PLEASE START WITH CHAPTER ONE, published on February 16th, 2013. Rough draft of a fictional narrative.
Shortly after I was born, my mother died from poisoning caused by the exposure to crude oil and whatever chemicals were ground up for her to consume. Teng-se was a Shaman and my father, Foulan-sa, was the hunter-gatherer Blank that she loved. My mother’s family raised me but I spent time with my father’s clan. I was blessed with vital health as a child; I didn’t become ill and healed very quickly from injuries. My wounds only needed to be cleaned and they mended with no scars.
My petite muscular human form is less than five feet in height with short hair all over my body. Pubescent hormones revealed my fate, Blank or Changeling? Happily, I took to the sky. I developed control over the Eagle-Changeling transformation very quickly. However, it didn’t end there. The surging hormones triggered my DNA so that I could transform at will into any Changeling-species. More surprisingly, I retained enough of my human sensibilities to be aware and retain what I did as an animal Changeling. My name is Pha-al.
I quickly mastered the shifting and would play with whatever breed I wished. Because the community held my family in esteem, I was accepted as an oddity. Much to my kin’s chagrin, I would fly out of the valley to explore the upper plains. It was much like ours except for the dead zones. The earth would be stripped of vegetation and turned into biting black rock. Our valley continued to be shaken by minor earthquakes. All but one of the streams dried up and the spring water became undrinkable before it stopped flowing. We made regular offerings to the moon and sun to ask for rain. Our survival depended upon it.
Smoke rose high into the sky and ash fell down upon us more frequently. I decided to venture into the distant mountains. On one of my aerial trips I discovered that mountains could spit fire. Their heaving lava caused the dead zones. The streams of reddish-orange fire-rock were moving closer and closer to our valley. Soon, it would flow into our home. I flew home and shared what I learned. Some of the tribe listened and others thought that I was silly. I had gathered biting black rocks, as proof, but many members of our tribe were skeptical. I did not have the physical strength to carry an adult out of the valley to view the volcano.
The few who believed me worked to construct long rope ladders from vines and tree bark fiber. After several moons of labor, I grabbed an end of the rope and flew it to the top of the shortest section of the north side of the cliff and secured the ladder to a strong tree. My cousin bravely climbed the shaky structure to the top and helped me to latch the ladder more securely. A small contingent of the tribe ventured up the ladder. We walked to view where the black rock had crept onto the upper plains. After much discussion, we returned and let our kinfolk know that it was time to leave our valley home.
More ladders were quickly erected. One by one daring members of the tribe climbed the rope with a child or provisions attached to their back. Several became scared and had to be coaxed to the top and a few died in their attempt to escape. We could not climb at night or on rainy days. The strongest members hauled up supplies because we didn’t know what was in the greater world. We only knew that we had to escape pending doom.
The first ascenders moved away from the volcano as the tribe began their journey out of the valley and upper plains. Two turns of the moon passed and the most cynical members of the tribe remained at the bottom of the cliff, including some members of my family. The earth shook more and ash rained down almost every day. Finally, a chunk of the mountain blew off, rushed down its slope, though the plains, and into the valley. As our valley filled, I watched helplessly as my father and others were swept away by the debris. The rush of air was intense and I had to fly away. There was nothing that I could do. The roar of the pyroclastic flow still haunts my dreams.
We mourned our losses. Our tribe was no longer one unit. We split into Changelings-genus groups and compatible sub-species traveled together. We moved off into every direction and felt sorrow for parting. I joined a group of diverse species. I would fly ahead and scout the lay of the land. We slowly traversed mountain ranges, valleys, rivers, and dry lands. Our valley home no longer existed.
We encountered all types of beasts and other homids, including humans. Precious few human cultures accepted us so we did not dare to live openly. Changelings quickly adapted to hide our uniqueness from non-Changelings. Some Changelings found ways to manipulate the humans into believing that they were Gods. I did not approve of this practice and would force the group to end their self-appointed divinity. Unfortunately, the deities and their stories continued long after the Changelings left the area.
I learned how to adjust my manifestation to blend in with our evolution into human as we became taller, stouter, and less hairy. I could even appear as a male, when needed. I only became tired when I had to frequently switch back and forth between animal and human forms. It takes a lot of calories to alter my appearance and I would need to eat. Millenniums passed and I became a nomad, moving from one Changeling community to another or spending time in splendid isolation as a hermit.
NEXT CHAPTER TO BE PUBLISHED SOON.
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Evolving in fiction
© 2013 Ima B. Musing