In this scene from Sky Woman, Miri is at a loss – she’s been kidnapped and has no idea where she is. She doesn’t speak the language, and communicating with Lunan and his brother, Kaivan, has been difficult. Here we see her moment of discovery – when she realizes just how far from home she really is.
Lunan picked up a stick and began drawing in a patch of dirt in front of the tree she was under. He gestured all around him and drew a picture in the dirt of something – she leaned over and tried to make it out by the lantern light in the garden. It wasn’t a familiar shape at all. Was this his country? He drew a long, meandering line through various parts of it – a river? Then he drew a larger area, with waves on it. The ocean, then. He pointed to various parts of his makeshift map, marking names for her, but she had no idea what he drew or where he was trying to indicate.
She finally took the stick from his hand and drew a makeshift map of the United States – it didn’t look half bad, really. Then she wrote the letters “USA” next to it. He quirked a brow at her, shaking his head. So much for that, she thought, handing him back the stick.
She leaned her head back and stared up at the sky. Oh well. Sooner or later, she’d be back to feeling normal and she could walk out of here under her own steam. Until then, she’d just have to keep asking around until somebody had some information for her.
The moon looked absolutely huge tonight. It was off to her right, and so close she almost felt like she could reach out and touch it as it—
Wait a minute.
The moon was hanging low, right above the water. She had seen it just now, when she’d looked out at the ocean.
Miri’s head shifted down and she looked out across the water to see the moon, sitting just above the movement of the waves. It was small, and bright yellow instead of blue-gray. She blinked once, twice, and began to hyperventilate a bit. She slowly tilted her head back up, and there it was. The moon. The other moon.
The second moon that her world didn’t have.
Lunan watched Miri with concern. Was she in pain? Her breathing was rapid, and her face was contorted as though she was hurting. He was about to put a hand on her shoulder and let her know he was going to get Tuva when she suddenly buried her face in her palms, her slender shoulders shaking. She made no noise, but it was obvious something had upset her greatly.
What was going on? She had been staring up at A’lai, the larger of the moons, then out at the ocean and also at A’nao, the smaller of the moons. Was she worried about their passing? They weren’t due to intersect yet. As he pondered all of this, she raised her head again, looking at them one more time as if to be sure, then she looked right at him with….fear? Why was she afraid?
She was crying. He could see that now. She was still making no noise – the tears were rolling soundlessly down her cheeks and she was trembling from head to toe. He reached a hand to her and she stared at him as if seeing him for the first time. Her eyes were large and full of fear.
Enough of this – he had to get her to Tuva. He scooped her up and she stiffened, but didn’t resist. She was so lost in whatever was upsetting her it was like she didn’t even seem to notice that he had her. He was truly worried now.
He got her up to her room and laid her down on the bed and she immediately curled into a ball on her side. The tears were still flowing, but she was staring now, blankly, as if she were almost catatonic. He ran to the door and bellowed for Kaivan and Tuva.
Kaivan showed up moments later.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“She’s sick….or hurt. I’m not sure.” Lunan ran a hand through his hair. “I need Tuva, quickly. Maybe a healer, too.”
Kaivan gave a brisk nod and then he was in motion, tearing down the hall and flying down the stairs. Lunan paced back over to the bed and sat on the edge, helplessly putting a palm to her forehead. She didn’t even seem to see or feel him.
Tuva appeared in the doorway, a panting Kaivan close on her heels.
“Tell me what’s happened.” She walked over to Miri, her practiced hands feeling her neck, and then moving down to press lightly on her ribs. Miri flinched slightly, but didn’t make any other response.
“What was she doing, Lunan?”
“Nothing. She’d just eaten, and she and I were drawing pictures in the dirt, trying to talk to each other. She was staring at the moons and she suddenly started getting very frightened and upset. I’m not sure what made her so afraid.”
Tuva listened, shaking her head slightly, obviously at a loss. Kaivan inhaled sharply.
“Lunan – she’s a Sky Woman.”
“I know that, Kai. Anyone can see that.”
“Didn’t you say her captor kept her hidden inside? What if–” He looked at Miri. “What if she only just realized she that was somewhere else?”
“Well, of course she is,” said Lunan, impatiently. “She’s a sky woman. They’re all from somewhere else.”
Tuva nodded her head, thoughtfully. “He’s right. We’ve heard of sky women before, but she’s never been one before. She may not have realized that she isn’t near her home. Maybe where she comes from, they have no moons.”
“And the sight of ours—” Kaivan began.
“–would have terrified her.” Lunan looked over at Miri, lying so still, tears streaking her face. “What do we do, Tuva? Can you give her something to help her sleep?”
“I can, but she’ll wake tomorrow and she’ll still be somewhere new and unfamiliar, away from everything she’s ever known.”
“What do you suggest?” Kaivan asked.
Tuva gave a shrug. “The girl is afraid.”
Lunan and Kaivan stared at her, waiting for her instructions. She let out an exasperated breath.
“Ancestors, help me! Didn’t your father teach you anything? Why don’t you try holding her?”
The look the two men gave each other was almost comical, and Tuva would have laughed if there weren’t a girl on the bed, drowning in sorrow.
“I’ll stay with her,” Kaivan said, heading over toward the bed. Lunan stopped him with a hand on his arm.
“It should be Lunan,” said Tuva. “She trusts him.”
Miri learns to embrace her new life, but it’s a rough road – especially when things are drastically different in this new culture. Check out Sky Woman: Book One of the Seeder Saga at Amazon for Kindle.