Storytime with Erika
Read the story as I'm writing it
Sometimes I’m amazed at the stories my imagination creates when I let it fly freely. This is a story of an unusual wedding that plays out in 426 in the Carpathian Basin, in a Hun village. Of course, I couldn’t time travel to witness the ceremony myself, I had had to rely on my imagination. I hope you will enjoy this short story in four parts as I'm writing it.
Carpathian Basin in 426
The entire village cheered as Kira walked slowly holding onto her mother’s arm. People lined up behind them, following them to the circle in the middle of the village where a small tent had been erected around the totem pole with the carved Turul bird on top. The shaman stood in front of the pole wearing a white wolf hide around his shoulders and headdress decorated with the head of the wolf.
The young bride’s heart started beating faster as she spotted the handsome groom, Tula, waiting for her beside the shaman. People stood around in a circle, smiling and swaying to the music of the flutes and drums.
Spotting Palia’s sourpuss face in the crowd, Kira thought. If looks could kill, I would be dead on this very spot. Watching Palia turning and stomping her foot on the ground in feeble anger, Kira smirked, feeling a little more relaxed, and focused her attention on Tula. His eyes were on his bride, adoration shining on his handsome face. He mouthed silently, “I love you.” Sending Kira’s heart into a short frenzy.
Reaching the pole, she stood by Tula and the shaman cleared his throat to get everyone’s attention. He began his speech, “We are gathered here to witness this woman Kira, and this man Tula, declare their love for each other by joining in marriage, as one.” Then he started chanting and lit aromatic herbs while the drums slowed to complement the rhythm of chanting.
Mesmerized by the rhythm of the drums, Kira recited the well-rehearsed steps of the ceremony, in her mind. She knew exactly what to expect and what was expected of her. Her stomach was in a tight knot, but she tried to put up a brave face and not to panic about the tasks that awaited them. If they would fail, the marriage would be declared invalid in front of the entire village. The amount of pressure was too much, and the butterflies went into a frenzy in her belly as she tried to swallow the hard lump in her throat.
Everyone around them held hands and swayed to the slow rhythm of the drums. After a few long minutes, the shaman looked up and extended his hands holding a white shawl. Tula and Kira held out their right hands, and the shaman wrapped the shawl around their wrists, chanting, “You are now bound together until you complete the sacred ceremony. The Ancestors will show you if you belong together as a married couple, or not.”
Unwrapping the shawl, the shaman motioned toward the white horses, which were led to the circle by his assistant. Holding hands, Kira and Tula slowly walked to the horses. They touched their foreheads together for a second, and then silently mounted the horses to complete the three circles around the village.
They rode alone in opposite directions to meet again under the clan’s sacred falcon, asking for the blessing of the Ancestors. The first circle was smooth. They met before the pole leading their horses to stand side by side and traditionally greeted each other, by touching their closed fists together. After a brief glance into each other’s eyes and a soft whisper, they turned in the opposite direction to start the second circle.
To be continued...
© Erika M Szabo, 2021
Copyrighted material. All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission by the author, except in the case of brief quotations, reviews, and articles.
A young adult paranormal fiction
Storytime with Erika. Enjoy!
Erika M Szabo
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