LONG AGO. On a dark continent there once was a tribe who worshiped a woman who was immortal. Once a month, a young girl was sacrificed and the woman devoured her heart. Soon there was no-one left.
TODAY. Marlene received a Spam email, and without giving it a second thought she ignored the warning not to delete it, but rather to forward it to all her friends. Marlene was not superstitions, but what if this was the one email she had to forward? What if the prediction came true?
Sparks, like bright orange fireflies spiral into the sinister darkness of the night sky, as if funnelled up by an unseen hand from the huge fire in the centre of the imposing mud huts build around it.
The ridges of the mountain surrounding these huts are darkly silhouetted against the black heavens. The heavy drumming and moaning of many voices echo up into the sky and then outwards into the night.
There are no other sounds, no night birds, no crickets, no frogs - they have all hushed their nightly serenades on this night where the moon hangs colossal, round and white in the sky, floating just above the horizon.
The thunderous, continuous rhythm of the drumming stops abruptly as if gulped down by an unnoticed mouth.
A woman walks into the circle. She is tall, pale and beautiful. The moon reflects off her ebony black hair hanging down to her waist. As she lifts her long elegant arms up into the air, she screams a blood-curdling scream.
Her face distorts as she screams, turning her once beautiful features into a nightmarish, misshapen façade. Her eyes are deep and black, and reflected within them are the deepest recesses of torment and misery.
She wears a loincloth made from the skin of a leopard around her hips. Her naked breasts sway with her every movement. Around her neck hangs a necklace of leopard's teeth, tightly strung together, representing protection.
Every living being in that circle, around that fire, falls down immediately, their bodies flat against the ground. You can taste the fear, thick as peanut butter stuck to your palette.
The fire reflects and dances a frenzied dance in her eyes, making them sparkle with malevolence. She smiles in anticipation for what she knows is coming. She starts to shiver and gyrate, foam coming from her mouth, her eyes roll backwards in their sockets. She starts mumbling the same incoherent string of words repeatedly.
Six men walk into the circle carrying a wooden board. Their faces are turned downward, their expression and facial features hidden. The glow from the fire shimmers off their brown bodies, glistening with oil.
On the wooden board lays a girl of fifteen. She is dressed in nothing. Her hair is braided with the feathers of many different coloured birds. Her face is painted with the warm blood of chickens. She is terrified and frightened.
Her moaning is now the only sound in this hushed space, surrounded by the imposing mud huts. She knows her fate and she has seen many girls go before her, the monthly ritual that feeds their god, a god with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. Her ankles and wrists are dripping with blood from where she fought against the ropes that bind her.
The six men walk towards the pale woman and then lay the girl down in front of her, before falling down to the floor, their bodies spread close to the ground.
The inhabitants of this village have served her, their god, all their lives, and so did their fathers before them and their fathers before them. They have not seen her grow a day older, so they believe that she is immortal, above them and they fear her with every thread in their bodies, a fear inherited down from generations upon generations of ancestors.
She has a skin so pale, as none of them has ever seen before. Her hair is long, as theirs would never be and then the fact that she is never-ending, everlasting makes them believe, beyond a doubt that she is indeed their god. She is not a forgiving, loving god, but a cruel and evil god. She leads through fear, pain and suffering.