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Sunday, April 22, 2018

The First European- 20,000 B.C.

The First European- 20,000 B.C.

This is my latest book- a fantasy novella, yet I think it has lots of evolutionary ancestral ideas baked right into it.  Here is the first chapter for you- see if you like it:

I was on watch, for my tribe- the Moon Tribe.  I sat outside of the campfire, beyond the shelter of our cave, with my flint spear close to my hand.  As Wotan, in my 25th year, I was the pride of my tribe- this is not an empty boast, I was strongest by far, and always called upon for guard duty, and any other thing that was dangerous.  
As I looked out over the cool night, I watched for any signs of the invaders.  Many there had been, more and more.  Gonga, our medicine woman and the leader of our tribe, had told me that in the past, there were only the Moon People.  Other tribes there were as well, but they were as we are- fair of skin, and bright of eye.  But the dark invaders had come, and kept coming.  
They were tall, and swift in running, swifter than the folk of the Moon!  My friend, D’aan, he said that they were swift of foot, but they were weak, weaker than a woman of the Moon.  I only knew that they were endless; they came from the far south, into our wonderfully cool land- and they wanted to take it.
So I thought, as I sat gazing out over the moonlit landscape, so lit by our goddess, the Moon Woman.  Sometimes she was full and round, as if to bear a child, and then the night sky was bright and happy, as is an expectant mother.  That is when it was easy to be on watch, for all was easily seen.
Tonight, the Moon Goddess was skinny and small, like a curve of pale silver in the sky; and I was sad, for soon she would disappear for several nights altogether, leaving her people alone.  These were the worst of times for watching at night, and for our tribe.  Often, we would wonder ‘Will she come back?’  But, as Gonga always said, we were silly children, for the Moon Mother always came back, and got bigger and bigger once again.

I saw a flash of something then, something that made me intent.  A flash of ebon limbs, glowing briefly in the feeble crescent moonlight.  I picked up my heavy spear with the thick flint blade I had carved out, and went forward silently.  I can be utterly silent when I so desire, my leather clad feet gliding over the rocky landscape like a caribou.  I crouched, waiting.
A shape shot before me, and I moved to the side, quickly.  Most of my people are strong, but they are not really quick, or fast.  My mother told me I am of another lineage, from long ago, when some of the invaders mixed with my ancestors, on one of their forays here.  I don’t like that I am similar to the invaders in some ways, but I do like it that I have some of their abilities- nay- all of their abilities- and more!
The slender spear shot past me, striking a rock face to the side, splintering the narrow spear shaft.  For the dark ones, though weaker, can throw thin shafts long distances, with uncanny accuracy.  They are unmanly warriors, I think, for they kill from far away, rather than being brave, and fighting one-on-one, where the mightiest prevails.  But, they do have this dubious ability, and it is devastating to my people.
But I have it too!  I snarled briefly to myself, and then stopped abruptly.  I may be able to throw a spear like the invaders, but I also have their savage viciousness and savagery, I will admit.  I keep it in abeyance amongst my peaceful, wonderful people- but when it is needed, I let it come forth!  Like now, when I feel my blood stirred up from attack, and I want only to protect my Moon People against those dark ones-
All at once, there he is- one of the invaders, standing upright as they all do, with another slim spear at the ready.  His spear is like a small rod, really, with a tiny, ever-so-sharp flint tip- it almost looks like a toy, until you see how they can throw it swiftly and accurately, going right through the heart of caribou or Moon Folk alike.  
He looks supremely confident- they usually do.  These thick-lipped, dark-skinned invaders look at us as if we are animals- once again, I involuntarily snarl in rage.  He hears me, and looks suddenly directly at me- I have unconsciously risen, and am staring at him challengingly.  He stares back, surprised.
These folk are tall, much taller than my own peaceful people.  They look down on my people, feeling empowered by their height, and enjoy killing them needlessly, though there is space and land enough for all.  So says my chief, the Great Grandmother of my tribe, and she is right.  I will protect her!
With a slight smile, the black-skin- we call them Nubians, after the land from which they come- looks at me with a confident, superior smile.  Then, he backs off, warily, readying his spear.  He has noticed that, unlike most of my folk, I am at least as tall as he.
No- taller!  I laugh, and now he backs up, afraid at last.  Another of his people comes up beside him, and then another- this is, indeed, one of the Nubian’s endless robbery and invasion attempts.  It is as if the great cave cat had come against my people, the saber tooth as he is called, and I feel as I did when I had slain such a great cat, not that long ago.  My people still sing of it, saying I am the only one of the Moon People to ever kill one of those terrible cat people.  I did, and I still bear the many scars of slaying that mighty warrior of the felines- I honor his brave spirit, and my future women will sing of him,

With a laugh of defiance and anger, I run swiftly towards the invaders.  I hold my spear overhead, shouting in rage.
I see them freeze.  My people are not tall, but they are mighty thewed, with arms that could snap the thin arms of the invaders easily- if only they could get close.  They rarely do, since their run is shambling; their legs short, although powerful.  And, they cannot raise a spear above their heads to throw!
No, strange as it is to me, they can only hold their heavy spears down by their sides, to thrust and stab.  However it may be, their arms are not constructed to lift overhead, and throw with a twisting motion for a distance.  Only the Nubians, those dark invaders hold this power to so devastate a superior rival, animal or human, with this craft or guile. But I am different- I am Wotan, a mix of the hated invaders and my own wonderful Moon folk.  And so, I was equipped to take vengeance!
Another spear shot towards me, a quick throw from one of the invaders.  I evaded it as I ran, and then threw my own spear.  My spear was twice the weight and size of those used by my attackers, and I’m sure they never even considered that I could actually throw it, as of course my people could not do so.  But I did, powerfully.
My spear not only pierced enough to gain the heart, as did those thrown by the invaders, but heavy and hard-thrown as it was, I knocked the one backwards enough that he knocked over the man behind him.  My spear went entirely through the first man’s body, and right into the second!  It was not enough to kill the second outright, but he fell to the earth with a horribly shocked expression on his face.
But I was used to such expressions from the invaders- I plunged ahead at top speed, right at my original antagonist, who had thrown his slender spear at me.  Another thing about me: my speed is even faster than that of the invaders, who scoff at the speed of the Moon folk.  
He was so shocked, he never really moved.  He just froze, as I ran up and looked down at him with my bright blue eyes.  I smiled, but not in a friendly manner, but more how I felt every time I saw one of these invader folk that seemed determined to stamp out the tribes of the friendly, welcoming, intelligent and peaceful people within whose tribe I had been raised.
To his credit, he drew a flint knife at his side, stabbing murderously upwards towards me.  My smile widened into a savage grimace as, noting his attack, I grabbed his head, twisting it violently.  He dropped his knife, and as he did so I literally tore his head off of his shoulders.  
The other dark man was struggling to rise, pushing his dead brethren’s body off him desperately as he rose up to stand.  He readied his spear against me, and so, wielding the detached head of his cohort, I brained him with it.  He fell, never to rise again.
As I say, I am not like the others of my people.  I have their red hair, white skin, and light eyes, as well as their powerful physiques.  In that, I am unmistakably of the Moon Tribe, and for that I thank the Moon Goddess Losna!  
But, as I said- I am tall, taller than the Nubian invaders even, and much stronger.  I can run as fast, nay faster than most, and can throw not only like them, but my spears fly farther and faster, while also being much heavier.  None of this is to brag; in fact, for most of my youth I was ashamed of my abilities, and tried to hide them.  But Great Grandmother noticed, and taking me aside, sat me down in the mouth of her own special, sacred cave that faced the nighttime moon space in the sky.
“Wotan,” she said in her musical voice, “you are a special boy.”  At the time I was only 12 or 13 yearly cycles of the seasons.  Already I was as tall as most of the men in our tribe, and heavier limbed than many of them as well.  I had begun to wrap the heavy skins that we wore as clothing about me to conceal this fact, of which I was ashamed.  
Great Grandmother, who was the priestess and the chief of our tribe together, sang then to me, her long, straight white hair framing her face and flowing down her back.  Our people are a musical, poetic folk, who live to tell our stories beneath the light of our sacred moon goddess.  Her song revealed to me her thoughts, as she was an accomplished singer and poet, and she so revealed more in her song than any could simply by speech alone.  I understood, and nodded to her in gratitude.  
My abilities were a gift, granted to me by the Moon Goddess, great Losna!  Never more did I hide my great frame, or slump to conceal my height.  Now I was proud- Losna had given me these things, to help and protect my people!  
I told all of this to my good friend, N’desh, who I had known since birth.  My own mother had died in childbirth, and I suspected that it was because of my own size even then that she did not survive.  N’desh and his mother, M’lani, and father Bron had taken me in, as had the rest of the tribe.  The Moon People are really one large family; no one is alone here.  The women rule, and they rule in amity and love, as a loving family beneath only the wise counsel of Losna, the moon, and her voice on this earth, Great Grandmother Gonga.
But now, as I said, I am in my 25th cycle, and Gonga has made me her war leader, which I have been since I was 16 summers.  It is summertime once again in the great land of the Moon folk, where we have lived forever.  And in summertime come the invasions from the south, of the Kushites of the dark skin, who come to kill us, and take our mammoth meat, loot our caves, and kill our people!
As always, when I think of this, I grow angry, which is something the rest of my tribe seems seldom to do.  In this way too I am different.