Looks like I am getting into it:
534 in the end on day 6
584 day 7
And here a little excerpt. Please don’t forget: It’s an unedited first draft 🙂
“….Zara listened to their footsteps mingling with the sounds of the forest. Snakes and birds moving in the undergrowth. The call of an owl and the light tap of paws behind her. When she turned, she could see the cat following her.
As she turned back, she could feel the cat’s head rubbing on her left hand as if she wanted to say: It’ll be ok. Don’t worry!” “But I do worry!” Zara whispered to the unspoken reassurance. At that moment, they entered the initiation grounds in the middle of the forest. Zara could hardly see the depth of the round clearing surrounded by a wall of soil where usually the whole tribe would gather.
Her mother sat in the middle a little fire lighting up her face. Alem stood lightly behind her, and Wild woman walked to the other side of Shallaya. Zara could feel a light breeze caressing her face. Above her, she sensed a clear sky full of stars but she only had eyes for the cat that had come forward sitting in Front of her mother, who stroked its head.
Zara’s eyes widened.
Wild Woman started to sing the initiation chant to which Zara was supposed to dance. “I haven’t even practised my dance!” Zara though in sudden horror just to stare again at the cat in front of her. The guide stood up elegantly and walked around her in a spiral movement. As if guided by the cat Zara felt the urge to sway to Wild Woman’s chanting.
She slowly started. Swaying from left to right her eyes following the cat as soon as it came into her focus. When it left she just looked at Wild Woman, who’s face seemed to have changed into a wolf’s. Strangely, her chanting did not change at all.
Zara was taken away by the melody when she suddenly fell on her knees. Her mother stood up. She had an earthen cup in her hands. Shallaya carefully carried it towards her daughter. She knelt in front of Zara and put the cup to the girl’s mouth. Zara took a sip and shuddered. Her mother urged her to drink more. Zara felt resistance, but the cat came into focus behind her mother purrying calmingly. Zara took a deep breath and drank all of the bitter tasting liquid.
As soon as it was down she felt light, and her head started swimming a little. She sat up and swirled her head like it was a spoon stirring a cup. Then she fell….
Zara opened her eyes. It was dark, and there was only the sound of a cat behind her. She sat up and felt nauseous. The cat came to her side rubbing its head at Zara’s shoulder. “I wasn’t prepared for this!” she informed the cat. The cats purr sounded like a giggle:” No one is prepared for an initiation” it answered. “So what are all those practises for then?” Zara asked suspiciously. “To give you a feeling like you are prepared. In reality, though no one is prepared to enter the spirit realm for the first time. It is different for everyone.” The cat whispered now.
A little away she heard men talking…