Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Sharing is Caring

 I feel like I do not get to share much of my work with anyone these days because I am so busy creating it! So I am taking some pieces from old drafts that will likely never make it to print and putting them here so they can at least create pictures in someone else's mind besides my own.

Today I am sharing a piece from attempt number two of my current work in progress (which is now in the third and final attempt to tell this damn story so I can move on with my life). ((Just kidding, I am enjoying the project and am working really hard to make it enjoyable for others too.)) (((But seriously, I would like to finish before the collapse of the USA.)))

Anyways...this piece is about one of my favorite characters. She has mysterious origins and only appears within the timeline of the story as a very old woman. Here is a glimpse of her childhood...

Helgi watched carefully as the moths flew in and out of the hive. They flapped and danced and zipped around, going out to collect nectar and pollen and coming back with pockets full of treasure for their queen. She waited for the right moment to push the suction comb into the bottom of the hive to extract the processed nectar called apina. The elders taught her how to extract it without getting a single sting. She hummed softly, raising and lowering her tone to match the coming and going of the moths. The comb had seventeen spikes on it that were hollow like straws and a carefully trained person could get a full jug from just one hive. She mindfully aimed the tips and pushed through the soft wax until she felt the cavity she was looking for. With her lips around the pointed end of the comb she pulled a gentle suction, stopping when the sweet liquid met her tongue. Quickly she placed the jug underneath and watched as the dark liquid poured in tiny swirls.

     Helgi wondered what ritual the elders would use this jug for. They only visited this hive for special times. It hung in a great tangle of thick, thorned bush that was taller than a man and wider than a house. They called this one the house of the spirits and told her the plant had great power. Helgi wasn’t sure she believed them. They were probably playing tricks on her and just never came here because it was uncomfortable to crawl through the tunnel of low branches to get to the center. They must have picked her because she was still small enough to get through. While she waited for the apina to stop dripping she licked a small scratch on her arm where a thorn had ripped her sleeve. She would have to mend that now.

     The elders found Helgi when she was just days old. Someone had abandoned her at the home of the Vessel halfway through the season of birth. She was an orphan, a truly rare occurrence. Most children had three parents, the likelihood of becoming orphaned was practically zero. But for some reason, that’s what she was. The Vessel said she was special and would one day be like him, she would be a Vessel, too. But she didn’t feel special and she was too full of anger to be full of light. She didn’t believe him.

     The dripping stopped and Helgi gently coaxed the comb out of the hive. She placed her shawl over the jug with the comb inside and started to crawl one handed out of the house of the spirits. Helgi felt a sudden pain in her palm and looked down to see a sharp, glassy stone. It was a deep red brown color like the apina and no bigger than her fingernail. When she turned it from side to side, it let out a faint glow. She put the stone in her belt sack and continued on her way home.

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