{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copies left
You can choose from our best books below
Tyrannohotep would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Hunting for Womanhood

By Tyrannohotep All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Leaving Camp

Mukondi Djata slipped out of her leather sleeping tent with a spear and machete in hand. A gold sliver of sunlight crept up from behind the eastern plains to stain the twilight sky red and warm the sleeping women's camp. Despite this heat growing outside, streams of dread colder than spring water coursed within Mukondi's veins. Her spear's iron point ran longer than her feet, and she would need every inch of it for the test of womanhood that she would begin this morning.

The rest of the Djata clan's camp stayed asleep in silence. Not even the most excitable of the little girls scampered between the tents before their older sisters, mothers, and aunts woke up yet. The crimson arrow-shaped head of Sambu the Allosaurus, the Djatas' symbolic animal, emblazoned each tent. When she noted the emblem's jagged teeth, Mukondi gulped down a mouthful of air. The last thing she needed now was yet another reminder of the First Hunt which lay just ahead for her.

The throaty and hoarse blare of a hollowed animal horn shattered the silence. "Mukondi? Are you coming?" It was her mother Dyese calling.

Mukondi jogged to the fat baobab tree which towered in the heart of the camp. Two other women, her mother and her elder cousin Azandu, awaited below the tree's shade. Having reached her own womanhood six rainy seasons ago, Azandu looked exactly as Mukondi and every other Djata girl wished to look: tall and lithe, with firm muscles under skin as dark as a moonless midnight. Rings of fangs and claws from Azandu's kills hung from her neck, something Mukondi also wished she could earn in years to come. As for Dyese, the hide shawl she draped over her shoulders marked her rank as the Djata clan's matriarchal chieftain.

Dyese smiled as she patted Mukondi on the shoulder. "You can do it, my precious," she said. "Oyosi Herself sees to it that you will." She tilted her wizened face up to the sky where Oyosi Djata, the clan's great ancestress, rested.

Mukondi pulled her mother's hand off. "You told Nzinge that very same thing, didn't you?"

"Don't mention her again!" Azandu banged her spear's butt against the ground. "You are smarter and wiser than your big sister ever was, Mukondi. You'll succeed where she failed, trust me."

A quivering Mukondi folded her arms together. "How can you feel so sure of that?"

Azandu groaned. "Look, do you want to be dropped off at a men's village and grow crops in one place for the rest of your life? Or do you want to become a woman?"

"I am no man!" Mukondi pounded a fist onto her breasts.

"Then don't whine like one. Now, while scouting last night, I spotted Sambu drinking from the river to the south." Azandu pointed towards the southern horizon. "He might still prowl over there." She laid her own hand on Mukondi's shoulder. "When you meet him, you know what to do."

"Aim for the breast or brain," Mukondi recited. She sucked in a mouthful of air to swell her chest upward and smiled.

"One more thing before you leave, daughter." Dyese pulled out from her hide belt the animal horn she had blown earlier and handed it to Mukondi. "It goes back to my mother's mother. Blow it, and you shall lure Sambu towards you."

"Isn't that cheating?" Mukondi asked.

"Not at all, but use it sparingly," Azandu said. "Blow it too many times together and Sambu will figure out what you're up to."

Mukondi slipped the horn under her own belt and bowed her head to Dyese. "I owe you so much for the gift, mother."

Dyese wrapped her arms around her daughter in a gentle embrace. "You owe nothing at all. Now go forth on your First Hunt, Mukondi. You leave our camp a girl, but you shall come back a woman, with Sambu's teeth in your hands. May Oyosi bless you."

Mukondi hugged her mother back with all her strength while more tears dripped from her eyes. This could have been the last time in their whole lives that they would see each other. Mukondi rested her head against Dyese's breasts while her mother in turn stroked her dreadlocks.

“If I do not come back alive, I shall always remain in your memories, mother,” Mukondi said.

After Dyese withdrew her warm arms from her daughter, the chill returned to sting Mukondi's blood. Nonetheless she jogged away from the camp, looking back only once.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Giuliana Cassetta: My face is full of tears, I never cried like now with a book or even a movie. I loved every single chapter. I truly don't know what to say, I'm out of words and my eyes hurt from crying. Such an bittersweet story, it's so wonderful. One of my favorites for sure. Keep it up!

Olivia N J Hamel: I want this book. I love it so much. It is so enjoyable to read and to have a copy of this always, I would be very happy, to always be able to come back and look at it again.

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

aoifecollopy22: I loved how the author had the conflict come back later in the story. Also how they passed time without going over anything. That really helped move the story along. This kept my up for a few hours. YOU SHOULD READ THIS

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Roy Jenner: I was pleased to join the action where this B-17 was limping back across the English Channel defying all odds. Obviously written by a person more than familiar with the interior of the Flying Fortresses that were familiar in the skies of Southern England during World War 2. Plenty of action here ...

ElusiveBadwolf: I loved this book so much! It's a shame that i already came to the end of this. I really enjoyed the story, and i liked it how everything became in the end. It was a great book and i can say that you are a great writer too. Keep it that way and i think you can make it in the writing business!

More Recommendations

Lauren Sanby: This is an excellent story. Very gripping and keeps your attention throughout. Hoping the author is writing a sequel because I'd love to read more about Rhi and Andreas and find out what else Rhi is able to do with her powers.

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.