sleeping there,” Kaie said, his tone so matter of fact that Adann stared at him, puzzled.

“Why not?”

“Because it isn’t done,” Dismissing the topic, Kaie left the room, exploring the rest of the house.

*    *    *

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.

32 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Isn’t done? As in ‘the room isn’t complete’? Or ‘it’s not the done thing?’ Or they have made babies yet so can’t use the children’s room? The ambiguity is interesting.

    • Hmm… I think it was caused by my skipping a bit. The home is old, and has been passed down from couple to couple–I meant ‘not the done thing.’
      But it’s okay if it’s ambiguous, I think.

  2. Yeah–everything Ed asked! 🙂 Because this story is so intriguing. Nicely done, Caitlin!

  3. chellecordero says:

    I wonder if he is referring to consummating their marriage? It’s mind boggling to think of anything else.

    • What Kaie is referring to, at least on the basic level, is that newly married couples share a bed.
      The rest of what he means, Addan will have to guess, because the dratted man isn’t good at communication!

  4. Frank Fisher says:

    Nice descriptions of the bedroom. Everything looks in order except for those ghosts still hanging around. I wonder if they’ll haunt Adann and Kaie later?

  5. T. M. Hunter says:

    Fun little snippet. Love the description of what we’re seeing, and then the tidbit of dialogue at the end gives us a feel for what to expect, following.

  6. Loved the description of the house! Sounds like a place they could be happy in someday, though things just got mighty awkward!

  7. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    What’s not done? Definitely need more sentences this week! Such a great tease! 🙂

  8. All of the above. I want to jump in and say “Do IT already or crops will fail etc.” And now we wait ’til next week. Caitlin send me a clue-a page-something. I won’t tell.

    • If knocking boots would solve the problem, Kaie and Addan probably *would* do it already.
      But, because I’m an evil author, it’s the strength of the bond between the forest wed which strengthens the gods’ blessing. Emotional investment or nothing!

  9. Interesting twist. How does he know more about it than she does? I liked the description of the house holding the memories and ghosts of the past couples. Really a wonderfully intriguing story, great snippet.

    • He doesn’t really know more–their culture tends towards married couples sharing a room, that’s all.
      Addan was thinking it would be uncomfortable, but Kaie is determined that they follow the ‘rules.’

  10. Kim Magennis says:

    Excellent hook, Caitlin!
    Loving this story!

  11. nancygideon says:

    This marriage is off to a rocky start! Nice job, Caitlin.

  12. Daryl Devore says:

    I like Kaie’s sense of what is and isn’t proper.

  13. I love how big the house was in comparison to how Adann felt at the moment. The whole snippet was great!

  14. Alexis Duran says:

    Loved the sense of the house being both empty and somehow haunted. They have a long way to go to make it what it once was. Very nice snippet.

  15. elainecsc2013 says:

    They’re under so much pressure, and the house doesn’t help. I feel bad for them.

  16. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    Just what does he mean by that statement? He leaves her wondering.
    Love the way you described the house– how it should be full of memories, love and life, but it echos empty. It says so much.

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