SIMON STOOD LIGHTLY ON THE FALLEN TREE,
A mass of wood big enough to be a small house if only it were hallow.
But this one was definitely not hallow; Simon could feel it’s immensity by the way it met his gentle steps with the resolute presence of a mountain. How these great trees had been dropped was still a mystery to him. The cuts were clean and straight.
Eyeing the ground below, this looked to be the same thick needle-duff that covered the rest of the forest. He’d entered it early in the morning and was just now beginning to see the edge up ahead, and what looked to be buildings. He glanced down again. Thoughts and calculations swirling.
This tree must be three meters across? Wow! Well, here goes nothing.
Simon began to crouch but where you’d expect him to settle back on his heels he instead leaned forward. Smooth as a river flowing he had dipped and fallen forward in one motion. Feet touched the ground toes first before knees bent and he was in a forward roll. Standing upright as if nothing had happened.
That was fun.
Simon couldn’t recall where he’d gotten his agility or how he’d become so comfortable with it. It had always just been there. His mother had said he moved like a cat. He was so naturally prone to bound and jump around that he’d added a strap to his shoulder bag to keep it on place.
The rest of the way looked clear and as he began walking towards the village in the distance he reached into his bag without a glance to pull out some dried buffalo. It was a bit hard but did the trick when his stomach growled and greens wouldn’t do the job. Besides, he’d ran out of pemmican days ago, even though he would have preferred that.
He was excited to finally be here. At least he hoped this was the village he was looking for. The old man had given him precise directions with minimal detail. It fit the bill, but Simon worried that some of what was said could be interpreted a number of ways. The man had said the journey was a test in itself. Sounded a lot more like an excuse for a failing memory.
None the less he followed as exactly as he could and here he was arriving at the ‘Small village, with powerful lumbersmiths, on the edge of an ancient forest’. Ancient forest? Check. Massive trees cut down with amazing precision? Check. Village nearby? Check. So be it.
As he walked the sun moved behind the canopy. It had been hours since the branches let it through and he was glad to have it back. The dapple light dotted the ground and reflected off of tiny droplets of water left on untouched leaves. It lit across his face and warmed his skin.
Simon had not been paying attention, distracted by the warm friend’s return. Standing before him was a rather impressive looking man. Taller than him and significantly broader at the shoulders, he was dressed in various layers of leather and carried a long spear that was pointed directly at Simon’s face and only a few feet away. Well within the strike zone. Damnit.
Simon didn’t understand the word but tried anyway, “Hello. Hello? I’m- My name is Simon. Seye-mon,” pointing to his own chest.
Fuck me, what’s he on about? Simon was at a loss, so he went for hand gesture. Both hand’s out to the sides, palms to the man with the spear.
“Dabat ahtap,” He said firmly while stepping slightly closer and extending the spear a bit. Decidedly too close for Simon’s comfort, but what was he to do? Then he remembered.
Show this that they will know you as my friend.
The Totem! He had figured that it would come up in casual conversation, but maybe it was a sort of get-out-of-jail free pass. He’d have to have a talk with the old man about specificity-
“Shit, ok ok, hold on,” Simon said calmly, “I have something, from a friend. He said you would want to see it.”
The man looked something between skeptical and annoyed. As Simon slowly reached for the cord around his neck the man thrust the spear far closer than Simon would have liked and he instinctively stepped back to keep the distance.
“Ihd ap, dabat!”
“Wait wait! Come on, be calm. Look,” Simon said while carefully but quickly pulling the cord to draw the totem out of his shirt. As soon as it cleared his collar he let go and the pendant, two fingers wide and flat like a coin, fell to dangle in plain view.
The man froze.
His eyes narrow on the totem around Simon’s neck as it swing slightly against the off white linen of his tunic. It was a simple shape with a simple design but if he had seen it he’d know it.
The spear point lowered to the ground as the man stood upright, hostility gone. He reached to a pouch on the back of his belt and drew out something dangling from a leather cord.
It was significantly more worn, but unmistakably the same Totem.
No. Fucking. Way.
Simon stepped forward, albeit cautiously, and reached out to touch the man’s Totem. The now-gentle warrior smiled and tapped it to the one on Simon’s neck.
For a minute they stood examining each other. But without pomp and circumstance the man turned and gestured towards the village with a pointed finger, the totem swinging as he did.
“Dapta caf. Seh poh.”
And with that he strode towards the buildings. Simon was in shock as how quickly the situation had escalated and declined. Something caught the corner of his eye and upon glancing up he realized there was another man above him, standing on another of the mammoth downed trees. Of course.
He briskly stepped into a jog to catch up to the first man with the familiar totem.
Add that to the list of things he’d be having a talk with the old man about…
There is still a limited number of this Prime Tribal Totem available, click here to visit the page to claim yours.