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Kone's Visit

Kone's Visit

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Published by Milton
An excerpt from an upcoming YA novel; Men of Mogai
An excerpt from an upcoming YA novel; Men of Mogai

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Published by: Milton on Feb 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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1Kones Visit/Davis©2011 MVmedia, LLC
Kones Visit By Milton Davis(An excerpt from Men of Mogai, an upcoming novel by Milton Davis)Darkness weighed heavy on the humid night, obscuring the boundary between the skyand the thick forest canopy.The light from Koboye's fire barely illuminated his dour umber faceas he poked at the embers with his muder hoping to stir up the flames. The charred woodrefused to give up its essence easily. Koboye had been by himself in these woods many timesbut this particular night he felt alone.His village was not far behind him but in spirit it felt like it was a thousand miles away. No matter how distant he travelled to hunt he always knew hewould return home. This time he was not so sure.The night sounds of the bush possessed a rhythm he knew well. He tried to relax, layinghis head on a thick branch, his weapons by his side. The fire would keep the wary beasts away.He hoped his prayers and the ancestors would protect him from those bolder. Despite hisuneasiness sleep finally found him, but only briefly. He jumped into a crouch, bow in his handand arrow nocked. Something moved in the bush. After a moment he knew it was human, forno beast would travel though the bush making such noise unless it was being chased. Koboye? The familiar voice emerging from the bush shocked him. At first he thought the spirits played games with him. He kept his bow raised and remained silent. Koboye? The voice was loud, insistent and arrogant. He knew it wasnt the spirits. Afrown came to his face as he lowered his bow. Kone, here, Koboye called.Hakankone crashed through the bush and into the firelight. Koboyes oldest brothercarried an assegai in his right hand with a provision bag slung over his shoulder. His short sword, his bakatwa, hung from his waist in its wooden sheath while he chopped at a stray vinewith his gano. He grinned as he approached Koboye and Koboyes nervousness grew. It wasnever good when Hakankone smiled.The brothers stood face to face. Kone was only three years older but he towered overKoboye. Some said Kone was a warrior spirit reborn from a time when their people wereconquerors, not farmers. He was the strongest boy of his age group and constantly proved it inwrestling matches that he easily won. I knew I would find you, Kone said proudly. See, Im not as bad a tracker as youthink. I did not say that, Koboye answered.
 
2Kones Visit/Davis©2011 MVmedia, LLC
 You didnt have to. Kone dropped his weapons and bag then sat before the fire.Koboye gazed at his brothers back, thinking the question he wished to say out loud. Why areyou here, Kone? Baba misses you, Kone said as he rubbed his hands over the fire. Hell be glad toknow you are okay. Im not far from the village. He knows I know these woods.They were silent for a moment until Koboyes curiosity overwhelmed his apprehension.  Kone, why are you here?Kone looked over his shoulder. I was worried about you. I came to escort you to theedge of the forest. When we reach the river Ill go back home. Im fine, Koboye said. His uneasiness increased. He remembered the look on Konesface when the elders choice him to deliver Tumaini, the golden warrior idol, to the Men of Mogai. There was disappointment in Kones eyes, but there was also anger. I know you are, Kone replied. But I am your elder brother. I am responsible for you.Koboye would have laughed out loud if he had not been afraid of how Kone wouldrespond. Its late, Koboye finally said. If we wish to make the river by nightfall tomorrow weneed to rest. It will be a hard walk. Do you have anything to eat? Kone asked. What did you bring? Koboye asked.Kone reached into his bag and took out two old yams. Knowing Kone he refused to eat them despite the fact he was famished. Koboye went to his bag and handed his brother thefresh wild yams hed dug up a day earlier. Kones eyes went big as he smiled. Thank you! He dusted the yams quickly then devoured them. Koboye laid back downin frustration. He would have to forage again once he crossed the river. Do have anything else? Kone asked. No, Koboye barked. It is late, Kone. Well gather more in the morning. That should beenough for tonight.
 
3
 Kones Visit/Davis©2011 MVmedia, LLC
 How do you know whats enough for me? Kones voice was stern, just the way Koboyewas used to. He felt comfort in Kones anger, which was familiar to him. At least he was surethat it was his brother and not a mischievous wood spirit. It will have to be. Its all I had. Oh. Well, good night brother.Koboye tucked the muder close. Good night, Kone.The chattering of agitated primates and curious birds stirred Koboye from his slumber.He awoke to his brother standing over him, Tumaini in his hand. He stared at the object with asmug look on his face as he absently nodded his head. What are you doing? Koboye asked.Kone jerked. Oh, nothing. Just admiring our savior. Such a small object to bear such alarge burden.Koboye took the idol from Kone and placed it back into its box. He glared at his brotheras he stuck the box back into his bag. It is not a toy. Why are you worried? Kone asked. No one would dare approach the two of us. Weare warriors.It was past time for Kone to go home. Koboye said nothing as he gathered his thingsthen set out for the river. The two walked in silence through the thick brush. They stopped at midday; Koboye went hunting, returning with two monkeys and more wild yams. After a tensemeal they continued on. The bush thinned toward sunset, a sign they were nearing the river.By the time the riverbank came into view the sun sat low on the horizon, its light muted. Theair hung humid around them. They were in between seasons so the river was full yet fordable. I thank you for your escort, Koboye said to Kone. You may want to head back now. Iwouldnt suggest that you camp near the river. Most animals choose the night to visit so it wont be safe. Im not going back, Kone said. You are.Kones words hit Koboye like a blow in the back. He turned to face his brother. Konestood in his familiar fighting stance, his hands on his hips, his head slightly tilted back. The elders were wrong. You are not the one to deliver Tumaini to the Men. Yes, youare a good hunter and all, but what will these noble warriors think when they see you? Ill tell

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