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Ties   1520.08.14  
Creators: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Writer), PeggyB (Inspiration)
The night starts beautiful and clear, and Akaalekirth and Lereterli hang hammocks outside... but their sleep is interrupted by an earthquake and the aftermath.
Posted: 05/14/13      [2 Comments] ~ 539 words.

The night had been clear, stars sparkled overhead.
Akaalekirth and Lereterli hung hammocks outside
To watch luminous moths wheel and dance overhead
And to tell each other outrageous stories
Without waking the baby.

They fell asleep, breathing sweet air
Scented by rainforest flowers and fruits.
Suddenly, the earth shook the huge hometrees
Fuchsia Tribe's houses creaked, waking parents
to comfort wailing children.

Akaalekirth felt her hammock quiver around her
She could hear human and animal sounds of alarm
"What's happening?" Her voice shook.
"Earthquake" Lerleterli answered.
"Tie your hammock closed."

Akaalekirth reached for the ties, paused
"Shouldn't we head to the ground?"
Rreisali poked her head out the window
"Orlano is going to look at the ocean--
You girls stay put!"

It took a long time to knot the thick fibers
But Akaalekirth obediently tied rope after rope
Suddenly, she laughed--when had she stopped rebelling?
Of course, she mused, this family offered her
Respect and welcome.

"What's so funny?" Lereterli sounded annoyed.
"I didn't even ask why, I just tied myself in."
Akaalekirth laughed again. "I wasn't like that before."
Lereterli hissed, "Hush--do you hear that?"
It was just surf--but too loud!

"When it comes, hold your breath!"
Akaalekirth breathed in to ask for an explanation
Then the water was there, filling the air
Their home tree shook and bent,
She had no time to scream.

The water pulled Akaalekirth against the knots
And then back again, trying to drag her to sea
In the surge, one of the strong new ropes broke
The water rushed back out of the rainforest.
It left her hanging upside down.

She was soaked, with rope burns all over.
The house was ruined, half of it gone to sea.
"Lereterli?" Akaalekirth twisted to find the other hammock--
Had her new sister survived the flood?
And Rreisali and the baby?

Then she heard the baby coughing
She started to swing and turn in the hammock
The motion made her stomach feel sick
But it let her see her sister, her family, safe
Except Lereterli's father.

Lereterli was curled like a lizard in her hammock.
Rreisali was tied to the trunk of the hometree
Her beautiful hair tangled like a mask over her face.
She stroked the baby's face through the netting
That held him to her.

Akaalekirth realized the sun was rising.
The light glinted off of fish stranded in the treetops
And several trees over, a tentacled monster thrashed,
Breaking tree limbs and shattering a bridge
As it bled to death.

While Akaalekirth hung upside down
Lereterli untied her hammock and then her mother
Orlano returned with more of the tribe.
He had many cuts and his left arm was splinted,
But at least he was alive.

"Good thing you all stayed in the tree," Orlano smiled,
"If you were down there, you could have been drowned
Or swept to sea." She asked, "Does this happen often?"
"No. Maybe once in a generation," he said, then frowned.
"But it happened last year."

Akaalekirth was very glad when they got her free,
The fresh fish and drowned goose feast cheered her too.
But not even the prospect of monster for dinner
Could please her as much as being sure
Her chosen family was safe.

Author's Notes

Vaerys suggested finding something unlikely in a tree, and with sea monster month approaching, I blended that with the idea of a sea monster feast.

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The Rainbow Rainforest

Characters Featured:
Rreisali, Orlano, Lereterli,

Referenced Articles:
The Rainbow Rainforest
Sea Monsters: The Smartarm

Story collections:
Bridge Making
A New Home
Kin and Ink
Darkening Skies
All Empire Stories and Art
Nomess Mithoirarv

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