A story of murder, rape, and cannibalism, with a little hope for the future.
|The girl sat in the field, tending to her family’s goats. The land was flat- no shrubs for a predator to hide in, and it left her feeling at ease. She played with a small beetle that ran along her hand. When it reached the end of her fingertips, she brought up her other hand and kept the world beneath its legs constantly refreshing. She watched the critter move up and down her hairless skin, and wondered if she would have arms like her father. Hairy and tough- riddled with scars and bite marks from wild dogs. Her brothers were the same- their beards thick, their hands turgid with muscles.
She was distracted from the thought as a grumble came from her stomach. She made a painful expression at hearing the noise, and in one quick motion, scooped up the beetle, dropped it into her mouth, and crushed the thing between her teeth.
She savored the salty, sweet innards, and then swallowed the thing. Hopefully her father would find something a little bigger for dinner.
She heard a twig snap and quickly stood to attention. There in the center of the open plains, between two of her goat, was a man. She didn’t recognize his face. His body was like that of the girl’s father- hairy flesh, rough, coarse hands from years of heavy use. The sun shone upon his bare flesh, revealing a gruesome scar on his chest, and what looked to be bite marks from some large cat along his hip.
He stepped toward the girl and she quickly held out her staff. It had warded off enough wolves and foxes, and even a leopard once. Maybe it would fend off a man.
He stepped forward again, releasing a low grunt, and waving his hand across his face. The girl did not recognize this gesture.
“Uhn- Oh la-ah,” the girl grunted as her father had shown her to do.
The stranger didn’t seem to recognize the sound and stepped closer. The girl gripped the staff tighter and hissed like the wild cats that roamed the night. The man was not afraid, and stepped closer. He placed his hand on a goat, pulling it hard by the nape of its neck.
“Ohn-la wao!” the girl yelled and swung her staff through the air.
The man did not look impressed, and turned to walk away with the goat. She lunged forward and struck the staff against his back. He stumbled forward and looked back at her angrily. He released the goat and now pursued her. He made a quick succession of steps toward her, his eyes cruel and hungry. She held out the staff, but he did not regard it as a threat, and quickly batted it away as she attempted to strike with it. He grabbed her with powerful hands, one around her neck, one on her chest. She tried to move or scream, but he pushed her down and held her against the ground. She squirmed and grunted and tried to kick, but he was so strong.
She glanced down and saw his genitals begin to grow, as the goats’ did when it was time to mate. She had seen this before, and knew what would come next. She knew that someday she would find a mate, but not here, not like this.
She clawed at his skin and tried to strike, but couldn’t get any power into her blows. She felt his engorged genitals pressing against her, against her thighs, her lower abdomen. He pulled one hand away from her chest to guide himself into her. She used the opportunity and struck him with her right hand- a hard, devastating attack, right to the face. His nose took the full brunt of the attack, and the red began to trickle out of it, and onto the girl’s face. The man grunted in pain at this, but it did not deter him.
She felt pressure in her opening. She squirmed and kicked, but the pressure didn’t disappear. She reared back to strike him again, but he held her down with both arms. She had the feeling of warmth sliding into her, pushing, tearing, cutting her world apart. Her vision grew blurry as she cried and screamed and kicked. He began moving back and forth inside her, that painful, tearing slowly turning to heat and pleasure. She leaned forward and bit him hard on the shoulder, her teeth locking into his flesh with all the ferocity she could muster.
And with her hands, she clawed at his face. She felt a finger connect with his eyeball and he quickly hit her face to make her stop. But she didn’t. She dug in deeper, pressing as hard as she could into wet mush. The man pushed her away and jumped off her.
She scrambled to her feet and grabbed her staff. He stepped toward her and she swung it as hard as she could- it connected with the man’s shoulder and then snapped in half, sharp splinters splayed at the end. He reached out to grab her, and without thinking, without tactic, she stabbed those sharp splinters forward, and felt them enter flesh. The man’s face froze in horror. The girl screamed wildly as she twisted the broken staff into his flesh. He reached out a hand to attack her neck, but she pulled the sharpened staff out of him, and thrust it into him again, this time higher on his torso.
He released a long, painful squeal, and then fell to his knees. He began crawling away, releasing all manner of painful, pitiful groans.
The girl, acting on her own animal urges now, was not ready to let him go. She picked up a large rock, and then swung it hard against the side of his head. The red poured from him now- from his gut, from his head, from his nose and shoulder.
The girl looked at his lifeless body, the vitality fading from his eyes. She let the rage burn inside her until it needed release and she screamed horribly- a scream of gods and wild things that knew no end. She stood, huffing and puffing over the body. But at least she had dinner now.
The girl sat in the dark, her belly full, her lower abdomen throbbing and tender, and her teeth hurting from all the work. The man’s flesh was not easy to eat, and she had nothing to cut it with. When she was finished eating, she moved away from the site, because she knew that wolves and wild dogs would soon follow the scent. She moved the small herd of goats to the top of a rocky outcropping, from which she could see much of the plain.
She lay on the soft grass and felt the little things running along her body. Tiny bugs with six legs, and bigger bugs with more legs. They did not bother her. She looked at the place of 1,000 little things, where the things glowed white and blue and yellow. They twinkled and were beautiful. Ever since she was a child, which was not that long ago, she had wanted to catch one.
One of the 1,000 things moved across the sky, brighter than the rest. It was not the same color, but appeared to be many colors. As the thing moved, the girl noticed that it grew bigger. Bigger. Bigger. It soon became to size of her finger. And then the size of her fist.
She could hear the sounds of the wolves and the dogs fighting over the man’s corpse, but as the thing grew nearer it made a loud noise, like shouts from the sky, and it scared away the animals. The girl’s goats began to bleat and moan and she feared that they would run into the night. She picked up her bloody, sharpened half-staff, and looked at the thing getting nearer. She would not let another enemy attack her today.
The thing that landed was large, almost as big as the hill upon which she stood. When the thing touched down to the ground, the sound it made began to quiet- no more a shout from the sky, but a soft hum.
She stepped toward the thing, staff held out, angrily. The thing opened and a man stepped out, but not a man. More like a woman. It did not have a beard or hairy flesh. It did not have a multitude of scars or skin made rough over the years. Its skin was gray and shimmered. It did not appear to be menacing- it had no staff.
“Uhn- Oh la-ah,” the girl grunted, staff still outstretched.
The man-woman walked toward the girl. It did not have a face like her own. The girl looked for where the eyes might be, incase she needed to attack, but could not see them. The face appeared to be water, with colors floating in it. The man-woman had a hand, and held it out for the girl. The girl had seen her father make this gesture with others in the area. The gesture was used to make trades of goats or food. She reached out her own hand and made contact with the man-woman.
There came an incredible sensation then. A calming feeling filled her body and she dropped the staff. Things came to her mind that she had never seen before. Things that she had no way of recognizing, but she did. A street filled with people, with all manner of clothes, as they hustled and bustled in a big city. And the girl understood what these things were. Street. Clothes. City. Gerry-mandering. Voter suppression. Predatory lenders. Fascism. Mega churches. Climate change. War.
These things passed through her as the alien pushed the thoughts further into her mind. Pushed her to go toward what the human race was destined to become. Her eyes swelled and she wept joyous, beautiful tears at the sight of it. The things her people would create. The way they would treat one another. The worlds they would build. Some day. When they were no longer animals and cruel beasts.
And the girl knew, deep down in the depths of her being, everything will be ok. We steal. We rape. We kill and eat each other. But some day, a long time from today, we will be more than what we are now. And we will be beautiful.
The alien pulled its hand away, severing the connection between the girl and the visions of the future. She smiled at the friendly alien and watched as it stepped back. Soon it returned to its space craft, and was gone.
The visitor had left, and the night sky was unchanged, and the animals continued to eat the dead man. The girl heard two dogs fighting over the feast- barking and growling until a painful whimper echoed across the land as jagged teeth dug into flesh.
We will be more, the girl thought as she looked to the wild dogs, and then glanced to the sky. She then picked up a stone and began etching into the rocky hillside, all the things that her species could be.