Chapter 8: Cannibal Chaos

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 289

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The savages whooped and screeched their war-cries as they danced in a circle around Silky and Topsy. Their faces were contorted with bloodlust as they waved their spears and hatchets. They circled but didn’t come close yet. They were waiting for their moment. Silky was waiting for his moment too. He had only four bullets in his revolver but there were five of the savages. Every bullet had to count.

“Oh Silky, are they going to kill us?” Topsy whimpered.

“They are trying to intimidate us before they attack. Show them no fear.”

“All right.” Topsy picked up a stone from the ground and threw it at the biggest savage’s head. It whacked against the thick Polynesian skull with a clunk that echoed through the forest. The cannibals stopped their war dance and glared in silence.

“Erm..that wasn’t quite what I meant,” said Silky.

McLarkey’s voice purred gloatingly from the darkness. “Awww. Now whatcha wanna go and do that for Miss Topsy. You only gone and made him angry.”

The savage rubbed at his bumped head in bewilderment. Beneath his green war-paint, his expression changed to rage. He pointed his spear forward and charged at Topsy.

There was no deciding where Silky first bullet went now. He aimed into the savage’s primitive face and fired. The cannibal’s head lolled back. Blood trickled from the wound. But, incredibly, though the savage’s skull had cracked, the bullet hadn’t gone far enough through the thick primitive head to reach the small brain. The savage lumbered forward again. Silky was forced to waste another bullet, this time into the man’s guts, and he fell to the ground.

Topsy cheered but Silky knew there was no time for celebration. The other savages were already charging them. Silky spun around like an efficient locomotive firing off bullets until his pistol clicked empty. Two bullets. Two dead savages: shot through the jugular and the eye. Another savage charged him with his spear. Silky dodged its sharp flint point. He hammered the butt of his gun against his attacker’s face. The savage reeled back and dropped his spear but quickly recovered. He lunged at Silky and the two men started to wrestle. Silky heard a feminine scream. With horror, he saw from the corner of his eye that the remaining savage had grabbed hold of Topsy by her hair.

“Heh-Heh-Heh. Dis don’t be lookin’ good for you folks.” McLarkey voice taunted them from the darkness.

The cannibal Silky was fighting with was quite an adversary. He was big and muscular with all the strength of the primitive. He soon had Silky pinned to the ground and his hands were pushing towards his throat. As he fought off strangulation S could see Topsy in just as desperate struggle beside him. The other cannibal had her gripped in his arms. His heavily pieced face was thrilled at the prospect of feasting on the white woman’s soft flesh. He snapped his teeth tauntingly close to her skin. Topsy, though tearful, wasn’t playing the helpless victim. Silky, with admiration, saw her sink her teeth into the cannibal’s arm, making him howl.

Topsy’s courage spurred Silky on. He was no match for his opponents physical strength but he remembered the wise teachings of the High Yaogee of the Hmalayan kingdom of Nebaolthan Who taught him the secret art of Yaogean unarmed combat.  Silky grabbed the little silver skull on the savage’s necklace and pushed it against the hidden pressure point in the hollow of his neck. He rammed his fist against that silver- skull with his fist. The blow went through the man’s nervous system like a lightning bolt. His body jerked and he flopped dead on top of Silky.

He heard a scream from his right where Topsy was still trying to fight off her attacker. Silky struggled to push the heavy corpse from on top of him. The sensation of the heavy muscular body pinning him down filled him with disgust. When he pushed it aside he saw that Topsy was lying on the ground resisting desperately as the savage’s hands pushed down on her throat. Silky picked up a spear and thrust it between the man’s shoulder blades killing him instantly.  

“Oh Silky,” Topsy sobbed as he pulled the dead cannibal from on top of her.

“I’m so sorry I got you involved in this mess, Topsy. Please forgive me.” He took her into his arms to comfort her but, after wiping her tears, she dismissed his concern with a shrug and a smile.

“I’m fine honestly,” said Topsy, even as she massaged the marks on her neck where the brute’s hands had squeezed. “I must look a mess though.”

Actually, she looked even more stunning. Her turban had come off in the struggle leaving her glossy chestnut hair to fall onto her bare shoulders. She swept back the strands that fell in front of her beautiful face.

Silky helped her to her feet and she regarded the carnage around them with astonishment. “Good gracious. You’ve killed all of them.”

“Couldn’t be helped I’m afraid. It was us or them.”

Blood spots were sprinkled across his white shirt-front. The tails of his frock coat were torn. His eye pounded to signal he would have an impressive shiner in the morning.

“But who are these people.”

Silky pointed at the body of one of the savages with its criss-crossing scars. “A lot of tribal people have markings like that. I’ve saw them on Austarlian Aboriginies and African Masai warriors But those little silver skulls around their necks give a more exact clue to their origins. Sailors who have been shipwrecked on the island of Rangi RuRu all mention them.”

“Rangi RuRu? But that’s where Nordragon said the jewel came from.” Topsy picked up one of the little skull necklaces and examined it.

“Exactly,” said Silky. “When Nordragon visited the island to steal the jewel he must have taken some of the cannibals to use as henchmen.”

“Cannibals!” Topsy’s body jerked and she dropped the little skull.

Silky could fully understand her shock. The fiendish imagination of Nordragon clearly knew no bounds. Pacific island cannibals in the English countryside!

“Oh, what about McLarkey? Is he still there?” asked Topsy.

Silky peered into the shadows of the forest. “I can’t see him. Most likely he scarpered at the first sign of trouble. That’s typical of his type.”

“Let’s get after him then.”

Silky took a deep breath. “Topsy- darling – are you sure you want to go on with me.”

Topsy wide white smile sparkled, even in the pale moonlight. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, poppet.”

They went on, walking arm in arm, carefully edging along the crunchy forest path in the darkness. Silky was more worried now because he no longer had his gun. He was happy to face McLarkey with just his fists but he suspected more henchmen might be waiting in the shadow, ready to pounce at any moment. The trees crowded in on them blocking out the moonlight and Silky could see little ahead of them except their own frosty breath.

Up ahead of them, light – much stronger than lunar light- began to push through the trees. It was bright electric light and as they got closer they could see long concrete buildings behind a metal fence.

“The studio,” said Topsy.

“Will anyone be there this time of night?”

“Maybe just a nightwatchman. Although I’m told Nordragon uses it for…activities, late at night. We had best be quiet.”

They reached the perimeter fence and carefully prowled around it, peering into the empty concrete spaces between the long windowless buildings. There was no sign of life. As they moved around, the billboard for Nordragon Film Studios and its huge picture of its proprietor came into view. Nordragon’s face, with those chilling, penetrating eyes glared at them.  

Silky grimaced. “Is he as sinister in real life as on his billboard?”

“More so,” said Topsy. “Do you really think McLarkey will be hiding in there?”
“There’s only one way to find out. Which building did you and McLarky do your filming in?”

“The big one.” T pointed to a studio building in the centre which was as large as a cathedral.”

“Then we should start there, if we can find a way in.”

They got to the studios front gates which were padlocked shut. The gate was high but Silky assured her that he could scale it. He grabbed the bars and pulled himself up with all his might, slowly and clumsily. By the time he reached the top he was puffing with exhaustion. After several attempts he was able to swing his leg over the top and throw himself over. He landed on his bottom.

After climbing to his feet he grinned at Topsy through the bars somewhat smugly. “Six months with British Alpine Climbing Team, my dear.”

Topsy raised an eyebrow at him. “Really?”

She took some steps back then ran at the gate with fabulously long-legged strides. Silky stared in wonderment as launched herself vertically, like a beautiful bird in flight. Her hands grasped very near the summit of the gate; two graceful kicks carried her over the top. She landed delicately on her feet and then faced Silky with her hands on her hips.

“Three years as a ballerina with L’Ecole de Danse de L’Opera de Paris, poppet.”

They crept onward holding onto each other as they went. The thin spaces between the buildings were like dark deserted streets. Parked forklift trucks and the occasional crate lay around but there was no sign of life. Silky’s nerves were taught, ready for another ambush, as they approached the biggest building.  A low, groaning sound emitted from inside that made Silky pull back in fright.

“Good heavens. What’s that?”

Topsy was undisturbed. She said casually. “Oh, don’t worry that just sounds like Nasheba.”

“Who’s that?”

“She’s an elephant. She is being used for the film.”

“An elephant!”

“Oh, yes. There’s quite a menagerie in there: an elephant, monkeys, exotic birds, snakes. And you saw the tigers at the party. They’re from the film.” She led him to a small door at the side of the building. “This picture was no Quota Quickie. Nordragon has spent a fortune on it. It’s the most expensive film ever made in England. And wait until you see the set. It’s incredible.”

Silky tried the door handle. It was open. He took a deep breath. “All right. Stay close to me and be very careful.”

Flicking a light switch revealed the first room was a store room: dresses, swords, spears, masks an open chest full of glittering silver coins.

Topsy smiled. “They’re fake I’m afraid.”

“Is there a torch around? I don’t want to switch on every light and warn McLarkey we are coming.”

She pointed to a stack of old style torches: wooden sticks with oil soaked rags around the top. Silky lit one up –lighting up a Chesterfield for Topsy and himself at the same time- and they went on to explore the dark interior of this mysterious building by flickering orange flame, like archaeologists penetrating an Egyptian tomb.

She led him on down a long dark corridor towards the squawking, groaning, chattering noises of the animals Topsy had mentioned. They reached cages that were smelly from droppings and rotted food. Their little pool of light revealed shimmering python scales, then fluttering pink feathers, then a ferocious simian face throwing itself at the bars. The monkey’s screech echoed horribly through the darkness.

Topsy whispered, “The set is through this way. Be careful not to trip on the cables.”

From the way their footsteps echoed and the light from the torch seemed to be spread thinly, Silky could tell they had entered a very large space. He could just make out the bare outlines of a huge structure ahead of them. Right away the shape had a horrible familiarity: misshapen pillars and peaks that rose like twisted scratches.  

Topsy said, “Can you see it? It’s very impressive isn’t it? Here- give me that.”

She took the torch from him and used it to light some similar torches fixed to the walls. As the light from the flames made the structure clearer Silky wasn’t impressed; he was nauseous. The last time he had seen a building like this – exactly like this – he had been in the depths of the Borneo jungle and facing the most agonizing death imaginable.

“Silky, are you all right? You look quite shaken.”

Silky wiped at the sheen of sweat on his forehead. “This film set is an exact replica of a temple in a place called Vijayayer Thansavli. I’ve been there. It is a hideous place- an abomination. All manner of depravity and sadism was practised there. My friend and I were dammed lucky to get out of there in one piece. The thought of the place still gives me nightmares.”

Topsy touched his arm. “I’m sorry.”

He pointed at a row of slabs in the temples forecourt. “You see these things? The mad king had people publicly tortured and disembowelled there for his amusement. And see those stone pillars? Notice the hooks on them. People were impaled on those, all the way up: men, women, children.”

“Good God!”

Silky shook his head in amazement as he took in the detail of the place. Just like the real temple, no part of the walls were flat and plain; every inch of them – and the building was four stories high and one hundred feet wide - were covered in carvings of some hideous mythical creature: crooked wings, talons, fanged mouths. 

“I’m told Nordagon had designers working on it for months,” said Topsy. “Apparently he sent people into the jungle to photograph the real place and then got the best set makers in the business to recreate it. The specifications had to be exact. Everyone thought he was just being his usual eccentric self.”

“Eccentric? The man’s a genius. He needed to use the temple of Vijayayer Thansavli so he had one built. And who better to do it for him than film set designers. I really am behind in this game.” Silky’s voice had gotten louder in frustration. It echoed around the shadowy tomb of the set.

“But why does he need this place?” asked Topsy.

“It’s all part of some bizarre supernatural scheme. I don’t fully understand it but Nordragon thinks he can take over the world if he brings certain special items to this place. He already has the jewel. All he needs now, to complete his scheme, is the Black Bible of the Mores Angleos monks.”

A voice boomed from the interior of the temple, “And I have it!”

Silky and Topsy jumped in fright.

From out of the cavernous mouth of the temple, swept a group of black cowled men. Some of them carried flaming torches. The others carried guns, which they pointed at Silky and Topsy. Amidst the cowled figures strode a bulky man, equal parts fat and muscle. His corpulent body was draped in a long, flowing multi-coloured robe. He had a completely bald head and the most intensely staring eyes imaginable.  

Topsy whimpered and flung her arms around Silky.

“Aha, Mr Silky Cotton. I’ve been expecting you,” said Angus Nordragon.

Submitted: October 12, 2016

© Copyright 2022 Crowefoot. All rights reserved.


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