Yochi stood on top of Kan-U-Uayeyab’s temple in Kisin and watched as the sun rose above the trees. He held a spear in one hand; the other hand rested on a panther’s head. The panther was sitting on his haunches, staring out over the trees. Its sleek fur was black as night, and glimmered in the rising sun.
–>This is the first part of my first chapter of my new novel. The working title is Journey of the Gods and though it is set on the same world as my last completed novel Lost Sister, the main characters are not the same. So kind of part two, but not really. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Yochi came here often, to learn from Kan-U-Uayeyab, to ask his god and mentor questions, but also to get away from others. He liked the solitude. He knew that as soon as he was far enough away from the temple, he would hear the answer to whatever question he had, but that was the point. Sometimes, he just wanted to find the answer himself.
Last week, he turned 18. Next week, he would be going through the coming of age ritual, and he really didn’t understand why. In the eyes of his people, Yochi was an adult. The ritual would mark him as a man. He would gain a few tattoos based on any dreams he had this year, but also based on what his mentors said about him.
He had no fear of what his mentors would say. Raxka spoke well of him to anyone who would listen. Kan-U-Uayeyab reminded others of what he thought as well. But Yochi just wasn’t sure he was ready.
The ritual would mark him as a man, but what did that mean really? He felt he was a hunter and had been called one since the age of nine, when he took down his first large pray. He fought well in all his combat courses and knew when to stop. He would always try to stop a fight before it started and was therefore seen as a diplomat as well. But did all these things make him a man? Did his age? He sighed and sat by his panther. Ix Chel leaned against him and purred loudly.
He laughed a bit and slipped his arm around her. Ix Chel was there to guide him and help him do as he thought was right, not what others wanted him to do. She was the only one that seemed to understand his doubt. He had several discussions with his sisters, but they seemed not to understand. Nimah, Nimla, and Emetaly all went through the ritual without giving it much thought. He remembered watching them go through the motions and knew he could not do the same.
All his life, Yochi had performed rituals while keeping the words and meanings in his heart. He had recited the words to the coming of age ritual too many times to count in the past year. He was expected to know it by heart. Problem was, he didn’t feel it in his heart. The words fell flat from his lips.
He shook his head. He couldn’t do it. No matter what his family thought, he could not go through the ritual. Now he only had to tell his mother and father.