Sing the Hero Song

His mother coos softly to soothe the infant at her breast. The raging hormones in his veins make him restless, hardly a night of steady sleep. Times are tough, she tells herself. He won’t survive without them, she whispers to the empty hovel.

He suckles hard, a painful pull at tender breasts. She can’t take much more, shouldn’t have taken this much. She wants him to be hers, to know her. Tradition tells her the breastfeeding will do this. Worry makes her wonder if he will be anything other than a monster.

Tears on her cheeks and a heart replete with misgivings, she sings to the child, a song of Kiviuk. Her will to his, the ancient lore communicates a wish, that he will be a hero, a force for the salvation of their tribe. He will become large, powerful, and a force with which to be reckoned; the shots and pills ensure that, a price to pay, a mother’s sacrifice.

Still she prays to the ancient gods that he will ever remain, whatever his form may be, her aituserk, her tunerk, her ernetuar.

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