Thursday, February 21, 2013

Maria's Song, Chapter #2: A World of Their Own

This week's Trifecta challenge is to use the third definition of the word, "Exhaust."

I have chosen to accomplish this challenge by writing the beginning of the second chapter of my story called, "Maria's Song."  A short summary of the story to date is this:

A young girl named Laura receives a doll from her grandparents for her birthday. She pulls the string on the back of the doll and, instead of receiving the expected greeting, Laura and her family hear the frightened words of a young girl in a language they don't understand.  The language is Portuguese (although they haven't discovered that yet) and the voice coming from the doll says that her name is Maria and that she is trapped where she is.  
Laura decides to keep the doll, even though she doesn't understand what it is saying.  The rest of the chapter shows us what a nice home Laura has and how loving her family is to each other.

Maria's Song, Chapter #1:  It's Just What I Wanted!  can be read here.

Maria's Song, Chapter #1, (conclusion):  It's Just What I Wanted!  can be read here.

Today, we travel to South America and begin piecing together the back story of the girl behind the voice in Laura's doll.  Enjoy.

Chapter #2:  A World of Their Own

Theirs was a world of green.

A world that pulsated and breathed
with the life force of three quarters
of all life forms on the planet!

Their village, their cidade natal,
built on a plateau
by a bend in the river.
Constructed of samauma wood and assai palms.
Decorated with fingers of sunlight
that danced under the canopy's sway.
A world of its' own
amid worlds of many.

A brother and his sister.
Lightly clothed.
Moving, nimbly and purposefully,
Through the forest in search of bananas.

The women;
Preparing fish, plantains and cassava
in the village centre.
The aroma,
attracting the chattering classes of the animal kingdom
to the perimeter of the village.

The Chief;
face freshly painted,
piercings adjusted.
Soon the men in the big boat will come.
The feast will begin.
The offering made.

The boy and his sister
dancing in and out of lengthening shadows.
Their baskets filling with bananas.
One last bunch to be harvested.
The boy reaches in.
He feels the spider before seeing it.
Toxins surge into his hand.
Paralysis grips his body.
His scream, trapped.

The girl drops her basket,
Her brother contorts and chokes.
The venom ravaging his brain.
His last thought before dying;
at least he won't have to get on that boat.

The blast from a ship's horn
A sister's grief placed on hold.
Leaving his body amid the bananas.
She races to the village.

In tears, a woman leaves her cooking pot.
Running madly
to the forest.
To her son;
one final embrace,
fuelled with a mother's love
that Fate could not exhaust.

The big boat rounds the bend
Full crew manning the rails.
Guns at the ready.
Uniforms buttoned
In spite of the oppressive heat.

The Chief looks to the boat.
Then, to the girl,
"Maria! You must take your brother's place."
Maria falls to her knees.
The drums sound anew.
The boat drops anchor.
The feast has begun.


  1. You created such a vivid setting with this!

    1. Coming from the Master of creating vivid settings, this is, indeed, a compliment. Thanks! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Well, it is the Amazon Rainforest, after all! :) Hard not to be drawn in to the habitat. Glad you thought I did an ok job. :)

  3. Such an original idea, and beautifully done

    1. Thank you very much for your kind words. They are gratefully appreciated. :)

  4. Such a beautiful place, yet so many tragedies. And that threatening boat. Loved the fingers of sunlight.

    1. This story is meant to be for children in grades 4-6. I hope that I am able to maintain the quality of this scene because kids deserve rich literature, too. So, for now, my Marie....the little girl in the blue dress from the last photo challenge.....faces a future very different from that of Laura. Eager to continue on with the story. Thanks for your encouragement.

  5. You've written a vivid tale. I felt i was right there. I'm guessing you've been to a place like this or studied about it. Very well done.

    1. Glad to hear that you were drawn into this world. That was my hope by focussing on the visual nature of the environment. Haven't been to the Rainforest but would love to go there. :)