A month before, Evie began preparing for the ritual that would begin at dawn of her 18th year.
The first daughter in four generations, Evie’s marking would be an occasion for her entire clan to celebrate. The ritual, which would take 12 months to complete, would start at midnight on her birthday, and end at midnight the day before she turned 19. Prior to the first line being laid, she had to name her guardian.
Evie already knew his name. She had known since she was six and met the first in a long line of guides. What she didn’t know, was if he would fulfill the pledge between his brethren and her family.
Evie’s great-great-grandmother, Móraí, was the last woman in her clan who had a guardian. Though she was nearly 100 years old now, she said she had never felt the full extend of her guardian’s power. Evie worried that she would take the mark for nothing. Yet, there was that small part of her heart that told her that there was already a bond between them. That the mark would only be an outward sign of their connection.
With Evie was her father Emmet, and Móraí, along with other members of her family. Joining them was Kile, great-great-grandson of Bruce, the artist who had prepared Móraí’s marking. Their two families were linked in this ritual.
As early as she could remember, she dreamed of flying, of being a large bird soaring over the lush forests of her homeland. The sensations were so vivid, that when she woke she often felt like she was still airborne. More than once she also found twigs and leaves, or tiny bits of bone, in her bed sheets, as if she had actually transformed and went on nocturnal hunts.
When it was time to name her guardian, to give him a form, Evie did not hesitate.
“He is a red hawk, and he is named, Ó Séaghda,” Evie proclaimed.
* I am attempting to complete NaNoWriMo this month. This is a short excerpt from the story I’m writing. These 331 words pushed me over the 10,000 mark, a full day ahead of schedule.