Saga of Bohok Chapter 2

Chapter 2

The tears first shed were for the strangely noble beast dead in the sand before him but the subsequent ones fell for different reasons. They were for his father and for himself. The tears for his father were tears he never dared let loose amongst the dispassionate Fish-Eaters. Theirs was the way of the river, all emotion flowed through them and they let those currents wash away all anger and grief.

Fish-Eaters never showed outward emotion, and those who could not control themselves and their feelings were found wanting. A man of the Tuitar Clan never cried and never lost his temper. He never let emotion run his live or shape his judgment. The river carried him through life, never taking more than it gave. It was a simple peaceful life, and one that completely eluded Bohok no matter how hard he tried to embrace it.

 His father was a Tuitar, a Fish-Eater, and had that noble peace flowing through his blood. Bohok did not receive his father’s way; he was cursed with his mother’s temperament. His mother had been a Caryar, a Bug-Eater.  He had never met his mother, she had died birthing him. His father had never spoke of her, never told Bohok about her or even allowed him ask of her. She was a total stranger to him. Bohok imagined that she had to have been beautiful. It would have taken great beauty to seduce his father into making the half blood abomination that was Bohok. Why else would such a great and good a man as his father do such a reckless and hurtful thing?

Bohok’s life had been hard. While the way of the river proclaimed a peaceful life it did not keep the children of the tribe from tormenting him. In a way it was worse, when Bohok lost his temper at the teasing and fought with the boys the elders would all frown and blame Bohok’s foreign heritage. As far as Bohok could see there was no right answer, no way for him to win. He did everything he could to fit in to the Fish-Eater way of life. He tried to emulate his noble father but no matter how hard he tried his temper and his emotions got in the way. They kept him from ever truly becoming a part of his own tribe.

 It was from that feeling of hopelessness that Bohok had committed the most heinous act of his life. Shortly after the death of his father Bohok was preparing to go out fishing. He had inherited his father’s house, his small boat and his nets. All the tools that a man would need to live a good and fruitful life.

He was alone, but he sat at the fisherman’s fire and listened to the stories of the day’s catch. They told of the triumph of landing a large fish on light tackle or the heartbreak of losing one, Bohok always liked these stories. No one sat near him but he still felt like he was a part of something, despite his cursed bloodline.

It was during the spring spawn, the travelling fish were so thick in the river that sometimes Bohok thought he could walk across the water on their backs and not get his feet wet. The thought had so intrigued Bohok as he fished that finally he decided to try it. He tied a line to a tree and then to himself; so if he fell into the river the swift current wouldn’t carry him off.

 He took only a moment to build up his courage then he charged out into the water. The fish were slimy on his bare feet but they held his weight for three steps out into the river, and then three steps back.  Once back on shore Bohok shouted in triumph and made a dance of his own invention. He felt a joy in his heart, the first since the passing of his father.

That night at the fisherman’s fire Bohok listened to the men tell their tales. The stories seemed different tonight. They seemed so boring, so old, so repetitive, not one man told a tale that Bohok hadn’t heard told before. He waited until all the men had said their piece then he stood up.  There was a look of shock amongst the fishermen and Bohok heard several of the younger men rumble their objections but Chief Yoosin put up his great pole and crowd went silent.

Bohok cleared his throat and told his story. He told it with all the enthusiasm and joy that he had felt upon accomplishing his feat.  He high stepped toward the fire and back away showing the men how he had tread out onto the backs of the travelling fish.

When he was finished Bohok looked into the faces of the men around the fisherman’s fire. Some looked incredulous, while others smiled and shook their heads, but most began laughing. Their laugher cut Bohok’s joy to the quick, they didn’t believe him, they were mocking him.  Bohok’s temper flared.

“You expect us to believe those lies Bug-Eater?” A voice asked.

Bohok spun to see who dared call him a liar. It was Kirso, the chief’s youngest son, who was the same age as Bohok. Kirso had always been the first to taunt and torment Bohok when they were children. Kirso had also been the first to point out Bohok’s temper before he could suffer any retribution for his words.

“I swear that my words are true!” Bohok screamed at Kirso. “I swear on my honor.”

“What honor does a half blood Bug-Eater have?” Kirso laughed even louder.

“Kirso.” Chief Yoosin stood. “You should not speak to Bohok like that.”

Bohok heard the chief speak the words but his temper had already driven him to action. He scooped a rock up from the dirt and hurled it with all his might at Kirso. The rock hit him in the temple with a loud crack. The sound of the rock hitting the boy’s head quieted all the laughter instantly. Everyone watched as Kirso’s eyes crossed and he slid slowly off the log he had been sitting on. He slid down to the ground and began twitching violently.    

The men around Kirso all went to his aid while the men around Bohok all surrounded him and carried him away. Bohok offered no resistance; his Bug-Eater temper had once again betrayed him. The non-violent Fish-Eaters had many forms of punishment that were far worse than just  physical pain. They stripped him of his house, his boat and his name. Bohok did not die that night nor did Kirso, although later Bohok would wish that they had.

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Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 2:31 am  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. Your writing pulls me into a world so vivid, the joy
    ohh life, such good reading,

  2. Good Read so far, big words for Weldon? He must really be a good reader!


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