Total Wordcount: 13, 284 (includes the part written before SocNoc - 4143 words)
A goodly amount achieved today, given that it was also International Drawing Day and I also coloured up five Art Cards as well. And might make more before the day is through. But it's getting a bit chillier up in my office, so I might move downstairs, turn the heater on and watch "Bolt".
Off to a slow start, but gained momentum when I decided to write about the maki Naming Ceremony. Young maki are not named until they are five months old, as infant death is all-too-common.
Most of the maki had gathered by now – some perching in the trees, others crouched on the ground. There was a large, empty patch of sand on front of them. This was where the ceremony would take place.
Rat-rap-tap. One of male maki began beating a stick against a goat-skin drum. Another joined him, and a third picked up the tune of a complicated string instrument, called a valiha. It made a sort of discordent, twanging sound.
After three beats, several of the females ourside the ring jumped up and sprang into the sand. They began leaping and twirling around each other. Their brightly coloured lambas flapped about them. Then they paused and drew back, forming a line across the far side of the open area.
The music stopped. For a moment, silence fell.
“Bring in the kits,” boomed a loud and powerful voice from behind the line of dancers.
Reniko stepped forward from the audience, her lambas wrapped close about her. With an easy motion, she whipped it from about her shoulders and placed it on the ground. The twins, who had been clinging to her sides, now jumped onto it. They crouched low, looking somewhat overwhelmed at all the attention. Reniko dropped to all fours, and walked back to join the audience.
The dancers stepped to one side, and a strange creature walked between them. It had the body of a lemur, but the skeletal head of a bird. Great feathery wings draped over its shoulders. Aurelia shivered, suddenly glad that she was far up the tree and not having to face this spectacle herself.
Little brother shrieked. Little sister laughed and cuffed him in the head. “Be silent,” she hissed. It was little more than a whisper, but everyone heard it. Karazana chuckled and shook her head, amused.
The figure walked to stand before the kits and then stood up. Little brother jumped and tried to hide behind his sister, but she pushed him back into place.
Aurelia smiled. It wasn't a monster at all – it was just another maki, wearing a bird skull and a cloak of feathers. Nothing scary about that.