Rain Riddles (Flood Thieves Chapter 9)

“I once met an astounding quintet of upstanding councilwomen in the South,” he began. Mawnco felt his facial muscles relax with interest as he realized that Hiyee may have actually gathered untold Rain Riddles in his travels. “Each had a single pet, and no two councilwomen had the same type of pet. You’ve seen all these pets before. Each of the five pets was a single solid color: white, green, yellow, red, and violet. They are not dyed, and they are always seen together except for the red one, which only appears when all but the green one disappear. The yellow one cannot be seen at night. The councilwomen must revive this pet from the old one every year in the South Season.” … More Rain Riddles (Flood Thieves Chapter 9)

The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part II)

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)

The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part I)

“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.”

More The Chamber of Sleeping Flame (Flood Thieves Chapter 8, Part I)

Hiyee (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.75)

“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.”

More Hiyee (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.75)

The Flood Thieves Chapter 6: Atok

“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 Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 9

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

The Flood Thieves Chapter 5: The Shack of Power and Games

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

The Flood Thieves Chapter 4.5: The Hwaca

You dare leave your fellows during the Time of Chaos? the voices boomed. Though they did not grow louder, their tone grew harsher.

We have to. There’s a quest. My sister’s been summoned.

Yet you have not, Kooteeck Mapa Ango Char. Does your family not need comfort during this perilous time? Are you so impertinent to suggest you know what is best for them?

No, Kooteeck conceded, deciding to remain silent for some time. But the Hwaca still did not respond. Please, Hwaca of Raua, I humbly ask your permission to embark on this quest. My sister needs my help. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 4.5: The Hwaca

The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 7

Emerging one by one from the large mouth of the cave, they stood on the inward side of the mountain. As Klyra and Chroma blinked repeatedly, desperately, the scene unfolded in front of them. Like a rolling sea, a homogenous sea of treetops stretched just below them. The clouds spilling over the lower mountain pass to their right were letting a curtain of rain fall even as they watched, making it look like the gray bodies were smearing downwards. A few rainbows caught the yellowing light of the afternoon from behind the tips of the mountains, forming colorful bridges down into the treetops. A flock of birds took flight from just beyond the storm, and the girls watched as they began making their way around the gigantic bowl as large as their entire home island.

“The bridge is down there,” Yim said, starting her trek down a steep, grass-coated path towards a decrepit, fallen tree that was connecting the middle of the canopy to their mountainside.

“I kind of wish Flor was here to see this,” Klyra breathed.

“Yeah, if she was here we’d have time to stop and see it,” Chroma agreed, beginning to follow Yim down the less-dense path that was evidently too steep for anything to grow.

“I — I can’t believe my eyes,” Klyra said, not budging from where she was.

Chroma glanced behind her, and then back at the view of the entire inner island of Klima. “Yes, it’s far better than the sketches my uncle used to bring me. Our journey’s going to be full of sights like this.”

“Aren’t you the least bit impressed?” Klyra demanded, half-laughing. There were tears in her eyes.

Chroma glanced away. “Like I said, I’ve seen sketches before. Being a princess has its perks. Now come on, we’ve got a teammate to save, and we’ve got plenty of time to come back here. You need to watch where you put your feet.” … More The Hundred Foot Drop of Klima — Scene 7

The Flood Thieves Chapter 4: The World is Shaken

“This can’t be a coincidence,” Mawnco told her. He glanced over at Chusku. He was trying hard to light a pile of wood atop the temple to signal the other villages nearby to send a Runner. He had apparently expended all of his energy searching for the boys, and so was attempting to light the wood with red magic.

“I apologize ahead of time for whatever consequences there might be, but I officially recruit you on my quest,” Mawnco said to Patcha. “Both of you. I need your knowledge of the symbols if I’m going to find them.” … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 4: The World is Shaken