It was late at night. I gripped my weapon tightly, having heard screams. As I looked around, all I could see was a burning bush; the entire place licked up by flames, the moon light blocked by a thick smoke that mantled the surroundings. All of a sudden, about three of them ran out of the bush with their bodies enshrouded with fire. Something burst into flames, sounding like big drums accompanied by a hissing sound which erupted. The smell of sulphur and burning flesh took my nose hostage but for some reason, I simply stood and watched the horror with my feet grounded defensively.
The invaders took siege of the bush, holding their torches while they continued to set it ablaze. I went closer and saw people being butchered by the invaders. Anyone who jumped out of the burning bush was instantly killed. The sight was awful and it seemed there was nothing I could do.
I also noticed the invaders were bigger in size compared to the ones that were being hunted, burnt and killed. The sound of their voices and cries in the fire weakened my heart. I could not fathom why I was there or why I could not do anything. The attack was merciless, unspeakable and unthinkable.
While I watched, someone ran out of the burning bush and headed toward me, but I could not lift my sword. I just stood there dumbfounded. She walked over to me without a single drop of fear and placed what she carried in my arms, then begged me in a language I did not understand. My hands and body were larger than hers, but the sight of me did not scare her. She looked me straight in the eyes and uttered her request in a most courageous tone. I did not get a good look at her face, for the fire which was the only source of light stood behind her. However, I saw her eyes and noticed that she had no fear of me. I was amazed but she ran away before I could say anything. Then one of the invaders sighted her and chased after her.
The thing she placed in my arms moved a bit, so I used the tip of my sword and unveiled it; the sight was astounding, the light from the moon shone upon it and it smiled confusingly and chuckled. I giggled in return, my mouth wide open in wonder as the two of us continued to look and stare at each other. It was a little human, it clenched my garment and chortled then its eyes turned from happy to sad. It looked me deep in the eye as though it were afraid of me, blinking its eyes repeatedly. I looked around then covered it slowly with the garment that it was wrapped in, turned quickly and started to run.
Feeling amazed and excited at the same time, I kept running. I did not look back and the invaders did not bother themselves with me. As I ran with the little human, it moved its mouth as though about to cry, I immediately shut it and continued running but it was already too late. One of the invaders had sighted me and launched toward me.
Without a word, he chased me and tried to attack me with two swords. However, as he jumped into the air to strike me I pulled out my sword and pierced it through his heart. He fell to the ground, unable to move. I bent down and took a careful look at him; we had a lot in common, he and I, in terms of body size and the type of clothes we both had on. I wrenched my sword from his chest and stood up, taking a good look at the invader whom I had just killed. I was shaken by what I saw; I seemed to be one of them, they were just like me. I had joined the attack the humans but I did not know why we attacked them, or why I hadn’t killed any of the humans yet. The little human moved again, so I turned and continued running.
Not far from where I slayed him, I sighted a body of water and headed straight to it. On reaching it, I put my sword back into the sheath. My instinct told me to plunge into the waters, which I did without any hesitation.
I swam deep underwater until I came across a hole that seemed to be like an entrance to an underwater cave. I moved up through a pool into the cave. The cave had a big space within its belly. I got out of the water and as I placed the little human on the ground I saw a rock much bigger, so I picked the little human and put it on top of the rock. The little human began to cry and I became confused. I removed the garment that covered it and tried to play with it; I made different facial expressions, hoping it would calm the little human down but it cried out loud.
I remained mute and befuddled by the situation, then I heard something moving from behind me. As I turned my back I saw a beautiful human woman in a cage staring at me.
I looked around the cave wondering how she had come to be there. The look she gave me made me feel like she knew who I was.
She slowly bent down in her cage and stared at the little human, then quickly stood up in awe, seeming a little shocked at how I got the little human inside the cave. However, I was more disturbed by how she could have gotten into the cage in the first place. I gave it a quick thought and rapidly took the little human to her; she accepted and embraced it, then gently wiped the dirt and water from its face.
Captivated and astonished by her beauty and how she was so concerned with the welfare of the little human, I stayed there and watched them both. The human woman pointed at some vessels behind me and made a gesture asking me to bring them to her, which I did without hesitation. She gently changed the cloth the little human was wearing and wrapped it in a dry garment then prepared a more comfortable place and laid it down. However, the little human continued to cry out. She then mixed some liquids from the vessels I gave her, rubbed the mixture around her nipple then picked the little human and dipped her breast in its mouth. It went mute as it sucked and finally, the place was quiet and sweet.
The human woman took her time and checked to see if the little human was injured, but it appeared to be fine. She gave me a strong look of distrust and spoke in a harsh human tongue.
I had no way of telling how she had got into the cave or who had locked her in the cage. She appeared to be much younger than the first human woman who had handed me the little human.
I was trying to make sense of many things in a short time. I could not understand her tongue when she spoke to me, so she made gestures to describe to me what she wanted or was trying to say. I think she considered me a dull one; she would point at me then poke her head twice and nodded, squeezing her mouth in an annoying way.
When the little human started to cry again, she moved away from me and sat on the ground then rubbed more of the liquid around her nipple and fed it, this continued until it belched and shortly yawned before going to sleep.
The human woman smiled and pointed at the small basket behind me. As I went for it, she asked me to bring what was inside but I picked the whole basket. She shook her head in disagreement and directed me to bring just one of the items inside the basket, so I picked out a loaf and handed it to her. She then sent me to bring water from another vessel, which I poured into a small jar and offered it to her.
The human woman smiled and sat in the cage looking at me. I admired her hair and wanted to touch it but I was somehow shy. She then signalled me that it was okay to touch it but instructed me to stroke it gently. I smiled and sat down like a youngling and as I fondled her magnificent soft hair, we both smiled at each other.
I asked her to give me the little human to hold but she made a gesture that it was asleep and I must not disturb its peace. The human woman later instructed me to go get a thick garment for the little human and more food for them both when I returned. She explained to me that the little human was very young and must be wrapped in a much thicker garment to keep it warm or it would fall ill.
She would speak words I could not comprehend, but when I showed no understanding, she would make use of gestures instead.
The human woman was so beautiful and I loved her blue eyes and dark hair. As I moved my hand to touch it again, she shook her head then asked me to leave. I stood up, feeling a bit disappointed like a youngling. I then picked up my sword. Before I jumped into the pool, I turned and looked at her but she ignored me, so I dived deep into the pool and swam away.
By the time I got to the other side, it was already morning. The sun was up and the vultures were everywhere feasting on the flesh of dead humans. I sighted some of the invaders pulling dead human bodies along, cutting up some of the parts and stacking them for transportation. I walked between these invaders holding my sword firmly and nervously but none seemed worried about my presence. There were about six of the invaders who looked older and seemed like the elders amongst them, standing while they examined the body of the invader whom I had killed. They appeared daunted by what lay before them.
I approached them cautiously, holding my sword, and as I got closer, they all bowed their heads to me and revealed the face of the dead invader. I couldn’t understand why they had bowed to me neither did I know the dead invader. I kept a firm hold on my sword.
“The Chief will not take this lightly. How can we break such news to him?” said one of the elders.
Finally someone spoke in a language I understood, not like the tongue spoken by that human woman.
“They will pay so dearly for this!” exclaimed another, “Brothers, one or more of us will suffer this, we all know that.”
The six elders stepped aside and had a little chat among themselves. I could tell they were afraid but I chose not to offer any proposal. In accordance with the respect they showed me I decided not to speak unless spoken to, and also kept my reply short and shallow. None of them saw me as a hostile and since they did not suspect any foul play, I began to feel more comfortable.
We marched in line with the rest of the invaders who carried the stacks of human parts from the hunt in several nets. I turned and looked back to make sure that no-one could find out the location of the humans. The dead body of the invader whom I had killed was also carried along. No-one spoke a word, not a song of victory was sung on our way. It felt strange, so I wisely continued to look over my shoulders and my back but instead I saw honour and loyalty in their eyes.
The way they all treated me on our way back home stirred some pride within me. One of them ran to me and walked beside me.
“You seemed so quiet Buga, this is unlike you my brother!” he said.
“Shut your mouth Oden!” retorted one of the invaders.
The one called Oden was getting all nosy and appeared baleful, so I reached out for my sword and tackled him then placed the sword on his neck.
‘Not as quiet as your Mother the day she dropped you, eh brother?’ I said.
The invaders stopped marching and all went silent. I stared at them defensively and they all burst into laughter.
“You mean our Mother, huh, brother?” said the one called Oden as he too laughed and then pinched my stomach.
I gently took my sword off his neck and pretended to laugh maniacally along with them. I gave him a hand and lifted him off the ground. He then hit me lightly on the chest as we continued to march up the mountains. Oden kept pestering me with how he slaughtered the humans and how they screamed as they begged for their lives. I uttered no word and acted as though he inspired me. The good thing was, I understood the tongue they all spoke to me with.
We walked through the giant trees and up the mountains. Along the way, I saw skulls of humans and sights that almost made me puke but I held on while acting strong and bold because the invaders had high respect for me for some reason I did not know. However, the one they called Oden gave me a suspicious look.
“Your garment is wet, my brother,” said the one called Oden.
‘I chased one of them into the waters, but the um…sharks got to him first,’ I replied while still walking.
“Hmm, sharks got to the human Buga chased before Buga got to the human? How great! We go to a battle with our kind, you slaughter thousands but to brag about killing one human, just one human? It’s a null on your list Buga, come on, share with me…ooh unless, unless if your power comes from not-killing the humans or eating flesh! A Purican that doesn’t enjoy the spoils? Hmm!” said Oden.
He kept on talking as we walked up the mountains, his head went flying in the air, well, that was the picture painted in my mind but in reality, the one called Oden was still babbling, I got so fed up with him but I remained silent and smiled nicely.