[Ashen Snow] Pre-dawn Ritual [Al 7.3]

edited January 2013 in In-Game

Its maybe five in the morning when Hoze nudged you awake. He was pretty insistent on getting you up. I imagine you might have thought there was trouble, but he didn't seem troubles in the dim firelight. He just kept saying, "C'mon, Poppa." quietly until you got up and put on some clothes.

Hoze was a little impatient, telling you to hurry, not to miss it, to come come, quick to see. Once you were up, he led you outside of the hold out towards the wastes, more specifically, to a small hill that gives a good vantage point of the volcano ridge nearby and overlooking the hold.

Your son's long nails are sharp, but he's pretty good at turning his fingers not to hurt yours. Then, when you finally reach the top of the hill, he stops, drops to his haunches and says, "Do you say good morning to momma each day?"


  • I don't.
    I was able to get over the death of Island (Hoze's mother) and I don't feel guilty about that. Adults are easier to let go of than children. She was the first adult love of my life. She saw a grand future for me even then, even when I didn't, but letting her go, moving on, was almost an afterthought to my grief over losing Hoze.

    "I do, Scamper. In my own way. Are you going to show me your way? I'd like to know how you say good morning to her."
  • Hoze is still on his haunches, looking up at you. The dark cast of his skin makes his large eyes gleam in the growing light. He still has that look of curiosity, insatiable and unbroken by the hardships of his life. He, like you, still has hope. Because, well, he's your son.

    When you ask him to show his way, he rocks back and plops down on the hard ground. From his spot, its just a few inches, then he's pushing his knees out and sitting indian-style, like his legs were wings, the soles of his feet flat against each other, tucked in. He quirks a brow up at you, as if to say, 'can you sit like this?'

    I assume you follow suit, creaking old bones down in an unnatural position. So maybe your knees don't lay down flat like Hoze's knees, maybe it hurts a little bit, around your hips, your knees, even your lower back. Hoze says nothing, just watching silently, still smiing, quiet and curious. Perhaps growing a little distant as he is falling into a form, a ritual.

    The sky is growing lighter moment by moment, the eastern horizon, the one you're facing, past the ridge, you see the colors of the sun rising, the rays of day coming. Hoze takes deep, calming, rhythmic breaths, placing his hands lightly on his knees in a reflective pose. A few moments pass and he says, "We wait now."

    And you do, right? Do you say anything?
  • I recognize what he's doing--the form at least--and wonder where he learned that.
    I do my best to follow suit and wonder at the sunrise.

    A bit of something comes to my mind as we wait:

    Praise the LORD.
    Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
      who greatly delights in his commandments!
    His descendants will be mighty in the land;
      the generation of the upright will be blessed.
    Wealth and riches are in his house;
      and his righteousness endures for ever.
    Light rises in the darkness for the upright;
      the LORD is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
    It is well with the man who deals generously and lends,
      who conducts his affairs with justice.
    For the righteous will never be moved;
      he will be remembered for ever.
    He is not afraid of evil tidings;
      his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
  • You get to the point about wealth and riches and out of nowhere, Hoze scrunches up his face and says, "Shhhh, Poppa. No Lord stuff now. We're waiting to say good morning to momma."

    What do you do?
  • I didn't even realize I was saying that out loud. I chuckle and press my lips together and wait.
  • Hoze nods, that's enough for him. He even quirks a smile, but then he falls into the form again.

    ...and you wait.

    Then that one brilliant moment of dawn happens, when the sun peeks its burning eye above the mountains and volcanoes and colors spray across the sky and you know God is still here, that he has not abandoned you, he is still here.

    Hoze stretches his arms to his sides, palms up, face pointed at the sun, chin up, feeling the light tickling his skin. He hums lightly, holding the vibrating sound in his diaphram, eyes closed. He seems to stay like this for a very long time. You're not sure how long he plans to hold this pose.

    Off in the distance to the west, you hear a single gunshot. The sound warbles oddly, like it was muffled by something, but nothing you've heard before.
  • Hoze's ritual lasts for maybe fifteen minutes. Its a primal thing, refined by some kind of yoga. Once he is able to see enough of the sun, he rolls back and sits up easily, then offers you a clawed hand up, "Thank you, Poppa. Momma is happy today."
  • edited January 2013
    --END SCENE--
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