A sly sneer crept across the wicked face of Zinbada. The children were slumped in a heap on the vast prairie, baking in the hot sunshine, with nowhere to run or hide. The chase was over and the children were there for the taking. Zinbada could quite easily have ordered a hunting party forward to gather them up and truss them together like a string of sausages ready for the pot. However, this was Zinbada and compassion was a feeling he knew nothing of. Zinbada held up a stick topped with a wizened shrunken head, cracked skin taut and yellowish, wisps of lank straw-like silver hair waving in the warm breeze. It was obvious the poor wretch had never used conditioner or ex-foliated when its soul inhabited the remainder of the body that walked this Earth. The tribe stopped, silence fell and and its icy fingers grabbed the children’s throats, squeezing any remnants of courage from their trembling bodies.
‘I’m scared, Mick. W-what are th-they w-waiting for?’ the words quivered from Ben’s dry mouth.
Agatha tangled her head deeper into the folds of Mad Mick’s T-shirt, praying for her Saviour to deliver her from Evil. He appeared to be engaged elsewhere. Mick sighed heavily, trying desperately to hide the terrified little boy that dwelt inside his ogre’s body. He had only just fulfilled his dream of finding someone to belong to and now his dream was about to end in the most horrific nightmarish ending imaginable.
“Come here bruv,’ Mick put his huge arm around Ben’s frail shoulders and gently pulled Ben towards him, ‘Hide your face. I’ll scare ‘em away for yer,’ Mick smiled down into the dark rimmed eyes of Ben’s porcelain white face. Ben felt assured by Mad Mick’s scowling smile. A smile that could match the sinister grimace of any of Hell’s demonic fiends. He was sure the Kalamon would melt away from Mad Mick’s pout. He snuggled into Mick’s damp T-shirt, damp with Agatha’s tears and sniffles. Ben put his skinny arm over Agatha, more of a gesture than protection, to comfort the shaking girl before they met their brutal end.
Zinbada turned to his devilish tribe and beat the air with his creepy baton, as though conducting an orchestra of the macabre seated in Hell’s pit. His tribe beat the ground with their spears and staffs, keeping time with their Chief’s metronomic pulse. Saliva drooled down the sides of their hungry mouths as their minds reminded them of the sweet taste of the flesh of terrified children. Zinbada quickened the tempo, thrashing the gruesome stick wildly above his shaking head, whipping his tribe of cannibals up into a bloodthirsty frenzy. The white painted skeletons on the dark bodies of the savages danced faster and faster, spun and writhed in torment to the instructions of the evil manipulator pulling their strings. Zinbada stopped abruptly. The shrunken head beater fell from his grasp and bounced sharply on the dry earth. He pulled hard on the crown of needle sharp bones circling his head and screamed in ecstasy at the agonising pain stinging his skull. Thin fingers of blood caressed his wicked face, soothing his agony and torture. Zinbada sneered in appreciation and held his arms up to the heavens in thanks. He smiled wickedly at the sight of the Two Moons slowly creeping nearer and nearer to each other. Nearer to the night when their dead ancestors would be awakened from their sleep and resurrected back to life to wreak slaughter and death on the Chicuan. Bulging, bloodshot eyes watched excitedly behind painted skulls, eager to harvest the sweet tender flesh of the children sat patiently waiting for them.