He genuinely wanted these two to pass the Bloodkooma Rite of Age. If they did, they might retrieve an Escopu egg. As a Chosen Child, he had never received an initiation ceremony during first puberty, as Patcha and Kooteeck would when and if their quest was completed. The ceremony for Bloodkoomas was quite different; instead of enduring a physical change to represent their transition into adulthood, they had the opportunity to find an Escopu egg, the ultimate sign of redemption. Or so the legend went. … More The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part II)
“Why should we care about what’s forbidden? Think of how they treat us here! Would a chance at peace not be better?”
“Better than food, than shelter, than an education?” The taller demanded, “Would risking burning be worth it? You must have lost too much blood in that garden, but I trust Master Awkaseesa. She wouldn’t need to riddle you with such scars if you would do as you’re told. It does not take very much intelligence to do as you’re told.”
“You know, I do apologize if the funeral song seems ill-timed now. I wasn’t aware that your friend was injured.”
No, I think the song was for you, Kooteeck thought threateningly. But she held her tongue in her mouth and her fist at her side. She knew nothing of fighting, anyway. It would be more effective to just leave the man in the dirt.
“So rude of me not to introduce myself. My name is Hiyee.”
“Isn’t that a woman’s name?”
“It’s anything you want it to be, young lady,” he said, seeming to not detect the insult. “It’s my apodo. My full name is KuyuKoosee Hiyee Ica Mex. But everyone calls me Hiyee.”
“What did you do to earn a name like that as your apodo?” Kooteeck wondered, somewhat dreading the answer.
“Well, you see I once had a sister by the name of Hiyee. The poor girl had a set of twins with eyes just like hers. She tried to hide them, but one look and everyone knew they were Bloodstealers. She tried to darken their glasunes and even blind them, but it was no use.”
“The Bloodkoomas have been taken to where that life resides,” the Escopu growled. “If you find them and do not join them, they will kill you. If you do not find them, you will die. I can take you to the, and spare your life. Do you really want to die for mankind when its age will soon catch up to it? Don’t be stupid, Chosen Child. You have been raised to serve the gods and your ancestors, but soon they will all be powerless compared to those who remain alive. You can be a king in the new age. All you have to do is exactly what I say.”
Mawnco’s skin crawled at the Escopu’s words. He refused to even consider the possibility that they were true…except that the Escopu obviously knew where the Bloodkoomas were. … More The Night Panther (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.5)
“Shh!” Mawnco cut her off as they came to a sudden stop, and all at once everything was silent. Although they lacked breath, they did not dare give away any hint of shallow breathing. Absolutely nothing stirred, though the distant grunts of the searchers lingered.
“What do you think it is?” Mawnco said in the darkness as the starlight vanished once again.
“Think what is?” Patcha wondered.
“That! On the ground.”
“I don’t see anything because I don’t have a torch,” Areesee snapped back.
Then the cloud cover shifted again, and a sheen of light caught Kooteeck’s eyes. Mawnco was some ways ahead of where the three girls pressed up against the walls of a long-hall, standing over a small puddle that had accumulated in a muddy patch of ground where the cobblestones broke in the street. Kooteeck saw nothing special about it, and it certainly did not emit any light besides the reflection of the star-shine. Except that the puddle was a deep indigo color.
“Calm down, Mawnco, it’s just a puddle,” Patcha assured him. “But there seems to be an inconsistency with what color it should be and what color it is.”
“The ink!” Areesee announced.
“And next to the ink…?” Mawnco offered hesitantly. The girls’ eyes wandered to see a large paw print beside broken glass. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 7: The Chase
The Janpee stepped atop the Chakana, his sandals making dull thuds against the marble as he climbed to the top tier. He placed a red bead on each semicircle around the hollow square. They began to glow with the fading light, and suddenly the green splotches of the marble began to glow bright as fire. Once the tablets were all glowing orange, the Janpee collected the beads and threw them into the hollow center. He stepped down, and indicated for the four to ascend.
Patcha and Kooteeck followed Mawnco and Areesee’s lead, quickly climbing the slippery, but surprisingly lukewarm, tiers. Patcha gasped at the top when she saw that the hollow center now swirled with orange mist, like the silt of a fiery river. Areesee, without hesitation, dropped down into the mist, and disappeared. There was no sound to indicate a person hitting any sort of ground. Patcha felt her stomach clench. There was no sign of her at all. She had never seen magic of this sort in all her life, nor heard tales of it. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 6.5: The Fields of Innocence
The next thing they knew, the dancers were bowing, adults were clapping, and young children were carrying bowls of stew out to Klimans all over the tree. Dozens of skillful, grinning young faces, overjoyed by simply being helpful. Many of them raced each other to see who could deliver the most wooden bowls to the various homes on a bough. Many children even intercepted the recipients of the meal by giving bowls to the residents of a platform that dangled between two branches, stealing the opportunity of the children on the other branch from delivering the food. Chroma chuckled as she watched. … More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 10
“I mean it’s incredible that the Lavakoomas could have such precision in making lines in the earth — and everything else they’re doing. I find it even more incredible that they could learn such a detailed system and utilize it flawlessly in such a short amount of time. But it’s very important to know if all of the Bloodkoomas are being held together. If they are, we simply need to contact all the others and tell them to investigate the nearest lake, and the rest can move in.”
“Except that they’ll never listen,” Areesee added, finally pulling Mawnco’s gaze away from the field.
Mawnco snorted, a tiny shadow of a scowl creeping across his upper lip. “I’ll make them listen.” … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 6: Atok
The last rope bridge sloped downward, but not enough to bring it all the way to the forest floor. Instead, it sloped downward just enough to rest among the branches of a tree as wide as it was tall. The diameter from the northernmost to the southernmost leaves must have matched that of a small town. The massive tree formed an expansive clearing beneath it, holding back competing trees and blocking sunlight to the plants below.
Between its boughs, countless meshes of planks and organic matter formed platforms where people lounged, worked, and played. The central crook of the tree was in sight, and had been partially hollowed out and lined with stones to form a large fire pit, above with hung a collection of spits as long as a hull of the Gladiator.
The color orange was everywhere: in the watercups that grew along the branches of the tree; in the paint coating the wood and various wooden bowls, toys, and instruments of Klima; in every single person’s clothing; and in the large banners hanging from the side of each bridge leading to the town. … More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 9
Patcha dreamt that the Time of Chaos had arrived, and there was no Flood in sight. The dried-blood sky during the Time of Chaos seemed distorted like water, brittle like wood, and shiny like marble. Strange entities and gods roamed the sunless region above, made visible now that blue or black skies no longer separated Kai from Hanan. She was atop the Capital Volcano, with nothing but deformed skeletons surrounding her. The buildings themselves were rotting, and the ice and lava of the volcano rolled around her feet. Below her, rivers were dry, plants were decaying, and no animal, big or small, fierce or tame, was anywhere to be spotted. The only movement was of the black earth, beneath which the Lavakoomas were stirring. She saw great mounds of earth the size of entire villages move below her, guided by the Lavakoomas. The upturned earth, which smoldered with the fires of Uku, formed symbols that only Patcha could read. Each and every one of them read: Revenge. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 5: The Shack of Power and Games