When a land of peace and nature is plagued by a strange disease what are they to do?
"Riele!" my mothers voice yelled spooking the deer. My grip tightened on my bow as I watched it run off through the forest. I kicked at the fallen leaves and turned to face my mother.
"You're late for feasting" my mother accused her green eyes piercing into mine. Green eyes were the usual color of my tribe but due to my mother being an explorer during her young age I wasn't a son to any men of this tribe.
I was son to another. An eastern tribe. When I had been young I had loved to here my mother's tales of him. How they'd met during the full moon and at first she thought he was the moon coming to visit her. It was all a bit silly now I thought about it. "I was trying to get some meat for the feast, mother"
"You spooked it"
"Oh yes of course its my fault. You're not even eighteen, Riele. You still have things to learn" she said then turned on her heels and strode off. I gripped my bow tight. My mother was the only one of our tribe who doubted my skill. She was quoted saying her 'little boy isn't that good'.
It was patronizing and I did one day hope she would notice my skill I mean who else does a child try to impress but women and their parents. I turned and looked out across the forest. I heard many things like my mothers heavy retreating feet. The rabbit scurrying over to the right of me then the deer to my left. Target.
Crouching low I started to move through the undergrowth till the deer came in sight. I didn't go further. I didn't need to. Lifting my bow I aimed one of my custom arrow at the part of the deer where it would easily slide into it's heart. I took a slow breath and released hearing the slice of flesh followed by a noise of pain a moment later. I stood and raced over to the deer pulling out my dagger and sliding it in to allow the creature to slip away from this world.
"Sleep, child of nature" I said like every time I made something leave this world. Standing up I heaved the deer with me dragging it along to the tribes grounds near the cave of Sensi, our nature goddess.
When I reached the camp I first saw the elders who always squabbled at the edge before I reached the fire at the centre I passed the woman before passing the girls. The men were all out for now. Hunting. Slowly as they came back it was clear who had dragged in the biggest haul.
"Show off" Jei said as he came over. He nudged me in the ribs. "When you gonna let one of us get the eye of the girls"
I smirked and leaned to his ear. "Maybe when you stop taking me places at night" I teased only to him before walking off leaving him stood there with a grin.
I wasn't in love with Jei but we'd come accustomed to the fact we were the only men if our tribe who weren't interesting in females. So when one night he'd woken me up and said to go for a walk with him. I hadn't been surprised when he kissed me. We hadn't got to mating yet and we wouldn't because we knew if we did... well, we couldn't lie about to the tribe about that.
Mating was a serious thing. A life thing. I did often think about it. Think about how my mother, step father and half sister, Cerie, would feel if they knew. I would never know though cause I never had plans to tell them.
As the feast progressed I couldn't help a couple of glances at Jei. He was good looking but I didn't understand why the idea of mating with him set me uneasy taking away the part about maybe being ridiculed.
Once the feast was over we all went to our rugs that we shared with our family. I lay down with Celie curling up to me. She was only seven yet I knew one day she was going to be very wanted among the tribe as someones mate or even the next seer.
"Where do you go at night?" she asked looking up at me with her large green eyes. I swallowed. "I wake up all cold cause you're gone"
"Nowhere. I just go for a walk"
"Okay" she said and rested her head back down. Going out with Jei was starting to get risky.