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, and worrying as he walks.

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Who knew what Adann was thinking, but she hadn’t–Kaie dragged his mind away from Orla, because he’d worried, and fumed, and raged over the days before his wedding, and he was still trapped. Trapped, and he had to find peace with it, before he damaged the blessing of the gods with his ingratitude.

It was too soon for another patrol, even as his feet itched for the simplicity of that path, so he headed instead for his favorite fishing spot. Reaching the river, he rummaged around for a good branch, snapped it off, and sharpened it, contemplating how much fish he and Adann could eat, and how much he could dry in their oven. He tried to focus on these plans and the flash of fish in the water, but other thoughts kept intruding.

Orla’s crying face, the town they’d planned to live in, the gifts his parents had made for their new life–and all the things that he’d never get back, no matter how he tried.

“It’s so unfair,” he told the fish he’d speared, then hit it precisely on the head to put it out of its misery. When three sleek bodies lay still on the bank, he wove a string of grass through their gills, and carried them to his new home.

*    *    *

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.

40 responses »

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Very efficient writing. You’ve shown us his feelings, a sort-of flashback to his former life while engaged to Orla, and a glimpse of what life in his village is like — all in a few sentences.

  2. chellecordero says:

    Very poignant as he mulls over all that he’s lost because of his obligation to his people. I really feel bad for the three of them, him, his wife and his former fiance. Very touching story.

  3. Peter Vialls says:

    Very effective writing – Kale’s feelings, his guilt and sadness, all in a few sentences.

  4. astonwest says:

    Sounds like a third party is in this marriage…always a recipe for disaster. Interesting snippet.

  5. Looks like he can’t escape his thoughts so easily. Great snippet!

  6. Alexis Duran says:

    I love the irony of him telling the fish he’s about to kill how unfair life is. Great writing with nice subtle touches.

  7. He hasn’t learned to give up the past so how may he go on with the future. Sad-oh so sad..

  8. Not a lot of joy there – mostly resignation – let’s hope some love starts to bloom.

    Tweeted.

  9. Kim Magennis says:

    and all the things that he’d never get back, no matter how he tried.

    The cost of divinely imposed servanthood. Some sacrifices are harder to endure. Excellent way to build empathy. Nicely done, Caitlin

  10. Author Jessica E. Subject says:

    Oh, I love finally getting a glimpse into what Kaie is going through! So much inner turmoil. And yet, he does not seem to hold any ill will toward Adann. A great snippet! 🙂

  11. Nice! Love when he almost apologizes to the fish for what he’s about to do. Great writing!

  12. Well it is unfair but telling the poor fish as he kills them is really rather amusing! Nice touch. A terrific snippet!

  13. Daryl Devore says:

    Drat – Veronica Scott said what I was gonna say. Great line. Tweeted.

  14. This is such a tough situation, and I’m watching, wondering how it will ever be right.

    You’ve done a good job in these few sentences to draw sympathy from the reader for Kaie.

  15. I literally just wrote a scene where the guy speared fish before hopping on for Wewriwa, heh. How awesome. I love this story, and I felt a lot more empathy toward Kaie this time than I did when he was acting cold toward Adann. Hearing how his family had made gifts for his (other) wedding, the life they had planned…it was very touching.

  16. Botanist says:

    Sounds like a terrific conflict between love and duty! Very well brought out.

  17. Carrie-Anne says:

    I really feel for him, on so many levels. This isn’t a situation which will find a quick or easy resolution.

  18. Jenna Jaxon says:

    So sorry he’s got to “do the right thing,” but I’m a fan of the arranged marriage trope, and I hope he will regain some of what he lost and find new treasures as well.

  19. I feel really bad for Kaie- it’s a bad situation for everyone. Hope he figures out how to make the best of it.

  20. Karen Michelle Nutt says:

    What a poignant snippet. I like how you gave us a glimpse of his life before and what he lost, but I’m hoping this new path will also bring him things to cherish.

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