Another installment of Jarn’s Journal, excerpts from the (fictional) journal of the R’il’nian stranded on Earth some 125,000 years ago. His story is the back story for the science fiction universe behind Homecoming and Tourist Trap. A longer version of today’s entry may be found on my main blog, and the entire journal to date is on my author website.
The shaman is not at all what I expected. In fact, I am starting to wonder if “shaman” is even the right translation of the word Songbird used.
It occurred to me after Songbird had left on her errand that she’d told me her people were in the habit of giving gifts of food to visitors. One thing I was sure they would treasure was salt – easy enough for me to get, simply by teleporting seawater to my shelter and boiling it down. I’d replenished my stock a fiveday ago, so it was simple to fill one of my smaller gourds with the precious substance.
What else? A sweet, sticky fruit from the jungle to the north, as far away as I have memorized teleport coordinates, was at first as strange to Songbird as it was to me, but after one cautious trial it became a favorite for both of us. It was easy enough to teleport to a memorized part of the jungle, and probe mentally for the right kind of tree with a feel of ripeness. I plucked a huge leaf, teleported the fruit onto it from one of the branches too slender for the small primates gorging on the tree’s bounty, and then teleported it and myself back to the shelter. Wild melons were ripening, too, and I plucked one to temper the sweetness of the jungle fruit.
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