The cannibals behaved and looked like nothing I had ever seen before. Their hair was green, and their teeth were long, crooked, and discolored. They made growling noises while stomping their chests with their hands, and their feet on the ground, as if to indicate they had hit the jackpot.
Two of them had holes where their noses should have been, the third one was missing an arm and the fourth an ear. I recalled my father Mateo narrating to me as a child how the cannibals fought each other to the death to earn the right to mate. A chill ran down my spine as I stared at the disfigured monsters in front of me.
The fifth one and the strongest one among them who seemed to have all his parts intact charged towards me with an axe in his hands. He swung it and missed. He lashed at me again. I blocked his way with my leg and he fell. I was getting ready to pin him to the ground and punch his head into a pulp when something blunt hit my head and my world went dark.
When I regained consciousness my hands and feet were tied together. They had done the same to Beatrice who was now wide awake. They were all trying to tie up Bobobo who was still asleep. The five men croaked loudly—They seemed to be running out of rope. The strongest one groaned for a while and picked up his axe as if to say, ‘The rope does not matter, they’re all going to be meat soon.’
My head throbbed with a migraine as I tried to figure out what was about to happen. The noseless ones were adding wood to our fire, the one with a missing ear was sharpening knives and the one with a missing arm was walking towards me. He grabbed me with his one arm and dragged me next to the knives. ‘So this is how I meet my end,’ I thought. ‘As a plate of dinner for someone else’s table.’
The strong one’s foot stepped on my head and he readied his axe to strike and as he did, I said my prayer once more. I thanked God for allowing me to experience the love of my mother and father; And the free spirit of Beatrice—And for giving me the strength to bring her and Bobobo this far and then I waited to meet my maker.
But the strike never came, what came instead was Beatrice’s outrageous scream. It was so loud the birds flattered from the trees and Bobobo The Fool stirred awake. He sat up and tore out of his shackles as if the rope was made of paper instead of threads. “Help us Bobobo!” she screamed in agony.
One of the noseless ones slapped her silly across the face. A mistake he regretted immediately. Bobobo leaped towards him, lifted him by one leg as if he was some rag-doll, and crashed his skull against a nearby tree. The strong one let his foot off my head and rushed towards Bobobo with his army of three.
With a lot of discomfort and agony, I picked up a knife and began tearing through my shackles. After I did, the one with a missing ear turned his attention to me and I leaped at him and sunk my knife deep into his left eye before wiping the blood off the knife with his green hair and using it to free Beatrice from her shackles.
The other noseless one was on the ground kicking with white froth coming from his mouth. Bobobo now had the strong one on his knees and he was pulling at his head until we heard it snap, and then, in disbelief saw it separate from his body. I heard another sound and when I turned, the one missing an arm was disappearing into the bushes.
We stayed silent for a long while, with Beatrice nursing the wound on my head and the minor cuts that Bobobo had gotten. “The handless one will probably be back with more of them,” I said. “We need to get a move on,” I added. Beatrice did not object. She nodded and we continued with our journey to Dol Dol, not quite the same as we had been before.