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Where The Moon Rises Prologue and Chapter 1

Prologue




I run through the forest, my bare feet barely making a sound. What I did hear was the pounding of my breath through my lungs, animals crunching leaves and breaking sticks, startled from my cries. I hear my brothers behind me calling my name. I taste the cold morning air, and my nose waits for the coppery smell of blood. My brothers’ voices fade into the distance among the shouts of my people. I stop to catch my breath, and notice the tears running down the eyes. I will be no help to Jeremiah if I have no breath.

Chapter 1


As we peered out from the darkness of the woods, our faces and skin painted with the colors of the trees; we saw the large canoes with billowing cloud-things at the top stop outside the bay. The sun has barely moved when a big kayak came onto shore. A short, stout man got out, followed by two others. They wore coarse, dark clothing, and massive, flat headdresses with one feather on the side. They had pale skin, and brown hair, just a few shades lighter than my own.


My cousin, Tykum, climbed a tree to get a better view. I followed, not to be outdone by my stuttering family member. There was only the one canoe-and-cloud-thing, but there were only the three men on the shore. They walked below our branch, and I saw my Father, brother, and uncle tense in the shadows deeper in the forest. One tapped the tree with a smooth cane, and said something to the others in a strange tongue. One seemed to argue with what he said. The first one replied in an angry voice, so I guessed he was in trouble. The arguing one looked up in the tree, and I froze at the sight of the pockmarks on his cheeks. His eyes scanned the branches, and I noticed his eyes were as green as new-leaves in the rainy season. I heard a rustling beside me. Tykum was panicking, and attempting to climb higher in the tree.


The man’s hand twitched towards his belt, and seemed to shoot fire into the tree. The sound was so loud I almost screamed, and fell off the branch. I grabbed on in time to hold on with my knees and hands. I saw my brother, Timu, almost rushed forward to catch me, but Father caught his shoulder to stop him. Tykum was grasping his side, his face paling. His lip was bleeding from where he bit it to keep from crying out in pain. The man with the cane rushed forward, and smacked the pockmarked man across the face. Pockmarks raised hand as if to strike back, but put his hand down with a shudder.


As they walked away, loudly yelling at one another, I swung up and around the tree branch, and crawled over to my wounded cousin to inspect his wounds. The strange fire had ripper through his side, and blood gushed from the ripped flesh. My knees and hands were scraped from where I slipped from the branch. I wiped what little blood there was on my hands on my skirt, and started rooting through my healer’s pouch.


I pulled out some small strips of hides, and some choice herbs. I popped the herbs into my mouth chew into a poultice. I handed my cousin some jerky he could bite while I put the hides against the wound to conserve what little blood he had left. I tied my belt against it to make them stay in place while we ran back to the village.


As I tried to help Tykum out of the tree, Uncle reached up to grab him. Tykum leapt out with some of his reserved strength. My father grabbed me, and surprised me by hugging me tight to his chest. My brother grabbed me, and seemed to check me for wounds. When he found I was uninjured, he dropped to his knees, his lips moving in prayer. Before my father could start scolding me for climbing the tree in the first place, I told my uncle to lay my cousin down. Timu drew our uncle away to make a carrying-bed for Tykum. I carefully removed my belt from around his waist, and removed the hide from the wound. It was covered in blood, the skin lay ravaged against the beneath-flesh. I took the herbs from my mouth and spread them on my hands, which shook as I carefully spread the mixture across his injury. He winced, and Father stuck a clean corner of the hide in his mouth before Tykum could scream.


Timu and Uncle brought over the carrying-bed, made out of two saplings and Uncle’s cloak.




We situated Tykum’s body as best we could, and I gave him mixtures of sleeping and numbing plants. Father sent Uncle and Timu ahead. I tried to slink behind a tree.


“Calingra, I don’t know wether to have you whpped for stupidity, or praised for fast-thinking. What do you think, daughter? How should you be punished and how should you be praised?” he asked, his head in his hands. I couldn’t tell if he was serious or trying to trick me. I thought for a second, and decided to test him.


“How about I am punished by not being praised?” I asked, smirking.


He looks up and smiles, and I know I am not in serious trouble. I stand up and smooth back my dark brown hair. My father’s kind, dark eyes crinkle at the sides as his smile grows. I fix my skirt, and walk up to him. He musses my hair again. I gave him a look, and he laughed.


“Race you back!” I exclaim, shooting off towards the village. We ran through the woods, paying no attention to the startled critters. I had only my lead on him keeping me ahead. We acted as though nothing major had happened, but we both knew that Tykum’s life was in danger. And we were both curious as to why those pale men were here again. Last time, the pale men took many of our people away with them, and left a plague of red dots the wiped out whole villages. Our village took in many of the ones who were spared. The few who survived the disease had marks on their faces and skin, like the man with the green eyes.





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