Saturday, 16 February 2013

Flashes: The Stick.

Maka's nostrils flared wide at his opponent, his voice a snarlscape of its own.

'You don't belong here!' His yellow teeth stood proud of his gums. 'You're evil!'

Uamala, his foe, threw his hands in the air and roared to all those watching. 'This is my tribe! I made this tribe!'

'You killed that little girl!'

'She was a witch and you know it! We all know it!' He screeched at the surrounding jungle, appealing to everyone watching. They stood back; some had tried to intervene, interfere, or even go after Uamala themselves. But the older men knew this was a matter for the rivals. The death of the little girl was sad, but this was a battle that would be played out sooner or later.

It was Maka who made the first lunge, and it was a good one too. His fingers grabbed Uamala's arms, and they both tumbled sideways in the dirt as his teeth took out a chunk of Uamala's shoulder.

But Uamala was pumped on hormones and fury, and his instincts had no desire for defence. His left hand went straight for Maka's neck, and his grip tightened so hard that the fingers and thumb nearly touched each other.

Soon Maka's arms went from wild blows to desperate flailing. Uamala won the better physical position and he pinned Maka to the ground, hand still violating Maka's neck. 'I will kill you,' he screeched, eyes furious. 'I will eat you!'

Maka thrashed on the ground, running out of air. His vision blurred. Uamala's fingertips tensed further, nails digging in, ready to rip out his throat.

Then Maka's right hand found something.

He still wasn't sure what it was, as Uamala gave the loudest screech Maka had ever heard, blood spurting from his neck. But his brain didn't need to catch up. Gasping on new air and kicking Uamala backwards, he stood up and stabbed again and again and again, sometimes missing, sometimes wounding. Uamala was in agony and unsteady, and one more strike to the face sent him howling to the ground. Then Maka stabbed him in the face until the face was unrecognisable, then more until he was dead.

The tribe lost their minds. All around, people screamed protests, confusion; it was an unfair fight; it was a victory; it was an abomination. But none of them approached, none of them came towards Maka, as he held the dead tree branch with Uamala's blood all over the jagged end.

'I won!' yelled Maka, jumping up and down, waving his weapon. 'Uamala is dead! I won!'

Then, time coasted gently to a halt. The jungle slowed and became dark; the frantic tribespeople drifted gently in mid yell - mouths open, eyes crazed - as though swimming in heavy water.

Maka looked up, and saw her. She was magical: pure white, strangely beautiful, with a thin nose and thin arms and black eyes. She floated among the trees, like a magical alien-bird-woman without wings.

Her eyes narrowed.

'The wrong man won.'

And Maka died.

The alien-bird-woman sighed, gently.

'Start again,' she whispered, and clicked her fingers.



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