Rabbit by OpRise

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Rabbit by OpRise

Post  OpRise on Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:32 am

[I'd be interested if anyone has any thoughts on writing style. Also, there's is no historical accuracy. Razz]

​The spirit of a person can be understood by the eyes in which they gaze over the desert mountains or up into the points of light in a black sky. Her life-mate gazed like an eagle overlooking the rugged vastness of his domain, alert to movement and weighing the options of his next move. She called him Eagle. Her lover gazed like a bouncy playful rabbit: less a gaze than an invitation for trouble. She called him Rabbit. Others in the tribe had a slow and long gaze, or a gaze hungry with fire, or a gaze short with sorrow.

She passed the time by mimicking the feelings behind these gazes, tried them on as one would try on a new buffalo hide dress, a beaded necklace or a feathered headpiece. Those feelings were within her, but not of her.

I am going to die.

The silence and emptiness that greated this thought expanded over the great sun desert through the valley and up the impossibly high cliff walls. Protection abandoned, tribe trudging toward cooler altitudes, her skittish spirit dodged containment in a sea of heat waves and sand. She ceased pursuit and lie down, wedging herself into the partial shade of a thick cluster of rabbitbrush. Eyes closed, her thoughts played over memories of Rabbit.

His prankster looks turned fiery and bathed her in heat the night he returned from the hunt with his first buffalo. The men painted him ochre and everyone sang and danced into the night celebrating the death of his boyhood and the nourishment the man provided his people. He would be married the following spring. Skimming the beat of the drums his eyes seemed to find her every time she glanced in his direction. She gazed down quickly each time, vowing not to look his direction again. Cautious, she scanned the group. No one seemed to notice the little flaming bridge between them.

Her Eagle was preoccupied with music making and glances at Neka, First Wife. Those glances had been reserved for her for the first season of their marriage. He had looked at her with a puffed chest, anxious for the brood she would bear him. But her insides were filled with a salty pond in which life did not grow. His looks grew to resemble those of a mother for a stillborn baby, and then ceased altogether.

Her salty pond boiled just beneath the surface, and Rabbit's hot glances caused it to spill over. Hastening from the glow of the fire, she stepped into the cool night and made her way in the darkness to a little sandstone sanctuary she'd discovered down from camp along the cliff wall. She sat fetal and let the salty pond boil in her heart and head and spill from her eyes.

Rabbit came upon her the next day in the heat and sun. She was ​foraging for prickly pear. She saw a shadow and before turning felt hands on her waist, firmly pulling her back. Looking down and sideways she saw that it was Rabbit, his sinewy legs and knobby knees. He sank his forhead into the crook of her neck and his breath was hot and fast. She sighed into him. They were alone. He was tall, and his body though thin covered her completely, melting her into the sand.

He entered with sweet agression and fire. His mouth covered hers and they wound together like ropy snakes in the sand. His long back hair brushed her cheeks and mouth, and he tasted like salt and smelled like aloe. He cooled her pond and sent cool ripples to her toes and the crest of her head. Her heart expanded outward as wide as the valley is wide, and envoloped her world in love. He found her often the next few months. In the ragged shade from the rabbitbrush, she drifted to sleep re-feeling each one.

It was forbidden of course. She liked the challenge of hiding the secret securely behind expressionless eyes. The pleasure of letting it out, remembering, when no one was looking. The nervous wondering and waiting for the day Rabbit would find her again, and where. She did not bear children, but she grew a translucent golden flower in her breast that bloomed for him when he was near. Shielded from all eyes, it strained against her skin, pulled toward him, longing for his sweetness and life. He threw her side smiles that reduced her to soft clay.

Until he did no longer.

The cold fingers of night lifted her consciousness out of uneasy dreams of waterfalls and clear flowing creeks and frigid water gulped in by the bagful. She hugged her buffulo skin dress more tightly around her but it was thin protection against the chilly wind gasping through the canyon. Her mouth was dusty and her lips cracked. Three days without food or water. She would die here. Panic gripped her but even fear was too weak a force to move her wasted limbs.

To take back one reckless emotional moment of flight. To add thought to it, contemplation, foresight. Fear plunged the depths of sorrow and with the last of her salty pond she wept. Wept until she was empty and dry as a brittle yellow leaf. Cold wind pushed through to her core, and chilled her into a shaky relaxation. She would die here, and that alright.

She'd perhaps hoped for a vision, for an understanding, like the boys and shamans recounted after their trips to the wilderness. It ached that she'd found nothing but memories and regret.

She'd battled deer flies and ants and two scorpions. Her youthful skin withered in the sun and dried in the wind. She was caked in fine dirt and sweat. Alone. She'd made sure no one could find her, and she had succeeded. Finally to have succeeded in ​something, the one thing she now wished to have failed.

She gazed up into the stars with a gaze she did not know. Not human. Not animal. Like the gaze of the wind or the sun on stone.

A warm spirit sailed up her frigid form and nestled at her ear. "I love you". Rabbit! Her eyes darted in the darkness, searching, willing the shape of Rabbit to appear before her. He did not, and the warmth of his spirit melted away. He knew she was alive. If she could wait, he would find her and carry her home. She would wait. She would conserve energy. She would send her spirit out to find him and lead him here. She focused on the look of his smooth jaw, lush lips, and fierce playful eyes behind long lashes. She instructed her spirit to find him. She closed her eyes and watched her essence float off on the direction of the wind, toward home.

A smile rode her lips into a curved arch. Cracked pain gave way to hope, and she envisioned the arch becoming a circle, a halo over her face, around her cheeks, over her eyes. She was of the earth and breathing in the sky, and inseparable being from the elements under over and in her.

In this state, she knew she would not die. She sighed into the sand and waited for morning.
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OpRise

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Re: Rabbit by OpRise

Post  adverseaffects on Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:17 am

Ohhhh I liked that. Tribal themes and romance/ritual is really interesting. Your play with metaphor and imagery, like the salty pond, that was nice. It was also kinda sexy...
oh do I have to provide criticism too? The transition to what happened to Rabbit was unclear, I couldn't tell if he moved on, if she got old and he stopped wanting her, or if he died.
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Re: Rabbit by OpRise

Post  KindOfBlue06 on Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:07 pm

I really enjoyed that! Your style is crisp and flowing. I like at the end how you still don't know weather she will live or die. Very nice, had an almost noir element to it. I'd like to read more!

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Thanks!

Post  OpRise on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:27 pm

Thanks to you both for reading and for your thoughts Smile
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