Museum Write-in Excerpt

Back in March, my local writing buddies and I visited the Milwaukee Public Museum to be inspired. Laptops and notebooks in hand, we wandered through the rain forest, the Streets of Old Milwaukee, and each of the continents, stopping when we found a good bench and writing away.

11018119_10155285940275298_1050732787_oAt the buffalo hunt

One of our stops was the igloo in the Arctic area. This area inspired me to write a cave scene for Flowerantha and also a scene for a hopefully forthcoming (meaning, years away) Oregon Trail story. I have a writer friend for whom history is her thing, so it’s a little intimidating going down that path. But I know she’ll have so much knowledge to share if and when I do!

Anyway, I was looking for the cave scene to incorporate into Flowerantha when I stumbled upon the historical fiction one. Pardon the historical inaccuracies.

The drums of the natives pounded outside the hut, and a coyote howled in the distance. At least, Eliza hoped it was the distance. Her head pounded along with the relentless drumming outside. She nudged her brother. “Are they building a house or making music.”

He laughed through his nose. “Who can tell?”

Along with the drumming, chanting broke out among the clan. It wasn’t melodic like the singing Pastor Joseph did around the campfire. Their dog cocked her head. She had never heard such a strange sound either.

“Music, I guess,” her brother said.

The wind whistled outside, adding yet another layer to the din. Chanting. Howling. Whistling. Drumming. Drumming. Drumming. It was enough to drive Eliza mad. But still, she was thankful for the shelter. Her cheeks burned from being wind-whipped all day. The racket, except for the wind, stopped for a moment, and Eliza made hopeful eye contact with her brother. But then it began again, with more fervor than before. She sighed and tightened the shawl around her head, stuffing it into her ears.

Hawkeye poked his head into the tent, and Eliza’s brother shoved her.

Eliza’s cheeks burned for a different reason.

Hawkeye’s brown chest was bare, as usual, and it heaved from the effort of dancing against the wind. A coyote sounded nearer this time. With the silence inside the hut, Hawkeye opened the flap to leave again until Eliza stopped him.

“Hawkeye, are the coyotes close?”

“Yes. That why we sing.”

“Are you planning to do it all night?” asked Eliza’s brother. This time, she was the one to elbow him. “Ow. That one hurt!”

Hawkeye’s eyebrows knitted together, and Eliza was sure that they had offended him. “No. End soon. We sleep.”

“Thank you,” Eliza called after him, but he was gone.