World Building logoIf you’re looking for the World Building Blogfest Excerpt, scroll down or click on the logo to the left. However, Jarn’s Journal is also a part of the history of my science fiction universe, and is the basis for several holy books — much modified by priests, of course!

Year 5 Day 24

You’d think that by now I’d know that I haven’t a shred of artistic sense in my body. No, I had to try to decorate myself. Giraffe and Meerkat are too much in awe of me to laugh in my face, but Songbird could not suppress her giggles.

“Fine,” I said. “You decorate me. But I absolutely am not going to wear that mask and leopard skin!”

feathers, MorguefileShe fingered my skin, covered with splotches of the red-purple dye. “Can you get that off?”

Rather sullenly I felt out the structure of the dye and teleported it away. It took me a while – I’m not exactly expert in that kind of work – and while I was working at the problem, Songbird was drawing with a stick on a patch of dirt. She finished and began chewing a twig about the time my skin returned to its normal dark bronze color.

“Now, do you have more of that color? It’s different from any I’ve seen before. We’ll say it’s a holy color, just for you, and set it off with white.”

I handed her the rest of the shellfish dye, and she dipped the chewed twig into it and began painting a curving design on my inner thighs, the least visible part of my body. Gradually she extended her design over the rest of my body and face, now and then asking me to remove the dye in some small area she had painted by mistake. “There,” she said. By then it was night, and I went to one of the small glass windows I had made and looked at myself. The reflection was distorted, of course, but I was very definitely not an animal. And it was clearly adornment, the red dye and the white clay in a pattern that followed my body with symbols I had come to recognize.

“You do need a headdress,” she said. “Feathers, perhaps? I could braid them into your hair so they make a crest. And I should touch up the skin color, especially the white, just before the celebration.”

I rolled my eyes a bit, then thought of the sap. “Could you scent the feathers with this?”

At least it is better than the gear I have had to wear the last two gathers, and the sap should cover some of the other smells!