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 chaste wedding night, and Adann wakes first to make a simple breakfast that Kaie takes to go, leaving her behind.


He would walk the patrol again, alone, and keep an eye on the trees. All sorts of dangerous animals lurked in the trees, and worse, monsters, creatures warped by dark magic, cunning and vicious. He’d killed monsters before, in groups of hunters, and he looked forward to his first independent kill. Each monster slain, a small success, a step towards protecting his people.

If only the rest of his life could be so easy.

The patrol, at a slow and steady pace, took some time, but not enough. Finally, he reached the point where he started, and had to make another choice. Taking the easiest offered, he stopped at the temple to pray, trying not to stare at the meager spray of flowers decorating the god’s statue, or the profusion of flowers on the goddess’ stone figure. How was it possible he was already failing at his most important task?


*    *    *

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.

42 responses »

  1. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    I can really feel his internal struggle here. Well done!

  2. Kim Magennis says:

    “How was it possible he was already failing at his most important task?”
    So much is revealed in that one sentence. Nicely done, Caitlin. I agree with Jessica.

  3. Ed Hoornaert says:

    I really wonder what he thinks is his most important task. His wife? Serving his village? His former fiance?

  4. Cara Bristol says:

    I’m not certain what task it is he’s failing, but I assume it has something to do with the bonding that hasn’t gone so well.

    BTW, I seem to be in word-repetition catch mode today. In the first paragraph, monster is used 3x. It bumped me.

    • It’s meant to be his gods-appointed duty, so the bonding is part of it. I’ll take a look at that and see if I can tweak it. Thanks!
      Monster is on the list of words to look for when I finally get to the second draft, if I can only finish the first! 🙂

  5. I like this glimpse into his mind. I’m guessing he’s feeling a bit guilty about the rocky start to his marriage, which seems critical to the village’s well-being.

  6. He yearns to be ‘with’ his bride and can’t function right now. Love the conflict!

  7. Peter Vialls says:

    An arranged marriage is hard enough, but when your village depends on it working then the pressure is even harder. Intriguing material – keep it coming!

  8. I’m enjoying the way this story is unfolding. Another terrific snippet, with more insights!

  9. I’m glad to see the reason Kaie walked out on breakfast last time was to go do his job. He takes the responsibility serious, which is a good thing. And the end is great–his statue isn’t nearly adorned as his neglected bride’s is. Love this story. 🙂

  10. Interesting snippet. You’ve done an excellent job building tension throughout it.

  11. astonwest says:

    I catch myself all the time saying lines similar to “If only the rest of his life could be so easy.” Good stuff.

  12. Alexis Duran says:

    This snippet paints Kaie in a more sympathetic light. Really, how can he be expected to switch his love from one person to another so quickly? Too bad about the whole ‘everyone’s life depends on it’ thing.

  13. I won’t judge him. He’s in a bad place. Looking forward to reading more of this story, Caitlin!

  14. Internal struggle…always my favorite! Thanks for sharing.–Book Bling Blogger

  15. I love how you show so much about him and his world with only a few words. Brilliantly done.

  16. This is a revealing excerpt. We learned a lot about him.

  17. sad line – if only the rest of his life could be so easy. Great snippet.

  18. Ooh, sometimes the easiest route isn’t as easy as we would like to believe. Great writing!

  19. You know things are bad for him when slaying monsters is the easier of two tasks. Great snippet!

  20. Aw, I feel bad for him, but this is also a hopeful excerpt because he clearly takes the responsibility to protect his people seriously. I also get the sense he feels conflicting duties toward his people and his wife. Good excerpt!


  21. chellecordero says:

    “Each monster slain, a small success, a step towards protecting his people.
    If only the rest of his life could be so easy.”
    Terrific line, killing monsters is easy?
    He’s in such a terrible place with such a terrible price to pay no matter what he does. Very intriguing.

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