Burying “The Hatchet”

Male warriors silently bore the bier where the old warrior clan matriarch’s body was positioned, stately, regal, more restful than in life. Her fight-name was unique: The Hatchet.

The younger blue-eyed matriarch remembered her little, except for snippets at bindings and burials. Her mind reeled, spiraling in different thought paths.

In one, she remembered prior burials. Peace followers always had the drabbest, most somber. War God followers had shorter ceremonies followed by loud, rambunctious feasts. This particular clan could get really rowdy. Somehow, War God followers sensed when the essence left it was too late to change; crying was over personal loss and only created a din, drawing enemies. *Wouldn’t feasts?*

In another, she remembered older warrior clan matriarch burials. Colorful, creative, shared stories set a pattern for future behavior. Her favorites danced in her mind:

One matriarch heard the distressed cries of a servant-girl trapped by a brawler. The older woman bolted into the cottage, searching for something to use as a weapon. Armed with only a vegetable knife, she pushed the brute out the door through her vocal force and the blunt instrument’s tip. *Why would she not carry at least a dull ceremonial short-blade?*

Another matriarch had a “touched” child. “Touched” ones played fools until some unusual problem emerged, which they creatively solved. During a raucous raid, her speechless deaf son used simple signs she taught him to get all toddlers corralled into a nearby barnyard while adults defended the town. Even though he initially confused the toddlers with his signs, they eventually created a game that included him. *Amazing… he saved the toddlers*

A third lived in a rural village rumored to have a berserker with unusually chilling, violent sexual tendencies. She convinced her sergeant to permit a solo trap raid. Dressed scantily and badly belting out bazaar stall ballads, she gathered river-fruit pits from a fallow field. The berserker suddenly pinioned her to the ground but at the right moment she “tweak-tweaked” him. The berserker sang solar register from that day forward. *Oh to see that matriarch’s tweak-tweak motion once more!*

The younger warrior clan matriarch sighed deeply, returned to the present. Rising, she realized *thankfully* she ignored the life times talks as well as death teachings. As the bier was lowered into the river, it was set ablaze and pushed off, carried by the currents to eternity, as least according to the local War temple teachings. *Why put a dead body into water the farmers downriver need? What if flame failed to consume disease?*

Wrapping herself in her cloak and adjusting her ceremonial dagger, she wandered toward the feast, which sound and smell promised to be absolutely delightful.

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