Night Game (Shunghila)

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Night Game (Shunghila)

Inlägg  Shunghila Lúzahan i sön aug 14, 2011 2:38 pm

The fire crackled homely, making silhouettes of the small group of people positioned into a circle next to the fire in the middle of the tent. They were leaning into the middle, some of the supporting themselves on one or two hands, other just bending their backs. Some on their knees, most of them sat crossed legged.

It was a bunch of men. Strong backs darkly tanned by the summer sun, muscular arms and weather bitten, sharp faces. Dark long hair falling long bellow their shoulders, falling freely or tied into braids. All of them had a least one eagle feather in their hair at the back of their heads, their weapons of choice resting next to them, just in case the merriness of their night got turned into something dark.

The night was utterly dark by now, one couldn't see anything just inches away from the fires that still were lit outside. They had been, still were, celebrating the first successful hunt of that year. All of their bellies got full of fresh buffalo meat and sweet berries the women had collected. The hunting men had on the field shared the warm, bloody treat of the buffalo's raw lever while they had waited for the ladies to arrive to butch the animals.

Children had laughed in the evening, more joyfully now that they were able to eat themselves full of buffalo legs and fine meat. The elders of the clan were given the most soft, delicious meat of the animals, at peace to see their children and grand children enjoying themselves.

There had been dance. Joyful, thankful, empowering dances. Men, women, music and singing. Thanking Wakhan Thánka and White Buffalo Calf Woman for the gifts, thanking the buffalo that had given up their lives to give them food. Thanking their relatives - all of their relatives.

Children running around, screaming, catching each other. Running between the legs of the adults, playing with the barking dogs that wiggled their tails in the excitement of the camp. Dogs that battled each other for the bones the humans didn't need.

Youths were talking with each other, warriors sharing their most braving stories from the battle field. Elders telling their tales of the old, passing their wisdom down to the next generations. Soft murmurs between couples, content hands caressing the round stomachs of pregnant women, happy that both souls was fed to the fullest this evening.

Outside the tent the small group of men had ventured into voices, drums and flutes still could be heard. Lower than before, most of the people had gone home. Carrying sleeping children in their arms, lovers cuddled together, young helping elders into their beds. Everyone got into bed later than usual, nobody cared.

The men laughed as one of them tossed the round bites of bones onto the flat ground. There were carvings on the pieces, filled with red paint to make it more easy to see the points. The men laughed, and the one that had tossed the bad hand grunted in displeasure.

"He mak'u wo", Shunghila reached to take the bowl made of some animals skull from the man that just had tossed the pieces of bones. His smile crooked, a mixture of confidence that he would get a better hand and a teasing smirk of the bad luck his mate seemed to have.

The man collected the round bits with one hand, dripping them into the bowl before giving it away. Shunghila accepted the bowl with two hands, dark eyes carefully studying the pieces laid in it before placing his right hand over the opening. He shook the bowl carefully but one, two and three times, jaws pressed together as he slung the bits out over the floor. Eyes quickly scanning the red trails of the bones and a victorious fist slammed into the ground in front of it.

"Hau!" He hissed in teasing joy. He had stolen the lead, now being placed number one in the game.

The men had one turn each left, the bones scrambled in the bowl and gave soft thuds when it landed on the floor. The spirits where high, and when it was a fact that Shunghila had won this round of game he straightened his back in a snotty but overplayed posture and attitude.

"Tanyán, tanyán, tanyán...", he uttered in a strong, confident voice, raising his arms into the air to coax the others to praise him.

"Lila washté", the man at his left side playfully pushed his shoulder and Shunghila laughed, relaxing his puffed out chest to take on a more comfortable, normal posture. He collected together the pieces into the bowl, giving it back to its owner.

It was a quite understanding, and the men started to collect their weapons and stand to go. The goodbyes and thanks where warmly said to the owner of the tent.

"Tóksha", said Shunghila over his shoulder, raising his arm in a last good bye before he ducked and went out, quietly laughing his goodbyes to the other men before he made his way to his own home.
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Shunghila Lúzahan

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