“The Girl Turns West,” my short fantasy story inspired by precolonial Mescalero/Lipan/Jicarilla societies, appears in Mirror Dance this summer. Read it here! In this post, I will say a few words about the society and magic of Many Question’s world. If you don’t know who Many Questions is, ahem … click this link and put on your reading glasses (if you need em) 😉
- Names have power: Because they reflect a person’s soul, names possess great spiritual power and can be weapons in the wrong hands. Therefore, Many Questions refers to people by their familial/professional titles, even in her thoughts. I don’t know about you, but I tend to do the same. To me, my father is “Dad,” not “Patrick.”
- In Many Question’s matrilocal society, family groups are rooted around the grandmother’s line: Many Questions lives in a family group loosely connected to eight other families. The groups travel together and help each other during crises. When a couple is married, the husband joins the wife’s family group; if the marriage splits, the husband leaves.
- Question everything: As she becomes an adult, Many Questions realizes that dogmas about evil, spirituality, and what it means to be a woman do not always reflect the truth …
I’m working on a sequel to this story that involves an older Many Questions, her brother, her auntie, and The Storyteller. Here’s its tagline: the old monsters have returned. Muahaha. Seriously, there are lots of wonderfully creepy monsters in Southern Athabaskan lore – I’m itching to have some fun with them.
Thanks for reading! Oh, here’s a pic of my mom as a kiddo – can you see the resemblance with the art above? 😀