In January I let you know about my intention to make 2017 the year of finishing unfinished projects. One of them is my fantasy story “Zara”, which accompanies my writing efforts since more than 20 years and by the powers that be I haven’t gotten anywhere with it.
Well, I have done at least 3 outlines and started as many efforts to write the story but in the end, I always stopped. A couple of weeks ago I read a blog post or article about letting go of writing ideas that haven’t worked out or are just not good enough to follow through. Unfortunately, I cannot find that article anymore :-(.
However, I have come to the conclusion that to go forward I need to let that fantasy story and the main character that is so close to my heart go.
That article advised several ways of letting ideas go from just binning them to making a short story out of it. Another was to share the idea and let others work with it. I feel that “Zara” is one idea that I need to share with fellow writers.
So here is the latest beginning I have written for “Zara” and I invite you to finish the story in any way you see fit. Please share the story with your readers and have lots and lots of fun with it:
“ There was a huge storm in the mountains,” Zara told the Wild Woman. Even though she was the eldest daughter of Aila leader of the travelling peoples and about to become initiated she always asked for advice of the wise woman who could only be found in the deep forests of Tadatschi if she felt it wise to be found.
Wild Woman always looked out for the deep red flame of Zara’s long hair as she knew of her fate and destiny. Zara looked like she towered over Wild Woman as the girl was tall for her age and Wild Woman was short. They said that her muscular form grew smaller with the years of living in the deep woods running with the stag and the wolf. She has become one of them and learned their wisdom which gave her a deeper understanding of human nature and destiny.
Wild Woman gave Zara an encouraging look while they sat in an oak grove half way up on Blue Mountain which rose over the summer camp of the travelling people. Zara went on in her deep melodious voice: “ The rain clashed against my face and arms. I had lost my coat and was grabbing onto the rocks towering beside the thin path I was walking down into a valley. It was pitch dark but every second lighting came down from another side. So I could see where I had to head.” Only Wild Woman,s deep green eyes revealed a faint smile. Her thin face did not give away any of her thoughts or feelings. Zara was staring into the fire lit in the middle of the grove.
Her light blue eyes were wide with the anxiety and excitement the dream had raised in her. She hugged her thin form which was clad in leather pants, a woollen shirt just adorned with a golden pin and green stone. She had laid her colourful woven cape beside her where her left hand rested. The other as elegant as princesses laid in her lap.
“Storm wind nearly blew me down to the right where a deep ravine laid I could not see the bottom of. The rocky path was slippery and in the end, I was just crawling along on the ground. Suddenly the rock at my left stopped and the path ended in something that felt like grass. A loud thunder banged down on me. It took my breath. Then there was this black creature. I could just see its silhouette as the lightning suddenly seems to just come from behind it. It looked like a huge cat.” Wild Woman took a deep breath but said nothing. Zara looked at her briefly but continued: “Its head seemed to point behind it. It turned and walked away.
I was terrified and stayed where I was. But Storm Wind now came from behind me and seemed to push me into the creature’s direction. I tried to stop myself sliding down the grass but could not hold onto anything. I started shivering and the noise was soul destroying. The creature came back. It bent down to me. I could see its emerald green eyes shining and suddenly I knew I had to follow it and it was safe. Storm wind slowed down in that moment and I could get up. I realised the creature was, in fact, a huge black cat which now walked beside me. I took my right hand on its head and it led me to a pine grove in which a cave was hidden. Then I woke!” Zara fell silent but her heart was pounding and her breath went fast.
Wild Woman said nothing. Long years of being the Shaman of the travelling people have taught her who really needed her words and who could find wisdom in silence. Zara was one of the latter.
After a long while where they could only hear Soft Wind singing in the oak leaves around them Zara said:” I am not supposed to find my totem before my initiation. But this cat certainly is my totem. I feel it now!”
Wild Woman got up and walked slowly to the northern realm of the grove. There she hummed a light tune and out of the trees came a huge cat nearly as tall as Wild Woman with emerald green eyes. Zara gasped. She stood up, brought her slender hands together in front of her heart and bend her head deep to honour her totem animal.
The huge cat seemed to smile while she came down the light slope gracefully to lay down in front of the fire which stayed between her and Zara. Wild Woman came in her wake and motioned Zara to sit down as well.
Wild Woman’s furs rubbed on her leathery skin as she went to the west of the grove where a little well was trickling away joyfully. She took out a small bowl made out of clay and decorated with oak fruit. She filled the bowl with the water of the well and turned back to Zara who just sat there looking into the cat’s eyes. Wild Woman sat the bowl down in front of Zara and then vanished into the woods.
The sun sent her first rays over the eastern oaks when the cat got up again and walked over to Zara. She rubbed her head on Zaras left ear and sniffed her hands. Her purr sounded like she approved of what she smelled. She rubbed along Zaras back who did not dare to move. Zara closed her eyes and saw the cave the cat had led her in her dream. There was a fire in the middle, a little pond in the back. A wind chime made out of human bones dangled above her and a bed made out of moss, oak leaves and grass invited her to lay down in front of the fire.
Zara could hear the cats purr and it advised her to lay down which she did. Then she could hear a voice: “ Your time has come but tell no one! Your people are not ready yet for the challenges to come!” “I am not either,” Zara thought.
When she woke the sun had gone down behind her. The fire was out but the bowl of water was still waiting for her. She sat up bowed to give grace to Mother Earth and drank thirstily. She looked around the grove but neither the cat nor Wild Woman was there. So she stood up and left….”
Now go, create and have lots of fun!!!!!!