I'm terrable at making these paragraph things work. Don't mock me. Anyways, this is my entry for the The TLG Fanfic Challenge Reloaded, Battle of the OC's.
A small patch of light illuminated the dark forest. Crickets chirped their happy little songs while the breeze blew
through the leaves and grass. A small stream in the distance flowed quickly down the mountain.
A young girl of only eleven ran through the mossy woods to her tribe. A small branch hooked itself onto her hide dress and managed to
tip through the skins. The girl was already covered in mud and she was soaked beyond belief.
The trees were becoming less dense, and a large meadow was coming into view. Wigwams of the tribe were
being set up. The tribe was a traveling one, they moved from place to place as the game began to lower or move to a new location.
"Shinew!" called an elderly woman's voice from the heart of the tribe. "Shinew, where are you?"
The girl sped up, and skidded to a stop in front of the woman. She bowed slightly.
"I am sorry, Grandmother," she apologized.
"Shinew, I told you not to go into the forest many times before. The forest is for men, not for woman.
We gather herbs and fruits in the meadows. The men hunt in the woods. I do not want you in the forest again."
"But Grandmother, something is in there." Shinew argued, pointing towards the trees.
"Something in there isn't natural. I know it to be true Grandmother. I've heard it at night.
Among the crickets and owls songs, there is a noise unlike any other. A noise I've never heard before. It's different,
it's not a noise of the forest."
Shinew's grandmother gave her one final look telling Shinew to go and help the women
look after the children. Shinew sulked towards the circle of wigwams where the children
played with their homemade toys. The small native children saw her coming and dropped
their toys and ran towards her. Shinew put on a smile as her knees were being squeezed
together in many hugs. Small hands grabbed her own and pulled her towards the play area.
As Shinew played the children's games, she could not shake the thought of something not
natural in the forest. She felt as if it was something that The Creator hadn't made or hadn't wanted to be created.
The sun began to set in West. Shinew bed the children goodbye and made her way back to her wigwam. Her
Grandmother had already lain down and was sleeping soundly. Shinew lay down next to her but sleep did not come. Shinew
sat up and hugged her knees. She needed to prove something was wrong. She felt it with every beat her heart gave. She let her chin rest on her knees. An odd noise came from the direction of the forest. There was no way to even describe it; it was almost like a noise from the Newer World, the world where technology ruled. This newer world was where Shinew's tribe would be called primitive. She remembered when Agoota had gone to the Newer World many moons ago. He came back with many stories about things called computers and television sets. Agoota said there had been many things were different.
'Clothing for instance,' he had said. 'They wear synthetic material such as polyester, while we wear things natural to the Earth. They live in large buildings that are taller than the trees,' he had exclaimed, raising his arms high as if to show the height of the buildings.
'They have large metal machines that do work for them. The machines resemble people; they walk and do the jobs of everyone. They cook and clean and anything else imaginable. The people do not treat them kindly. They yell and shriek at them when they drop something, when they drop thing much more often. The people should be praising them for helping with their simple tasks.'
People had shaken their heads at the stupidity of the people. The machines may not be natural, but they are still on the same Earth, and should be treated fairly.
Shinew sighed. Agoota had brought objects such as wool mittens and toques for the people to see. He had given her a pair, just because she was a good friend. She reached into the deerskin bag resting to her left and pulled out the bright green mittens. She put them on for the sake of feeling the itchy warm wool on her fingers. She lay down once more and curled into a ball and closed her eyes. Just as sleep came, she thought,
'I will prove something is wrong.'
Shinew was up at the crack of dawn. By the time her Grandmother woke up, she had put away her skin mattress, bathed and washed mud caked clothing in the small stream near her home, helped skin the deer the men had brought back on their early morning hunt, and helped prepare pemmican. She was laying the hides to tan when her grandmother approached.
"Shinew, how long have you been awake?" she asked.
"Many hours," Shinew answered simply.
The elderly woman raised an eyebrow. Shinew was not one to wake up early and help with all the work willingly. Something was defiantly wrong. The woman shook her head slightly as if to shake the idea from her mind.
"There is a gathering tonight. We are welcome to attend, but we mustn't speak," said the elder.
"I know, Grandmother. Women are not permitted to speak at gatherings. It is unfair! We cannot do anything men do. While we cook and clean and watch the children, while they are off on amazing adventures in the forest and traveling afar!"
"We do quite a bit in the tribe Shinew. I do not want you talking like that again. Is that clear?"
Shinew nodded. Her grandmother walked back towards the direction she came. Shinew bit her lip and went back to work.
The fire crackled as more wood was laid in the pit. The orange and yellow sparks floated upwards towards the darkly lit sky. It was a cloudy night. A few stars here and there but the moon was nowhere in sight. Shinew sat next to her grandmother on a log the men had brought from the forest. Few women came to the gatherings. When they did, they sat in the back, farthest from the speaking men. Shinew rolled her eyes as the Elders talked about how well the move had been and how the game and soil where perfect here. They then began to talk of problems such as other tribes straying too close to their own. Many of the wandering tribes were rather violent, so the warriors should be on high alert. The meeting was short. When the Elder leader said it had come to an end, Shinew stood up.
"There is one more thing we should attend to," she said loudly.
The men and women turned to stare. A few gasps escaped the group. The Elder leader was the first to speak. He was a kind man and did not want to make Shinew feel like a fool. He would speak to her about her outburst later.
"And what is this issue you claim should be spoken about?" he asked.
"The noises in the forest," Shinew said. "The loud humming not of a humming bird or any other animal. It isn't a real sound. It seems to be getting nearer and nearer to our home each day. When I was in the forest yester-moon, I saw a quick glimpse of the strange creature. It larger than any animal I have ever seen. It had eight long arms with two sharp fingers on the end and eight blood red eyes."
Shinew paused for a moment. The people were still in shock that she was even allowed to be speaking.
"It gets stranger yet. It had not a single wing, but yet, it flew. It hovered in front of a tree for a few moments, and then flew off at an amazing speed."
The Elders looked at Shinew with strange looks on their faces. They had never heard anything strange in the forest. The warrior elder looked at Shinew.
"Young one," he said. "None of us have ever heard anything strange in the forest, let alone see anything out of the ordinary. Now, you have just broken two rules. Firstly, you have spoken during a gathering, which is strictly frowned upon. Secondly, you have gone into the forest. By what you have said, you have gone very deep as well. You realize your actions come with consequences?"
Shinew looked down at her moccasins. She looked back up and into the Elder's eyes, waiting for her punishment. Yet the Elder said nothing.
"What if I can prove to you something is there?" Shinew asked, plotting her plan in her mind.
"And how would you do that?" asked the medicine Elder.
"What if I stayed in the forest for the day, all by myself. I shall bring evidence of the strange creature lurking inside."
The Elder's looked a little taken back. They turned their backs on Shinew and whispered silently as the fire died down. After what seemed like many moons, they faced Shinew once more.
"Alright," one of them said. "You shall stay after this moon. You will be given one spear. Whether you survive or not is not any of our concern, is that clear?"
Shinew nodded. Her grandmother looked up at her in horror. The gathering had officially come to an end. The fire had died, and the people retreated back to their wigwams. Inside her own, her grandmother spoke.
"Shinew, what if you are killed? What were you thinking?"
"I was thinking that I am right, and I can prove it. I promise Grandmother, I will be alright."
"I hope so."
The next day, Shinew packed her belongings into her sack. She packed a hunting knife made from the bone of the buffalo, a hide blanket, a small dagger that had once belonged to her deceased father, and her bright green mittens. She picked up the spear that had been left for her and walked towards the forest. People gathered near the forests' edge. They wished her luck as she walked into the trees.
Shinew had spent many hours walking, but had not seen a single thing. She continued to walk farther when she hurt a twig crack. She spun around quickly and thrust her spear forward, only to hit air. She saw a small bird fly away from her with a twig held tightly in its beak. Shinew let out a sigh of relief. She tilted her head back and looked into the sky. The sun was high above her, shining brightly. She wiped the sweat off her tanned forehead. Her people would be eating their midday meal by now. Shinew walked towards a pack of bushes near her and inspected the bright red berries. She carefully put on in her mouth, ready to spit it out if she needed to. The berry melted slightly in her mouth as she swallowed it. Raspberries. Shinew gathered a large handful and shoved them into her mouth. She then continued walking. She looked at the moss growing on the tall trees. She studied the side and came to the revelation that she was going northwest, while her tribe was in the southeast.
The sun was beginning to set and Shinew hadn't found what she was looking for yet. She took her bag off her sore back and pulled the drawstrings apart and opened the bag. She pulled out the blanket and closed the bag. She lay down in a soft grassy spot and pulled the blanket up to her chin. She rested her head on her bag, and began to cry. She knew that she would be called a fool when she returned. Everybody would hate her and she would live all alone. She wouldn't have that.
"I'll live in the forest," she said to herself.
"I'll live like the men do. I'll find my own food. I'll travel afar and tell stories to tribes I pass."
Shinew nodded as if to agree with herself and she fell asleep.
Many moon cycles later, Shinew still had not returned home. She felt as if a presence was following her. She heard the humming noise much more often then before. But this time, it was much louder, not closer, but louder. She began finding strange objects like what Agoota had shown them. She believed it to be wire. Soon, she saw more and more of it. Eventually, she came to a large clearing. She closed her eyes and ran out of the forest. She opened her eyes. Instead of seeing a large meadow, she gasped. All around her were bright blue lights. Large gray pillars stood, and crumbled buildings stood. The creature she had seen in the forest was everywhere. This time there were thousands. There were many creatures like it, many resembling insects. They were sickly. Shinew dropped her bag and walked deeper into the city. She gripped her spear tighter as the insect-like creatures started to crawl towards her. They seemed to take interest in the strange tanned being. Pretty soon, a large army of the little creatures followed her. Their sizes differed from the size of a small pebble to the size of a large whale.
This was the proof Shinew needed. She stopped her quick pace and bent down. She reached down to pick one up and shivered. It was cold and smooth. She reached down again and lifted it up between her thumb and index finger. It began to kick and make a loud screeching noise. Shinew pocketed the creature and began to run. She ran past the tall buildings and past the large black pillars with red bulbs sticking out the side, something inside them, but too high up to identify. Suddenly, a large metal arm wrapped itself around Shinew's waist. She shrieked as she was lifted from the ground and thrown against a boulder. Shinew gasped for breath as she gripped her throbbing ribs. She backed against the rock as the creature army moved towards her. The larger creature with the arms thrust into Shinew's stomach.
Shinew screamed loudly. Birds near the far off forests' edge flew off in different directions. The machine flew off towards one of the red bulbs and lowered her inside. It hooked up black wires and cords into her skin, then it activacted the bulb with a small switch. It began to fill itself with sickly goo. It then lifted a large lid over the bulb and flew off.
Shinew's tribe waited days, but Shinew never came back. Years later, the sky turned dark and the sun never peaked through the clouds. A moon cycle later, and invasion of odd floating creatures with many arms and eight red eyes flew through the land, killing every living soul they could find. When the tribe first saw the creatures, they had but one thought.
Shinew was right all along.