Short Story: E5 Tribe Life
This story is inspired by science, history and anthropology, but is in no-way accurate.
This is a work of pure artistic fiction.
I woke from a deep sleep, the tribe was still asleep around me. What made me wake? Why did I feel something was very wrong?
There was an odd sound in the distance carried on the wind. I laid down and tried to go back to sleep, when I heard it again. All of a sudden I knew exactly what woke me and what that sound was. I ran to Eeatou’s sleeping body and shook until my favorite human woke up.
“Come with me quick. Grab a spear,” I said.
“I’m sleeping,” Eeatou mumbled and tried to roll over and cuddle with his sleeping parter.
Eeatou got up and followed me. We both grabbed spears, and I took a fire stick and lit it, and we headed in the direction I’d heard the sound. Our feet were fast and quiet. I was very glad I had been exploring much of this area for almost a moon cycle. My feet knew the land better than I did.
We were close to where I guessed the sound had come from and both of us stood still straining to hear anything unusual. Much time passed in silence. Eeatou looked at me with annoyance and longing for sleep. I found us a safe rock to sit on while we waited. I gestured in the dim light from the fire stick to stay quiet and listen and look. More time passed in silence. The cold night made us both shiver, I was glad to sit so close to my warm human, I felt safe even though I was on edge.
The sound came again on the wind. It was much further away and in an area I hadn’t explored very much. Eeatou was of the same mind, we were on high alert. Much slower and quieter, we travelled to the source of the sound. I wanted to be there faster, but it would do more harm than good.
Finally we were close to the sound source. I heard a tiny sound ten paces to my left, near the base of a tree. Eeatou gestured to me and we both moved as one. Several paces away I could see the dark shape of something at the tree roots. We tip-toed as close as we dare so we could be sure. A low yowl escaped the dark furry thing laying on the ground. Even darker blotches wet the ground around it. My heart fluttered in my chest and my stomach clenched in pain. Eeatou and I exchanged a long silent look, and shared a moment of mind-speak. I passed over the fire stick and spear, took off my outer fur wrap and crouched down on the ground.
In a soft, comforting voice I said “It is me. I heard you in my sleep, Mau. I have come to help you. Will you allow me to take you to the tribe and our Shammon for healing?”
Again I spoke in the softest, calmest voice I could even though my insides were screaming and crying. “I promise I will protect you and take care of you. I will not let any harm come to you. I will not touch you or come any closer unless you want me to.”
I looked at my favorite human with troubled eyes. We mind-spoke and I felt comfort and encouragement.
Then, Mau lifted its head and made a tiny pleading sound.
As slowly as I could, I crouch-crawled over. The dark stain on the ground was blood. I could just see gouges in Mau’s head and tufts of fur missing on the legs and side. I reached my hand slow as an ant to Mau’s face so it could smell me and confirm. It’s pink nose twitched as it sniffed my finger tips and then looked at me and let out a soft mau sound as if pleading for help.
I laid down my fur as slowly and silently as I could next to Mau so it could sniff it and see I had nothing hiding inside. Mau only looked at me. I reached out to touch its shoulder for the first time. It’s fur was soft, it’s body was warm.
“I’m going to pick you up and put you on the fur so I can carry you back. Is that ok?”
Mau huffed slightly.
I inched closer so I could pick it up and gently move it. My insides were shaking.
“You’re going to be ok,” I whispered.