Sunday, 19 July 2015


The tribe is everything.

Protecting our kinsfolk. Preserving our hunting grounds. Ensuring that our children, and our children’s children, will hold sway over our ancestral lands.

We don’t do what we want to do - we do what we have to. To survive.

Sometimes it demands more of us than we think we’ve got to give. That we do things that might make us flinch in horror. But survival is hard, and if you can’t do what is necessary, you’re left behind.

Those left behind are no longer with us. They are the other.

I knew I belonged from early on. Initiation was no ordeal. It was a liberation.

The old man was an aberration, a stain on our society. He deserved what he got for his filth, his unnaturalness. His eyes snapped open in shock as the first blow of club came down. He’d doubted a boy of fifteen could do it, that I was man enough.

He was wrong. I was strong, despite what he’d done to me. With every blow, I grew into the man I was destined to be, and his cries grew weaker, gradually trailing off to a mewing, puking whimper and pathetic pleas for mercy through snot and blood and swollen bruises.

I emerged pure, clean, like a filthy canker had been cut away by the sharpest of knives. I was reborn into the tribe, which in turn had been cleansed by my act.

I joined the elite. The chosen.

Tonight, we’re ready once again to do battle. To fight for our tribe, our purity, our survival.

We stand, armed with clubs and united in our devotion. The chief’s words harden our resolve. We’re ready. The enemy is as strong and determined as we are, but they do not have right or history on their side. We do. Our chants echo the heartbeat of the tribe we are fighting to protect. The time has come.

As we make our charge, our battle cry meets the howls of our foes. A chemical sting hits my nostrils. Glass breaks, heat flashes, smoke bursts and blurs my view of the Square. We continue undeterred.

We are the tribe, and the tribe is everything. 

1 comment:

  1. Wowzers! Impressed. Cunning trick, there I was thinking you'd gone all neanderthal on our arses, and then in the flick of a paragraph you are bang up to date. Thanks for picking up my proffered word and running with it, Red.