Saturday, 25 August 2007

Magnolia petals

Thiyel stirs at the back of the cave, where he is sleeping off a meal of doe deer that he ate earlier in the afternoon. Maxtla rises and moves towards Thiyel, pulling the fur blanket back to reveal his small barrel-like body with its dense covering of reddish hair. He is bruised and has hips gnarled by arthritis, but he is still gaunt, strong and fit. He stands up.

Maxtla turns to Thiyel and shows him a withered magnolia petal. Maxtla holds Thiyel’s arm and he falls silent, taking his hands off his genitals. She points with her other hand in the direction of the stream. Thieyel looks in that direction and a picture of a flowering tree on the streamside comes into his mind. Maxtla taps six times on Thiyel’s wrist. “Go”, she says. Thiyel grunts, rearranges his furs and steps out into the moonlight, touching Maxtla's breasts as he leaves. Will he remember what he has gone for?

Later, Thiyel returns with ten magnolia petals and the body of a small rodent that he found decaying by the stream.


gordon_the _gopher said...

Its getting there - but is it cold enough? Love the names: where are they from?

Anne Gilbert said...

Hello Kim.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Anne Gilbert, and I'm also writing about Neandertals. The difference between my work and yours is, (a)it's science fiction and (b) it's set in medieval England(there's an extensive backstory to this).

I would also like to point out, based mostly on my own, independent research --- in various learned journals and books, BTW, I don't think Neandertals thought any "differently" from "modern" humans. I think they were perfectly capable of communicating through language, and they probably did. Finally, I don't think they were necessarily particularly "hairy", although lots of people seem to have that idea. Your idea is interesting, though, and I hope you succeed with it. If you do, I'd love to read your book.

BTW, I have my own blog. It's called The Writer's Daily Grind, and it's at

The core of its "being" is about the process or writing, and my writing "struggles", but there is also related material. I've linked to your blog; I rather like the look of it.
Anne Gilbert

Kim Norton said...

I understand the need for cold, but they were probably most active in the spring. If the baby was born in the late winter, then it would be weak and failing in the early Spring.

The names? Inuit words. So, they are cold words, too. Cold, but filled with fire.

Thanks for posting, Gordon.

Anne Gilbert said...

That URL should read:
Anne Gilbert

Kim Norton said...

Hello Anne

Thank you for posting. My ideas for the Neanderthal mind come from Steven Mithen's book on the prehistoric mind. Do you know it?

Which articles have you based your ideas on?

I will look at your blog - interesting name (!) and get back to you.

I like the idea of a medieval setting.

Best wishes


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