The World Where No-one Lives Forever

Chin'ditz did not awake for a day or so. He slept peacefully and dreamlessly. The young woman looked over him as the older woman was often gone for days at a time. The young woman did not know where she went but she was told that it was important and so she did not question it.

When Chin'ditz finally came round, the young woman was cooking outside the shelter. As he felt a little stronger, he slowly moved himself out and sat by her as she cooked a fish.

She poitned at herself and said, "Saskina."

Chin'ditz pointed to himself and said, "Chin'ditz."

She repeated it to herself and then started talking in her own tongue. She could see he did not understand and so she stopped to think for a moment. She put on a deliberate confused face and then made her fingers walk across her flat palm and then she pointed at Chin'ditz and then she pointed all around her.

"How I am here?" Chin'ditz asked. She did not understand but continued to look at him, waiting for an answer. He made a movement with his hand showing the meanders of the river and then made the walking motion with his fingers then pointed to himself. She seemed to understand but still looked confused. After more explaining, they admitted defeat as he would not be able to explain why he left home for a while to come.

After a couple of days, the old woman returned. She had a woven basket covered with a large leaf. She would not show Saskina what was inside it.

The old woman cared for Chin'ditz's wounds and as he was recovering, she appeared to be getting sick. Chin'ditz could see Saskina was worried but he knew he couldn't do anything. He knew too little about medicines and, as it was a different part of the forest, he did not recognise the plants at all.

He found the healing of the old woman to be very effective and yet he thought it was very strange. She seemed to chant when she applied the remedies and liquids and it made Chin'ditz's wounds tingle and he even thought that they almost glowed but he just thought it was the pain he was in playing tricks with his mind.

Weeks must have passed before Chin'ditz felt fully well again. The old woman seemed to be looking worse than ever. She looked frail and her hair was thinner and her face didn't have the same glow it used to. Chin'ditz had never experienced death before. He was too young to remember the last time someone had in his closer band of friends or family.

One evening, Chin'ditz came back from collecting things to fix the shelter as there were holes appearing. It was raining in torrents and Chin'ditz struggled to see as his hair fell in front of his face and stuck there. He returned to the small camp and saw Saskina lying over the old woman who was on the floor, in the muddy undergrowth of the forest. Saskina looked up at Chin'ditz. She was crying and covered in filth and tears and rainwater. The old woman was dead. Though he did not understand fully what it was, Chin'ditz felt a great wash of sadness. He kneeled beside Saskina and prayed to his silent Spirit.

The End

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