2017-08-07 14:01 fiction return-to-ebyx short-story

Return To Ebyx: Sesi

The perimeters of the village were strung with woven Yawarra hair. At night it shimmered slightly and made a tingling sensation when you got close to it. As the breezes rippled through it, it chimed softly.

Hunters like Unytr hated it, avoiding the sight and sound of it. The weavers specialized in protecting the entire village. The village they built was at first unprotected. Nighttime was dangerous, the jungle surrounded them and it was hungry.

They used to have guards on watches, this didn't work well. A guard may have been on one side of the village, a clever Unytr might sneak in on the reverse. So they devised a system of perpetually circling guards who rotated at a constant rate, the guard in front of them just insight. This was exhausting to maintain. But then Kattituyok thought of the odd fur of the Yawarra trees--how they flowed and sung in the starlight, and how they could use it around the village. Over time they weaved this into longer and longer strands. Sesi became one of the weavers when he was young.

Sesi was first generation. He was born in the village. His parents had come down from the sky sea, the outer ocean. When Sesi wasn't weaving he was hunting with the others. They'd had to relearn, the canoes they brought with them rotted, the long barbed poles they might have caught fish with had been re-purposed. Everything here was different. They were in a jungle now, and they weren't even sure what was poisonous. They discovered the hard way, with loss of life. The knowledge they'd brought with them from Aok about the old times proved useless. It told stories of bear and ice whale and sod homes and Modar. Instead they roasted spiders, had to fight off packs of aggressive, greedy birds they called Gunrakiq, and became sick from the water.

Sesi thought about his parents as he weaved. They spoke more about Aok as they grew older, about their constant discomfort here, about what they'd expected and were disappointed by. Age catches you, he thought, you are overwhelmed by disappointments. He knew it must've been difficult for them, more difficult than for himself, this was all he'd known. He couldn't imagine waking up on some cold barren land, he loved the sounds of a million living things and the warmth and the endless trees around them.

When he sat on a stool, in the line with the other weavers, sometimes he tried to understand his parents' world. Most things he couldn't imagine at all despite being described time after time, it was so different. But then the weavers would hang the line and he recalled fondly that first time they let him strum it, the long tone you could feel in your bones and the haze of light given off by small dissolving sparks.