(The Saga of Caveman Hom, Episode 19)
When Tra stop talking, all women stand with open mouth. Me look Henn and Schmenn, they smiling. They have willy, so they special! They think they clever, with great beauty! Me know they stupid, but this ridiculous.
At last, Fem begin laugh. Rest of tribe join in.
‘What this?’ say Tra. ‘Me not make joke! It science!’
Soon, we howling! Many women drop weapon for roll on ground, kick legs in air! Snow fly. Men also laugh, but careful. Maybe this clever trick of Tra, for injure women with laughter? We keep eyes open, spear ready. It good trick, but still not work.
When Fem stop laugh, she say, ‘So, you tribe of willy-women. You brave and stunning, but you scared of not-willy-women. You also scared of men. But still you cross mountain in deep snow for find nasty tribe of oppressor! This not make sense. So me ask again — why you come?’
‘That good question,’ say Tra. ‘Answer simple. It all because willy-women not have boobies. It surprise, but some willy women not like sex other willy-women. They want sex not-willy-women with big boobies. This important for make baby. For make baby, it take not-willy-woman. If woman have willy, she not grow baby. Instead she plant seed like man.’ Tra shrug. ‘Me not know why. This great mystery of Nature Spirit.’
‘So,’ say Fem. ‘It all about sex.’
Tra pull face. ‘It friendship also.’
‘But you say we evil oppressor!’
’That true. But it not your fault — only ignorance. Soon you learn friendship. We all women same — we oppressed by evil men. It no good argue among women! We need come together, for defeat men! Me believe in power of women! Together we strong! Together, we free!’
‘He crazy,’ mutter Nizzi. ’Surely this not normal?’
‘It not,’ me reply. ‘He special.’
‘So,’ say Fem. ‘You want join tribe? Make two tribe one again?’
‘No, no!’ say Tra. ‘Me not want join. It no need worry — you still Chief of oppressor tribe. Me not overthrow. Me reasonable! Me allow you stay Chief. All me ask is not oppress willy-women. Instead, it friendship! Me make good offer — you not refuse!’
‘You allow visit. When willy-women come, we bring present. We talk not-willy-women, for make friends. Then it time for sex! But no pressure. Maybe willy-woman plant seed, and baby grow. This good both tribe.’
‘Me knew it!’ say Nizzi. ‘It always same.’
Fem ignore her, say Tra, ‘Who keep baby?’
‘Baby no business of willy-women. We not interfere.’
‘You not want baby?’
‘What we do baby? We not have boobies! Baby starve.’
‘This true,’ say Fem. Then she think. ‘Visit need rule,’ she say.
‘That no problem! Rule is decide by Fem.’
Fem nod. ‘That good. Me need think about this more. Me promise nothing. But for now, you go. When moon new, it time for visit. You send two men only, no weapon. When men arrive, me give order. Men obey.’
‘It not men,’ say Tra. ‘It willy-women.’
‘Visitor obey rule, or no more visit,’ say Fem. ‘Ever.’
‘If visitor make trouble, we kill.’
‘Me not want trouble,’ say Tra. ‘Only friendship.’
’This not friendship. It sex.’
‘That good offer!’ say Tra. ‘Me agree. Me big thank for Chief Fem! Me so happy!’ He give wide smile. ‘Now me have surprise! Me bring present for seal agreement, make strong friendship!’ Tra turn Schmenn, he raise voice. ‘You, Schmenn! Fetch pigskin bag!’
Schmenn nod, then walk to small cave of stick. He rummage.
‘Me not want present,’ say Fem.
‘Me insist! It special. Me bring long way over mountain, just for give Fem!’
‘Schmenn! Where bag?’
Schmenn hand over pigskin bag. ‘Here bag,’ he say.
Tra take bag. ‘Why you move so slow?’ he say. Schmenn begin answer, but Tra interrupt. ‘Shut mouth. Me not care excuse!’ He open pigskin bag for look inside. He smile. “This good present,’ he say. ‘Me hope you like!’ Then he pass bag to Chief Fem.
Fem look bag. She frown. She reach in hand for rummage. Then she find contents. When she see, she shock! She make loud gasp.
‘No,’ she say. ‘No!’ Then she drop bag. Contents of bag spill out on snowy ground. Me see — it head of Fooella! Now blood stain snow in big drop. Women tribe look, all see, all shock!
‘Me not believe,’ say Gai. ‘Tra kill Fooella!’
’That right,’ say Tra. ‘He bad man! He try oppress women, but he fail! So me punish! Me torture with fire, then me cut off head for present! You like? Maybe now it time for sex!’ Then he point at small cave of stick.
Fem turn green. She bend over for throw sick. It splatter snow. Steam rise. Fem cough more sick, then wipe mouth. Women tribe still shock — we not know what do, only watch event unfold.
Fem stand. She not speak, but me see eyes — she rage! She look Tra. He stand, he smile. ‘Fem have nice boobies,’ he say. ‘Me want—’
Chief Fem punch Tra full in face. Me hear crunch of broken bone. Tra scream — hand go fast to nose. Blood squirt through finger.
‘Me not under—’
Then Fem grab Tra arm, she pull forward fast. Same time she lift leg, then bring down hard on knee of Tra. Again me hear crunch, this time louder. Me wince. Tra scream again, then fall to ground. There he writhe in pain.
Henn and Schmenn make angry noise, begin rush forward for attack Fem. Me hear whoosh, and something move fast through air. Henn scream, Schmenn gasp. More blood squirt on snow. Me look Henn and Schmenn. Henn have arrow in face — it pierce both cheek! Eyes bulge. Schmenn have blood on nose — it graze from same arrow.
Voice come from tree; it Arca. ‘Me sorry,’ she say. ‘Me try miss, but it mistake. Me not try miss again.’
Tra still lie on ground screaming. Blood run down face, and leg have wrong angle. Henn grab arrow, try pull from face. Schmenn help pull. Henn scream again, and arrow come out. More blood drip red on snow.
Fem bend for pick up bag. She find head of Fooella, then put inside. ‘We bury,’ she say. ‘Full honour.’ Then she kick Tra in rib. ‘You monster!’ she say. She spit. Then she kick again, but harder, and this time nuts. Then she remember spear.
But me move fast — me grab. ‘No,’ me say. ‘That enough.’
‘Let go spear!’ she yell. ‘That order!’
‘No,’ me say. ‘Me not allow.’
‘But he… he…’
‘Me know. But murder still wrong.’
Fem scream, she flail fist at chest of Hom. Me grab, hug tight. Fem continue hit. It hurt, but me ignore. Me speak quiet in ear. ’You good Chief,’ me say. ‘Me loyal.’ At last Fem stop hit for hug back. She begin cry.
Me look Schmenn. ‘Meeting finish,’ me say. ‘You go.’
Schmenn open mouth for speak, but me give fierce look, and mouth close. He bend over, for pick Tra from ground. Then he carry to cave of stick for put inside. Henn help. Then Pal, Ang, Kwi and Yin take hold stick for ready lift cave again.
Fem lift head from chest of Hom. She wipe tears, stand straight. Then she turn to men for shout. ‘When moon new, you visit. Two men only, no weapon. No coconut. And not send Tra. If see again, it no mercy — we kill.’
Schmenn raise hand for wave. Carrier lift cave of stick, and men begin long journey home.
Nizzi turn to Chief Fem. ‘Why you ask men tribe visit?’
Fem shrug. ‘Tribe still need babies.’
‘But how we trust Tra? He take revenge.’
‘Me not think so. Me think he no more power.’ She sigh. ‘Maybe now men tribe remember what is woman.’
‘Me not know how they forget,’ me say. ‘It crazy!’
‘It madness of King Tra. But now reign finish, and soon it election. Me have big hope for future. Soon sanity return.’