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My head jolted up to the sound of the birds flying from the trees and off towards the south. My eyes flew around looking for any sort of movement, a reason why the birds were so afraid. It had to be around here somewhere. The sun was lowering down towards the Earth, I wouldn’t have that much longer to complete my Quest.


My aksha (father) the chief, had told me I had 6 moons to find it, after 5 moons I had started to become restless that I would fail and let down my tribe, Earlier this morning I had finally caught sight of it and since then had been very close on it’s tail. Awhile ago I had lost it again, my skills are a tracker were failing me.  I punched my first into a tree sending even more birds scattering towards the south with their kin.

Saying a silent prayer to the Mother, I apologized for harming one of her creatures.


This is the final test you need to finish to prove to the other elders you are fit to rule the unified tribes. I know that you have it inside of yourself Kaliska but you let your emotions rule you, do not feed  the emotions that will lead you to Nobowega (the spirit of darkness).


My aksha’s words rang through my ears like the sound of a war drum. Steady, yet dangerously pounding into my heart pushing me to move forward.


I could do this.


I dropped my bow to the ground and pulled myself down to the Earth to sit. I was taught this was the best way to be closest to the Mother. I took a deep breath and tried to focus on her around me. I had never asked her for help when it came to hunting but maybe….just maybe that was the point of this quest. To learn to ask for help. And right now I definitely needed it.


As I sat there for a few moments I felt nothing. My head was quiet and my body shivered as the wind flowed around me. I grunted in annoyance.


This is never going to work.


I thought to myself and a second later I felt it. The pull of everything around me. The life force that fueled my tribe and all of the ones around us. The Mother.


She flowed in the wind that whipped my hair, she breathed through the Earth that grasped my feet in it’s warm mossy blanket. She was speaking to me. For once I could hear her actually speaking to me. Maybe she had always been, trying to get words into my hard head but I never listened, I never focused. I needed to focus. I needed her now, I needed her guidance, because I couldn’t hunt this on my own.


So I let her speak to my heart. I stood silently, until all of the noise seemed to fade away from me and I was left with my own heart beat.


Dun Dun


Dun Dun


Dun Dun




My head flew to the side and in front of me I saw a deer. It’s eyes wide but not in fear. I stood up and dropped into a defensive stance, hesitant for some reason to approach it. It’s eyes looked...human to me. They were so wide and bright, they looked like that had seen many things. Shrugging off my fear I took a step forward half expecting it to run from me but it didn’t. Instead it just stared at me, as I walked closer and closer.


When I was only a few paces away I noticed something I hadn’t before, there was something on the deers face. I squinted trying to make out exactly what it was and jumped back when I saw it. A third eye sat on top of its forehead. I rubbed my eyes and then looked again wondering if the Mother was playing tricks on me because of my refusal to trust her in many aspects of my existence. When I looked again, sure enough it was still there. blinking staring at me. I was about a foot away from the deer now,  I leaned down trying to stare into the eye to see if maybe there was something in it that I needed to see.


That was a lie I just needed to be closer to believe, to trust what I was seeing was real. I glanced once at the deer to make sure that it was alright and didn’t feel in danger and then I stared down into the eye. It was a different color than the deep dark brown of the other two, it was blue on the inside and green on the out. The colors hypnotically dragged me in….I was falling into….I didn’t really know what but whatever the feeling was I wanted to bask in that moment, and then I saw it. In the reflection of that third eye I saw my quest.


I heard a growl behind me and I prepared to turn around and face it when I felt a giant paw tear into my back. I winced and flew to the side, trying to roll myself out of it but failing when I realized that damage it had caused was deeper than I had expected. I looked up and watched as the giant brown bear roared at me and began to charge. I slowly started to stand up to test if I could still move. When I realized I was just in a lot of pain and not completely out of  the fight I stood straight. The bear was only a few feet from me, I grabbed the knife out of my aklah (belt) and flipped it around so that the blade was facing me. As the bear dove I dodged and stabbed firmly in the lower left thigh. It roared and flew past me. I ran in the other direction trying to give myself a little more space between me and it.


I looked around the forest floor for my bow silently cursing that I had even put it down for a second. The bear’s eyes shot around until they found me a couple of feet away from him, I didn’t have much time. I dove down for my bow at around the same time the bear decided to charge agin. I grabbed it in my hand and lifted it up only to see another claw driven down into my bow, splintering it in front of me. I flew back making sure that I didn’t get hit by it again, next time I would not be so lucky to survive. I flipped my knife again reassuring myself that I could still do this even without my bow I was a warrior and warriors didn’t give up. I growled at the bear, letting it know that I would not back down in this fight. I could feel the muscles in my thighs tensing up, my body understanding that it was about to go through a hard fight. I launched myself a the bear ducking underneath the first claw and trying to swat away the second with my arm. I was met by a painful tearing in my arm and across my face as the paw flew itself past me. I took the few seconds that I had left to shove my knife into the chest of the bear.


It roared and I felt it’s hard moving back to finish off the work they had started in making me into a crekna. I quickly tore out the knife and stabbed into the bear again closer to where I figured its heart would be, making it recoil in pain for another second. I tore then quickly slicing open its chest. One claw swiped wildly and caught me in my leg. I could feel the warm flow of blood start to trickle down my body. I couldn’t pay attention to it a warrior didn’t fret about such things. To bleed in battle was an honor. To die in battle well...that was what tribes sung songs about.


But I can’t die here.


When I had cut a hole large enough I dropped my knife and pushed by hand into it. I fumbled around reaching for it, begging that the Mother would help me find it. I couldn’t feel my leg anymore. I wanted to panick to jump off and run back to my aksha letting him know that I wasn’t good enough. That I wasn’t brave enough.  The bear reared back panicking that I was inside of it reaching around invading everything that it was.  I felt its claws coming back for me, and I knew  this was it. I was going to become one with the Earth again and the I felt it.


Like the last bit of a fire, trying to stay alight before the darkness finally takes it. Like the final whisper of  a kin before they return to the Mother. Something inside of me pulling me, guiding me. It was her.


Dun Dun


Dun Dun


Like the beat of the war drums I felt it. Grabbed it and pulled. The bear shrieked and fell onto it’s back as I pulled its heart out. I gasped and rolled off of the bear, the sticks and leaves dug themselves into the giant gash that now marked my back. Before I forgot I threw the heart into my napka (thing holder).


Well at least I can show these scars off to the watunda (male warrior) of the tribe.


I moaned as I looked up to see the sun slowly about to sleep behind the mountains. I needed to make it back to the village. My arms pushed my body up almost on their own will and I somehow managed to stand up. My eyes found their way back to the deer that I had been staring at just a few moments later.


“Were you going to help me at all? Or were you just going to stand there?” I asked it knowing that it wouldn’t be able to respond to me, but I was hurt and angry. It stared back at me, not moving and I just got angrier. I didn’t have time for this I needed to get back to my village I would only have about an hour left before I would fail and control of the tribes would go to Kanupka. And giving control to him would doom us all, he wanted to let the ‘white man’ onto our lands. He wanted to convince the tribes they came in peace to share our lands. My aksha and I knew different they only wanted to take what was ours…..we knew.


I slowly started to trudge my way back North towards the village. I would be lying if I said I didn’t glance back once or twice to see if that stupid deer was following me. When I noticed it wasn’t the anger that flared up in me pushed me to walk faster. I started seeing shadows appear from  the trees, my body became frantic. I started to cough the amount of blood I had lost was a lot. How I was even able to keep walking I had no idea but I pushed, probably from my own stubbornness to not want to meet the Mother just yet.


Who knew how long I walked for when I saw the clearing that my village was in. My aksha waited for me at the entrance of the city, I could see him but he couldn’t see me yet. I stepped out of the trees to call out to him, not knowing how much farther I could walk.


“Aksha! Aksha!” I tried to call out, my voice overtaken by exhaustion. I struggled to hold myself up any longer and I held myself up against the tree. Frantically I looked up at the sun, but it wasn’t there. It had disappeared behind the mountain. I watched my aksha’s face go from hopefulness to disappointment. I was so close, I wanted to hug him.


No aksha! Look at me please! I’m right here I made it! Look, just look over here please!


I wanted to cry out to him, to let him know that I had finished my quest but I couldn’t. I had come this far! This far and I failed….at the very end. I had failed my people. Pushing myself off the tree I started to walk out into the clearing when I felt something grab me and pull me back. I reached for the tree, trying to grab ahold my nails broke off as I was pulled farther back into the forest. The last thing I saw was my aksha walking away back into the village, turning around one last time in my direction but not seeing me. Before walking away.


No! No!


I screamed at myself before I was turned around to face whatever it was that was pulling me. At first they looked like demons, they didn’t have faces at least I didn’t think they did. There was no noses or hair, it was smooth like a stone and the eyes looked….they looked not right. I wanted to fight back but I was so tired. So very tired. All I could do was watch as they threw something into the air and it bursted like a fire before turning into…..I had never seen anything like it before. It looked like what you might see after you died. It was beautiful there was so many lights, so many things I had never seen before I tried to take it all in before I was hit and then there was darkness.


The last thing I heard before succumbing was a small faint voice in my head.


You must fight my Daughter, the Nyx are coming….

The Nyx are coming….

Submitted: December 25, 2015

© Copyright 2021 ShakeilKanish. All rights reserved.


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Add Your Comments:



Wow, this flowed really well. It seemed sad how he just left, not realizing she had almost made it. That deer was creepy, it even had a third eye!

Sat, December 26th, 2015 4:04am


What a lovely chapter. I genuinely enjoyed it, and she is such a powerful character. While Kaliska did lose faith in that moment, she still managed to prove herself as an amazing warrior. Honestly, I can't wait to read her next chapter.

Sat, December 26th, 2015 1:36pm


One thing that I could point out with this chapter and Topaz's chapter, was the fact that this chapter actually had a different language, which I thought was great. I found that the feel of her time zone and the place in which she lived in was well done too. Voting on these chapters are all JUST SOOO HARD!!!! But serious, great chapter :)

Mon, December 28th, 2015 10:21pm

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