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, and go home, where Kaie and Addan share a bed but neither so much as speak to each other.

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Adann woke with Kaie’s arm wrapped around her waist, his breath warm on the back of her neck. She shifted her head, craning around until she could see a slice of her new husband’s peacefully sleeping face.

“Ah,” A soft breath of sound, which escaped without her permission. Closing her eyes, she savored the warmth for a little while, and then eased free, slipping around the bed and out the door. She grabbed her wedding wrap from the floor as she went, wrapped her cloth around her hips, and ventured out onto the balcony. In the night, or perhaps the early morning, someone had left a covered basket, and a small, lovely carved box. She picked them both up, and carried them inside, letting the grass mat door swing shut behind her.

The box held a wooden hair comb, inlaid with shiny pieces of shell in the pattern of a flower, and a necklace with more wood and shell, forming a curving, swimming shark. Adann ran her fingers across the flexing arc of the necklace, picturing it cradled in the hollow at the base of Kaie’s throat.

*    *    *

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.

33 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    You never said one single word about her feelings regarding her strange marriage, yet you also said everything. Good job.

  2. I wonder if they are somehow still themselves a little bit or just inhabited by the god. They seem loving enough and yet it’s a strange relationship. I love the contrast in this piece.

  3. Kim Magennis says:

    Hmm. Gifts? Or something else? Lovely scene Caitlin!

  4. There is a delicacy in this snippet. Somehow he’s in her bed and then the gifts. Mystical.

  5. Ooo I liked the descriptions and how she woke up to him cuddling her. Maybe there’s hope for them yet?

  6. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Quite different from when they went to bed. I’m curious as to how their relationship will develop over time.

  7. historysleuth1 says:

    Oh wow, wasn’t expecting that last sentence. Nice twist! And is the box a good thing or bad? Way to keep the reader guessing!

  8. Daryl Devore says:

    That was beautiful. Detailed without the details.
    Tweeted.

  9. Once again you capture me with your worldbuilding. Great snippet.

  10. T. M. Hunter says:

    Sounds like their wedding woes may not be as dire as prior snippets led us to believe. Good snippet.

  11. Ah, this story is so enthralling! Love this “morning after” scene, so much said in simple activity. And ha, our rigid Kaie might have been a bit startled at his pose had he awakened first. 🙂 And the gifts left for them…how sweet! Great snippet.

  12. Beautiful writing, Caitlin. The atmosphere is fully present. Without saying the words, we know that she’s falling in love with him and longs for it to be a real marriage. Tough situation for him, most of all…

  13. Love it. Especially where he was cuddling her. There’s hope 🙂
    Tweeted.

  14. Carrie-Anne says:

    I loved the visuals in this excerpt. It seems as though they’ll grow in love sooner than they expected.

  15. chellecordero says:

    Very vivid description, I almost felt a bit like an intruder. I also thought the gifts might have some sinister intention, glad to hear they aren’t poisons or anything.

  16. Aww, this is a nice peaceful scene for Adann. I hope she remembers this when things inevitably take a turn for the worse. Or several turns, depending on how much you beat up on your characters!

    Marcia

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