Abidemi lit the tip of the long bamboo pipe with the lighter that said Lucky Strike, which they had taken years back from the missionary after he died.
The battle was over, and they had lost. Everyone was dead, her pygmy tribe, her family and especially her husband, Ohin, the chief.
Their enemies had surprised them totally that night, two nights back. But Abidemi had escaped, the sole survivor, and now she was alone in the Central African jungle.
She had run here to this safe place, an outpost for hunting and ceremonies. She must travel to the other world where, she knew, she would reunite with Ohin whom she loved terribly.
They were born two days apart 19 years ago in abutting reed huts on the banks of the Sebeya River. They had been babies, children, then adults together. They had moved into the same hut two years back, naked, when Ohin became chief, a young chief.
She could not live without Ohin.
The first inhalation was sufficient. Her head kicked back as if she had been punched, and she collapsed onto a mound of truffula leaves.
She saw the jungle sway, and her entire tribe was sitting, laughing, and watching her from high on the powerful limbs of the tall Kakaya trees.
Lying beside her on the bed of truffula was Ohin.
I knew you would come, he said, smiling as he squeezed her thigh.