The Tibetan Hunting Party

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a mythical tale about a Tibetan hunting party as told by Tsering.

Submitted: September 25, 2016

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Submitted: September 25, 2016

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The Tibetan Hunting Party

 

Some place deep inside the Himalayas between Lhasa and Katmandu…

 

Many generations ago, three young men were out hunting in the mountains of Southern Tibet.  After days of tracking, one of the hunters spotted the mightiest of deer grazing in grassy knoll. The Young Hunter carefully and silently drew his bow and arrow in eager anticipation of gaining the village honor for such a grand kill.

 

The Young Hunter shot his arrow hard and true. But it glanced off the buck's shoulder. The buck hesitated momentarily and then dashed down the steep slope and vanished into the mountain mist.

 

Calling to his friends, the three young hunters made after the wounded creature.  For two days the hunters made their way through the treacherous wind sweep cliffs. Finally, upon the third day, the hunters saw the mighty buck resting on an outcrop of old rocks.

 

Eager to recapture his lost honor, the Young Hunter perched himself precariously on a thin edged precipice to get clear shot at the deer.  Firing, the arrow hit and killed its mark. But the Young Hunter’s purchase on the slippery rock was lost. And he fell to his sudden and unexpected death.

 

The Young Hunter’s two companions looked at one another in stunned bewilderment and utter distress. How could this happen? How could their life-long companion have been so unfortunate as to die by an accident?  The only cause of death worse than an accident is a death by suicide.  Our poor friend will surely experience the second most horrid and mistimed rebirth.

 

The Two Companions knew what they must do. They began climbing down the mountain to recover the body of the Young Hunter and dispose of it in the proper way.  If they did not there was no telling what might become of the Spirit of poor unfortunate Young Hunter in this world.

 

Halfway down the mountain the Companions spotted the carcass of the dead deer off in the distance. Upon closer examination, they agreed that it was truly a magnificent and mighty deer.  It was a deer that would surely feed their two families for most of the remaining winter months. And this is not to mention the honor that such a kill would bring to the hunters.  With a sigh the Companions looked down into the abyss that they still needed to be climbed to find their lost friend.

 

After an intense debate, the Two Companions decided to claim the deer as their own instead of finding their friend the Young Hunter. 

 

The air turned distinctly cold. Then it began to rain and sleet.

 

That night, with the meat evenly divided into two piles the hunters built a fire to cook dinner. When they turned to take a slice meat to place on the fire, the two piles had divided into three.  Unperturbed by the strange occurrence, the two men greedily carved the three piles back into two.

 

That night neither man slept soundly. Both dreamed about the accidental death, the two piles of meat crawling into three, a killer deer, and walking undead strangers.

 

Anxious to begin the journey home the two men decided to break camp without eating. To their horror, however, the meat had been divided, once again, into three equal piles. With minimal debate the two men decided it was only fair to give the third pile of meat to the wife of the poor unfortunate Young Hunter.

 

 

The trek back to the village was faster than they had expected despite the cold frigid weather that followed them all the way.  When they reached the home of the Young Hunter they gave one portion of the meat to his wife.

 

They explained to her that her husband had chosen to continue hunting, but would return in a day or two.  The wife thought this was strange because there was enough meat to take care of the family for months. She shrugged off uneasy feeling their story gave her and returned to peeling small stone-hard potatoes.

 

Later that evening the Wife saw her husband walking up the path. Something was wrong with him.  She cried to her children to return to the house, immediately!  The body of dead Hunter crashed into the door just as the Wife closed and bolted the door. 

 

Throughout night the Hunter’s body slammed into the door and sides of the house trying to gain entry. The door and house stood strong against the continual onslaught.

The Wife was both saddened by the loss of her beloved husband, and scared the Dead Thing outside trying to get in. The wife was also extremely grateful in knowing that the Dead Thing would never get into their house because of the low door way they had build.  With fortune, she and her husband had listen to the local Buddhist Priest and built the traditional Tibetan doorway.  The Priest had confirmed what everyone already knew in her village, that the living-dead could not bend-over and a low doorway kept them from getting into a house.

While she and her children were safe for the moment, they were trapped inside the house. The nearest neighbor was quite some distance away; much too far to hear their cry for help. Her sisters would come to visit in a day or two at the most. But without prior warning, they would walk right into the Dead Thing. And what if they brought the children along – they always do.

 

The Wife thought long and hard about the various escape options available to her and the children. The only plan that seemed to work involved using the magic amulet given to her by the Local Priest. When used properly, the Local Priest promised, the amulet would protect the person wearing it by making them invisible to the walking dead.

 

The Wife gathered the children and instructed them huddle around and grab her thick wool skirt. Once outside, she told them, they were not to make a sound and under no circumstance were they break their grip on her skirt.

 

Stepping outside cautiously they all braced for the Dead Thing to charge. Nothing happened. As they moved slowly and quietly toward to main foot path, the Dead Thing did not appear.

 

Upon reaching the Buddhist Temple, the Local Priest listened quietly to the distressing recount of the Wife's story. The Priest shook his head softly as he fingered his prayer beads. Having heard enough the Local Priest thanked the woman, and instructed her on the arduous preparations that were required for the successful rebirth of her husband. The Local Priest then gathered a few of special religious objects and set-out to find the Dead Thing.

 

The Priest traveled throughout the countryside without sleep or rest. He asked every villager and traveler he met if they had heard about any strange events in the areas. Upon the third day, the Priest came upon a merchant who had heard about a tiny village to the North that had been attacked by what was described as an undead human.

 

Priest's heart sank as he approached the secluded little village. The destruction of the village was complete. The Priest set quickly to properly disposing of the dead villagers.  A chill run through the Priest, for every mistake he made a villager would become a walking undead and start killing. Every body had to be prepared exactly.  Working well into the night, Priest laid every body to rest. One by one their Spirits were set free to journey to toward its rebirth.

 

Knowing the Dead Thing was close, the Priest ran throughout the night. The Priest overtook the Dead Thing early the next morning.

 

The struggle was brief. The Priest understood his task and immobilized the Dead Thing with a sacred prayer. He quickly cut the body into small pieces using his ceremonial knife and feed it to forest animals. Consumed by the animals, the body was put to rest and the Spirit was able to continue on its journey.

Before resting the Priest carefully and meticulously cleaned the contaminated blood from the knife. He then cleaned the area where the body had been cut into pieces. Satisfied that nothing had gone unnoticed the Priest returned home for a long meditative and cleansing rest.

 

Months later, news of an undead killer finger reached the tranquil village where the Priest was meditating. The Priest understood at once the undead killer finger was from the Undead Thing he had fought. A solitary finger had been missed and the scope of potential damage incalculable.

 

The Priest gathered his sacred objects and set out to find the Undead Finger. The Priest caught the Undead Finger and buried it deep inside a pile of prayer stones. Unfortunately, the Undead Finger had killed many people before it had been caught.

 

The Priest continued the hunt for twelve years.  Each of people killed by the Undead Finger had to captured and feed to forest animals. All those killed by the people killed by the Undead Finger had to be captured as well.  Before its end, the Priest used three ceremonial blades as the old ones became small and brittle with use.

 

The Priest never returned to his native village. People say that when he finished hunting the last of the walking undead he returned to Prayer Stones holding the Undead Finger to meditate and watch over it.

 

To this day, the pile of Prayer Stones remains standing along a lonely trading path. When a traveler passes they stop and say a prayer for the nameless Local Priest who saved their small remote region of Tibet.

 


© Copyright 2017 Richard Columbia, PhD.. All rights reserved.

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