Fosslis of the Missing Ones – II: The Traitor

Fossils of the Missing Ones – II: The Traitor

We found many more.

Like Emma, they had been cut;
thick and brutal scars
across the breastbone.

I can’t even imagine
the pain they went through,
their fragile bodies
broken and mutilated.

“Come look at this one! Very interesting!”
My partner waves me over with silhouette arms,
like ants’ antennae in the golden radiance of the setting sun.

“This one is different from all the other women. Possibly a witch doctor? Truthsayer?”

‘A bag of bones by her side,
beads clutched in her hand.
Her skull is bigger.
Curiously positioned
on her hands and knees
as if in deep prayer.
Unlike the others
her ‘face’ is expressionless.’

We named her the Wise One:

I saw them coming;
I smelled them a mile away.
Who wouldn’t?
I mean their vulgar wolf skins are warnings from Death himself.

Northern savages. Hmmph!

On hands and knees I go,
saying a prayer for our ancestors,
and the Rabbit, of course,
merely visible tonight of all nights –
half-moon –
when we need him most.

I consult the bones,
the pouch heavy in my hand.
I grip it tightly
like a mother would her child;
the same forewarning.

Turns out I was right;
they were messengers of Death;
the damned bones told me
not to leave the tent,
that Fate’s flood cannot be changed.

And so I remained,
positioned like a tigress at the drinking hole,
humiliated
for being forced to devour
my own helpless cubs.

I say one more prayer,
calling the men on the hunt to come to our aid.

I am the Wise One,
although I wish I wasn’t.

I am the Traitor.

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