CHIMPO'S LAST MOMENT

CHIMPO'S LAST MOMENT

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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Lives were short back in the very much pre-stone age.

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Winter was coming on. Not the winter provided by the weather, which tended to be balmy the whole year round, but the winter that was slowly freezing in Chimpo’s heart.

He has no way of considering his age other than as cold and old. He had little concept of the seasons, largely because in his neck of the woods and time on Earth the seasons were hard to differentiate from each other. It never got sizzlingly hot, but neither had he ever seen snow or ice.

But he was becoming aware of a coldness in his heart.

He’d never given much thought to age. He’d been aware, of course, of the way some folks grew old and slow and feeble, and eventually yielded to a kind of stasis that led younger members of their families to eat them when times were hard and food was short, as it often was in odd periods, such as after a devastating storm that felled trees and washed through their nests, or as a consequence to fires that raged during particularly hot and dry periods. It seemed that the world was designed to offer them problems that needed solving, and eating granddad was one solution.

Funny, he thought, it was always granddad and not so often grandma.

And he was a granddad. He was surrounded by evidence of that. His own, once tiny but now enormous, offspring had proceeded to breed and females, both his own or their spouses, had dropped infants as if dropping infants into the world was going out of fashion.

And they were looking at him in a particular way. It was as if they expected something to happen, and he, despite having a tendency to muddy thoughts, knew what it was. Today he was alive and breathing and tomorrow… well, he’d wait and see what tomorrow brought.

He had his gods, of course, for an explanation, but deep in his soul he knew the one thing that has troubled men of all deity-worshipping faiths since then, and, remember, he wasn’t a man. He was a geriatric monkey with an old monkey’s wizened face and greying hair, and with a handful of silly notions occupying his tiny mind.

One of his grandsons, the one that most reminded him of himself, seemed to have some idea of what might be going on because, whenever he could, he kicked him. He’d done that himself, to his own granddad, many turning of the seasons back (not that they were the sort of seasons you or I would recognise), had quite enjoyed seeing the pained expression on the old monkey’s face and, indeed, the tears that ran down his hairy face.

And now the circle was closing and it was all happening to him, the cold shivers in his old heart, the kicking, the pain, the knowledge that he’d seen it all before and now he was experiencing it in himself.

You won’t eat me until I’m actually still and colder than the coldest stone?” he asked in the guttural, almost meaningless, language that the tribe had concocted.

Of course not, granddad,” said a granddaughter, a sweet young creature who, besides being his granddaughter was also his daughter.

Morality was different back then, very different, largely because knowledge was barely involved in anything more than the next meal and deflowering maidens. And if one of the maidens happened to be a daughter, well it didn’t seem to make much difference as long as she was a desirable daughter. Future rolls of the evolutionary dice would change things, but at that time and in those circumstances it hadn’t got round to it.

Unless we’re hungry and need something tough to exercise our jaws,” said the nasty grandson before kicking him.

That’s not fair!” admonished the pretty granddaughter, but fair or not nobody really did anything about the kicks or the pain.

The gods will get you!” threatened Chimpo, his voice creaking and barely audible.

You and your gods!” scoffed the boy, but he wandered off in case granddad had actually stumbled on something and the gods were real.

Which set Chimp off, thinking. If the gods were genuine and he had merely witnessed reality rather than inventing them, then they must live somewhere. True, they came down quite often to govern their bits of the world, the trees, the rivers and steams, the mountains, even the animals of the forest. But they must have come down from somewhere, from where they viewed all of creation by the light from their stars.

He sighed and his heart thumped painfully.

Maybe they had a gigantic nest up there where the stars shone so brightly. Maybe there was a Bossgod up there, one who was the eternal equal of the tribe’s bossmonk. Yes, that must be it: a great place where he lived with his servants who were…

Who were the dead!

That must be it. It had to be. He was alive, his offspring and their offspring, they were all alive, all created by the gods and all growing older day by day until, one day, they ceased to breathe, they stopped moving and, when times were hard, provided hearty meals for the family. But was that all? Of course not!

His eyes lit up as he contemplated the enormity of his idea.

The only reason he could think of for all the life of his family and his tribe and the seemingly silly act of actually ending, of dying, was that there must be part of you, something you couldn’t see but knew was there, that left your body at its ending and made its slow way to the gods and their stars.

Yes, that much be it!

He called the elderly and still very much living Kunny to him.

I will tell you,” he began, and slowly, hesitantly and with a lot of half-thoughts coming out as little more than grunts, he elaborated on his sudden idea.

And you are going to that nest when you end?” she asked.

He nodded.

And I will too?”

He shook his monkey head and almost giggled. “You? A female? Never! If there is my somewhere it will be for us males only. For we are the mighty ones. We are the fighters in battles, the hunters for meat, the deflowerers of pretty b*****s!”

Yet you will have no b*****s in your paradise?” she asked.

He nodded. “Of course we will! But they’ll all be young and tender and eager to be deflowered, and day by day, year by year, we will deflower them! Yes, year by god-damned year!”

And with that last pronouncement his ancient heart gave a sudden excited jerk, painful more than any before it, and he collapsed forwards, head, cooling and still, on Kunny’s lap.

She turned to their family.

Chimpo gone,” she said, “but who knows where? And can anyone tell me, what is a god-damned year?”

© Peter Rogerson 28.10.19



© 2019 Peter Rogerson


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Featured Review

Good story. About page two, I was waiting for the god issue to pop up. Maybe even a series, including hunting, gathering, and finally settling down at one location.

Chimpo could be developed into the first priest. He could even revive from that heart attack, then thought to BE a god.

I like to do various series, such as a detective series. One day I noticed over a dozen stories about that one detective. Sorting them chronologically and with a few short connecting passages gave me an entire novel. Something to think about?
Charlie

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Peter Rogerson

1 Year Ago

Thanks for your review, Charlie. I, too, like to write connected little stories, but I have dealt wi.. read more



Reviews

Good story. About page two, I was waiting for the god issue to pop up. Maybe even a series, including hunting, gathering, and finally settling down at one location.

Chimpo could be developed into the first priest. He could even revive from that heart attack, then thought to BE a god.

I like to do various series, such as a detective series. One day I noticed over a dozen stories about that one detective. Sorting them chronologically and with a few short connecting passages gave me an entire novel. Something to think about?
Charlie

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Peter Rogerson

1 Year Ago

Thanks for your review, Charlie. I, too, like to write connected little stories, but I have dealt wi.. read more

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Added on October 28, 2019
Last Updated on November 9, 2019
Tags: Chimpo, ancient, old age, death


Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 77 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..

Writing