Word-High July: Amihan

july-21
Numari’s ears twitched with the sounds of the jungle as she mentally catalogued the animals around. Monkeys chattering at each other, a play fight breaking out… A near silent splash of an Alligator entering the river after a bankside nap… Wings taking flight, too light to be a bird, a butterfly then… Nothing was too out the normal tonight. Why, then, did she feel something was different? Why was her arm hair standing up on end?
She jumped from her perch on the high canopy and swung from the green vines which coated the air like a trapeze artists net. She landed nimbly on a thick tree branch which was tall enough to look out over the arboreal landscape. Here it was open enough and high enough to feel the breeze lifting pleasantly against her cheek; a pleasant change from the thick and humid air of the jungle below. She carefully adjusted her spear, moving it from the sling on her back to rest at her side, and lent against tree. Her short unkempt hair caught the knots of the trunk as she tried to get comfy, but it wasn’t that which phased her. In fact, even when trying her very best to relax, and already tired from a long days hunt, she couldn’t settle; something just wasn’t sitting right. Then she noted the wind again, there was something different there. She propped herself forward and begun to walk across the branch. Her nose tweaked upwards as she sniffed the air. Instantly she was alert. The strong breeze carried smells it shouldn’t; fire, wrought metal, freshly dug up ore and something else, something otherworldly… meteorite.
With a swift movement Numari jumped from branch into the leafs below, relying purely on her instinct and senses to grapple enough vines to make a steady descent. She sniffed the air again, it was fainter down below, masked by a overwhelming scent of furs and flora, but now she was aware she could find it. She knew she had to head North east. Quickly, she set about the forest floor, her barefeet hardened to the  rocks and twigs which could cause any harm. There were fallen logs, wild bushes, and sometimes other animals that she found herself bounding over, with little thought. Numari knew her destination, she knew exactly what would be waiting for her.
As Numari got closer to the source of the scent it became stronger. The air had changed here, carrying the heat of the flames, it left a faint prickle on her cheeks. The crackling of the campfire was loud to her ears now too, and the sounds of the wildlife had died down; nothing dared come close. Her footsteps slowed, her body hunched and she drew her spear. There was always a chance it could be something different, something she wasn’t expecting, and so it was best to be careful and armed. If, on the other hand, it was exactly as Numari thought, then it was wise to be even more cautious and perhaps even better armed than she was now.
In the clearing, where the fire grew, stood a tall athletic figure. She had long hair tied back in a ponytail, which even still managed to reach the bottom of her back. To her side sat an assortment of weapons; sharp spears and even sharper swords, a flintlock rifle, a shield, and numerous other implements. It was strange to see her so unlaiden, Numari thought, her Mother never normally left her gear at her side. Something strange was happening, and it wasn’t just that she was back after a silent two year hiatus.
“Put that crude thing down, Numari” said the woman sternly, no hint of motherly care in her voice. “Your Father is dead, so we need to talk.”

****

This is entry #21 for the WordHigh July Challenge of 30 Beautiful Filipino Words!

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7 thoughts on “Word-High July: Amihan

  1. Wow, I’m at awe. I felt like I was standing side by side (sometimes trailing behind) Numari. I was there. Such great writing, Shaun. You’re a very good storyteller.

    Liked by 1 person

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