TITLE: Juma's Rain
GENRE: YA Fantasy
The sun drained Juma's thoughts as she shuffled single file through the red dust with her family. Although it was her right to walk at the front, she had allowed her father to take her place. He knew the way better.
When they had set out this morning, she had urged him to go faster to keep up with her longing for the day she would apprentice as chieftess. She had felt like singing. Soon, she would be more than the-girl-from-the-all-male-family. After a long day of walking, her enthusiasm was slightly worn. They had left the plains behind and walked through gently rolling hills. The grass was yellow and withered, and she missed green. The pebble in her mouth helped to quench her thirst but the heat burned the soles of her bare feet through the sandal's soles. But her dream kept her mind alert and her feet moving.
When the first fields came in sight, the plants were far smaller than they should be at this time of the year.
The voice of Tolobe, her eldest brother, carried from the back of the line. "Vanamate be praised, we're nearly there."
Her father didn't acknowledge his statement, but soon, the dusty path widened and became busier. Families arrived from many directions, all headed toward the village. Their colorful clothes made a nice contrast to the dried earth. Children pointed excitedly at the herds of goats and sheep. The families merged turning single streams of people into a river of color.