Thanks for coming back to this year’s BlogFestivus writing challenge. Nine stories that are supposed to take inspiration from the nine reindeer on Santa’s sleigh. Today is Day Seven– Donner.
Today, you get that double-dose so that I can be back on track. This is the second of today’s installments, so if you’re seeing this one in your feed first, go find chapter 6 and then come back to here.
The idea had come to her during study hall and now she couldn’t get there fast enough. She rode with abandon, speeding through the mostly deserted campus. She skidded to a stop, dismounted, and took the steps to the Anthropology Department two at a time.
He’s got to be here…
“Clarice!” Professor Cornelius’ voice thundered when he saw her. “What are you doing here? Is your mom with you?”
“No, Professor,” she paused. “My mom’s not well. Can I ask you something?”
Their old family friend settled back in his chair, stroking his bushy auburn beard. “Of course, dearie, what’s the matter?”
“Well, she’s been hanging around this neighborhood guy and it’s getting weird…”
Cornelius arched his eyebrows.
“Yeah, weird. Like she keeps going to see him and he’s got this crazy mom who… who attacked me! And she’s getting all obsessed about this Indian solstice ritual.”
“Well, your mom’s a people person…”
“No! It’s not like that!” Clarice fought for control. “It’s all solstice and some Trickster dude named A’renndur.”
“A’renndur’s not a dude. A’renndur are a ‘they’.”
Clarice looked confused, Cornelius continued.
“And they’re not really solstice either. Or just solstice. In the Cha’mac tribe, they’re summoned when the Great Season of the world, their own sort of Mayan calendar, finishes. Actually, it’s funny you should mention it, because it finishes today. The A’renndur are supposed to bring on the end.”
“The end of what?”
“Why, the end of everything, dearie.”