A Conversation for Najopomo 2020: Gravepicking

November 26: Justice

Post 1

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

Day 26

The clan has gathered and Sod is brought forward from the hut he has been held in for the night. Even Yusna and Marlon are present. Marlon is propped up against the outer wall of the house, covered in sheepskins.

Pato explains that Sod has started the fire in the barley field on purpose, out of spite. The damage he has done to the food supply may cause deaths by famine in the coming winter. Pato argues that the only way to keep the Clan safe from this behaviour is to eliminate the source. Sod can never be trusted again. Pato asks Sod if he has anything to say in his defence. The only thing he can think of is “I am the rightful Chief” and “I should have burnt your house instead”.

After the Sod’s statement, the rest of the Elders all agree that something must be done. Terminally.

To reduce the risk that punishment of Sod would lead to revenge by his family or splitting of the Clan, it is his family that gets to pick the way Sod should come to his end. Pato gives them three options to choose from: Through stoning by everyone in the Clan, up close and personal by a relative with a weapon of their choice or by throwing him into the river. Normally the last option would not be lethal, but Pato is sure that it is different now.

The family huddles together for a short deliberation. Then Sod’s older brother steps forward and claims he will carry out the sentence, up close and personal, in the hope that it will help regain the honour of the family and so that he can make it as quick and painless as possible. Everyone nods in agreement, except for Sod himself.

It is decided that the sentence will be carried out at midday.

When everyone has gone, Aryna hands Pato a flask. She explains that it contains a brew that could reduce the pain for Sod, when the time comes. (What she doesn’t mention is that it is the same brew that made the pairing ritual on the mountain such a success). Grateful for this, Pato takes the flask and goes to find Sod’s brother to give it to. The brother can then decide if he deems it appropriate to use.

Together with Keela, Bora is hammering wooden stakes in the ground to mark the desired floor plan for their new houses. She wonders what Pato is doing right now. Probably celebrating his glorious return as a now married Chief. She doesn’t envy him and hopes Avi will go on living much longer, leaving her and Vinco without the pressure and responsibilities that come with being Chief. Keela just told her about the initial problems she encountered with Joni, and how resolving those had strengthened their bond considerably. Bora wonders how Aryna and Yusna will fare in their new Clan. They don’t have a mother-in-lore to fall back on, like she has with Yara. Secretly she hopes that Pato will make haste with his promise to return the horses.

It is midday.

Judging from the erratic gait, Pato concludes that Sod has been given the brew.
Sod is blindfolded and put in a kneeling position.
His brother raises his large bronze axe saying: “You shouldn’t have done what you did”.
It is over after three mighty blows… Three more follow for good measure… Burning the barley was as bad for his own family as it was for the whole Clan.

After justice has been observed, the bloody remains of the late Sod are taken by his family and thrown into the river. Entombment is too good for him. The axe is buried instead. Never to be used again.

Pato privately decides that he will add the brother to his council of elders.

November 26: Justice

Post 2

Elektragheorgheni -Please read 'The Post'

I hope our new president will be as wise as Pato. This is a fragmented country and everyone has to work together if the pandemic is to be quelled. I am really enjoying your story. I hope you enjoyed writing it.

November 26: Justice

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

Pato is showing a lot of promise as leader. smiley - applause

November 26: Justice

Post 4

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

I still enjoy writing it. It's just a shame November hasn't got more days in it. .

November 26: Justice

Post 5


Your characters are growing and learning too. smiley - smiley

November 26: Justice

Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

If you want to do follow-up stories, there's always the Post....hint... smiley - winkeye

November 26: Justice

Post 7


Bit of a waste of an axe! smiley - applause

November 26: Justice

Post 8

paulh, hiding under my bed

This story kind of grows on you. smiley - smiley

I'm beginning to understand that individual characters are balanced against the clan itself. Without the clan, they have less of a chance to make it, so they have to support it.

Am I warm?

November 26: Justice

Post 9

Caiman raptor elk - Escaping the Array

I think you are.

Given the average lifespan of around 26 years, from our point of view, there must have been some kind of urgency to life as it was. Passing on knowledge through the Clan is important if you do not have the time to do your own research or the means to record it.

November 26: Justice

Post 10

paulh, hiding under my bed

o, even a temporary division of the clan is a big deal. Nowadays, we have telephones and computers, but back then they wouldn't know which clan members were doing well if they couldn't communicate with them.

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