Excerpt From Journey Through Sattara
Chapter 1: Toying With Fire
When Su’Ma first laid eyes on Ne’Ya at the edge of where their territory met, he was mesmerized. He had never witnessed a creature so beautiful, so poised, and so unafraid to be out in the jungle all alone. Ne’Ya pretended not to see Su’Ma. She kept along her side of the territory line and Su’Ma step by step followed her along his. He tried to go back to his normal sport of hunting, but he could not take his eyes off of the beautiful creature. His curiosity got the best of him and he found himself calling out to the forbidden fruit on the opposite side of the jungle.
“Hey,” Su’Ma called out.
Ne’Ya, just as she was taught, continued down the path ignoring Su’Ma.
“Hey you,” Su’Ma called out again in a caveman-like voice.
His persistence grabbed her attention. She stopped and moved her eyes to his rich brown skin tone that matched hers perfectly. His stance was somewhat wild and animalistic. She then moved her eyes to his naturally locked hair that laid against his shoulders. The dotted arch marking across his forehead and the three slashes across his right cheek revealed his place within the Ja’Ka tribe. Royalty and a third-level hunter, she thought to herself.
It took her less than a minute to sum up the rest of the markings on his face. She discovered that day what most of the wounded land animals that ran to her side of the territory line were running from. Even though Su’Ma showed all the signs of a thorough natural hunter at age 15, even he was unpolished at times. Falling for the trickery of the animals that played dead and escaped as soon as he would blink. They would run right into the arms of Ne’Ya and she usually nursed them back to health and sent them on their way.
She had been warned to stay away from the men of the Ja’Ka tribe, especially those who carried the third-level hunter mark. She however, did not sense the trouble that her tribe had warned her about in the past. She couldn’t see the harm in speaking to a boy that held the same number of years as she did. She could sense that he wasn’t out to hurt her and answered his call.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“Why are you out here alone?” he replied.
“Why are you out here alone?” she answered back.
“I am a male. You’re a female. Females cannot protect themselves out in the jungle alone. You cannot defend yourself against an enemy,” he arrogantly replied.