Writing 101 Challenge, Day 2: Migratory Patterns and Reproduction

–Excerpted from Customs of the Pre-Collapse Culture: Fertility Rites, University of New Chicago Press, published A.C. 1758. All rights reserved.

…and so young adults of the species would migrate, aligned with the solar vernal equinox, back to the sandy beaches of their respective origins. This cycle occurred without fail, annually, regardless of other meteorological or environmental factors. After accounting for other population fluctuations, annual migratory levels remained consistent year over year.

It would be easy, as many pure biologists might suggest, to describe the species’ migration purely in terms of reproductive cycles. There is merit, no doubt, to this perspective. Winter births track closely against prior migratory cycle participation rates. This species completed its annual migration and, in a lag consistent with the gestation period, gave birth to its young.

However, social biologists suggest that the animals’ annual migration pattern serves a purpose beyond mere reproduction. (Not that reproduction patterns can truly be deemed “mere”.) There is considerable evidence to suggest that this pattern also supported societal hierarchies and rituals. Research has soundly disproved the notion that geographic elements were necessary for reproduction. So why would these animals travel such great distances- at times with considerable risk- when the geographic location was not a necessary element in spawning? Why expend the resources and risk so much when unnecessary?

Recent theory suggests that this migration served a purpose related to the animals’ culture. Consistent with many other observed species, males would strive against others in ritualistic contests related to the ability to gather food, triumph in individual battle, and preen in a manner deemed to present each individual member of the pack in the best possible light to the post-menarche females. While these same-sex contests likely supported the selection of suitable mates by the females of the species, archeological records retrieved from the home locations suggest that the contests also served to establish pack hierarchies that persisted after the migration completed and the individual animals had returned to their natural habitats.

In addition, some scientists have theorized that the migrations may have supported a proto-spiritual purpose. While the notion that the species possessed some conception of a non-physical motivation is unorthodox, extensive artifact histories suggest an awareness of the species’ own self-awareness and, as such, challenge conventional belief as to the mindless nature of the beasts. A “sun worship” heretofore unproven has been offered as a possible motivation supporting the migration. Solar exposures would have been maximized at the destination based on planetary revolutionary cycles.

At this time, the official stance of the University of New Chicago’s School of Human Studies is that the evidence related to the annual “Daytona Spring Break” migration is inconclusive. Official requests to study retrieved human archeological evidence may be directed to the Minister of Indigenous Animals, Sol IV Consulate, Spiralward Arm, 12th Proxima, Gamma Sector.

Please note- supporters of the “Free Humanity” movement will be denied their examination or expedition requests at this time in accordance with galactic protocols concerning non-Saurian species.

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Author’s note: At the risk of explaining “what I wrote” (which is always a danger for a writer; if the work doesn’t stand on its own, the writer may be better off shooting the work and burying it in a shallow grave rather than laboring through a “what I meant” monologue) I would offer this note related to today’s Writing 101 challenge. Today we were instructed, “We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.”

I’m trying to exercise my fiction-writing muscles so today’s piece is decidedly fiction and presented in the spirit of Roger Zelazny’s The Last Defender of Camelot and other wonderful short fiction. I hope you enjoyed my little bit of storytelling related to the idea of having to get to a certain place.

Are you pushing yourself to challenge that inner voice that tells you what you can’t do? Share below- tell me all about it!


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