Stories from the Jungle, As Told by Ahadi
This tale is quite short…. as befits its main character…. but I hope will entertain, based as it is on a true story although names have been changed to protect the idiots ….i mean innocents
It was the custom of adahi (a kindly hearted but not entirely brave or sensible kajira) to wander the jungles when her chores were done (which was rare since the Huntresses of Na Wow, lovely as they are, do like their luxuries)
But sometimes, just sometimes, once bosk and sheared and vulo milked, when bread is roasted and cupcakes toasted………. Then adahi can wander
And wander she does…….from the northern shores where the sap trees grow strong and the tabuk graze beneath (although vulo tend to lie about with arrows in tummies) down south to the river that runs deep and wide through jungles, the surface deceptively calm which hides the hazards below……….the weeds that tangle stray limbs…….. the creatures ………….the sleen….
As she enters the jungles of Schnedi her senses strain ………….seeking the slightest sound………….. a colour…………..a pattern of leaves that does not fit
Slowly she leaves the water…………movements controlled and studied so as not to make a splash or draw attention……………fingers always hovering over her slingshot
One footstep at a time she leaves the water….pushing through the reeds, the thick, gloopy, smelly mud squelching between her pale toes
Pausing on the river bank she listens again………hearing the birds………the wind in the branches…….the distant cry of a jungle panther
Slowly the idea that all is well seeps into her brain and she sets off southwards, following the path past the old fort that creeps her out and on past the cave where the palm wine brews.
Something is wrong
The girl drops to a crouch and listens. The jungles are silent. Not a bird ….not an animal stirs
…….then a mighty CRASH echoes over the jungles from the south east, birds rise screeching into the warm air, their iridescent plumage flashing across the skies like fireworks, a jungle cat races through the undergrowth fur like flames in the fiery afternoon sun.
After some time adhahi lifts her face from the mud of the river bank and peers out through the rence and her eyelashes
Wiping the occasional worm from her face and hair she heads south again, towards the source of the sound and commotion
The girl pauses at the junction of the four tribes …………her head moving side to side as she listens….the movements helping to keep earrings from blocking ears
First she looks towards Eck Ven and their sacred island where it is death for a kajira to set foot but all is quiet for a change.
Next her head swings right looking toward Koti and glancing over the standing stones that rise mysteriously from the higher ground but again there is no sound from that direction
East and South discounted the girl looks to the towering mountain upon which the tribe of Zimwer built their fortress and shivers slightly sensing all is not right
The girl moves silently through the shallows, slender limbs slipping through the water with barely a ripple
Ever closer to the Zimmer fort the girl edges, nervously now as the clamour of combat reaches her ears…..strange blood curdling cries mixed with sounds that can only be described as animal like
The girl pressed herself against the rough timbers of the palisade, her breast heaving to pull in air to recover from the climb. Ooooooooooh
Slowly recovering she peers round the corner to be greeted by a sight that could have been drawn from ancient Greek or Egyptian mythology
In a sun dappled earthen glade within the camp a mighty warrior stands, blade in her hands, skin glistening with the sweat of combat, her hair cascading down her toned and sun bronzed back until it flares outwards lifted by the swell of an unmistakeable bum…….For it is the fabled Warrior and scourge of the taverns …. i mean jungles….. Blom the Barbarian
Before her stands her adversary, equal in size and ferocity, lethally armed and advancing with intent to disembowel the brave pygmy
But Blom is made of stern stuff, forged in the fire of combat, fearless in the face of even the largest Vulo
She takes the fighting stance………… drawing on her many, many, many, many years of cooking …I mean …….training she adopts the ninja position, blade held over her head as the mighty chicken approaches
The fearsome beast strikes, huge beak stabbing like an assegai straight at the ample breast of the Warrior…..fast…..hard….. a killing blow
Weaving (intentionally …. and not as some might think from the effects of paga) Blom dodges the potentially fatal blow and laughs in the face of danger as the ground trembles from the impact.
Yelling with glee she brings down her sword with all her might on the now exposed neck of the beast and turns to ahadi …. err…..adahi……with the flourish of the victor.
“That is how it is done cupcake” she says with no small amount of pride in her voice which turns to a stunned “EEEEEEEEErk” as the vulo swatted her hard over the back of the head with a ginormous wing before shaking its head to dislodge the blade that had been stopped by the thick feathers.
“Bloody armour plated chicken” Blom muttered
Cackling in an ever so slightly sinister and not at all mad way Blom backed away…”you is so gonna be mcnuggets bird” she said as she passed the puzzled kajira
Then turning she ran, jumping down from the walls of Zimmer fort causing a major tsunami in nearby islands as her bum hit the ground with the percussion of a small bomb
As the trembling of the ground gradually ceased ahadi uncovered her head to hear faint in the breeze “I will be back bird….