Pyramie turns and charges into the forest. . .


He heads in until he can no longer see the opening and moves up slope. Then he crawls back along the edge to where the water falls and slides back in with Dogo beneath the fallen tree. He stays there, looking out between cracks in the hanging greens, but does not see anything.

Dogo lies restless, and Pyramie keeps him there. But the dog begins to make motions like he will defecate, and Pyramie drags him farther down the fallen tree where it is close to the ground. Once they are there, the dog does not want to do it, but Pyramie makes him stay until he does. Then Pyramie defecates also and drags Dogo back up with him and ties him onto the same stubbed and dead branch.

            He remains sitting there until the sun is full in the sky. Then he eats and sleeps. When he awakens it is dark. Dogo paces, but Pyramie stays through the darkness until the changing light. Then he takes the dog and ties him to his wrist and crawls out of the dwelling, walking back into the forest in the direction he came. Once there, he circles far out around the pool where he returns to the village trail in almost full light, keeping to the edge, walking along with the dog tied beside him.

Dogo fights him on the tether but Pyramie will not let him go. Dogo pulls and runs when Pyramie is not ready – many times nearly snapping the vine. But Pyramie pulls back, and eventually the dog calms and lets Pyramie walk him.

It is not until it gets dark again that Dogo begins sniffing for the scent of the den. And soon they stand next to the tall grasses that lead onto the clearing and his bramble dwelling. But he does not enter in the darkness. He walks farther down trail toward the village and enters the grasses where there is no trail.

Inside the gold meadow, he lies down, matting some of the grass for comfort, and then reties the dog on the short vine to his wrist, making certain he cannot escape in the night. When Dogo makes noise Pyramie squeezes his neck and the dog goes quiet. Soon Pyramie sleeps. The obsidian spear does not leave his left hand for the night.

In the morning dark, Pyramie crawls through to the edge of the moss and watches until he notices that the tree branches that he used to cover his garbage and bone pile have been moved. He then pulls the dog farther back into the grass and ties Dogo to a clump of roots. Then he crawls ahead with the obsidian spear and the knife on his thigh, moving slowly toward the bramble and crawling down slope where the twisted branches begin.

He climbs through the mud, moving with his spear, on his belly through the swamp. Then he comes to the spot where he killed the bush demon and ascends the narrow trail that he made and enters his dwelling place without a sound. It is as he left it, but he moves cautiously nonetheless.

            Coming to the place he cut open for sleeping he sees the stone-headed club he took from Meckle leaning on the branches and lifts it up. The club is lighter now. He tosses it in the air and catches it, and then moves forward.  When he reaches the end of the path he sits looking through the green bramble wall onto the moss clearing toward the grass.

Nothing moves and so he waits, but when he is about to crawl out from under the leaf wall, he feels a breeze blowing through the thicket and hears Dogo whine.

The dog must smell him, he thinks.

Then Dogo barks, and Pyramie looks to climb out, but a man runs across the dry moss clearing where he had been hiding by the pile of bones and garbage. He is carrying a spear and hits the tall grass running.

Pyramie lunges through the briar wall, carrying the club and the spear. One long branch catches around his neck. He pulls it off, drawing blood. Then he levels the spear as he hears Dogo screams like a baby and throws the obsidian, fast and straight through the grasses, striking with a hollow, wet noise followed by the man crying out and screaming until Pyramie reaches him lying in his own blood and the dog’s on the ground. Dogo bleeds from his belly by the rear leg and drags himself in a slow circle where he matted the grass down because he was tied.

Pyramie grips the stone-headed club in his left hand and looks down at Nonna, who says, “I am sorry.” The obsidian is dug high into his shoulder and Pyramie tears it out. There, blood pulses. Nonna lies on his arm, holding a hand outstretched in fear and begging, “Please,” but Pyramie clubs Nonna’s face until it is part of the muddy dirt. Then he clubs his legs and arms until they are soft like the berries, gritting his teeth and crying while he does so.

            Then he picks up the dog and carries him into the mossy opening, sobbing. His chest is heaving. He walks him down through the bramble and trough and up and out until he reaches the place where the waters flow. There, he washes out the dog’s wound.

The dog is crying like a man in low notes of misery. Pyramie cries with him. He lays him down on the rocks at the edge of the stream and caresses his head. Dogo stops crying and Pyramie tries feeding him water from the palm of his hand. The dog sticks out his tongue and laps up what he can.

Soon Pyramie returns to where he left the pouches in the tall grass by the trail. There he sees the vine he used to tie Dogo still attached to the roots and shouts at himself and strikes his own face for tying the dog down so he could not escape. “No!” He says. 

Then he sees the unrecognizable mashed into the turf. He spits and walks away.

            Pyramie comes back to Dogo and feeds the dog by hand. Dogo eats slowly, lying on his side at the edge of the pool. When Pyramie tries moving him off the rock and onto the grasses, Dogo shrieks and cries out loud, biting at Pyramie’s hands to stop him. But Pyramie moves him anyway because it is damp and cool there and he does not want him to be cold.

            The wound seeps blood and Pyramie takes some of the leaves and holds them over it. But he needs a better way to stop the blood and so finds some tall grass that he winds together and wraps around Dogo’s body to hold the leaves on with. But this does not work to staunch the flow and so Pyramie must then lie there, holding his hand over the wound keeping the blood from leaking out.

            It grows dark and they are both sleeping by the side of the stream. Pyramie wakes and remains awake until the light. Then he sees Dogo urinating on himself. Pyramie cups water out of the stream and cleans off the urine from the orange fur and the rock. He then feeds the dog and gives him water from his hands. The bleeding has ceased. Now the blood is deep red, thick and sticky. Dogo licks the spot from time to time. 

            In the full light Pyramie leaves Dogo’s side. As he goes, the dog cries. He walks over to the body, which does not look like a person anymore. He starts to cry as he drags Nonna out of the grass and across the trail into the forest.

There he comes to a tall rock ledge where he rolls the unrecognizable off and listens for the sound he makes when he crashes down on the rocks below. And he cries.