I have long toyed with the idea of setting a story in Prehistory, but I am no Jean Auel and I have never even read the series. Equally, my knowledge of Prehistory is small and slim. That doesn't diminish my urge to do it, just make it harder as I lack the time to research and the inclination to really go for it. As I haven't touched my NaNo project since February (and then didn't really do much of use having left it since December) I figured I'd try something that had nothing attached to it.
What follows, then, is a quick exercise to try and get going. Before I share it I shall place the analysis (courtesy of 750words.com, where you should also be going) and then a line break so that it doesn't clutter up the blog any.
Rating: PG-13 for sexual content and violence (not sure about violence)
Feeling mostly affectionate and concerned mostly about religion
Mindset: Extrovert (75%) - Positive - Certain - Thinking
Time Orientation: the Past; Primary Sense: Touch; Us and Them: Them
Time: 28 minutes at 46 words per minute
Standing atop the glacier he took a moment to feel the wind on his face and smell the nothingness. At this height the sounds and smells that filled the forest were alien and forgotten, the rotting mulch of leaves and animal dung too far away to play any part in his world. Here there was only the wind, whipping into his face and robbing him of breath even as it tried to remove his grip from the rock face.
This was living. This was what it was all about. Knowing that he would travel this way again, knowing that he was on his way back to her and to see his children again. It had been many cycles since last he had seen them. She had been kind, taking him in even though there had been other males in the area at the time, his gifts to her had been accepted though they both knew that she was not in need of meat or of comfort with her band. Smiling, she had told him that she liked him and that she thought him worthy of her, something that even here brought a blush to his cheeks.
One hand over the other, a handhold maintained in a practiced motion, and then he was on the summit again, striding at pace along the line of the ridge with the carpet of green lost to the clouds below. Above him blue stretched from all horizons to the dome above his head and the sun shone coldly as if to mingle with that sweet sensation of remembering his time with her.
He remembered her bone, cut and carved and carefully made, that she had given to him, uttering the secret magics that would allow him to come when she needed him most and avoid the disappointment felt by many. In visit after visit she took him to her bedding and taught him the ways of the women: how to coax her and please her; relax her and soothe her; how to make her pant with desire and moan with lust. Then they would lie together and she would take him so that they could finish the job at the same time.
Down now, the ridge curving toward the south toward the well-known tracks that would split into different directions. Over the roof of the world that divided the heady sweat of the sea from the salty sway of the ocean. Hills and and dense, gnarled trees would make way for flatter ground and older forest. From the bright warmth that held lions and hippopotamus to the inky blackness of the elder woods with their boar, stag and wolves. Mounds of moss, taller than any man, would mingle in the groves of trunks many people thick. There had been talk by the farmers of the island plains of creating some permanent feature to celebrate the woodland and sacrifice back to the givers of the fertile soil but, to do that, they needed the support of the tribes.
Her breasts had borne milk for their children, the first had greeted him when he had returned much later after the first few times. Together they had named him and he had stayed a while to watch him grow, mingling with the tribe as an accepted member with her protection. At first there had been suspicion, even fear, but she had smoothed things over with the elder women and talked of his proficiency in the ways of the bedding until all had been impressed. Some had asked if he could be shared but she had not allowed it, arguing that he was hers and that was all that mattered. For his part he had enjoyed the attention and the sure knowledge of her protection. As the boy had grown and then begun to take his own paths, crawling to investigate the ants and the berries, so he had been amazed at the wash of protection, pride and love that had been present. It was hard for him to leave that time, after spending so long with the group, hard for him to once again embrace the loneliness of traveller and the news-bringer. But embrace it he had.
The last time she had organised a ceremony for him, a union and a joining, where she laid her claim on him and he on her so that neither would forget the other. At dawn on the final day the elder women had begun, splashing the edges of the camp with the vital and magic fluid of a woman's power to ward off the evil spirits and attract the animals for the hunt. In the middle a shaman had begun a chant near the burning embers of the night's fire, chewing the herbs and communing deep with the world of the unseen and the unknown that cradled them all. Chief of all the wood, father and mother of the world, had been implored to take a role and to watch the consummation so that all Creation would bear witness for all time.
He had been prepared separately to her, but he had understood. Old enough to watch and to ask questions, his son had been by his side to oversee him being washed by the elders in the blood of his betrothed. Plaiting his hair into strong, rope like strands, they had stripped him naked and then begun the process of inking. A heated needle was used to pierce the skin and a blue mixture specially prepared by all the tribe had been put below the skin. Chanting, singing, sweating and rocking masked the pain and brought to mind his own coming of age when he had left his own brood many cycles previously. Eyes open or closed made no difference as time faded and was replaced by a knowledge and intimacy of the tribal spirit world. Colours danced in the darkness and his body thrummed to the beat so that it had been impossible to tell when the gathering and the drumming had truly begun.
Visiting males set the tone, voices rising and falling with the flames from the wood-bed that formed the centre-piece. The shaman danced and chanted, eerie above the deep-throated timbre of the choir, his bones and gourds clinking in the night air. Even the great and ancient forest fell silent as spirits were bid witness and took their place in the trees around them. Beyond the flames that licked and spat he saw the women bring her forth, her body wrapped in furs and her hair brushed straight and clean, flanked by the daughters that she had created and saved for him, that they had named together, each held by another woman of the tribe in honour of their union. But, at that moment, he had eyes only for her.