A Conversation for Najopomo 2020: Gravepicking

November 24: Headache

Post 1

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

Day 24:

It is past midnight when Marlon wakes up with a blistering headache. When he opens his eyes, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen is leaning over to him. As he tries to sit upright, the little birds and shimmering stars send him to back into happy oblivion, only seeing those bright blue eyes and the long dark brown hair. Yusna is startled by the short and sudden interruption of her night. The smile on Marlon’s face gives her hope though. She guesses that he is a bit younger than she is, judging from the wispy and woolly facial hair. He is kind of cute, but quite unlike Aggen.
A second attempt at consciousness is more successful. This time Marlon remembers where he has seen the girl before. She was the one trying to outcry the river, waking him up. Was that yesterday? He now realises that he is not in his own house or in his tent. The search through his memory is hampered by the repeated vision of a tree coming in at close range, followed by darkness and a voice. Her voice. She asks how he feels. There is a strange accent to her voice that he cannot place.
Later again, Pato’s head floats into view. At least his nephew is a familiar sight. If only he had been one cycle older, he would have been able to join Pato going up the mountain. In hindsight, Marlon is glad that he didn’t have to face an exploding mountain. That might have given him an even bigger headache than this one. The only thing that troubles him is that it is now unclear if the mountain is still available for his ritual next cycle.

Pato looks at the face of his nephew. A large bruise is blooming on his right temple. He seems otherwise unharmed. It is still dark, but Yusna asked him to take over, so that she could get some sleep, now that some life signs seem to have returned, not wanting to leave Marlon unsupervised.
When the day finally arrives, Aryna joins Pato, carrying some leftover soup from last night, which she tries to feed to their patient. The salty taste of meat once again revives Marlon. When he opens his eyes he is confused. That is not the girl he has been dreaming of! She does stir some vague memory. He remembers noticing someone with his own colour of hair from a distance just before things got fuzzy. That must have been her. Or not. Anyway, you can’t be too picky if someone is feeding you. Then he sees Pato again, his arm around the redhead. That makes sense. Maybe. Apparently the quest for the holy wife succeeded. Must have. Now he comes to think of it, she does remind him of his mother, only younger. Weird. Soup is nice though. Bliss…

Bora thinks about the last few busy days. Planning to build your own house takes a lot of effort. She even succeeded in convincing Vinco to build the base out of stone, rather than mud bricks. In return she conceded to his wish to include extra space to store his tools and weapons. Together they picked a nice spot with a view over the river (but not too close). Now Vinco has started to gather building materials with Joni, who has similar plans after Bora had a little talk with Keela. Their design is more in line with what was traditionally built in this village.

Pato decides it is time to address his Clan as soon as Yusna wakes up again. Sounding the large bronze bell, he calls for a gathering in the central open space of the village.

Once everybody is present, Pato introduces Aryna as his wife, then goes on to thank his aunt and uncle for taking over in his absence. He calls for unity and tells about what has come to pass during the journey. A lot of people, especially the younger ones, react enthusiastically when he tells about his dealings with the old Clan and his plans to have more regular contacts than just the yearly trip up the mountain. The account of Aggen’s death and Yusna’s caring causes sad faces, but at the same time resolve to get to know such a brave kind of people. Pato looks at the faces of two men that his uncle has pointed out as possible troublemakers and sees he has acted in time to get that sorted out. Being reunited with your family does that. He ends with a plea to get the village ready for winter and a promise that Uri’s tomb will be finished when the time is right.

After that, the Clan goes to work, harvesting crops and caring for the animals.

When Pato and Aryna return, they find Marlon sitting upright and talking animatedly with Yusna. Pato expects his nephew will not have to take the trouble to climb the mountain next year.


November 24: Headache

Post 2

Array

smiley - applause At least he escaped a spot of trepanning!


November 24: Headache

Post 3

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

For now...

Only joking.

You are correct:They did that back then, but I can't stand the blood.


November 24: Headache

Post 4

Array

Lol, I did have that planned for my original tale! Enjoying this.


November 24: Headache

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

smiley - snork I never thought about saying, 'Don't drill holes in your characters' heads.' smiley - rofl

smiley - applause This is a great story about process.


November 24: Headache

Post 6

Minorvogonpoet

This is a great story.smiley - applause


November 24: Headache

Post 7

paulh, hiding under my bed

Girl loses boy. Girl finds another boy. Bruises result.


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