This short-story (1,000 words) is written for the photo-prompts at Describli.
We make our way to The Pit. I have no idea where it is or even what it is. I came here just yesterday and when I got up in the morning, I noticed that everyone was in a hurry of bathing and getting ready; as if they were preparing for some festival. Intrigued, I asked my hut-mate about it and upon learning that even he had only a vague idea, I decided to go with the flow, just like him.
I got dressed in the spare pants I was carrying in my bag and a loose t-shirt. My clothes are still dirty as I had no time to wash them up last night. These will have to do as I’ve lost my other bag, the one in which I had all my clothes and money. Not that I’m complaining, nope, if it hadn’t been for that wrong turn, I would have never come upon this amazing tribe – Kaluha. I was just wondering about where to go while trying to make my way through the dense forest and that’s when, all of a sudden, I saw a campfire twinkling in the distance.
I went close to investigate and came upon a group of teens roasting a rabbit and dancing funnily around the fire. They were dressed only in a bunch of leaves tied around their waist. To be honest, I was a little scared to even talk to them and decided to turn around to leave quietly, but that’s when one of them saw me and made a loud bird sound. In a few seconds I was surrounded by two dozen of their tribesmen. I was scared shitless but then a guy, whom I assume to be their leader, stepped in front and spoke to me in broken English. He explained to me that they are a tribe who live in this part of the forest. After I told him that I’m lost, he asked me to join them for dinner, very kindly
After having a brilliant dinner of a meat – honestly, I don’t know which animal it was, but I’m sure it wasn’t any that I’ve had before and trust me, I’ve almost had all the animals, at least the edible ones – they asked me to stay with them for a couple of days. I graciously accepted their hospitality, welcoming the break from the normal city life. I was lead to a hut where I met Brian, a guy who was also lost in the woods. I slept on the pile of leaves, beautifully arranged as bed and here I am now, following a crowd of wild tribesmen along with my new friend, Brian. We are one of the last ones in the crowd.
“You think they are celebrating something?” Brian asks me quietly.
“I guess so, but hopefully not our arrival.”
He snorts, “Yea. But if it is for us then I hope they might offer us a girl or two from their tribe as a welcome gift.”
I laugh at that, “Yea, you wish.”
All of a sudden everyone stops. We follow suite and stand at our places looking at each other. Within a few seconds everyone starts to turn around to look at us. We stand there, looking at the blank faces of all these tribesmen and wondering, “What the hell’s going on?” I look at Brian and raise my eyebrows in question. He shrugs and gives me blank look.
It’s really starting to get awkward now and just as I’m about to make my way to the front to ask the leader what’s going on, I see that the crowd is starting to shift a little, making way for him. He approaches us with a smile on his face and I look at Brian, who is starting to look a little pale. I poke him lightly in the ribs and joke, “Guess they heard you.” He gives me an uneasy smile that makes me wonder why is he looking so scared. The leader comes to me and says, “We have a tradition of welcoming our guests and as he came here first,” he motions towards Brian and continues, “today we’ll be welcoming him.”
I nod at him smiling, “I understand,” happy not to be the first one.
He motions for Brian to come go ahead of him and Brian complies. I follow the leader not wanting to be alone at the back. We make our way to the front, all the tribesmen still watching us, making me feel nervous. Reaching the front I see that there’s a massive pit dug into the ground. Figures.
The leader takes Brian by hand, gently and asks me to wait there. They start walking towards the pit and all of a sudden the leader kicks Brian from behind, sending him face first into the pool. I try to process what just happened but by the time the reality of my situation dawns on me, it’s too late. Two tribesmen are holding my hands so tightly that my hands are starting to feel numb.
I look where Brian’s shouts are coming from inside the pit and notice, for the first time, that there are a lot of dirty bones, lying on the ground. Oh shit!
Brian is shrieking now. God only knows what they are doing to him in there. Seeing the bones I know that whatever it is, it’s not good. I try to free myself from the two tribesmen but they start to laugh at my feeble attempts. After a few minutes, I see the leader walking towards me.
As he approaches me, I ask him shouting, “Why? Why are you doing this?”
He laughs and says, “If we won’t kill you then how will we get enough meat to feed our tribe?”
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