In a drunken stupor he fled into the bush.
He didn’t know where he was going. He wanted to get away from the place where the boy lay. He could still see him in his mind’s eye. Squirming and begging until his life faded from his small body.
There was blood still on his hands. He wiped it on his torn wet shorts. The blood was gone by its spirit was still there. He could feel it. It was as if the boy child had become powerful. Far more powerful than his murderous self.
He felt hunted even though there was nobody following him. He ran and ran along the banks of the river.
He felt nothing as the stiff, serrated pandanus leaves cut into his face. His feet were numb to the pain and the blisters he saw as he slowed.
The past three hours played over and over in his head. The screams and the begging.
Oh…He felt so powerful then.
But now his fear had become his hunter. He was the prey. His uncertainty of mind now like a plague of darkness growing upon him. Engulfing his being. Make it stop! His mind yelled.
He was no longer alone. The boy was with him. Right there. He could feel his rage and sorrow.
The boy child was crying out to his mother and father. He was calling out to his brothers and uncles. He was calling out to his tribe and his very roots for he was not alone even in death.
The killer, tormented, as the alcoholic stupor wore off. He was wading through a haze of screeching thoughts and the sound of his own heart pounding relentlessly in his ears.
For three hours, he was there with the boy. Torturing him. Teasing him and laughing at his tormented soul. Until finally, he put a woolen sweater over his face and smothered him with his elbow.
As the child kicked and screamed, he ended the episode with one final stab into the boy’s gut. The skin giving a dull sound as the long blade was plunged deep into his side.
Then the boy felt nothing anymore.
He wandered along the track upon which he had been dragged hours before. No pain. He could breath again.
“Mama!” He called out. “Mamaaaaaa!” he called out again as his voice echoed into the stillness of the afternoon light.
Far away, the boy’s mother felt his spirit call as she pulled out his small plate to prepare his supper.
She called out to his sister: “Susan! Go and find your brother. He has been at the river for too long. It’s getting dark.”
The killer’s being carried the stench of death. He hid behind a shed exhausted yet unable to slip into the slumber his body needed. He did a lot in his 20 years. A lot. His long suffering father lost the will to stop him anymore. He was all alone. This was his will. His doing.
As he faded into a deep sleep. He wished to sleep forever but he couldn’t. He wished the intoxication would last for a while longer so he could forget a just a while longer. It was just a matter of time before they found him here. He did not know if they would kill him too. He didn’t know. Somehow he too wanted his torment to end too.