Published by Aphelion Webzine in May 2017, Forgotten tells the tale of Nana, an ageing member of a River Folk clan. While moored up for the night, the clan runs into those they fear most and the last people they expected to see so far west.
Here are the first few paragraphs:
Panicked shouting awakened her from sleep. Sitting up in her chair, she found her family and clan standing upon the bank, staring west across the river, shielding eyes from the afternoon sun. Smoke plumed in the direction they gazed, a roiling inky blotch upon the azure sky.
“Shedun Forest’s off that way. Naught there but trees,” she heard Myson say, the oldest of her nephews.
“Be just a forest fire then,” said her son, Patyr.
“Forest fire? Don’t be daft. The rain hammered down the day after last,” said Myson. The clan murmured.
“That smoke’s miles off. Rains probably missed it. You said yourself naught’s there. What else could it be? Stop making everyone nervous with your folly,” said Patyr, folding his arms. You fool, she thought. She loved her son, but he had water for brains. The murmurs escalated into arguing. It seemed to be the norm of late. The lack of fish in their favored stretches of river had forced them west to far removed parts. Rumbling stomachs had worn tempers thin.