Working Title: UNDULATION
Author: Stephen Embleton
Themes: Self-Discovery. Motherhood
Setting: Remote village on the planet Wiimb-ó.
Protagonist: Hmahein – a raevaagi initiate (of the Ruevaagi Order)
Mentor: Ra’engi Efendumo – he is a Ra’engi (Mentor/Teacher)
Hmahein’s Attendant: Waioke – a local boy, attendant tailor for Hmahein, an initiate of the Guild of Tailors. Ornamental dressing and fitting of ceremonial garments.
A young initiate chronicler, Hmahein, is rehearsing a myth in her sacred place, in preparation for her debut performance that evening at the remote paramikule (paramount chieftaincy) of Zékunekude. The bearers of the histories, the group of storytellers known as the Ruevaagi on the planet Wiimb-ó, have been invited there to perform. Initiates, like Hmahein, are chosen by the higher orders of Zezépfeni, based on the skills they display as children.
The remote and harsh environment of the equatorial Abzizi-Lukhi district, where Paramikule Zékunekude is situated, means it is an arduous journey to a people who put a high value on outsiders visiting them. An invitation is not taken lightly, by anyone. The paramikule is a hive of activity, as word of the ruevaagi’s presence has reached the other paramikules spread across the expansive district.
With a fraught upbringing, and thrust into becoming a raevaagi and leaving her past behind, Hmahein is emerging into the adult world. Her frustrations come from her inner turmoil as well as the wide world she is now discovering. She is a talented initiate, but her questioning of authority can be brash and arrogant. According to her irritated mentor, Ra’engi Efendumo, this combined with her stumbling block – her inability to pronounce, choose or clearly enunciate specific words – will continue to hinder any progress.
Efendumo brings patience, but, to Hmahein, is simply towing the line in the grand scheme of a conforming world. He is slightly tolerant of Hmahein, but to a point, and will try keep her in line, by following protocol and the sacred art handed down through the generations. He is ultimately held responsible for any initiate under his tutelage, and his reputation hinges on their success.
Efendumo calls in Hmahein’s assigned attendant, the local boy Waioke, from the guild of tailors, to assist her with her ornamental garments for the occasion.
Hmahein tells Ra’engi Efendumo how she feels as though she is being pulled apart, as if the moon (two of the three are invisible) is heavier that it actually is, causing her assistant Waioke, to leave the room/tent/space.
Hmahein questions her ra’engi and his unquestioning methods, along with the mythology ingrained throughout society by the Zezépfenites. In order to find her own place in the five worlds of the Suútiverse, she is driven to question the traditional narrative of the world. The Zezépfenites, a political and religious power, though very much in the background of our story, seem to wield their powers and manipulations like gods themselves.
Frustrated, Efendumo recommends Hmahein go out and enjoy the sunset rather than continuing to dress. Connect with the Twin Suns and calm her mind.
Later, walking through the lanes of Waioke’s village as the sun sets, the boy confides in Hmahein about the two unseen moons, since he overheard her sensing the spirit moons. Waioke gives her insights into why the ruevaagi order have been invited at this auspicious time for the village: the three moons increase the tectonic activity, and more, along the equator when they are aligned and “pulling” in unison. They believe this is a time of opening up to Eh’wauizo, the spirit realm.
Culminating in her performance that evening (off-camera/unseen by the reader), Hmahein unknowingly taps into the spirit realm, and in doing so is revealed truths of her world and the perceptions and narratives that have been forced on the residents of the five planets. As her world and her future threatens to crumble around her, she must try and make sense of the magic welling up inside. Only by working through these mental and emotional hurdles, assimilating the knowledge, will she harness her true abilities and tap into the magic in herself. We will feel the excitement of experiencing the finding of someone’s Truth, and in turn, Hmahein’s magic.
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