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The Magic Speaks, Part One
“Give to Jakaki,” Khorana hissed in my ear.
“I can’t!” I hissed back. She tossed her tribal braids over her dark, caramel shoulder. “Why does Jakaki hate your tribe?” I continued, straining to throw my voice above the music but low enough so the dancers couldn’t hear me.
“Jakaki and Rawatvi be enemies for years, ever when Jakaki moved fro Galapagos Islands to Rawatvi island home, Geola. Too, Jakaki want magic, give magic Jakaki!”
“NARWANA!” one of the war painted faces barked at Khorana.
“Man say to quiet,” she translated softly, her own war paint glittering in the firelight.
It was early August on the island of Geola. I, Dr. Jonathan Ingab have been living with the Rawatvi tribe for three months now, working on an article for my magazine. Living mainly with Khorana (who speaks a little English), I have taken many photographs and written much, until the Jakaki Tribe invaded. They had kidnapped the beautiful Andara, a votazy evoltfos, or a magic-releasing mother.
One girl and one boy are, every year like clockwork born on the same day, and those children are destined Jakahlas, or moon-bringers. Jakahlas go up to the mountains on the full moon once a year from when they turn five to when they turn eighteen (for fourteen is when they may choose a lover, for they do not marry) and call down the magic. Each Jakahla receives a speck of magic to be kept in a jar, and the magic is released the next day by Andara, the votazy evoltfos. No one outside of the Rawatvi tribe has ever seen this happen, and it was the reason I had been sent-to check it out.
The votazy evoltfos, currently Andara, is the ancestor of a long line of votazy evoltfoses, and only she can release the magic. She is also pregnant with the next votazy evoltfos, for votazy evoltfoses can only ever have one child(always a daughter), so there is only ever one. The oldest releases the magic every year until she dies, and then her daughter takes over. Andara’s mother died when she was fifteen, and Andara is now at twenty-six. Should she be killed, there would be no more votazy evoltfoses, and who knows what would happen.
Well, the tribe knows. I don’t.
Anyway, while Khorana and I were battling the Jakaki tribe alone, they kind of tied us to two totem poles facing some spiritual fire and started dancing and singing in a tropical language around us both. Khorana and I were side by side, inches apart, our feet obstacles on the dance floor.
Andara was also tied to the bottom of a totem pole on the other side of the fire. There was a pause in the loud drumming and singing, in during which Andara crucially yelled, “YA TENEE DE ROPTA KEJAGI!”
I whipped my head to Khorana. She looked horrified and whispered urgently, “The child is being born! Now! We need save her!”
“NARWANA!” the same man yelled, dressed the same as all the Jakaki and Rawatvi Tribe members-a small cloth colored with natural paints. We had to think fast in order to save the Rawatvi Tribe. And the magic. And my article.
I could hear Andara crying out in pain every few minutes. She must have gone into labor a while ago.
Khorana wiggled her arm around the binding ropes and handed me a razor blade rock. I knew what to do.
Five minutes later, Khorana and I were running from an angry mob of Jakaki warriors, I was carrying Andara, who was still crying out foreign swears and screams.
“You could,” Khorana wheezed as we vaulted over a bramble. “Have used…the rock…to cut…the ropes.”
“Well,” I breathed back. “Throwing it…at the fat guy…worked too.”
“He…was the chief, Jonathan! You…are luck…that I found other rock…and we escaped…with Andara.”
I was going to reply, but Andara’s weight was too much for me. Finally, my lungs aching, Khorana pointed out the flickers of firelight in the Rawatvi village center. Incoherent threats and yelled emitted from the angry crowd chasing us, and nothing was sweeter than the taste of smoke near the village.
“TRAY JAKAKI LREDOPNU YHIR KARIKI TIKIRI! YA TENEE DE ROPTA KEJAGI!” Khorana screamed to the village, which means, “Help, the Jakaki warriors are chasing us! The child is being born!”
The chief, Malakiku, stormed out of his palm branch hut, his son, Sevte, running after him. Malakiku and Sevte both had spears crafted of turtle shell, and bore crowns of whittled coconuts and fresh bananas, which they threw into the hut to assure safety. Many other men merged with the royal warriors, each carrying spears or other weapons crafted of either turtle shell or seal bone. Some women, though not warriors, joined the men in the back with the same war paint, armed with coconuts or mangoes. That was where Khorana always stood. She had always wanted to be a real warrior, but was never allowed to because she was a women.
The crowd parted down the middle, and I ran, feeling the softer sand beneath my feet and seeing the welcoming huts. Andara was still yelling out in terror and pain, and I struggled to find a safe bed, so I quickly crafted one by ripping the siding off a hut and laying it in the soft sand up against a papaya tree.
Khorana and the warriors were frozen in battle formation, the Jakaki tribe poised and ready to attack. I still held the jar filled with magic; the opaque walls daring to vibrate now and again when magic touched the sides. I laid it down next to Andara, digging a hole in the cool sand so it wouldn’t tip.
“Lasahi,” I whispered to Andara. It was one of the only words I knew in her language, and it meant, “Be strong.”
Pivoting on my foot, I squatted down behind a small palm frond hut in my safari shorts and tan pocket shirt (I had lost my hat last month). I could see through a few crevices when the fat man who kept yelling “Narwana” at me bellowed out, “ARMAJA NEVUCI KALIKI MAHA!
Which apparently means, “attack.”