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The Great Loss
febrero 11, 2019|Short Story

The Great Loss

The Great Loss

It’s a bright and shiny day at mount Pacha’s settings; Droko is found at his outpost overlooking the tribe and its surroundings. The day is cloudless and garnished by a deep-blue sky; you can hear the distant clashing sound of river while the forest whistles with the clattering wind. The tribe goes on with their duties in a calm and tranquil matter; they feel safe knowing Droko is looking after them. He had persuade numerous predators before they had a chance to approach the tribe; the tribesmen know the importance of Droko for their survival.

Droko is comfortable squatting on an oversized rock while stares one of his point-sharp bone daggers; he had chosen this spot for its outstanding view of the tribe’s surroundings. Droko holds the dagger’s grip with his left hand while his right thumb studies it’s surface; each mark reminds him of a past encounter. He marked each triumph on his daggers and there were a lot of marks decorating them.

Not many moons ago Droko oversaw the young brightest members of the tribe fulfill their manhood challenges, among them were: Drake, son of Droko’s, Mustak son of Torok and the twins Ashuk and Limpis sons of Lana. After successfully accomplished their challenges they stand tall as Turgurs tribesmen. Theses challenges were different for everyone, some men were tested with simple tasks, yet the challenges these four kids overcame had the highest standards. Droko was present in each individual trials, ready to protect them if necessary yet there was no need to worry; immense sense of pride filled him seeing them all succeeding. Droko foresaw the future tribe leader emerging from the group; he knew his days were numbered yet having successor like them gave him peace.

The morning breeze carries a scent of grass and wet when it passes over Droko; the morning fragrance helps him clear his mind while he concentre in Torok who was sent in search of a saber-toothed cat who was seen prying the tribe’s territory. The strong features on Droko’s face make him look older than he is; enduring fierce encounters with large and dangerous predators had left marks all over his body. A notable scar retest painted across his face from his forehead and dripping down his right eye. A large white wolf known as Tomak had his pack ambush Droko’s hunting group; he was able to defend his tribesmen from the attack thanks to his characteristic light, agile yet strong body. No one was deadly wounded yet all were left with scars as gifts from Tomak’s pack. Humans were easy targets when Droko was younger; they used to where brown scraps of deer leather over their naked bodies and protect themselves with crooked dull wood spears.

Nowadays Droko wears thick brown fur over his body matching the color of his hair; two magnificent point-sharp bone daggers rest tied with rawhide to his waist. His strong deep-green emerald eyes shine underneath his scar and layers of brown hair dripping over his face; Droko’s beard has grown over the seasons and now covers his entire lower face. His naked chest and skinny body seem enhanced by his strong muscles and numerous scars; a brown fur kilt covers his waist and and thighs. Droko has been one of the first humans to wear thick leather straps around his feet; allow him to move faster over the harsh terrains of the mountain.

Today is especially bright, even the tribe’s camp has a unique brilliance. Droko gazes proudly at the running and playing tribe kids while the new tribesmen train their skills. Droko had been the tribe’s leader for many summers; task that was only possible with the help of his closest friends. He knew the days of chasing animals at the woods were close to an end; it was time to find a successor; he looks forward at the young boys for a new responsible of the tribe’s future.

Droko has been delighted to see the growth of his son, he expected to see the boy develop the skill of his father; it was overwhelming to see Drake on a different path, his unique skills were unlike anything the tribe has ever seen. Drake grew stronger and taller than his father yet maintained Droko’s sensorial abilities; his impressive speed was a strange trait for any human as tall as he was, yet his father’s talents were impossibly achieved. Now Drake leads hunting teams by tracking their prey, which made Droko proud yet doubt his son had what it took to become the leader of a tribe.

Many are the skills needed for a hunting team and a tribe’s safety; those of a sensorial type had proven crucial. Scouts were short yet possessed sharp senses which allow them to recognize and locate nearby predators. The hardest skill that a scout needed to develop ways to hide his presence while approaching a predator; here is where most of them had fail yet Droko was able to master the ability and now trains it to any suitable candidate. Unfortunately he haven’t found any until Ashuk and Limpis came of age. The twins were talented like no other Droko had met, their skill were even greater than those he had at their age. They had barely seen fifteen summers yet possessed abilities only seen on their mother after years of practice. Droko knew they were the key to the tribe’s future.

Lana’s twins were almost impossible to distinguish until they grew and developed their unique skills. She was not a born Turgur yet grew ranks within the tribe and became a lead huntress. She couldn’t master her skills before joining the tribe, yet working alongside Droko turned her into an impressively agile and deadly huntress. Lana’s accuracy with the javelin like spear was unmatched until her son Ashuk start practicing. Droko usually found himself staring at her body twisting in mind air as she threw a spear while chasing a prey. He had never seen Lana miss a shot which gave him confides to hunt along her side.

Droko continue at his outpost remembering with sadness the day he last saw his friend Lana. It was long ago when he held her hand while kneeling at her side; there was a bonfire closeby yet a slightly sour metallic scent was all he remembers. Lana was lying face up holding Droko’s hand with all her strength as if trying to gather energy out of him. She endured a long and painful childbirth, unlike others Droko had seen; this was the first time the tribe sees twins being delivered. Lana lost too much blood before the first baby was born, Droko took him in his hands and raise him over his head. The name he pronounced was “Ashuk”, which was the name Lana had chosen for her second bone dagger. Her life was in the balance but no one knew there was a second baby on the way; it didn’t take long for him to be born while she looked deeply into his Droko’s eyes, which was all he needed to know this was the last time their sight will cross. He hold the baby and raised him over his head screamed “Limpis”, which was the name of her first done dagger.

Droko also carries two magnificent point-sharp bone daggers, which is an honor not many get to achieve. Shurky, his first dagger was named in recognition of his first kill; he was as old as his son Drake when he had to chase a fast and elusive deer to become a worthy tribesman. Droko was only given a thin point-sharp spear; the chase seemed endless yet everything happened within seconds while his father admired him with pride. To hold a second daggers one had to pass the trial of patience; Droko had to hide his presence in a forest for an entire day and hunt an adult deer only using his Shurky. He lured the deer into a trap until the moment was perfect and let himself fall from a tree landing over the deer and staving Shurky through its heart. Sneaky was crafted from the bones of that deer.

Torok is barely seen as he walks on the deep-green grass ocean toward the tribe; there’s a particular shine to the fields thank to the bright rays of Sun. He brings news of the saber-toothed cat and the twins expect today could be their chance to finish their training; as soon as they see him they sprint toward Droko’s outpost. Droko knows all that was needed to know just by studying the speed of Torok’s steps; with a quick motion he jumps off the oversized rock and softly lands while carrying his body forward. The twins’ race against each other on their way to Droko, he sees and decides they ready for to train. He looks at the twins racing toward him and raises his hand pointing toward the distant fields; they know this means the training will start today and abruptly stop. Ashuk and Limpis start to run in the opposite direction, to the camp, they need to gather tools for training.

Torok sees Droko hand and knows the twins are ready; he walks toward the shadows of a large tree waiting for instructions. He is the biggest man to roam the surrounds of mount Pacha; Torok now leans on his heavy point-sharp spear while cooling his massive body after the long walk. Most tribesmen have thought Torok resembles a bear underneath the heavy leather furs covering his body. His thick arms overflow with muscles shaping his herculean built; it was said he could defeat a bear but no one had ever witness such deed. He stands more than head taller than Droko and is probably twice as strong; it’s hard to find a predator crazy enough to face Torok, but Droko rather not see it happen. They have been friends since childhood, protecting each other was a priority.

Droko slowly approach Torok, giving time for the twins to gather their tools. Boys play and wrestle back at camp as Droko reaches Torok; they exchange glances and turn toward the tribe finding the twins running on their direction. Everyone looks happy as they take care of their duties; the two men turn to face the immense fields then take their first step of the journey. No one could have expected this will be one of the saddest days the tribe has experienced.

Soon after the journey starts Ashuk arrived closely followed by Limpis, they look eager to begin training. This is an opportunity to face each other at a new challenge; Limpis can’t remember ever winning over his brother yet their rivalry made them grow stronger than most. Sharing comparable talents had been hard for them, always trying to improve over the other their only goal.

Walking through the fields was a simple task yet Droko leads them cautiously, examining their surroundings after each step on the oversized grass. Next to him walks Torok, who points at the forest in front of them and draws an arch with his finger. They are closely followed by the twins who study their every step, gathering as much information as possible. Droko senses a predator as they approach the forest and assumes the saber-toothed car is nearby; he raises an arm with his palm facing the twins. Droko turn toward Torok and point his finger downward; the training is about to begin which means Torok has to stay behind. Droko crunch while grabbing the spear he has been carrying with his right hand and slowly breaks into the forest. Limpis heart races uncontrollable while Ashuk crunch and follows Droko.

The endless forest is filled of vegetation leaving scarce passages for animals willing to cross; the forest interior seems mystic thanks to the shadows casted from large trees. Unlike the bright fields there’s a heavy cold air passing through. A sour odor of decay emerges from layers of death leaf covering the ground; the scent of different plant and flowers is mixed with forest odor as Droko’s group pass by.

Training begins and the three of them get lost from Torok’s sight. Droko leads them into the forest while following the predator’s energy. The twins hold their spears with one hand while their bodies are at a light crunch; they take meticulous steps trying not to disturb nature’s balance. Ashuk carefully studies Droko’s movements mimicking them; Limpis’ heart rapidly pounds against his chest which worries Droko. Their leader slowly stops and looks in every direction while his hands lightly touch the ground. It would seem as if he was looking for something lost deep in the forest. The astonished twins stares at Droko as he turns to face them while pointing his finger toward the forest. He looks deep to in their eyes as if telling them what needs to be done; both twins now in a lower crunch start looking in every direction searching for a sing. Droko doesn’t know if they will be able to sense the saber-toothed cat.

Ashuk remembers their past training as he searches for the animal; there are many sources of energy casted from every direction, he tries to focus on one that could emerge from a large predator. His body slightly shifts toward his right, it seems strange to him that the energy he searches is not directly in front of them. Then he turns to the other side and raises his left arm pointing to the endless forest where only tree trunks, branches, bushes and infinite leafs can be seen. The overwhelmed look on Droko’s face as he raises his arm placing his hand over Ashuk’s shoulder, then turning to his right and leading the way toward the saber-toothed cat. Ashuk found the animal made Droko proud, as a father could be.

They have been moving toward the beast until its presence was easily sense; while still at a safe distance Droko stops and gathers the group. He turns toward the twins staring into their eyes; the beast can’t be taken lightly is the message received by Ashuk and Limpis.  Time for games came to an end when Droko’s right hand draws a straight line across his neck with Sneaky’s point-sharp end. Sensing the predators was nothing compared to hiding one’s presence while getting close to them, even harder when it involves a saber-toothed cat.

Knowing life is in the balance Droko slowly moves leading the twins toward the predator; his position is crucial for the staking as he senses after every step the presence of his students. Ashuk is ghost hard to find even by Droko yet Limpis lacks the needed consecration. Droko feels confidence in the prodigy’s skills and signals him to approach by himself while he stay next to Limpis. Ashuk’s seems to be part of the environment as he gets lost within bushes and branches; his speed and agility make him move quickly yet silently. Limpis keeps looking for saber-toothed cat’s presence without success; fear fills his body making it difficult to blend with nature. Droko stops Limpis to help him calm and regain concentration; it’s extremely dangerous to continue without acute senses. Droko knows they are still at a safe distance.

Ashuk senses the saber-tooth cat nearby, it feels as clear as being able to touch it; he reduced his speed and looks for an opportunity to glance at it. Taking a closer look of the beast is a prize few have the opportunity to survive. His elusive movements take him closer and closer until he can clearly feel the power emerging from it. The saber-toothed cat was an imposing male hiding for the sun under the shadows casted off a large tree. Natures flows around Ashuk as he blends with it; his body dances with the light movement of leafs to the wind. His body scent is lost with the sweet nectar of fruit trees covering him. Not even Droko is able to find Ashuk when he is merges with nature.

Limpis finally achieves balance with Droko’s help and start approaching the beast. Watching it’s their goal, sensing it at a distance their objective. They get closer without being noticed, Limpis possess great skills but he is yet too young to have them developed at Droko’s level. Having a brother like Ashuk has been hard for him and clouded his sight which lead him to make small mistakes.

Torok stood behind to obscure his presence from the beast; it’s hard to hide his large body or even concealing his loud steps, but only harder was to stay behind unaware of the situation. Torok anxiously waited their safe return; with his spear at hand he looks deep into the forest for any sign. His body ready to run in case of an emergency, he knows what to look for in case Droko needs him. It was strange for Torok but Droko could call him from a distance and he would sense it immediately, they had share this ability since young, thanks to their unique friendship.

Droko signals Limpis to take a right pathway while he continues straight positioning himself between them. They are not more than six feet away from each other yet is hard to sense their presence. The three of them have a clear view and now just need to be here awhile longer and get used to the power emanated from the beast. Ashuk studies the animal knowing he is at a safe distance.

Limpis follows the path shown by Droko until he is close enough, his spends all of his concentration looking for his brother who seems a little closer to the beast than he is. Droko watches helplessly as Limpis moves closer to the cat; he can only hope the beast won’t notice them. Once Limpis reaches a spot which seems closer than his brother he stops and stares the large saber-toothed cat; he thinks I doesn’t look as terrifying as it’s said and decides to get closer. Limpis moves toward a large tree trunk, his steps are slow yet careless; his right foot steps over a large tree branch shaking a nearby bush which makes a loud noise.

The saber-toothed cat in front of them is known as Chirax, Mortor’s exiled youngest brother. Mortor had seized the herd’s alpha position after defeating their previous leader; ever since all of his brothers have been exiled. Nowadays Chirax is a lone hunter, easily distinguish by his darker fur; he is the only large enough saber-toothed cat who could challenge Mortor’s throne yet still too young to try.

Chirax rests under the shadow of a large tree protecting himself from the strong rays of Sun, when suddenly hears a sound coming from behind; in a rapid motion he stands and turns to face the darkness of the forest. Chirax slowly moves toward the noise’s source but can’t sense its presence; his eyes and head turn to every possible direction as he approaches Limpis. Chirax sense of smell helps him find the intruder at scarce strides away from him; it’s only a small animal yet he finds the need to scout the area.

Droko helplessly analyze the situation trying to find a way out; thousand scenarios are played in his head, none of them with positive outcomes. The beast continues approaching Limpis who is overwhelmed with fear; Droko must do something and do it fast if he want to save the twins. During the rush of ideas he finds time to contact Torok, unknowing if the message will be delivered but is the best he can do for now. The beast slowly stalk them.

Torok doesn’t need to know the exact situation Droko is facing to rush toward them. He grabs his oversized spear and start to run; time is a luxury he currently doesn’t possess. His head is filled with reason for Droko to contact him; all of them involve the saber-toothed cat. Torok saw the animal in the morning and knows there is no way to escape his wrath; it would take more than two large men and two boys to take down an animal it size. There was nothing he could do but run and fill his body with courage to face the beast.

Limpis feels as if he had betrayed his companions, there is no way to get out of this situation alive. He knows the animal approaches yet the thought running through his head had nothing to do with his safety. This will be the last time he sees his brother Ashuk, which filled his heart of sorrow. There has to be a way to help him escape but how. Limpis stands and shows himself to the beast which stand no more than three strides away.

Chirax gazes confused at the standing human and roars, the sound travels through the forest reaching Torok. The cat gets ready to ambush Limpis, which is an easy task yet he can’t risk being lured to a trap. Chirax takes a few steps eyeing at the setting surroundings his prey; not finding a reason he starts the ambush, when out of a bush a larger human shows his body and throws a spear at him. Chirax receives the blow in his back piercing his thick skin; anger overcomes him as he rips the spear into pieces. He charges Limpis leaping and landing over his body; sharp claws retract into the beast’s paws as they leave Limpis body. Chirax now faces Droko, the larger human is no match for the beast; without time to think he ambushes the human.

Droko’s life flashes through his eyes, his past with Drake’s mother, his days hunting the wood with his old friends, hunting next to the twin’s mother, his friend Torok who has been lured to a deadly trap. There is nothing he can do but hold both his daggers and hope to injure the beast; there’s no way he could piercing the animal’s rib cage but he has to try. Chirax roars and sprint towards him he can only think of Ashuk and a way for him to survive the attack, it’s too late.

Chirax jumps toward the human while astonished to see it rolling to its side. Chiras lands and takes a couple strides before turning back toward the large human; he ambushes running toward it, jumping and stretching his front legs toward the large human. A sudden piercing pain starts at his lower abdomen as Chirax lands over the human; he drives his sharp claws into it chest and roars even louder than before. He looks at the spear piercing his chest; Chirax tries to take it out unsuccessfully and roars again looking for the third human who had caused him such pain. Chirax sees Ashuk climbing a nearby tree and rushes toward him.

Ashuk climbs the tree as fast as he can hoping the spear he throw had pierced a vital organ and the beast will eventually die. As soon as Ashuk feels high enough he looks down to find the animal lightly bleeding and running toward the tree. The second it arrives his front legs lean against the tree as Chirax looks up for Ashuk; their eyes meet, he can feel the anger overflowing the beast who roars loudly as it prepares to jump.

Chirax can only think of killing the small human who had pierced his body; he looks directly into his prey soul letting him know there no way to escape his wrath. Chirax prepares to jump when out of nowhere feels a piercing pain on his back; a larger human sneaked from behind and drove a larger spear into his now weakened body. Chirax roar has a mixture of pain and anger which can be felt even back at the human’s tribe; he turns back hitting the human with the back of his paw.

Torok arrived just in time to pierce the beast through the back; he now stands in front of him with his dagger at hand. Torok can’t wait for the beast to react and charges toward it; the claws of the beast cut through Torok’s flesh and send him flying. He stands and looks at the beast stumbling from side to side, losing blood with every step. Torok screams loudly and runs toward the best who jump toward him.

Ashuk climbs down the tree to find Chirax body lying lifeless on top of Torok; a pool of blood is found underneath them. He was the only survivor of Chirax’s wrath.

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Sebastián Iturralde

Autor con la escasa experiencia de un novato que lleva cinco años desarrollando su talento.

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Welcome to the English section of my site, here you will find unique short stories that haven't been translated or published on a different language. Please, enjoy!
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