Free

Rustling, the huge leaves hide my position, the anticipation in the air rolling down my face and dropping to the floor in the form of sweat. The creature prowls around the open clearing. My grip tightening on the spear, I ignore the clammy feel to my palms and concentrate on my task.

The smells of the forest fill my nose. They mingle and combine to create one strong smell of the jungle. The most prominent, by far, is that of the earthen floor – covered with moss and creatures of the soil. Musty, dirty fur seems to float along the whispering winds – I know it belongs to my target. Its fur is tangled and dirty.

Padding lightly between twisted, entwining branches of trees, I tiptoe towards my goal. Chattering animals cover any sound I make, but even so, I am careful not to become overconfident. Cool air washes over my back, keeping me calm before the chase. My breathing is shallow.

The buwa seems to be glaring at me. Holding the gaze, I hold my breath, its eyes passing me by.

My prey turns slowly, picking up on the anticipation dripping from the thick air. It is my turn to make a move. If I do not, it will seek me out. I need the element of surprise on my side – and an opportunity to attack. Breathing deeper, I lift my spear fashioned wood from the forest and stone from forest floor.

Throwing myself forward, I explode from the huge leaves – breaking out into the clearing. Second-guessing the pattern of defence for the animal, I hold the spear up high. Bringing it down, it smashes against its mark: the neck of the buwa – the monster.

The body falls limp against the earthy foliage growing across the clearing floor. Now, the noisy forest is a seemingly empty, lifeless place. As the sun beats onto my heavily tanned body, I yank the spear from the dead carcase, ready to eat properly for the first time in months.

THE END.

The End

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