Cloie looked around the festival crowd and finally saw her best friends, Bethe and Ashley, standing next to the balloon vendor. She sashayed over and gave each a peck on the cheek.

"I'm so nervous! I can't believe time has flown so fast. It seemed like just yesterday that we were all giggling about the idea of even kissing a boy..and tonite we will become women!"

Ashley tossed her long curly blonde hair and smiled sweetly. "I don't know about you two, but I'm feeling all hot and tingly at the idea!" She stretched her arms and arched her back. "Let's go scope out the men."

Red haired Bethe nodded and led the way. "Let's get an icee first, I'm parched!"

The three girls wore the customary black lace gowns that allowed the men to almost but not quite see the firm young flesh underneath. Garlands of fresh red Bittle flowers crowned their heads. The sweet scent could drive a man crazy.

Music boomed over loud speakers and the scent of food mingled with Bittle perfume. The music would occasionally be drowned out by roars of delight and groans of despair.

The setting sun shone brightly for a moment then was replaced by small lanterns filled with exotic oils. The shadows flickered as the passing crowds moved the air. All in all it was a warm night that promised to get warmer.

As the trio walked towards the far end of the fairway they let their eyes slide over the many men standing in groups. The men smiled or posed to try to catch any one of the many girls' attention. Tonite was a special nite... one that came only once every two years.

Licking their icees was an art. One didn't want to appear greedy but rather to appear to savor the taste. The swirling licking tongues were viewed with great pleasure by the men the trio walked past. Some shouted encouragement that almost made the girls blush.

The three whispered and giggled as they discussed the various attributes of the males lining the walk. Suddenly Ashley stopped and just stared. She took a deep breath and told the other two she would see them tomorrow. Bethe and Cloie watched as Ashley walked towards a short dark haired man.

While he was a muscular sort..neither of the two could see what had attracted their friend. But they had been told that this would happen to them too..so they shrugged and walked on.

A few minutes later they reached the end of the festival grounds and both decided to sit for a few minutes and just watch. A huge bonfire was roaring in the center of a large open field. Men and women danced around the fire..some throwing in Bittle flowers as offerrings. To one side men wrestled one another. This was the cause of the cheers and groans as favorites won or lost.

After rubbing their bare feet and running a brush through each other's hair the two resumed their promenade. Now and then they would see friends from school. The other girls wore the same airy outfit and had the same gleam in their eyes. The boys their age wore resigned, bored looks. The odds of a celebrant choosing them was very slim.

The drums started a new beat that went straight to the girls feet. They stopped walking for a moment and started dancing instead. As their bodies swayed and their hair floated around them a group of appreciative men began clapping.

Bethe swirled and felt like she was heading for Heaven. Her breath came in short gasp as she twirled and spun. Dizzy, she stumbled and tumbled into the arms of a sandy haired and green eyed man. Shyly she looked up and smiled. Her heart caught and without a word to Cloie she left on his arm.

The music subsided and Cloie walked on... wondering if she, too, would find a soulmate.

The nite grew darker and the crowds gathered on the field..just a few hold-outs studded the walkway. Cloie drifted and was considering leaving. It wasn't a shameful thing to not find a chosen one... just a sad thing. She turned and started back to the entrance..glancing at each man she saw. Hungrily devouring their features and hoping one would strike a chord deep inside her.

Just a few feet from the field's outer perimeter Cloie stopped and breathed deeply. She sighed and started to leave...head down and almost ready to cry.


She walked into a body that she swore hadn't been there before.

Looking up she saw a vision of blue eyes and blond hair. Muscular arms and a dimple in his chin. Her nether regions twitched and became hot. A smile played across her lips and she tilted her head. Could this be her Chosen One?

The vision reached out and with one finger placed under Cloie's chin.. kissed her. That's all it took for her to know for sure.

Like in a dream they drifted until Cloie realized she was inside a tent. With a hungry groan she ripped off her dress and threw herself on the inviting bed. Stroking herself she looked up and gave a come hither smile to her man.(Ok..I could get really graphic from this point on... but in the interest of maintaining a PG13 for newsgroups..go here for that)

Cloie sighed and just knew a baby had been made with all the fireworks that had occured between her and Lem (as she had finally found out her Chosen One's name). Sticky and hot.. she noticed the sound of the crowd was growing louder.

Torchlight glimmered off the tent's front flap.

"Out!" Came a command.

With a sad smile, Lem climbed from the bed and headed for the dooway. Cloie pulled the silken sheet to her neck and tears started to spurt from her eyes. One hand stretched forth...but Lem shook his head and left.

Cloie wiped the tears away and vowed her child would never know of this evil rite. She cradled her belly but refused to scream when she heard the roar of the crowd.. nor the sudden flaring of the bonfire. She owed Lem that much.

Slowly she dressed and then left the tent. A tattered dream was what this was. Only bits and pieces to remember.

Her child would be revered as the child of a Summer's God.

But he or she would never know the sweetness of her father's smile nor of his father's sense of responsibility. If Cloie was truly with child... she would be sought after by many a man. Her future was rosy, the fact she had been chosen by a Festival God only sweetened it. One who was chosen that the harvest would be good and the people would prosper and then Fathered a child to boot.. Good Omen Surpreme. If she was lucky she would find a man who reminded her very little of Lem. If she bore a child... she would never forget him.. but a good man might blunt her memories of her Womanhood night.

She reached up and pulled the Bittle flowers from her hair and threw them behind her.


MistyMageŠ2003Story Index