Once upon a time, there was an ancient tribe called Eikumi. Eikumi was an enchanting place, almost unreal, a utopia. There were trees dancing along with the aroma of roses and beautiful flowers continuously multiplying like a weed. There were no sounds of crying, misery, or even any argument, only a sound of happiness. It is biblically known that after the fall of men, man and woman were ashamed of their naked body, but Eikumi was a place where no one felt the guilt being on their bare skin. The harmony of nature and this village composed a peaceful sound. Every hut would have a rock shaped like a triangle as a signal for animals to be welcomed to live there. No one but only God could break the peace. In this magical community, there lived a distinctive individual. He was called by the name Unid and he was the Sherman of the tribe. Eikumians were very into spiritual beliefs and one of the passed down legend told them to choose their shaman as the men with four fingers. People believed that Unid’s loss of his finger during his hunt for bears was not a coincidence.
Now in this peaceful community, there were unexpected surprises waiting behind the forest where the village was located. They were not the only humans living in the forest. In fact, their ‘neighbors’ weren’t any other typical natives, they were colonists from England. They called themselves Puritans, who came to unexplored land to spread the words of God. Eikumians had no idea they existed until one day, Unid and several other hunters went out in the forest to hunt. They heard the sound of fired guns and that unfamiliar sound seemed like bears roaring. In shock, Unid and his crew scattered away like deer in danger.
One of the colonists heard the footsteps and mistaken it as a deer.
He ran towards his target but he realized it wasn’t an animal at all, it was a strange looking man with no clothes. He was quickly scanned his body and noticed he had only four fingers. He was surprised but Unid was stunned, he couldn’t even move, attack or even breathe.
The hunter held out his gun straight, and asked sharply,
“Who are you? What are you doing here?”
He approached to Unid closely and saw fear across his face. He thought he couldn’t do harm so he dropped his gun and brought strange man to his colony.
One of his servants, small as a dwarf, ran up to him and asked,
“Master Smith, we were terribly worried about you. Are you all right sir? Who is this man? Is he one of the escaping slaves? Oh why you little...”
“My fellow John, he didn’t belong here. Gather up all the Puritans, we need to discuss something important. I think we’re not alone in this forest...Perhaps we finally found someone to spread the word of God. Oh, and take this man to my tent and serve him some tea. He looks awfully scared eh?”
John paused with a shock and responded,
“Yes sire, as you wish”
The image looked odd. The short little servant dragged a big muscular man to his master’s tent. There were hundreds of eyes starring at Unid’s naked body. People were speechless and children would get scared and start to cry. It was the first time Unid heard the sound of tears coming out innocent eyes. Unid had not shown any signs of anger, because he thought the only way to get out of this dystopia was to act calm. He stared at the ground the whole time because it had the similar view as his village. But he knew that something about the gun John held intensified the atmosphere.
John told him,
“Get inside you bum, and sit down quietly until I tell people what’s going on. It’s people like you who make my life complicated. Urgh.”
Unid who had no idea what he was saying but feared if it meant he would kill him. He could not handle any more pressure, so he compulsively took John’s gun and ran away. His head was spinning. He was in panic. Unid got out of the tent looked around and witnessed a very unfamiliar site. Houses, carriages and even clothes people were wearing. He felt as if he was inside a dystopia but as soon as he saw trees, he made a bee-line towards the forest. He ran as fast as his legs could. His heartbeat never stopped pounding but the gun he stole gave him a sense of security. He held the gun and squeezed it harder. He ran a mile but to him it seemed longer. When he saw a smoke coming from a hut from a distance, he was relieved and quickly followed it.
He arrived to his tribe but somehow felt discontent. He felt as if his tribe was a lot weaker than the English colony. He looked around Eikumi’s huts and people running around naked. Eikumi paled in comparison with colonists’ houses and their gowns. Only by the split second look of the colony made him realize how undeveloped his tribe was. Before, he thought his land was a Utopia but now he was disappointed. People came up with him and judging by their facial expression, they were worried on his return. But on his mind, he was only thinking about how they had no language to communicate like the one Master Smith and servant John had.
He held out the gun on his hand and thought it was the only modern object his community had. When he was holding it, he felt powerful, he felt as if he could get rid of anything that blocked his way. Now, this feeling Unid felt was the first time there was a sprit of evil in Eikumi. He immediately went up the temple and placed it right next to the it as an offer. As he laid it down, his evilness released and suddenly felt exhausted. He had a long day and decided to go up a hill, right outside his villiage, and sleep.
As Unid flew away to his dream land, the sky grew darker and darker. Eikumi were about to have an experience they never faced before. When they first heard the thunderstorm, they prayed to their sprits to cease. However, they constantly kept hearing the thunderstorm growing louder. It was the first time Eikumians faced fear and worry. The tragedy wouldn’t stop there. As the clouds began to form, it started to rain, thunder. The huts were hit by violent winds and broke down. By the damage, natives were crushed along with the animals inside. Their beautiful flowers were bent and ripped apart, and even their beloved Spirite Temple was crushed in rocks and dust. God knew why this suddenly happened here. Village vanished under the darkness of clouds, and Unid was still in his dream under a Poonta tree.
When he woke up and strolled back to the village he noticed his village had vanished. There was nothing moving. He looked around in search for people but found no one. He looked for any of those lavish flowers, animals or even food. He ran up to the village temple and saw it was dust. Unid wanted the whole situation to be a dream. He screeched and wailed ironically, as if it would escape him from this nightmare. He cried out and when he opened his eyes to see the broken temple once again, he wept even more. Then he saw it. He fixed his eye on it. He had realized what he had done. He kneeled on the ground for help, for forgiveness for his mistake. Knowing that it would only hurt him, he pounded the ground with his fist. Even after it was bleeding, he desired to punch more. He had brought in bad spirit into his tribe.
He held out the gun from the ground and tried to break it in half. He cursed the gun’s evil power but he could not break it. Without thinking, he held the gun towards his head, and sensing its use, he pulled the trigger.
© Copyright 2016 Julie Seok. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Action and Adventure
Book Review / Commercial Fiction
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