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Indigenous Horror Fiction

Final autumn leaves grind beneath her dusty feet. Her bouncy hair pumped vitality in an frizzy manner as she hobbled towards the garden to pluck freshly matured roses. The sky wasn’t a plain yellow expanse like it used to be in her preferred times; the sky was now a profuse of soluble shades.

Brought up by a single mother, Reya outgrew from the last civilization of the era and struggled to sustain in the more modern world. Her mother who had, in the past, lived in regional groups when the culture of multiple mating partners existed, ironically blended well in this new urban life. It was to believe that their broken family was the last one to live after the unpopular and severe attack had taken place in the tribe’s region.

With petals of roses intervened in her braid, Reya flung across bamboo ropes and sprung down to cling on the the tree’s protruding roots.

‘Ah, being closer to the roots is such a glory. It’s home. It’s where I belong.’ She said with ease to herself.

She picked her eyes from the greens around and left them on the bark, only to spot a white arrow mark. She slid towards the right side, where it pointed. And there came another arrow with a ‘Hi’ inscribed. She looked at it through her nonplussed mode and swiped her fingertips to touch it.

But with a bare touch, the words disappeared. Yearning for more, she followed the arrow. Next she didn’t see any arrow. But she did, differently, spot leaves arranged like a lettuce. As she stepped closer, the flowery structure bloomed open revealing a tangle of roots. This felt like unwrapping gifts to her. She held the tiny roots and rubbed them in anticipation of discovering more hints, but there were none. As the wafting wind whispered, she heard slithers and instantly looked back at the lettuce flower, only to find a golden snake curling out against the green backdrop. She quickly knelt down, a respectable distance away from the snake waiting for it to instruct her. But it didn’t do anything but wag its tail.

What she realized that the tail was another arrow. Exceptionally, this arrow was curvy, just the shape of the jungle’s route ahead. She walked as mapped on the tail. Wandering for a while, she heard a voice.

“Oh dear, my child. How are you?” A man, bearded and blue-eyed, approached her.

“Child?” Reya looked at him, accusingly.

“Yes, you’re my daughter. You have a long, red mark on your right calf. See.” He pointed. "That's your mark."

She noticed her mark but started laughing.

“What’s the matter? Don’t you believe that I’m your father?”

“What is a ‘father’?” The 10 year old confidently asked.

“A father is um, the one who has a daughter and lives with mother.” He said, unable to find a comprehensive answer.

“But I do not have a father then.” She spoke casually.

“You do, you do have one. Here, me.” He said sadly.

“Remember the treehouse, he used to live in in southern Australia’s forest?” He stretched out his hand to her. “I have inked it on my skin.” She peeped in to take a look at the ‘tattoo’.

“Wow. That wood there is pretty.”

He smiled neatly.

“Yes, cause that was our home.”

She repeated those words in her mind.

“Do you remember anything about me, dear?”

“No sir.”

“Anything about our home. Just anything.” He became desperate.

“No, I am sorry.”

As winds flew like storms, Reya ran and said, “I am going on to climb that tree. It’s the tallest. You want to try it too?”

“No darling.” He had worn pajamas and a t-shirt; his hair was civilized unlike hers. With that she leaped in lighting speed and clambered the tallest tree of this region.

He looked at her, who was flinging and curving like a rope. Her rawness was adorable. She escalated from one branch to another, covering almost 3/4th of the tree like that. She looked down at her told-dad and waved a hand.

He clapped triumphantly.

She ascended further ahead; he was still clapping. She looked down again and smiled impishly.

He weaved his hands into a fine posture and arched his body into a clone of a peacock. With his head tilted upwards, he strutted with immense pride. She laughed with him, dancing crazily on the treetop.

Suddenly, she lost balanced and flailed in the air.

“Father!” She yelped He looked at her shockingly, but heard her words astonishingly as he ran to catch hold of her.

She nestled between fleeting branches and swung like a loose-limbed swing. He tried to make a judgement of her landing.

And daddy was very much her savior. She landed cotton-soft in the cradle of his arms.

“Thank you.”

“My pleasure darling.”

She hugged him tightly.

“Thank you father.”

He smiled jubilantly at that magical word.

They both sat on a spill of wooden logs. Reya fidgeted with her fingers and made weird faces. Her father gazed at her purity and playfulness and secretly hoped it would be treasured for lifetime.

In nature’s this rainforest, he caressed her hair, stroked her cheeks gently as she happily sat in the armor of her dad, till dawn turned to dusk.

It was dim. The darkness was a mixture of orange and black hues. “Father?” Reya asked.

“Yes, tell me.”

“Where were you all this while long?” He gulped.

“Reya, I was finding you both, all this time. After the partition, I couldn’t locate you’ll, but now I did.”

“Yes!” She said with enthusiasm.

“It’s getting late Rey, you should go back to your home.” He said looking dully at the materialistically transformed house.

Instantly he reminisced the beautiful treehouse that beheld their family’s memories: his, Reya’s and her mother’s. He had and he agreed to the fact that Norene and him both had mated with several people in their tribe, like the culture used to be. But unlike others, who had no fix wife or children, they had always stuck to each other and their sweetheart Reya, until-

“Ok. So come with me dad. You can also meet mother over there.”

Her father hesitated and said, “ I don’t want to approach her suddenly at night. I will plan a surprise properly in the morning. Ok?”

“Okay father.”

- - - -

The howling of wolves could be heard from their home despite the fact that residential was prevalent in this sub-forest. Reya's dad who was positioned in their backyard by Reya, slept in blankets of banana leaves.

Reya gleefully went into her door. After the regular interrogation by her mother, they both subsided to sleep.

Reya kept on thinking about her dad. She underlined the thoughts that she was truly shocked when the man claimed to be a part of her family. She was also agitated by the fact that her mother didn’t tell her this. But these thoughts were empowered by her father’s affection.

She kept looking at her mother when one thought ended, as if expecting her to answer the question. Her mother didn’t answer them, but she did change her expressions as if sensing her curiosity.

And curiosity was bubbling inside Reya to know her reality, her origin.

As the intensity of her of her curiousness expanded, so did her mother’s eyes. Reya froze.

“Mom?”

“You want to tell me something right?” She said directly.

“Um, mom-“

“What is it?”

“I met dad.”

Red forest lights shone on her mother’s eyes and it looked as if they were bleeding.

“What?!”

She nodded.

“Where is he right now?”

Reya fumbled as she walked towards the revelation. What should she do? Will telling mom upset dad or will not telling mom upset mom more? The red light vanished and remained just the cool, blue eyes of her mom.

Considering her own excitement too, she decided to give in.

“He is sleeping in the backyard. Do not tell him that you saw him before time, please.”

“Ok Rey, don’t worry.”

As they neared the sure soundproof window to the backyard, Reya pointed to the primitive mass of her father.

“There. Down with the mud’s depression and beneath banana leaves.”

“Where?” Her eyes scanned all corners.

Reya also pointed explicitly several times, but her mother couldn’t see anything.

“Oh god Reya, you’re just imagining things. Relax, it’s an illusion.”

“No I am not.” She protested. But it didn’t make any difference.

They went to sleep back again.

Reya was not satisfied.

She knew she had met dad. For real.

- - - -

She woke up before her mother only to check on her father. But there was no trace of him. Anywhere nearby. When she searched in the backyard, she found a note encompassed in a banana leaf.

One time it was.

Never meant it was to be ephemeral. Cross-questioning it taught.

But also a hint to practice prudence.

Buried and burned should this be.

Like I am.'

February 01, 2021 15:44

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5 comments

21:23 Feb 12, 2021

Amazing descriptions! Your use of color and detail really keep the story alive!

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Vibes Blossom
21:40 Feb 12, 2021

Thankks Hades :)

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Daniel R. Hayes
21:36 Feb 04, 2021

This was a great read. I really enjoyed it. You did a good job writing this, and I hope you write more stories, I enjoy them. Keep up the great work.

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Vibes Blossom
13:56 Feb 05, 2021

Thank you so much for being sincerely motivating! I'm glad you enjoyed this story. Thanks again. :)

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Daniel R. Hayes
15:50 Feb 05, 2021

Your welcome, and again I think your a great writer. I've enjoyed all your stories so far, and look forward to more :)

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