Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Xoch by Whitney

(Note by Mom: Whitney has been home from school sick for a full week now. Sore throat, fever, cough - the works. It's the first school she has missed all year, and I can't remember the last time she was really sick. The Dr. ruled out strep and the flu, but whatever it is, it had her flat in bed for days. She reread the entire Fable Haven series and finished the third book again, just as the fourth book that she had pre-ordered arrived on the doorstep. She can't stand being sick, but hopefully she enjoyed a little down time. Today she felt much better and started tackling some school work, including building an impressive looking DNA model.
I have included another short story from her history project from last semester. This one covers the Mayan culture. She struggled for a long while with how to portray a religion that was based on human sacrifice. I think she did it very well.)
(Say z-ock, rhymes with “sock”)

Xoch scraped at the ground with her digging stick. She was tending to her family’s garden, and was making the irrigation trenches around the corn deeper. She paused to wipe her forehead and glanced around, breathing in the thin mountain air. She saw her mother weaving on a loom by the side of the house, combining the colorful dyed threads of alpaca fleece together to make a blanket for the baby. She could see her five year-old brother jumping around the rocks by their home. He was trying to catch one of the fattened guinea pigs that wandered in and around their house, so they could have it for dinner.

Suddenly she heard a voice calling,

“Clear the way, for the imperial warriors!”

She turned to see a fore-runner jogging past, his leather sandals flapping against the hard packed dirt of the road. As he passed out of sight among the rest of the houses of the village, she saw an advancing group tramping down the road. As they got closer, Xoch could see, without a doubt, that these where obviously the imperial warriors. They where dressed in fierce costumes of jaguar-skin and feathers with elaborate headdresses. They carried formidable obsidian-edged blades and clubs.

Behind them, roped together, where a group of bedraggled men. They were all slaves. These Xoch observed with interest. From their dress she could see these where prisoners of battle. As Xoch watched them pass she thought about the future they had ahead of them. For a few more days they would travel to the capital where they would be handed over to the priests. They would then be taken up one of the huge stone pyramid-shaped temples. There they would be sacrificed by the priests to the gods. At this time of year it would most likely be to the god of good harvest, so all the farmers would have a plentiful crop this year. There were quite a few slaves. Xoch turned back to her work, more enthusiastically, now that she knew they would have an abundant corn harvest this year.