The Coming of the Rain

As the sun’s pink fingertips caress the tops of the purple mountains behind the cave, Owab is the first of the hunters to wake. Aquila waiting for him outside. The eagle bows and turns to the east, where a procession of wispy clouds rises with the dawn. Aquila takes to the air and Owab, in the thrall of his night-time vision, follows where his guide and protector leads.

When they return, Owab is leading a long-legged rain-cow which will bring soft raindrops to last a whole season.

The Great Bull bellows
rain swells the gathering clouds:
the parched land awaits.


This concludes my little African adventure, although I wouldn’t rule out a comeback for Owab and Aquila sometime in the future. You can find the previous episodes here.

Photo credit: John Fowler at unsplash.com/@wildhoney

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – WISP, CARESS, FINGERTIPS
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – SEASON

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Read more Six Sentence Stories here at the Link Up Party!

Rain Dance

Hopeless as it’s beginning to seem without the elder’s lead, the dance continues. Chanting, stamping, every person keeps in time, as strings of shells which dangle from their ankles, rattle to a timeless beat. Owab, carried by the rhythm of the dance, wills himself on, inhaling the powerful scent of the sacred herbs smouldering on the remnants of the fading fire.

They cannot fail. Without the Rain Bull, the land will turn to dust and the group will be driven from the place they call home.

Far into the night
they dance on through scented smoke;
waiting for a sign.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: Nika Zhorzholiani from Pexels

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – PERSON, DANGLE, HOPELESS
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – REMNANT

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here for more Six Sentence Stories – come and join the party!

The Summoning Begins

The hunters advance further into the foothills of the purple mountains. Despite Aquilla’s reassuring presence, Owab remains downcast. He cannot pretend that his failure to forestall the lioness’ attack on the elder hasn’t weakened the group’s chances of success in their search for the Rain Bull.

As night falls, the hunters light a fire on a shelf-like outcrop of rock and wait as the quarter moon rises in the velvet sky to align with Orion’s three she-tortoises. Each throws a handful of scented herbs into the flickering flames.

Aquilla cries out;
they gather around the fire
and prepare to dance.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: researchgate.net

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – PRETEND, SHELF, TALL
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – QUARTER

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here for more Six Sentence Stories – or bring one of your own to the party!

Blood Moon

After a solid day’s trekking, the hunters are cheered to find a group of thorn trees, indicating the presence of precious water. Aquila flies on, scouting for a cave to protect them from the coming night.

Distracted as they forage for food, the hunters fail to sense the danger. A lioness leaps, the group scatters, but an older man lags behind; Owab turns, raises his spear, but he’s too late.

Gripped by powerful jaws, the lions move in; by morning there will be nothing left but bones.

The pride is sated
and under a blood-red moon
a shooting star falls.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: Nick Owuor

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – HORN, CHEER, SOLID
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – PRESENCE

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here for more Six Sentence Stories – or bring one of your own to the party!

Aquila triumphs

The boomslang slithers from beneath the canopy of acacias, the nearest hunter in its big-eyed sights. Aquila cries out, letting his powerful talons swing forward to pluck the serpent from its thorny perch, as a group of startled magpie shrikes rise from the trees in a shrieking cloud of black and white feathers.

The snake thrashes while the eagle’s talons tighten, spearing the serpent’s skin. Ruby beads bleed across its sapphire scales and the snake slumps. Aquila spirals back to the waterhole, dropping the vanquished snake at Owab’s feet.

They will feast tonight
but the journey continues:
mauve mountains beckon.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: © Koshy Koshy / Flickr

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – MAGPIE, OUTLET, NEAT
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – POWERFUL

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here for more Six Sentence Stories – or bring one of your own to the party!

Beware the Serpent

Rivalry for water amongst the creatures of the veld is driven by scarcity, and the pretty acacia-fringed pan is keenly guarded by a bright green boomslang. The uniquely big-eyed tree snake hangs watchfully, waiting for careless trespassers.

The hunters hasten to the precious liquid, heedless of Aquila’s warning. Young Owab runs with his companions, raising his eyes skywards, searching for the great eagle’s reassuring presence.

They jostle for position by the muddy waterhole but thirsty as he is, Owab hangs back; he calls out, anxiously reminding them of the danger.

The serpent slithers
unhinges its jaws to strike;
the eagle attacks.


Previous episodes of this little African adventure are here.

Photo credit: Pinterest – a beautiful, big-eyed boomslang – not so lovely when it slides past you when you’re sitting on your stoep minding your own business, although it was in a game reserve, so more the snake’s habitat than mine!

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – REMIND, PRETTY, UNIQUE
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – RIVALRY

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing  in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here to join the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories!

Onward to the Foothills

Yesterday the hunters ate only roots and grubs but now, in the fading light, they chance upon a lame bokkie. Hunt and kill are over quickly. Careful for the tinder-dry veld, they make a fire within a ring of stones and each eats their fill, leaving a portion for Aquila, who guards their improvised camp from a hungry howling wolf until dawn spreads her golden fingers.

The sun climbs and the dry savannah shimmers. A green smudge rises from the ripples and the hunters hasten to the acacia-shaded spring.

The eagle calls out
Owab attends the warning:
beware the serpent!


In case you’re wondering what in the world is going on, the previous episode of this little adventure is here.

Photo by Juanita Swart @ Unsplash

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – YESTERDAY, CARE, HOW
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – IMPROVISE

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing  in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Click here to join the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories!

Flight of the Eagle

Aquila flies over the desiccated veld, periodically checking on the hunters who march like ants across the dry savanna beneath his substantial eagle wings. Owab is the youngest of the band; it is to him that Aquila carries the mystical connection.

Now in early autumn, the earth still waits for the rains. The ground is dry and the game has scattered. They travel east to the purple mountains in search of the great beast who, with a nod of his gracious head, will call the storm clouds.

Over the parched soil
the eagle leads us onward
seeking the Rain Bull.


Photo by Nigel Whitehead, on-safari.co.za

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – NOD, SUBSTANTANTIAL, PERIOD
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – CONNECTION

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing  in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Pop over to the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories
why not bring along one of your own?

Rebirth

The Mark of Gaia flares on my back and I cling to the towering North Stone for support. The sun blackens, the moon and stars fall from the sky; the world is cast into blackness: a void. Her pawn again, my consciousness expands.

A sun rises in the west and Gaia’s words fall from my lips.

 ‘You will live without hunger, thirst, weapons or injury; you will exist, casting no shadows; all humanity will share a single language and belong to a nation without borders.

Our hearts fill with joy:
our world is new and fertile
reborn, we give thanks.


Author’s Note: Gaia’s words are taken from Zoroastrian eschatology.

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – JOY, SUPPORT, THANKS
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – PAWN

I also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing  in the haibun form. Just for fun!

This concludes the Dark Secret series. You can find all the previous episode are here.
Something new will begin next week!

Pop over to the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories
– why not bring along one of your own?

Return to the Circle

I fall through a shower of effervescent light particles and land with a jolt, my nostrils filling with the simple scent of sandalwood overlaying the smell of decay. My uncle’s kindly face comes into focus, he sits in his library, surrounded by his cherished possessions; the lines on his face are entrenched, his shoulders stooped; he has aged – a decade or more. I glance at my hands, the still-smooth skin suggests I have not.

‘Hasten to the Stones,’ he commands. I rise and approach him, but I’m dismissed.

Megaliths murmur:
On the Eve of the Dawning
Gaia greets your return.


Photo by unsplash.com/@artifactflash

Written in response to two challenges:

– Di of Pensitivity101‘s Wednesday’s Three Things Challenge – KIND, POSSESIONS, SIMPLE
– Denise Farley of GirlieOnTheEdge‘s Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt – EFFERVESCENT

I have also set myself the additional challenges of confining my piece to 100 words exactly and writing this, now ongoing story, in the haibun form. Just for fun!

Pop over to the #SSS Link Up Party for more Six Sentence Stories
– or why not bring along one of your own!