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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, and go home, where Kaie and Addan share a bed, and Kaie with his back to his wife, waiting for her to speak or act.


Silence. And then she shifted again, this time away from him.

Within a few moments, still waiting, sleep dragged him under. His dreams were uneasy, suffocating and constricting.

.     .     .

Adann stayed awake a little longer, staring at the ceiling in the moonlight that trickled through the woven grass curtains. But soon enough, the steady rhythm of his breathing lulled her into drowsiness. Not the wedding night she had been wishing for.

When Kaie had insisted on a shared bed, no matter his reasons, she’d had some hope that he’d wanted to connect in some way. Build a foundation they could use, watering affection until it blossomed into love. But his back was a clear and firm barrier–her husband wasn’t interested in sharing anything with her.

*    *    *

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.


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.

38 responses »

  1. Kim Magennis says:

    Poor Adann. Those types of dreams cause no end of misery. Nicely done Caitlin!

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    His back kind of symbolizes the state of their relationship, doesn’t it?

  3. Cara Bristol says:

    Like the metaphor “watering affection until it blossomed into love.”

  4. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Poor Adann! I hope things do improve for her. It will take time, but I think Kaie will come around. I hope…

  5. What a glorious piece of writing, Caitlin. Thank you.

  6. Poor girl. I have a feeling it’ll take time before things get better.

  7. S. A. Hoag says:

    Very descriptive of a sudden relationship. Hopefully, they grow in to it, or find a way out of it. Nice snippet!

  8. 15 minutes into marriage and he’s already giving her his back. Ah, it is going to be a long and interesting road for these two…and I’m eager to see more of it! 🙂

  9. She seems to have the right idea. I hope he falls in line soon.

  10. Carrie-Anne says:

    That’s such a depressing, devastating way to spend a wedding night, even if it’s an arranged marriage.

  11. Poor Adann, they do need to talk more. I wonder if their busybody gods will take an active hand in things if the marriage doesn’t go the way they want? Great snippet, sad but felt very real.

  12. astonwest says:

    Sad situation…hope they find a way to resolve their differences, and allow their marriage to blossom.

  13. historysleuth1 says:

    You always have such creative plots. You have me trying to figure out why he is being aloof. Doesn’t want to fall in love?

  14. Daryl Devore says:

    Oh – that’s so sad.

  15. Talk about an awkward situation. Great writing though! 🙂

  16. Victoria Adams says:

    Great snippet. Such sadness in so few words.

  17. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    I know it’s an arranged marriage and not one they wanted, but I’m still hoping things will soon change between them. 🙂 Sucker for a happily ever after. lol

  18. Awe, poor Adann! I wonder why he wanted to share the bed? Hmm… much intrigue, Caitlin. 🙂

    • He’s caught between what he ought to do (form a bond with his wife) and what he wants to do (rewind time to when he was going to marry Orla). It’s resulting in some contradictory behavior.

  19. You captured perfectly the awkwardness of a situation like theirs, and their reactions were totally believable. And you also made me hope that things will change for them sooner rather than later. Great snippet!

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