Flash Fiction - Nothing to lose your head over.
|In the villages of Otsjanep and Omadesep deep in the jungle of New Guinea reside two chiefs that are locked in a bitter rivalry. Chief Mundi of Omadesep boasts that he holds a greater number of trophies. My husband, Chief Kepanga, can no longer tolerate his rival’s big head.|
It is I who suggest that they keep the peace by offering our oldest daughter in marriage to the rival’s son. Seeing the benefits of such an arrangement, my husband yields to my intuition.
Six days later, Chief Mundi sends word agreeing to the terms. And as is tradition, a celebration will be held in the bride’s village on the night of the full moon.
My people greet the guests with cheers and flowers as they enter Otsjanep. As is customary, a fire is set in the village center. There will be drinking and dancing and singing and feasting long into the night.
Around the great fire, the time comes for honoring the bride and groom with a toast. Chief Mundi instead sees fit to boast yet again. And all the while, my husband sits there quietly wearing a grin from ear to ear.
Standing, my chief raises his spear above his head, signaling our warriors to strike. Many of Chief Mundi’s men are drunk or asleep as hundreds of spears and arrows find their mark. And in the chaos, Chief Mundi flees.
In the days that follow, my people have plenty to eat, and my husband has all the trophies he could ever want. Removing his prized trophy from a leather strap around his neck and holding it in the palm of his hand, he smiles. He must be thinking that his rival’s head isn't as large as it once was.