Wednesday, February 20, 2019

WEP: 28 DAYS

Hello Folks;

Well, I did it; I wrote something new, lol. I've been gone from blogging so long nobody remembers my name. Boohoo!

I've been working a day job, re-writing a couple novels that probably won't ever be published, and wasting time on computer games. Sorry I'm so late in publishing this; but I really didn't have a clue what to write for the WEP/IWSG prompt 28 DAYS.


Details from the Admins:
This prompt came up as a contest winner generated by the IWSG gang – we chose the winner from a whole bunch of creative ideas! Congratulations to long-time WEP participant, Toinette Thomas.
Incorporate 28 days in your entry. It can be the time limit for a task or a challenge. The quantum of growth, a journey, a change, and/or healing that happens in 28 days. Come in with a werewolf entry. Or don’t. Tell us about some other moon phase-based folklore instead. Fashion an epistolary flash as a series of 28 diary entries or postcards. Mainstream, fantasy, romance, travel – all wide open. A lot of things can happen in 28 days!

Write..Edit..Publish joined with the Insecure Writers Support Group last year, but this is the first time I've joined the 1000 word challenge, not just this year (this is the first publication) but since the two events combined. Its really late (or early, after 1am) and I'm too tired to add all the relevant links for this challenge. So click on the WEP link above for your hosts, judges, and the linky list of participants. I gotta be up in a couple hours to work. But don't worry my fellow participants; I will be visiting and commenting over the next few days.

Title: Moon Sacrifice
995 Words
Full Critique Acceptable:

Rough hands dragged Marta out of her satiated sleep and pulled her from the heavy cloak she’d wrapped herself in the night before.

“This one’s pregnant,” a harsh male voice growled as she was hauled to her naked feet.

Barely awake but instantly alert, Marta growled and attempted a fighting stance. Her dark eyes filled with red hatred, nostrils flared to inhale the scent of the enemy, and her feet . . did not stand firm on the ground. Her yelp turned into a grimace of confusion as she lost her equilibrium.

“Look at the fight in her,” a jovial voice called from behind her. “Turn her around, let me see her.”

Marta kicked and flailed as she was spun around, mentally and audibly growling threats of retribution for the attack on her as she snapped at the hands and ropes confining her.

“Beautiful and fertile,” the apparent Mayan leader proclaimed. “She will make an excellent sacrifice to Ix Chel, and our lands will be prosperous in the next months.”

One of the men holding Marta shook her and spoke angrily to the apparent leader. “Cadmael, when we return the sacrifice to Ix Chel will be over. You intend to keep her til next Waning?”

“Yes Gabor,” Cadmael replied. “She shall provide much incentive for our warriors to seek out and obtain more young female conquests over the next moon phases.”

Several men behind Marta howled their approval.

But Gabor shook his head. “She feels, corrupt. We should kill her now, or enslave her. The Gods will not be pleased by her sacrifice.”

“I shall be pleased by her captivity,” the young man holding her left arm said.

Several men behind her agreed with laughter and ribald comments.

“Be still, Hadwin,” Gabor said to the over eager youth. Then he turned his attention to the leader.  “Cadmael, I sense a foreboding within this woman. She is . . not what she seems. No God will approve her sacrifice. I sense she will bring much suffering to our people if we do not . .”

Cadmael raised a large, red painted hand and the men all fell silent. “Her fertility is apparent; she will please the Moon Goddess, and our lands will be blessed. Bind her with metal if you wish to appease your unease; but bring her alive to the Caverns of Sacrifice. I must hurry ahead and prepare for the rituals.” He raised his eyes to unseen company behind Marta and touched his fist to forehead in salute. “Keep faith,” he said, then turned and vanished at a run across the arid hills.

Blood sacrifice, Marta thought, as Hadwin and Gabor lowered her to the ground and held her in place until the shackles and chains were secured around her wrists, waist and ankles. Not silver, she encouraged herself, as her senses quickly engaged.

Ten warriors, all honed and accomplished, dedicated to their Mayan Gods, but more loyal to their leader Cadmael. Marva whimpered in fear while letting her limbs totally relax, forcing her captors to carry her nude and trembling body while her witch’s mind scanned the auras and environment. Ten men and metal bonds were no challenge to her wolf or witch abilities, but she sensed a restraining presence beyond the waning moon. The atmosphere was charged with urgency, an admonition to restrain her desire to escape as she drew in the living energies surrounding her.

Last nights feast sat heavily within her second stomach, unnaturally distending her belly. Alert but resigned to whatever circumstances the guiding forces were leading her into, Marta relaxed between her captors, and entered a deep meditative state that would allow communication with transcendent beings.

Nothing came to her during the three days of travel to the Mayan pyramid. The urgency of travel had kept her captors from defiling her during the nearly constant trek; but the lack of food, water and the waning moon quickly depleted Marta’s natural and extra sensory abilities. Despair also wormed into her senses; despair at the lack of contact with the entities that placed her in this predicament, despair at the usual loss of powers during the waning moon, despair at the lascivious thoughts bombarding her day and night without reprieve. And she wondered; how had the men, Gabon especially with his keen eyes and uncanny insights, not noticed the loss of her pregnant belly?

As she was kicked and dragged into the depths of the sacrificial pyramid, Marta realized that most of her despair emanated from without herself. Locked within the dungeon, the wails of pain and distress nearly drove her insane. She felt the new moon darken and wax to the crescent, and breathed a sigh of relief as her healing powers tingled through her veins. The wails of the surrounding women turned to accolades of love as she healed broken bones, major abrasions, and shattered minds when the guards raped and tortured the sacrifices each evening. She missed her wolf skin cloak; the symbol of her rise to power within her pack and the many kills she’d made securing her position prior to her coven training; but reveled in the energies and gratitude of her captive community.

Something wickedly vengeful seeped into Marta’s soul.

As the weeks passed, Marta grew more and more disembodied from herself. An entity grew powerful within her, disturbing and exhilarating. The being possessing her body shared knowledge that would take centuries for Marta to learn. Yet within 28 day, Marta knew more than all her combined tutors could ever impart.

The full moon brightened and energized Marta’s mind and body. She relinquished control, letting the spirit she now knew as Ix Chel assume control at the height of her season.

By dawn, the heads and hearts of more than a thousand men rode the salty waves of Ix Chel’s cenote; the wails of captive women turned to laments of devotion; and Marta abandoned her wolfish origins for the hierarchy of a coven.

All hail Ix Chel.

35 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

They are in for quite the surprise then when their god stands alive before them - and is angry.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - an interesting take on the 28 days prompt - loved it ... you succeeded I most definitely did not. She has found her way ... clever - cheers Hilary

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Your name is Donna and I remember you. :)

Great ending! I love just desserts. Or deserts. I'm not looking it up. You know what I'm meaning. LOL

Olga Godim said...

Yes, an angry goddess is nothing to trifle with. Those stupid warriors should've been more careful. More respectful too. If they were, they might not have perished at her hand.

N. R. Williams said...

My Donna, your writing is powerful You have grown by leaps and bounds in story craft. This is a great story.
Nancy

Denise Covey said...

Yes, Donna Hole, I will never forget your name no matter how long between posts. And haven't you returned with a bang! Fantastic story, masterfully told through her emotions and determination and openness to the gods. Witchy wolf! Clever manipulation of the prompt, 28 Days.

Great to have you out of hibernation. Enjoy your work and your rewrites! I'd be happy to read for you if you lack betas.

Thanks for participating!

Denise

Jemi Fraser said...

You are always remembered!
Great tale - love the build up and the ending!

Kalpana said...

Wow - this is a fantastic tale - skilfully told - such a pleasure to read.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
I love your descriptions. They drew me in. The cruelty done to women, the ignorance of mankind, all themes that spoke to my heart. You have written an excellent piece for the prompt.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

L. Diane Wolfe said...

They should have listened to Gabor. Prepare for mass destruction.

Michael Di Gesu said...

NICELY DONE!!!!!! You definitely have matured as a writer. This was AMAZING!!!! Great work, Donna!

Debbie D. said...

You have a wonderful imagination and powerful writing style, Donna! It's great to see you back in the Blogosphere. ☺ This story had me enthralled from start to finish. And what a surprise ending!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Whoa. I didn't expect the twist, but you led to it so well throughout the story as she relaxes and listens to the supernatural world around her. I loved how the healing of others strengthens her powers. I was still surprised, but I could see the threads you wound into the story which led her to the final moments and her vengeance as Ix Chel.
Excellent writing!

Christopher Scott Author said...

An imaginative take on the theme. Weaving a strange of vengeance as the hidden nature of Marta comes to life, to her unaware captors. Well done.

L.G. Keltner said...

You certainly have a way with words! You did a great job of setting the scene, and I loved how the story unfolded. Those men sure underestimated who they took. Well done!

Lisa said...

The setting was so very well done and put the reader right in it. I liked this, and her power and all of it! And that you set it during Mayan times, how cool and unique.

dolorah said...

Alex; yep, that was the gist :)

Thanks Hilary

Elizabeth: yep, totally gotcha'

Olga: gotta be careful to worship your Gods correctly.

Hi Nancy. Thank you.

Dx: I have missed writing for these challenges. I think I'm done with my long breaks. Thanks for the beta offer.

Thanks Jemi. I've missed you.

Kalpanaa: thanks for reading

Pat: these are issues close to my heart also.

LDiane: Gods can be vengeful as well as benevolent :)

Michael: thank you. Good luck with your revisions.

He Debbie: thanks for the complements

Ty: one of the few stories I knew exactly what the end would be.

Thanks Chris

LG: a pretty face can be deceptive :)

Li: I wish there was more out there about the Mayans and their dieties. They were fascinating people.

Nick Wilford said...

Lots of great ideas here. Both a werewolf and a witch? They should have known she wasn't to be trifled with. I could see this being extended into a much longer story.

D.G. Hudson said...

Well done, and suitable for followup stories. I especially like the setting of the Mayan culture. Sacrifice and blood offerings are not the career path many of these women would choose. Good luck with your offline work.

cleemckenzie said...

A very exciting twist in this story. You created an unlikely goddess and made her very believable.

Nilanjana Bose said...

A marvellous and fascinating flash - loved the quasi-mythological take on the prompt.

And personally, no question of forgetting you or your name Donna, your encouragement is etched in memory forever.

Gina Gao said...

This is such a good piece, thank you for sharing!

www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

Toi Thomas said...

Welcome back. This is a great take on the prompt and an impressive depiction of ancient Mayan mythology come to life. I love a story that heals and rewards the abused and gives the oppressors just what they deserve. Great entry.

Anstice Brown said...

Fantastic story! I was really rooting for Marta and the ending was really satisfying. The mythological aspects were really interesting. I'd love to read more about these characters.

Pat Hatt said...

Making a goddess angry is never a wise idea.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Wow! I wasn’t expecting that! I love what you did with the prompt. I was rooting for her to use her powers to escape. Then to escape and take all those other women with her. But you did it one better :)

Jemima Pett said...

That's a wonderful piece full of imagery and the sense of a well-built world. Looking forward to more!

Sally said...

Brilliant writing, great story.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I like it! And who could ever forget you?

Thanks for commenting on my blog. Not sure if you saw my reply, but all my books are available in audio, from Beacon Audiobooks or Amazon.

Roland Clarke said...

What an ascendant tale. You used the Mayan elements cleverly from IX Chel to the cenote, creating a tale that captivated me. I studied Meso-American culture at college and loved this take on that world. Well done.

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost (Not Charlotte) said...

I like a good revenge story with a powerful female lead. Well done!

dolorah said...

Nick: that would be a lot of work, lol.

Thanks DG :)

CLee: Thanks for stopping by

Nila: you are simply Marvelous :)

Gina: I will stop by and visit you

Toi: I also love giving abusers what they deserve.

An: I had not thought to take this any farther. Who knows, Marta may show up again. And Ix Chel is an intriguing Goddess.

Pat: I agree, lol

Rebecca: Glad you liked it

Jemima: thanks

Sally: nice to see you again

JH: Sweet, I'll check out your Amazon links for audio.

Roland: There really isn't enough research in this area. Now I know who to go to for brain picking :)

Thanks Cara

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - congratulations on your Achievement Award with this WEP ... and great to have the suggestions of adding more to the story - good luck ... cheers Hilary

Michelle Wallace said...

I’m still doing the WEP rounds. Better late than never, right?

I don't really know about the Mayan culture... but this story was fascinating.
Powerful writing, Donna!

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats on your well-deserved WEP award!