Piercing his ruined arm at the elbow, the spear stopped with the point protruding from
his shoulder. Dehabee knew then he was going to die. But at that moment the large
main group of the Ayores arrived at the village edge. Dehabee heard their
shouts and saw the Pig People fall back in fear and surprise. In a daze of pain, he
made it to the village edge to collapse into the arms of his comrades.
The horrified Ayores caught the bloody ruin that was their leader and friend. And there
was Cadui coming, covered in blood from head to foot, but still on his feet. Oh Uje,
have mercy! It had happened so fast! And where was Uma-deh? Where is Uma-deh?
NONE AMONG THE GODS
by Tom Taylor
Find it at your favorite book store. If not in stock, they can order
it in within a few days.
TO GO TO THE BARNES & NOBLE ONLINE BOOKSTORE where you can order
AMONG THE GODS THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU, OH LORD.
The plane floated over the crumpled ridges with their barren sides falling away into
gorges and valleys so far below it seemed a person could fall into them forever. “Lord!”
The young pastor, David Campbell, murmured the word reverently as he shook off the
stupor of his nap. He must be on the far side of the moon. He was certainly not on Earth.
But unfortunately that’s indeed where he was. Sighing, he glanced at his watch. The
plane would be arriving in La Paz soon – the highest commercial airport in the world. He
was getting far away from home, very far indeed. “I still can’t believe I’m doing this,” he
thought. And yet, wasn’t that precisely what he wanted? Yes. For a while at least, to be
very far away from home. Far away from his church, and the news media, and the
courtroom and, possibly, the jail. And from Mary who was gone from him when he
needed her more than he ever had in his life.
When Whitt parked and shut off the engine, a sudden
silence washed in; and the crowd, until now only a distant
abstraction, became very real. David emerged from the
cockpit into a warm, humid and surreal dream.
Brown-skinned Indians in various stages of dress
surrounded him, all of them talking at once in a language
which sounded amazingly like Japanese. Some stared
curiously at him while others watched a small boy on a
stretcher being carried toward the plane.
Carrying one end of the stretcher was a young, dark-haired white woman... and David’s mouth
fell open in a gasp of disbelief. It could not be! She drew closer with the stretcher and David
squinted through his wet glasses. Wet black hair cascading to her shoulders framed a tanned,
oval face and dark, exquisite – and unmistakable – eyes. It was indeed her!
David felt himself falling into the past. What jungle sorcery had dropped him from the misty sky to
meet again the girl he had loved so long ago?
Her eyes met his for a brief instant; and shocked surprise suddenly etched her face. One
handle of the stretcher slipped out of her hand; she caught it with her knee and quickly grabbed it
again. “David? David?” she said incredulously as they bore the stretcher past him toward the
“Ellen,” was the only word that would come from his mouth.
A moment later the girl turned from the plane and walked through the rain toward David. She
looked as if she were sleep-walking and he could only stand still, watching her come as in a
dream. Her voice sounded through the mist of his dream. “David, it’s… is it really you?”
While other men held back the eager dogs, the two church leaders angrily looked from one face
to another in the crowd while Uma-deh lectured.
“He’s telling them,” Ellen murmured, “is this the bird whose evil power you fear? How can it
harm anyone when it is powerless to save its own life? How can it hurt you when it is
powerless to even live? You will soon see it has no power.”
Uma-deh nodded a signal; Dehabee cut the cord from around the bird’s feet and quickly
jumped out of the way. The Chugupejai thrashed to its feet and began to run, unsteadily at first,
toward the woods. Its huge black wings unfurled like the cape of some fleeing evil prince; they
spread out in the glaring sun and the bird was soon airborne, flapping gracefully. David was
aware of Ellen close beside him, her hands gripping his arm and shoulder.
Uma-deh took careful aim. The thunderclap of his shot exploded and echoed back sharply
from the surrounding bush as if in an auditorium. Feathers burst and fluttered from the fleeing
bird. It arced over and crashed into the brush at the village edge.
“Oh.” Ellen gave a long sigh. “Oh, I wish Uma-deh wouldn’t do things like that.”
“It was pretty bloody alright.”
“No, I mean… what if he had missed?”
“Now just a minute, David," she said. "Do you think that’s what is bothering me? Guilt?”
“I… I can’t know. I can guess…”
“Well, it isn’t. It isn’t guilt. That was taken care of long ago. Do you know what’s really
bothering me and why I didn’t sleep a wink last night?” Her voice softened. “It’s pain,
David. That summer at Fairingdale, I fell head-over-heels in love with you. I was crazy in
love with you. And then when the Pastor advised us to stay apart from each other… you
just agreed to it like it was nothing. And it hurt, David. It hurt more than I can say. Was I
just a summer plaything to you?”
He stared at her in some astonishment before his face softened in profound sadness. “Oh
Ellen, I am so sorry. No, you weren’t just a plaything. I loved you too. "Maybe... we were
both so shocked at what we had done..."
“So what am I to do, David?” she murmured. “I said I’d try to get to know you again, as if
we’d never known each other. And I’m finding… you’re different. You’re not nearly so
brash… and I like that. And I saw your heart this afternoon when you were reading the
Bible to Uma-deh. And, oh David, I could so easily fall in love with you again.” She looked
up at him with troubled eyes. “But I never want to be hurt like that again.”
LATER, IN THE MISTY RAIN ON A JUNGLE AIRSTRIP
LATER THAT EVENING THEY TALKED...