Hearts Of Ice And Snow
Full Synopsis and Excerpt of Hearts.
A twelve year old girl is being readied for sacrifice for the good of her people. N’Kiru wants to be like the rest of her friends; play, look after her pet goat, grow up and get married like her sister. She’s been offered as a gift to save her people, a task that everyone says is better than anything, and she will be remembered for generations to come. But her mother weeps at night, her sisters whisper behind her back, and her father gazes at her with longing, his eyes whip away as though he is ashamed.
She doesn’t know what they will do with her, a part of her doesn’t want to know. They said she will transcend, be one with the universe. But fear is more than the time Aunty sewed her cut leg. Everyone has abandoned her.
The day arrives for the ritual. During the sacrifice an Orisha appears, carrying a darkness that seeps from the earth. N’Kiru makes a deal with the Orisha, in her fear to escape her fate and seeks to accept the Orisha’s offers – a chance to stay, to never have to leave her friends and family behind – only she doesn’t know that by doing so, she has released her into the world along with the spite and anger.
When N’Kiru realises that the Orisha is more to fear than the sacrifice, she tries to take back her promise, but it can’t be undone by her, only one from her lineage can undo what she has done, what she has unleashed on the world.
Snow and ice, a frost so thick it covers her village and miles around it in and a thick glacier forms. A few from her village have escaped, along with her sister family, because they’d left a few days before on a hunting trip. They see the darkness rise up and cover the village, surrounding it with ice, snow and a whirling white breeze.
Ten-thousand years later, climbers come across a cavern in the African glacier. As they investigate the cavern they come across the outskirts of a hidden village and the frozen inhabitants. Not knowing what they have stumbled upon, they seek professional assistance and call in archaeologists to investigate. During the archaeological investigation, people start to disappear, returning frozen – like the villagers who lie at the heart of the glacier – even though they have only been missing no longer than two days. The resemblance to the villagers, as they too have been desiccated, who have lain in their state for thousands of years.
Brenda and her daughter, who’s grandmother came from The Village are unknowingly related kin of the sacrificed girl. Brenda, a Forensic Archaeologist, is called in to the site after three people turn up missing, later found frozen. She also wants to see the village for more personal reasons, because of its closeness to a legend that her grandmothers’ people have of a village their ancestors came from, which was swallowed by a white darkness. Their understanding of what happened is strange and she wants to learn more about it. While at the glacier, her daughter, N’Kiru, starts to have visions of a being that asks for her help and a small girl who resembles her, who warns her not to help, because the Orisha has set a trap.
Glen is a psychic who’s been called in after Brenda’s daughter shows signs of someone possessed; what they believe is a possession from the Ancestor of before. The current Spirit walker isn’t able to connect with N’Kiru, Brenda’s daughter, they are too different in thinking and she fears him, withdrawing when he comes near. Glen must battle his own demons in order to help Brenda rescue her daughter, who has taken on the ancestors’ appearance on the day she was sacrificed, and before the agreement with the Orisha.
Glen, Brenda and the Spirit Walker, must battle the Orisha to free both girls from its clutches or lose the whole world if they fail. Along the way they find each other, a mutual respect for each others careers, even though Brenda had doubt of Glen’s abilities at first. But when she sees how he handles the dual personalities of the joined girls, she can only put her trust in him and hope that they both don’t lose everything.
Hearts is a story of struggle and hope. A story that reunites generations of one family after ten thousand years.
Then – The Village
“Uncle!” Jalani protested. “This story is strange. It is not like the ones you have told us before.”
“Perhaps, Jalani, you should go home and sit with your mother if my story scares you?” The Storyteller spoke, his brow raised in a knowing look.
All the children turned their heads, some scowling at Jalani for the interruption. They knew that if the storyteller was distracted too many times, they would never hear the story’s end.
Femi sat at his knee, her cheeks deflated from fear.
“Do not fear, Femi,” he stroked her hair, his hand resting for a second amongst the tight sun-bleached curls, comforting. “Let the story unfold, and you will find that both Oya, and Anotchi, do not have an easy time.”
Her eyes only widened more as did the eyes of the other children.
“But, Uncle!” Jalani spoke again.
“Yes.” his tone held a warning that the older child was too dense to pick up on.
“Why is the story not the same?”
He would make a good leader when the time came, thought the old man. Dense and determined were good traits in a leader, but one needed compassion and patience as well. Compassion he had, patience he would have to learn. Starting now!
“The spirit path has opened,” Kemi spoke. His voice altered like wind chased between rocks, his face slack.
“Kemi!” the old man barked. “Come!”
Kemi raised himself from his place and walked towards the old man, the other children moving out of his way, either scrambling back due to the look on his face, or moving slowly, not understanding what was happening.
“Sit next to Femi.” He sat, “And do not speak again until I tell you. Understand?”
Kemi nodded at the old man’s words, his face relaxing. He was standing on the path, the old man could see him, in both worlds. He feared for the child because he could only read what was there, not see far enough into the future to know what the boy would face. Or what the descendant of Femi would face alongside him.
All the children had fallen into silence, even loud-mouthed Jalani. They would listen to the story now, and return and tell their parents, unless he caused them to forget. He was still of a mind to give them the secrets and let them pass them on, but the danger to those who came after was great. The Oya would not rest until freed from her icy prison, until the people who had trapped her, had paid the ultimate price. But her descendants would also pay with death and destruction should she free herself. There was no sympathy to be obtained from a thwarted deity.
He would make them forget once his story was told. They would remember only the story that he had told them during meetings and fireside talks. All of them, except Kemi and Femi. One to guide and one to place those to come on the road they would travel.
He sighed. He was getting too old for this, too old and yet so much yet to do. Would that he be here when the Protector came. He would do anything to see the Protector, to be able to assist. To be able to walk the spirit paths as they were laid in that time.
He scoffed, for even should he be alive, he would be beyond the ability to understand what was occurring. This was the price that the spirit path claimed from its walkers. A life filled with pain, pleasure and ultimate madness. No one could see the past, present and future and not lose some part of themselves, there was always a price to pay. Madness was a small one.
He cleared his throat again, “What was your question, Jalani?”
“Nothing, Uncle. I… I thought only that,” he stammered to a stop.
The old man raised a brow at his fear, “Never show fear to the one who corners you, they will see your weakness, and there is no room in your future for weakness. Understand?”
Jalani gulped, his adolescent Adams apple bobbing up and down in his throat. “Yes, Uncle.”
The old man nodded once. Fixing Jalani with a stare, “Where were we?” he asked, almost as though trying to remember, but he knew exactly where they were, exactly who they had been speaking of. She bellowed in his mind, beseeching, cajoling, threatening. He ignored her. She was harmless. For now.