Okame’s heart belonged to beautiful Kantiga, but her bride-price had brought him here to the dripping rainforest in search of rarities. He must present his bride with sacred cockatoo eggs for fruitfulness, a live bulbul for its joyful song, and a curve-beaked hornbill skull to adorn father-in-law’s belt, ensuring safe transition to the final darkness.
As he climbed the grandfather trees each morning to harvest eggs, Okame heard the cries of the bird-people who had safeguarded his tribe for generations, and he prayed thanks to them all.
But his nights were haunted by strange visions of savage, saw-toothed monsters at work in the deep forest, bringing the tall trees crashing to the ground, and eggs of the bird-people smashed, rotting, wasted.
Photo by Madison Woods.
This is for Friday Fictioneers, a weekly 100 word writing challenge in response to a picture, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
You can read about the birds at: