NaNoWriMo Excerpt 11/9/18
“This isn’t your fault, father,” I said, “I disobeyed you. This is my fault. Had I listened, Slade would still be alive and I wouldn’t have brought attention to my training. Are they punishing you as well?”
“They are,” he nodded, “I’m losing my title, and you are going to be moving to the center of the camp.”
“I’m not moving anywhere,” I protested.
“Do you have to be so strong-willed at every decision?” he asked.
“It runs in the family,” I said, giving him a half-hearted smile.
“I suppose it does,” he replied.
“So what now?” I asked, “How do we move forward?”
“We take our punishments and move on like everyone else. I suppose I will be sent on more missions now, and you will be busy with the other women supporting the clan,” he said. “Eventually, if things go right, I will be able to return to my position as chief, and hopefully the conversation I had with Garrett will prove useful in the elders changing the laws.”
“What did you tell the elder?” I asked, suddenly curious.
“I told him the truth about your training. That you were a quick study, and even at your age far exceeded the skill level of many of the men we send out,” he said.
“I was beginning to have difficulty giving you things to keep you progressing,” he said, “Though I have to apologize for not being here with you. I shouldn’t have left. The job would have gone fine without me.”
“It’s not your fault, Father.”
“Are you hungry?” he asked, pulling some smoked meat from a pouch, “They told me that you didn’t eat much while you were locked in the wagon.”
“I’ll be fine, thank you,” I said, “I think I could use some sleep before tomorrow though. I haven’t slept much the last few nights.”
He nodded, “I think we could both use a good night’s sleep before tomorrow.”
The next day at sunrise I walked from my father’s tent to the center of the camp where Garrett and Lopid stood waiting. I stripped and presented my hands to be tied. They silently did what they had to and left me there in the rising sun as the clan watched.
I was totally exposed and had a rising fear of Jox, who had tried to kill me the day before. The crowd began dispersing for the other side of the camp where my father was to be publicly removed from his title. As the people passed, I had several of them jeer at me and taunt me for behaving like a man.
I kept my head held high as the words of my father repeated in my head.
You were a quick study, and even at your age far exceeded the skill level of many of the men we send out. I was beginning to have difficulty giving you things to keep you progressing…
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