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A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

Sadistic violence is heaped on sadistic violence in the peaceful primitive community


The savage stranger with his armed cohorts marched off with the final threat of I’ll be back, leaving the kind of numbness you could almost taste behind. A shocked crowd, many weeping, gathered round their leader’s bloody corpse

Maggida stared in disbelief at the severed head of her man, lying where it had fallen. Then she lifted her own head to the skies and screamed, and never had such a scream been heard in that valley before, between the mountains to the North and the desert to the South, not even when old Tomass had passed away before his century was up, and back then there had been many a chorus of anguished screams and women had even hacked at their own breasts with blades in their sorrow.

Then there was a fractured moment of silence.

Somewhere a child cried out. An infant, hopefully too young to understand the depths to which humanity can sink, and Maggida rushed into the timber shanty she called home and put her arms round the child.

Momma?” asked the little one.

Tilda,” wept Maggida, “come hither, little one, come hither… you need your warmest fur...”

Out, momma, are we going out?” the child managed to say.

We are going away, Tilda. You and me and nobody else. Just the two of us, my precious, we are going away to find a new place to live.”

And dadda?” asked the child.

She hugged her infant to her, and her tears told what her words couldn’t. “He will always be with us, sweet one, in our hearts,” she wept.

Then she pulled her warmest furs onto her back, and looked around her. This had been the happy home where she and her man, the much loved and revered Dodson, had spent their days and nights together. And the nights had been best, for when there hadn’t been laughter there had been kisses, and when there had been neither of those there had been sleep.

Maggida,” said a quiet voice from the open doorway, “Maggida, we need you.”

It was Parkha, her brother, and his face was smeared with tears.

It’s no use, Parkha. I’m leaving,” she replied, firmly.

And Tilda?”

She’s coming with me, Parkha,” came her soft yet determined reply. “We cannot stay here a moment longer, not with what that … brute … did to my Dodson. He is dead, Parkha, he is no more, and I can’t bear it.”

You’d bear it better with friends and kin folk around you,” he replied, “there are bad days ahead. I fear that most powerfully. And those bad days will stretch beyond the reach of a woman’s walk, even if she presses on through day and night until she drops to the ground with weariness.”

I saw what he did to my man,” wept Maggida.

I have taken Dodson to the mound of mourning, sister-mine,” he said, “I have reunited his head and body in death, and he is there for the crows to grow fat as they feast on his spirit and carry it off with them to the gods, which is how it must be.”

Already? He is there already?” wept Maggida.

It is best we keep such sights from Tilda, sister-mine,” he said quietly. “But it also best if you remain with your kin even though evil times are promised us and the stars look down in sorrow. There is a king on his throne far away, and he has gifted our precious lands and abundant garden to a one-armed knave with weapons at his back. But that king and that throne are far away and cannot see everything that occurs in the world, of that I am sure. We will get our revenge, I promise you.”

If I stay as you request you must also promise me one more thing, that I make the final blow and send the one-armed knave to where the gods never venture,” she said, determinedly, “then I will stay. That is my word, and a promise must be your gift to me.”

Then I swear it, Maggida,” he said soberly, “for as long as I can, I will swear to save the flimsy neck of the one-armed villain for your blade, and I counsel you, make it keen. Make it sharper than the axe that did for Gondut in the olden times. Then you will succeed even if it takes all the peace-mongers in our Paradise to hold him down!”

It was a Paradise, wasn’t it, Parkha,” she whispered, “until this day it was a Paradise. And now everything is changed and Paradise has gone away.”

It will be again,” he promised her, “I swear it. It will be Paradise again.”

He wanted to go on and say more, to tell her how her friends and neighbours loved her and what they would do for her if she would only stay, but he was interrupted by a howl more horrifying than any other, even more intense than the one Maggida had torn the air with at the anguished sight of her dead man.

That’s Sharra,” said Maggida, “I would recognise her voice anywhere. Now what has befallen us? Now what evil has there been afoot?”

She leapt though her door and saw the naked and distressed figure of the beautiful Sharra, a neighbour and friend since childhood, though sadly widowed since a boar took her man whilst he was hunting during the last cold season. There had been much sadness and mourning, and the feast that had accompanied her man to the gods had last seven whole days.

Maggida, her own face still stained with tears, stared in horror as the other woman staggered from a cluster of trees and fell onto her knees not far from where Dodson’s blood had been so cruelly spilt.

Maggida ran up to her, concern for a friend bending her features into a worried frown. “What is it, dearest Sharra?” she begged, “what ill has befallen you?”

I have been taken and savaged,” howled Sharra, “I have been ambushed and taken, and the brute who took me was a man with but one arm! Yet he forced me onto the ground, all right, he said I was his to do with as he pleased, a gift from his king, he said, and he forced himself into me … he took me!”

You say, a man with but the one arm?” asked Maggida.

With one arm...” sobbed Sharra, “and it is possible, I know that it is, but what he did, … he may have put me with child!”

© Peter Rogerson 17.11.18

© 2018 Peter Rogerson

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Added on November 17, 2018
Last Updated on November 17, 2018
Tags: family, brother, corpse, gods, widow, raped


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 76 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..