A distant shriek cut through the early morning fog, rousing Izel from her restless slumber. She fumbled for her shawl and slipped out onto the limestone steps at the back of her house. Cold air chilled her dark skin and frosted her eyelashes as she stood. She gazed stonily at the beauty of the lush, misty crags. Izel wasn’t eager to join her father at the temple, but as the High Priest’s daughter she was required to attend. Today the Spanish were arriving. Her people had known of their coming for a week, but she was not prepared to welcome them. On the contrary, she had been dreading their appearance. Absentmindedly, Izel wound her hair into a fat braid. She watched as it swung past her waist.
The hawk shrieked again, making her blink. Sighing, she turned around and followed the engraved stones through her father’s house out to the street.
Her father, Manauia, saw her coming, and his eyes crinkled warmly as she approached. A return smile alm