Saturday, October 30, 2010

What Dies Will Come Anew

Title: What Dies Will Come Anew
Word Count: 1,089
Genre: Mythological

This piece was originally inspired by a challenge piece that I wrote. Basically, for the original challenge, we had to write a mythology piece. It could either be a myth already in existence, or we could write a completely new myth. I opted to write a completely new myth, the creation story for the Kamore people. This is their death myth.

Huti looked up at the blackness surrounding him, dispersed slightly by the warm glow of the campfire. The little ones had been sent to him again to learn more of the history of their people, and he figured this would be the best setting for the tale he planned to tell tonight.

The faces of the little ones were curious, glancing around every so often to make sure that nothing would sneak up on them. He smiled, showing the wrinkles on his face better than ever.

“Gather around now as I tell you a story of our Great Mother, Medomai.” The children moved closer to him, many resting on their knees to get the best view. They were so excited to have a new story to tell, though many of them would likely forget it when they grew up.

“Medomai was very much like all of you. She had her own mother and father: the Earth and the Sun, and she had a brother. His name was Motmai. Motmai was often kept separate from Medomai, as he tended to the animals of the night; the owl, the coyote, and the bat.” Huti paused for effect and watched as the children looked around them, still innocent in their musings.

“She, on the other hand, tended to the plants, which thrived in the rays of the sun. She was a great caretaker; all of her plants grew very large and would entertain her with their songs. They would also drop their fruits as food for the animals who would wander over with curiosity at the new noise.” The children smiled at the image of singing plants, and swayed a little with the slight chanting in Huti's voice.

“One day, Motmai came out during the sunlight hours, and watched his sister tend to her plants. He became very jealous of his sister's abilities, and how her plants loved her so. So, he brought darkness over her plants. Without the light of the sun shining on them, they shriveled up, crying in agony all the way.” Huti once again gestured to the darkness around him, and many of the children's eyes grew wide, as they moved a little closer to the fire, to the light.

Huti smiled, and chastised them slightly with his next words. “Medomai was not to be deterred though. She was, after all, a great caretaker. She grew up new plants from the shriveled ones, and they grew even larger than before. Each plant contained a bit of new life, along with the old life that had passed by.” The children brightened at the words, comforted by the fact that their Great Mother was so resilient.

“Motmai was very upset with his failure, though, and sought some other way to destroy Medomai's spirit. He studied her, and looked for a way to destroy the things she loved best. That was when he learned of her new creation, the humans. He saw how she loved them so, how she put so much effort into creating them, and the hope she had of their futures. And so, one by one, he brought death to them.” Some of the children had started crying by now, and Huti's voice had taken on a distinctive sad tone.

“Medomai could not replace the humans as easily as she could her plants. They took time to create and grow, and she could not replace them as fast as they were being taken from her. So, she turned inward, no longer caring about her other creations as her favorite creation disappeared. Motmai took the opportunity to destroy her plants as well, leaving their remains shriveled on the ground for all to see. Medomai, in her sadness, did not act to replace them.” There was a unearthly quietness among the children. They were riveted on Huti's words, begging for a happy ending to the story.

“The Great Fionn saw her distress, and hid her plants beneath a blanket of white, seeking Motmai to chastise him for his actions. But Motmai was elusive. He hid well in his darkness, and enjoyed watching Medomai in her sadness. He thought he had finally triumphed over her, broken her spirit so that she could no longer rise above him in skill. The humans had a part of her spirit, though, and did not let the loss of their family destroy them. Rather, they began to celebrate the passings. They saw it as a way for their family to return to the Earth, to help feed the Great Mother's plants and bring new life to her other creations.” Huti smiled as the children began to understand the purpose of the story. Those who remembered death began to look at it in a new light, closing their eyes and remembering their families with joy, rather than the guilt and sadness of death.

“When the Great Mother saw her creation celebrating, she was renewed in her joy. She began to cultivate her plants again, celebrating along with the humans. The Great Fionn saw her happiness and removed the blanket from the Earth. Where there had been brown and sickly plants before now grew dozens of new varieties of plants, strong and powerful in the soil. All of Medomai's creations rejoiced at the change in her mood. It was a great time, and a large festival was held to celebrate it.” Many children had jumped to their feet and began dancing around the fire, laughing merrily with the joy in which the story was taught. Huti smiled and waited for the sounds to die down enough for him to complete his story.

“Motmai was not ruined, though. He was dismayed, and spent his time plotting for the time in which he could destroy his sister anew. Each year he destroys her plants, and Fionn covers the death with the Great White blanket. Each year, we must celebrate the death as a new start, so that the Great Mother's spirits are raised again and she brings us new crops.” Huti looked to the sky and chanted indistinctly. Some of the children made attempts to join him, chanting their own words until the small camp was filled with the joyous sounds.

Huti stopped suddenly and looked at the little ones again. He smiled and stroked one girl's hair in a loving gesture. “We cannot let death stop us, little ones. We must see it as a new beginning, just as the new plants contain a bit of the old with them, so do we. Our ancestors never leave us.”