Café novelist

Tips for indie authors

Hope Not Lost – sequel to The Shamanic Prophecy

VENEZUELA 1698

CHAPTER ONE

The sun’s relentless glare beat down upon the still waters of the ocean, searing the back of his ever-watchful eyes. Squinting and pinching the bridge of his nose, he rested his sight. A lonely figure, watching and waiting. Day after day. Expectant eyes scanning the featureless vista. There he would wait until the distant sun disappeared once more over the horizon.

‘Daydreaming again?’ Wanadi will ask.

 Why must I torture myself so? he thought.

A troubled and tormented character, Jabuti was an enigma even to those who knew him well. A funny and engaging character at one moment, and the next he retreated into himself, becoming withdrawn and uncommunicative. That being said though, he enjoyed the companionship of his closest friends. They had ventured a great distance and overcome many obstacles to reach their destination, only for Jabuti to face yet more disappointment and heartache. He felt physically sick, thinking of all that he had left behind on what was surely a foolhardy adventure.

Oh, Maru, what have I done? Why did I leave your side? What a fool I have been.

Absorbed with these thoughts, he recalled the sweet perfume of her hair as he held her tightly on that last moonlit night together. Standing taller than her, he felt protective of her delicate figure in that embrace, feeling secure and loved for the first time in his life. Convinced that she would have forgotten all about him on his eventual return, he slumped onto the soft warm sand, despairing that he would ever truly find happiness.

There he sat for several hours, head slumped, physically unable to move. Convinced that he would die from the agonising torment that wracked his mind, he dragged his weary mind back to the present. Just the simple task of standing took an immense effort, and he literally shook his head to get moving.

Must it always be like this? he sighed.

Taking leave from the soft lapping of the ocean he returned to the small settlement with a heavy heart. His mood lifted though as he heard the sounds of laughter and the smell of wood smoke drifting in the air.

He smiled upon seeing Wanadi talking with the priest, Rodrigo, as he rounded the corner into the neat little village. Wanadi had remained by his side; a close and loyal friend to the last. Quick with a joke, Jabuti was pleased to have him by his side.

‘So what were you thinking about tonight?’ Wanadi teased.

Jabuti smiled. ‘Oh, nothing much.’

‘You know what Mapi would say?’

‘No, what?’

‘Something stupid,’ Wanadi smiled.

Jabuti laughed.

‘He will be safe with Hernando and Luis,’ Rodrigo said.

With a shock of grey hair and an impressive beard that held an ever-present smile within, Jabuti had grown to love this kindly man. Rodrigo had surprised them upon their arrival by speaking to them in their native tongue and they in turn had begun learning Rodrigo’s language. It was difficult for them, but with Rodrigo’s patience and endless enthusiasm, they began to enjoy the task.

‘It is a perilous journey back to our village, Rodrigo.’

‘I know, but Hernando and Luis have been preaching far and wide for many years now,’ Rodrigo replied. ‘They are experienced in the ways of the forest.’

‘I miss him,’ Jabuti said. He almost mentioned how much he missed Maru, but he knew he could never put into words the deep feeling of loss at leaving her behind.

‘He was a very good friend to you both.’

‘Somebody had to return home,’ Wanadi said. ‘Otherwise they would never know what happened to us.’

‘How long must we wait for this ship to arrive?’ Jabuti asked.

‘I don’t know, Jabuti,’ Rodrigo replied. ‘It could be many more months or even tomorrow.’

‘But I just want to…’

‘Yes, Jabuti. I know you are eager to find your father,’ Rodrigo said. ‘But do not fret so. Learn to be calm and let tomorrow bring what it may.’

They continued to talk for many more hours until it was time to retire.

‘Are you coming, Jabuti?’ Wanadi asked.

‘I think I’ll sit by the fire for a while longer.’

Wanadi walked away with Rodrigo, leaving Jabuti on his own.

They had stumbled into Rodrigo’s village in a pitiful state one day, with Wanadi close to death after an attack by a jaguar. Never before had they witnessed such skill at how Rodrigo tended to his deep wounds, nursing him slowly back to life. For that, Jabuti would be forever grateful to him. Gazing into the dying embers of the fire, listening to the crackling and spitting of the wood he experienced a rare moment of calm and stillness. Sitting there he reminisced about their journey.

It had all begun one day as Jabuti sought the company of the only person who could give him solace in his time of need. He sat there thinking of the kind old shaman, who had brought him up and had been like a father to him.

Jabuti had been an orphan from birth and had learnt to endure the feelings of jealousy and longing he endured upon seeing his friends comforted and supported by their own parents. Yes, there was plenty of support from the adults of their close-knit village, but it was not the same as having parents of your own. Thereafter, loneliness was to be his constant companion and a cruel reminder of how different he felt to everyone else. On the day he met with the shaman he learnt the shocking revelation that his father, who he always believed died in a hunting accident was in fact not dead. Even more startling was that he was a white man called Pedro, who had travelled a great distance from another land to preach of his God.

It was from that very moment he announced to the shaman that he was to set forth into the rainforest to find his father. Despite the shaman’s protestations, Jabuti’s mind could not be altered. With the company of his friends they could never know just how dangerous and frightening their adventure would prove to be.

Jabuti shivered, despite the warmth of the fire, recalling all of their near-death experiences. He kicked sand into the fire in frustration at all the obstacles they’d had to overcome. His irritation grew as he had to breathe life back into the dying embers.

Such terrible things I have witnessed. Will I ever be the same man that Maru fell in love with? he thought.

‘Jabuti, how are you doing?’ Rodrigo said, making him jump.

‘Oh, hello, Rodrigo,’ Jabuti replied, feeling embarrassed that he might have witnessed his display of irritation.

‘I was concerned about you.’

‘There is no need.’

‘I worry about you spending time alone.’

‘It’s just the way I am,’ Jabuti shrugged, and prodded the fire with a stick not knowing what else to say.

‘Try not to dwell on the past for too long, Jabuti. One never knows what God has in store for us,’ Rodrigo said. ‘If you need to talk, you know where I am.’

‘Thank you. I won’t be long,’ he said over his shoulder as Rodrigo walked away.

Jabuti felt bad as Rodrigo left, but he just didn’t have the energy to talk any further that night. He knew that Rodrigo meant well, but to discover that his father had left Rodrigo’s village many years before his arrival was a serious blow to Jabuti’s confidence

Why me? Why must I endure such heartache? he thought, kicking sand all over the fire and fully extinguishing it this time.

Angered and weary, he dragged himself away from the dying heat and retired to sleep.

Frustratingly, sleep eluded him as he lay there thinking of his mother.

I hate this person I have become. If only she had… oh, it could have all been so different, he fretted. How could the shaman have deceived me so cruelly?

Finding it impossible to sleep, Jabuti arose and took a short walk to clear his mind. With a bright moon shining down upon him, he could see his way clearly. The tiny settlement was all quiet at that late hour, save for the slight murmurings and noises of animals up high in the forest’s canopy. Before too long, Jabuti found himself in the well-manicured garden that Rodrigo called a cementerio.

Jabuti could still recall Rodrigo’s words on that fateful day.

‘This is where your mother, Pucu, lies.’

It was from that point onwards that Jabuti challenged Rodrigo’s faith in a God who could act so mercilessly.

 ‘How could the shaman have lied to me so?’ Jabuti asked one day.

‘Oh, Jabuti,’ Rodrigo sighed. ‘It’s not as simple as that. What good would come from knowing the truth?’

‘But he told me about my father, why not the truth about my mother?’ Jabuti shouted. ‘I have felt all alone my whole life. If I knew of these truths then I could have gone in search of them earlier, and maybe it would have all been…’ he trailed off.

‘I know, Jabuti. But I think the shaman was ashamed of the way in which the elders treated your mo—’

‘What?’ Jabuti snapped. ‘That they banished her from our village because of her relationship with my father?’

‘I cannot begin to understand your customs, Jabuti.’

‘My heart breaks to think that she wandered all alone, trying to find him.’

‘Come, Jabuti. This will do you no go—’

‘But it could have all been so different.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘I would have had a mother and father to comfort me and I wouldn’t have felt so alone. I…I could have been happier and maybe…’ Jabuti said, sobbing into Rodrigo’s comforting embrace.

TO READ FURTHER AND TO PURCHASE, PLEASE CLICK BELOW

HOPE NOT LOST – (UK CUSTOMERS)

HOPE NOT LOST – (USA CUSTOMERS)


Thanks a lot for your interest in my post, I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: