Unuk raised his child, On-onka-tu, in the air. The naming ceremony began when the sun settled over the mountain's spire, filling the basin with light. A pool of gold, Unuk mused. He was not one easily taken with fanciful thoughts, but even he, in the face of all this beauty, could not help but be moved to proselytize on behalf of the Mountain.
Unuk grunted three times. Each time, he punctuated the sound by hefting his boy into the air, raising him up toward the sun. The child's limbs rose and fell with the motion as if he were growing in the presence of all that light.
On the third toss, Unuk caught the child and lowered him down onto his chest in one fluid motion, accepting him back into the fold. The gathered throng then raised up their hands, repeating the motions, grunting each time, until they too lowered their hands back to their chests, accepting the wisdom of the sun.
Silence settled over the crowd. Their eyes closed, hands clasped together under their chins, they waited. Names would come to them and as they did they'd begin shouting them out, thrusting their hands back into the air as they spoke the sacred word. When finally young On-onka-tu opened his eyes and looked, they would know his name and a bond between child and neighbor would be set.
"Ka-roombae!" One ape shouted.
One by one names burst into the air, breaking the uneven silence like rain falling from leaves after a storm.
Before long more than half of the gathered tribe held their arms aloft, the sun settling on the palms. Unuk sat, stoically watching, waiting. On-onka was nervous. She had braved more trials than Unuk knew existed, and yet, when it came to the children she could not help but bristle at the penumbra of every shadow. Her eyes were scanning the crowd. Silently she was counting how many chances On-onka-tu had left. If their child did not open their eyes, did not react to their sacred name, then they would not be given one. Everyone in the village had a name.
Five villagers left. Their eyes closed, they could not see the forest of dark limbs sprouting up around them, but with each passing name--and the absence of the triumphant roar that greeted a successful match--they understand the terrible weight settling on the village.
A stir. On-onka-tu's little arms rubbing his eyes, brushing his lips, drawing them down in a frown, before settling again against his face, blocking the sun.
On-onka took a step toward her mate. He could feel her presence behind him. Her hand graced his arm, parting the tuft of hair. Her breath was heavy in his ear despite being a foot shorter.
The child stirred again, a small squeaking escaping his lips as he turned over in his father's hands. The village held their breath. Only a single pair of hands remained in the air.
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Words Reach 50 words
Location A jungle
Words Reach 100 words
Words Reach 200 words
Letter Use the letter V
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
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