All characters are fictive.
There was something coming this way. Something big. The forest was unquiet, the animals were running, screaming. Kilkili and Boas exchanged a look. Boas had never seen his brothers eyes like this. So wide. So scared.
The Kembera family were respected for their hunters and warriors. Now a khakhua, a demon witch, had infected their village, taken control of one of their own.
Several family members were dead. No one knew who it was. No one had uttered any name on their death lay. He was there, amongst them. People looked at each other suspiciously. The demon had to have taken hold of someone, or it had to be another family. Some were arguing to attack the Bunas.
-It has to be them, Kilikili said. -No one seems to act strangely here in the tribe. The witch must be in theirs.
-We must wait and see, said Bunop the shaman. -We do not know. It could be anyone.
Another child was lying sick. When he died, a word came from his lips. No name, just a word.
They never knew ghosts to kill people. Ghosts waited in the land of the dead to be reborn, they had no evil intentions. Demons were the murderers. A ghost demon.
They gathered a meeting. New dangers were around. Terrors they had not dealt with before. Everyone was told to be careful. Some cried. Others walked back and forth with spears in their hands. Everyone was upset.
Kilikili and Boas heard strange noises from the birds in the trees, and the monkeys further down. Something was coming. Animals came running, straight towards them, but they let them go. Something was terrifying the forest.
They hid in the bushes by the river bank. On the other side they saw something move, as big as themselves, bigger. Ghost demons. They were coming this way. They had horrible, pale faces. Their skin was hanging from their bodies i a strange way, like if it was too big. They moved noisily, making horrible sounds.
-We can’t do this alone, said Boas. -They will devour us.
-They will eat us anyway if we do not eat them first. We have no choice.
They followed them upriver. The two Korowai men walked in total silence. No stick broke, no branches moved. The two demons started crossing the water. The hunters waited. Boas looked at his brother. His lips were shaking. His hands. His eyes tortured with terror.
The demons came closer.
The signal. Now!
They jumped out, bows spent. Boas’ eyes were flickering wildly from one demon to the other. Hair rose in his neck as he tried to hold the barbed arrow as straight as he could. If the demons saw his fear it would be his doom. Kilkili screamed the sound of alert, the sound of a bana-bird. Over and over again.
Jim grabbed Mary’s arm. The two savages in front of them were looking crazy. Screaming. Shaking. He could see evil in their eyes. Desire. Hunger. He could hear others coming. Running. Shouting sinister sounds. The rumours were true.
This trip hadn’t been a good idea at all.
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