The pack of unlikely primates were bright but not the best equipped animals, it was amazing they had survived this far, their leader was the most intelligent amongst them. He’d killed all the other males but now as his group all began to be heavily pregnant or nursing small babes he wondered if that had been a mistake. Hunting was getting hard.

He called and a young woman answered, her tummy was rounding but not yet cumbersome, she could still hunt and that was important. They were on the move, he had already abandoned half of the women and their young at the edge of the hot wildness, there was water and goats, they could live there if they could keep the predators away. They had not walked fast enough for him.

Things were changing, food that was, was gone and he had moved whilst he could, whilst his people were strong. Others had stayed but they would have slowly starved. He gestured and others fell in behind him, they ran to the trees and to play the waiting game. The hot wilderness was encroaching here too, stealing the forests. He saw the pattern but could not think on cause and effect, though action pushed at him.

They found a small family of forest bore, dangerous creatures to hunt, tucks and teeth and a turn of speed. The hunt was on and it was exhilarating. The mother was suckling, they would eat well. He raised his spear, made in a new way with different stones he’d thought of.

The girl stopped him, anger in her eyes, she was his daughter from his first mate he recalled, she was pretty and smart, could think like him, he looked for the danger or better pray but there was none. He grunted displeasure at her but she did not cower from him as she should have. Instead she pointed to the creatures and then to her belly, he was puzzled – of course she was hungry. They were all hungry, that was the point of hunting. Then she made the cooing noises the women made, soothing sounds, rhythmic like the birds. Some of them he had turned into hunt signals.

She gestured with her hands, rocking a baby and he understood. She didn’t want to kill the pig family. He shook his head annoyed and raised the spear once more, she grabbed the shaft in open challenge and defiance. She was not a male, she was not contenting for a mate but leadership. He struck her down and motioned for the others to hold her.

One of them refused, her belly was more rounded, he hissed in frustration and motioned for her to be held also. He slaughtered the pigs, his people would have full bellies.

Satisfied he looked out at the mass of water, a great lake he could not see the other shore of. As the meat cooked he bound the two girls hands in the same way they had made the spears and secured the flaps of hide so they could carry things. His mother had worked it out, threaded hair and grass together. No one had done that before.

As with the males of the groups, he showed no mercy or remorse and hurled the girls off of the cliff. Turning his back he forgot them and fed his belly. He hunting on and on, leaving groups of too heavily pregnant women when the hunting dried up.

The girls hit the water but his braiding was never that good and they struggled free, water burned they’re lungs but some how they broke the surface and flailing found they could stay with their mouths out of the water, but soon they burned with tiredness. A creature like those they had tried to hunt appeared calling and clicking, they held each others hands as more of the creatures came. They swam up too them, grey blue skin and strangely kind eyes.

They tried to bat them away but the creatures came back, again and again. Too tired one of the girls grasped the creature nearest her, it was that or sink. The other girl copied and now the creatures were cooning and happy. They swam with the girls, helping them onward, out from the shore. Further and further until thirst threatened to kill them. A trill woke them from their stupor, both looked to the islands, in the distance there was a thick cloud rising from the most distant, it was dark in colour.

The creatures nuzzled them off their backs gently and the women wadded a shore. The sand was fine and black and glittered in the sun, fish darted sliver and quick around their feet. They found a small stream and drank deep of fresh non-saline water, it was sweet and clear and beautiful, not the muddy slush they had tended to drink in the group.

After they had sat a while they staggered back to the shore, the creatures nodded and bounced in the water, they wadded in and stroked the blubbery skin. Grunting thanks.

‘Ed-en?’ one grunted the other nodded, there were fruit on the trees and plenty of large plump birds. Both girls wondered if they had died, their grandmother had drawn pictures on the cave walls of after death. They had little language to express the thoughts, but movement and pictures helped.

Using things from the sea they drew the creatures that had saved them, on the sand, then they beat their chests and raised their hands to the sky. Thanking the gods of the sky and sea for saving them. The ground rumbled in response. They ate and rested and built shelters our of bits of tree that had fallen.

The dolphins taught them to swim and their babies were born into the water.

In years and decade and centuries a people arose who were born of savagery and love, they worshiped the dolphins but forgot the lessons of harsh pride that their origin had taught.

Posted: Thursday, September 11th, 2014 @ 10:08 pm
Categories: Flash Fiction, The Punks World.
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