Disclaimers: The story is not to be copied or reprinted except for personal use. It may not be reposted on any other website without written permission from myself. All disclaimers, title, and author must remain in the body of the story if copied to your personal computer.
Content Warning: Yes, I only write stories about women loving women. If this is offensive to you or unacceptable for viewing in your area, please find something else to read.
Author’s Notes: Well, my Muse came back from her vacation at least! The story was inspired by a friend’s poem called The View from There about the Sinagua cliff dwellings she had visited. However, since I knew little of them and could never possibly understand their culture well enough to do them justice, I chose to invent a race similar to them, making this a quasi sci-fi of sorts. I’ve taken elements from several Southwest cultures, such as the Hopi, Zuni, and Anasazi and blended them to my own version of a society far far away. I hope you enjoy this tale. Comments are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Your daughter may be of two spirits, Comna,” the high priest commented as he watched the children at play.
The young man looked towards her, wondering what the priest saw within his child. Parren was laughing, tossing a leather ball to another child. He saw nothing unusual about her.
“Why do you say that High One?”
The man strolled around him until the father’s view of the children was blocked. “I have watched her for some time Comna. True, she has learned womanly ways with ease, but she is different. Have you not seen her behavior amongst the male children? She is as one of them. She doesn’t play with other girls, but with the boys.” The priest sighed and took Comna’s arm, leading him away to speak more privately. “She is nearing womanhood and must be tested before that happens. Bring her to the Ceremonial House this evening, an hour before sunset. If she is indeed of two spirits, she must be initiated and accepted into the Rangar.”
Comna bowed in acknowledgement and headed for home to speak with his wife Sopan. She needed to know what was happening within her family.
Although men were responsible for spiritual duties of the family, as well as the hunting and planting, it was the women who ruled the family and home. All within the walls of their abode belonged to her. All the men owned were their weapons. Although Comna was known for his bravery, he did not want to find his weapons tossed into a heap outside their door and left homeless. He had to speak with her before word of the ceremony reached her ears.
He climbed the series of ladders that led to the level of his home and followed the narrow ledge until he found their roof. Sopan was grinding the grains into flour there as was her habit most afternoons. The interior would be cooler of course, but their dwellings allowed little light to enter. Besides, one could not gossip with the neighbors within the home.
She smiled at him in greeting as he bent forward to kiss her brow. He nodded a silent greeting to his mother and sister in law.
“Wife, we need to speak privately,” he whispered. She rose to her feet and climbed down the ladder leading into their home. Once inside the cool interior, she lit a lamp and adjusted it. She watched as Comna took a clay cup and filled it with cold water from the large keg. His hands shook as he raised the cup, making Sopan realize he was shaken.
“What has happened my husband?”
He put the cup down carefully and faced her, nervously repeating the conversation he had with the High One.
“So, it has begun. I had hoped it was so,” she murmured, surprising her mate. Perhaps he shouldn’t be startled by her insights. She often saw what he didn’t.
Comna too, had hopes his daughter would bring this honor to his family. It wasn’t often that one of two spirits was born. True, some were born akin to them, finding attraction for both sexes, but to be truly two spirited, they had to find pleasure in only those of their own gender. Those dedicated to the role by the priests became emissaries, judges, and traders. They trained for several years among the priests until they chose a path to follow. Once trained, they took a vow that was more binding than that of the high priests.
The word of a two spirit was sacred. Such a person was not permitted to lie, to commit violence, or to serve any interest of any one person or people. They were above the petty hierarchies of their society. They could reverse even the judgments handed down by the ruler, pardoning condemned criminals.
If their daughter was indeed of two spirits she would bring honor and respect to his wife’s clan. Tonight could very well change their lives forever.
Parren followed her father to the Ceremonial House, still puzzled as to why a girl child would be required at a ritual. Usually, women and girls attended as a group, not singly. She had questioned her father but he avoided answering, telling her she would learn soon enough. Bowing her head in acceptance, she trailed after him in silence.
Once they reached the lowest level of their sky village, they were met by the High One and his acolyte, Jomna. Parren expected to be led into the large building, but instead, they were asked to follow them down the ladder leading to the valley floor. Her curiosity peaked, she scrambled down the ladder to the ground.
Once there, she saw a simple hut had been constructed of branches and dried shrubbery. The High One picked up a torch and spoke simply. “Go inside the hut Parren, and chose one object.”
Nervously, she crawled through the tiny opening into the dimly lit structure. Inside, she found a boy’s bow and quiver and next to it, a set of basket making supplies, consisting of beautifully colored strands. Curious of why she’d be asked to choose, she stared at her choices until she became aware of the strong smell of smoke. Looking around frantically, she saw that the hut was burning.
She screamed for her father in fright, but it was the shaman who replied. “Chose an item and escape young Parren!”
Reaching for the item of her choice, she scrambled back through the opening, choking on the thick smoke. Seeing her father through watery eyes, she threw her arms around his sturdy waist and shook in relief.
Jomna took the bow and quiver from her fist.
The shaman spoke solemnly. “She has chosen her path.”
The next day, the high priest summoned the people to gather around shortly after the Morning Greeting of the Father Sun. Parren finished her silent thanks to Obansa for the new day and rose to her feet. Around her community, she saw others do the same on their rooftops. Each morning, facing the rising sun, they gave their thanks to the Sky God for giving them a new day. As the sun lowered in the evening, they would thank him again for allowing them to enjoy his bounty.
Sopan ruffled her long tresses and urged her down the ladder. She was eager to have her daughter initiated into Rangar society and the status their family would gain. They would move from a small unimportant clan to one of greatness this morning. Glancing at her own mother and sister and their spouses, she grinned. Perhaps they could afford to build a larger home to house them all, for the house they lived in was crowded. In the society of the sky dwellers, the female relatives and their mates lived together communally. Although children were cherished, every new addition to the family caused further crowding and the family could only add on to the home so much.
Larpen helped her sister guiding their mother to the lower levels. Soon, she would be too elderly to climb and would be trapped within her own home until her death.
Parren waited for her family to catch up with her before heading for the lowest level. Grueling minutes later, they reached the lowest levels and gathered together with the rest of the community in the large court yard.
The Holy One addressed the Gods, inviting them to attend the ceremony before announcing the purpose of it to the people. Motioning to Parren to come closer, he rested his gnarled hand on her shoulder.
“We have reason to celebrate this day, for among us we found one who is special and will bring blessings upon our village. Young Parren has been chosen by the Gods to walk the path of two spirits,” he announced, causing a ripple of excitement. He waited until the crowd settled down and motioned his acolyte to bring the items needed. Jomna placed a skin bundle on the stone platform next to the Shaman before drawing an obsidian knife from its sheath. He placed the black knife on top of the bundle.
He stepped behind the frightened girl and grasped her hair firmly. Parren suppressed the urge to scream, not understanding what was happening.
The High One took the blade and held it just above her temple.
“From this day forward young Parren, you are of two spirits.” His hand moved swiftly, shaving away her long hair as Jomna held her steady. Parren was petrified, unable to even voice a protest. It was forbidden for females to cut their hair. Only men kept their hair shorn, to prevent enemies from grasping them in that manner. A woman’s hair was only cut after death, to avoid being entangled in the thorns that safeguarded the entrance to the bridge of light.
Was she to be sacrificed? Parren was too frightened to move but her eyes sought her family, but only saw acceptance on their faces. Seeing no fright in their eyes, she forced back the terror clawing inside of her.
Her hair now gone, the Shaman ordered her to undress. Parren was surprised but did as she was told, unembarrassed by nudity for it was common among the children. The shaman opened the bundle and handed her new clothing, weaved from red fibers. Parren shook them out and was surprised to see that it was a boy’s loincloth and a shirt that would be worn in winter. She raised her dark eyes in astonishment.
The Holy One answered her unspoken question. “From this day forward, you are a boy.”
Three years had passed. Sopan looked upon her child who had changed so much. The changes had been gradual as she learned the secrets of the Shamans and began training as a trader. The traders had their own secrets, known only to them. They went out into the confines of their safe community to deal with others, a frightening concept for many of their people. But their courage brought forth wondrous goods and ideas from others. They spread prosperity between groups of people, but it was also dangerous. Somehow, with methods known only to themselves, they went never harmed. The people couldn’t recall when the last trader was lost to death or failed to return. And now Parren was training to follow their path.
The young woman was different from other females, in more than just her dress and manner. Her body spread into womanly curves, yet she never began her flow of blood. Sopan didn’t realize that the priests gave her herbs to prevent them. After all, what good was an emissary if she was forbidden to mingle with men during menses? So, they eliminated the problem with their secret knowledge of plants and taught her how to prepare them for herself when she was traveling.
Parren became quiet, thoughtful, and to her family, rather mysterious. Even now, between the dancing and singing people, she stood quietly, watching everyone enjoying the harvest day celebrations. The young people mingled in dance, hinting to those they wished to share sexual pleasures with. The young men didn’t bother trying to tempt her, knowing it would be futile. The attractive emissary wouldn’t even look at them and they knew it. Her fathomless dark eyes were only for the young women who danced suggestively.
Several of the women were tempted, and though very beautiful, Parren was intimidating. They knew instinctively that blanket play with her wouldn’t be lighthearted, but intense. No, there were few who would even attempt to lure her into their rooms. This night, Parren would have to indicate the one of her choice.
The emissary locked her eyes upon one dancer, whose lean body writhed to the music, her eyes closed. Yes, she would do nicely. Parren walked towards the woman and placed her hand on her shoulder, halting her dance. Her eyes opened in surprise. Knowing she had been chosen, she followed nervously after the towering young woman.
They entered the communal building, hearing the sounds of others mating around them. Parren chose a room that was unoccupied and closed the curtain behind them.
“Undress,” she ordered softly.
Sorlen did as she was told, removing her short dress. Without preamble, Parren took possession of her lips, kissing her roughly. The woman wanted to protest, but she found herself getting lost in the bruising kiss. She moaned and pressed her breasts again Parren’s, who was naked except for her loincloth and foot coverings. Parren grunted in pleasure and broke the kiss, quickly lowering her mouth to one brown nipple. The woman gasped as the hot tongue tormented it, bringing it to a stiff peak. She pushed forward, seeking more delight. Parren took it roughly, drawing it deep within her mouth, scoring the breast with her teeth. Sorlen moaned louder, excited and ready.
She was pushed onto the platform that served as a bed. Fingers sought her womanhood, swirling against her wetness. Satisfied that the woman under her was ready, she slid several long fingers into her. Sorlen lifted her hips and readily accepted her touch, even urging her for more silently. The emissary moved to take her other breast and pulled on the nipple with her teeth until she whimpered, then suckled it roughly as her fingers plunged faster. Her sex partner bucked wildly as her arousal neared the breaking point. She used her thumb to worry her center and felt her stiffen a moment before she screamed out her pleasure.
For the first time that evening, Parren smiled, enjoying how her evening’s partner reacted. She gave her several minutes to recover then shoved off her loincloth. She needed release of her own. She urged Sorlen’s lips to where she wanted her and moaned when her inexperienced lips found the proper place.
Encouraged by Parren’s reaction, she eagerly began stroking the aroused emissary with her tongue and lips. It didn’t take long before the young woman reached her pleasure and strangled out a gasping noise, announcing her orgasm. As she tried to catch her breath, a priest opened the curtain and sprinkled pollen upon them, then left, as was customary to indicate the hope of fertility. Parren laughed at the custom and shook the pollen from her face.
“You are quite good. I may chose you again next harvest if you are unwed then,” Parren told her as she put on her loincloth.
Sorlen smiled and picked up her dress. “Then you will mark me?” she asked hopefully. Being marked would mean her family would receive double the dowry her clan could ask for her. Parren nodded and led her to the priests’ private chambers. There, she took a sharp knife and nicked Sorlen’s chin. Taking red ochre paste, she rubbed the coloring into her cut. It would leave a permanent scar, giving her extra status.
“Thank you,” the young woman gushed happily.
“No, thank you,” Parren grinned, leading her back to the dance.
To be continued...
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