The Exotic Misadventures of Lora vonGehöft Lora’s African Adventure Story by L’Espion [email protected] Chapter 8 Lora Returns Lora closed her eyes and waited for agonizing cut of the knife. What she got instead was the sound of an explosion as a bolt of lightning struck one of the nearby forest giants. It went down with a crash that almost rivaled the sound of the lightning strike. Both Abasi and Tuma scattered leaving Lora where she was. “The thunder god has saved you,” Abasi shouted as he and Tuma took shelter beneath the thatched shelter they had set up in their camp. “But as soon as the storm passes I will have your hide.” The thunder crashed again, drowning out anything else Abasi might have had to say and then the rain came, slashing down like a waterfall from the sky. Abasi and Tuma completely disappeared, hidden by the deluge, but Lora knew they were there, waiting for the storm to end. Despite her exhaustion she tugged at the ropes binding her, hoping by some miracle she might manage to escape. It turned out that a miracle was not needed; the rain was her salvation, soaking into the fibres of the ropes binding her wrists and allowing them to stretch enough that she wrenched her hands free. She could barely stand after what Abasi and Tuma had done to her, but she knew that she had to force herself to move. The first thing she did was to tear the ants from her nipples; that turned out to be the easiest thing she had to do. Much more challenging was what she should do next. I can’t fight them, I’m not strong enough. They’d capture me again and then Abasi will carry out his threat. The two black savages were just a few meters away, still hidden by the heavy rainfall, waiting out the storm, and no doubt laughing about the further torment she was suffering. That thought had her almost shaking with rage. How dare I be treated like this? Memories crashed in on her. She had been enslaved, raped, sodomized, tortured, and utterly humiliated by savages who were barely out of the Stone Age. I’ll be avenged for this utter degradation. Abasi and his half-witted minion will pay. But how? She was naked, cold, wet, and weaponless. How could she overcome two powerful warriors singlehanded? Her nipples twinged painfully; a reminder of what Abasi had done to her and she had a sudden flash of inspiration. It just might work and she had little choice anyway. The rain continued to fall providing her with cover so long as it kept Abasi and his friend holed up in the shelter. It gave her time to scout around the camp trying to remember what Abasi had done with her gear. Fortunately, he had not taken the time to put them in the tent. Her belt and her knife lay where Abasi had tossed them when he had stripped her. She picked up the knife and headed to the side of the clearing. More by touch than anything else she located a stand of bamboo and set to work. In short order her had cut a two three foot lengths of bamboo, each as thick as two of her fingers. It was not exactly the real thing but it was as close as she was going to get considering the material at hand in this god-forsaken land. She made sure each bamboo shaft was as sharp as she could get it and then set them down. It was still raining, but it had let up a little and she didn’t have much time. This part of her plan was the trickiest, and she needed to do it just right. She sought out a thick shaft of bamboo, the thickest she could find. She had to use her knife like an axe to cut through it, but when she was finished she had a hollow tube about forty centimeters long and open at one end. She then went to work on one more piece of bamboo equipment, using the same length of bamboo to fashion a crude scoop that she could hold in one hand. The rain had almost stopped by now and she moved as quickly as her beaten body would allow. She made her way to the ants’ nest from which Abasi had retrieved the nipple ornaments she had removed. It was quiescent now, as the ants sheltered from the rain, but it wouldn’t be for long. She jabbed her crude scoop into it and came up with several a mixture of loose earth and dozens of furious ants. Before they could react she dumped them into the bamboo tube. She did it twice more and then stuffed a thick wad of leaves into the tube, imprisoning the ants. She then backed quickly away as thousands of ants boiled out of the anthill bent on vengeance. Fortunately the rain was still heavy enough that they didn’t follow her very far and she set down the tube a stuffed more dirt into it to make sure that the trapped ants didn’t escape. Then she gathered her weapons and sat on a log to wait. Her exertions had used up a good deal of energy and she found it pleasant to sit and let the last of the rain cool her. While she sat she went through her plan again and again. She would have only one chance to pull it off and if she failed she was certain that Abasi would find a way to make skinning her alive look mild. With a last rumble of thunder in the distance the rain finally stopped. And with the end of the rain, Abasi stepped out of the hut followed by Tuma. At first, neither warrior saw her. They naturally looked toward the two saplings where they had tied her, expecting her to still be there. “The white witch has escaped again!” Abasi shouted. But Tuma spotted her almost immediately. He pointed toward her. “No, there she is.” Abasi turned toward her and smiled. If he was disturbed at her calm demeanor he did not show it. “So, white witch, you await your fate. It will not be long in coming. This time you will not be released until the ants have finished stripping the flesh from your bones.” “The ants will have a piece of you first,” Lora yelled, as she jumped to her feet. While Abasi had been speaking she had removed the plug from the bamboo tube. Ignoring the several ants that immediately attached themselves to her hands, she heaved the bamboo tube toward the two warriors, emptying it of its contents and launching hundreds of ants toward each of them. Not all of the ants reached their target; the hollow tube was hardly a precision weapon, but enough of the furious insects made contact with each of the warriors to provide a serious and painful distraction. Tuma screamed and Abasi cursed as dozens of ants sank their mandibles into their flesh. They danced around, slapping at the insects giving Lora the chance to launch the second part of her plan. In their frantic actions to deal with the ants it was Tuma who ended up closest to her. In her imagination Lora had pictured Abasi being the first victim, but chance placed Tuma square in her path and so it was Tuma who died first. She thrust the sharpened bamboo stake like a sword and felt it sink into his belly. He screamed even louder and grasped the shaft with both hands, jerking it way from Lora as he lurched away from her. He made it only a couple of steps before falling to his knees, still screaming in agony. Abasi was startled out of his frantic attempts to deal with the ants. He stared at Lora in disbelief, but recovered quickly. He darted back toward the shelter and came up with his spear. “I will gut you white witch, and then I will still skin you.” “Not this time, you filthy black savage,” Lora replied. She held her second bamboo weapon in front of her and adopted a fencer’s stance. The bamboo sword she held was nothing like the épées and sabres she was used to, but she was now in her element, provided Abasi did not do the obvious and simply throw his spear at her. But she reckoned that he would not, since he had simply used it to knock weapons from her hand on other occasions. Her guess was proven right, Abasi advanced blade down, intending either to knock her primitive sword from her hand or cripple her with the blade. “Do you think a weak white woman can stand up to me?” He thrust low with his spear, no doubt intending to cripple one of her legs. However, this was Lora’s sort of battle, she parried his thrust, stepped forward and struck in the only part of Abasi’s body where she was sure of success. Killing Tuma had been pure luck. The stupid savage had almost run onto the point of her sword, impaling himself. But Abasi was in a warrior’s crouch, offering only his chest, arms, and shoulders for a target. He crude weapon was too fragile to do more than inflict a superficial wound. If it encountered any bone it would be deflected or probably even break. But there was one area where her sword would be effective. The point of the bamboo shaft struck him in his left eye and penetrated to the brain. He screamed once and dropped dead at her feet. “Filthy savage,” she said, giving his unmoving corpse a good kick. She pulled the Ring of Solomon from his finger and once again strung it around her neck. Then she retrieved was left of her even more tattered clothing, gathered up the food supplies Abasi and his men had brought and went back to the raft. She pushed in to midstream and was so exhausted that she collapsed as soon as she was clear of the riverbank. The adrenaline surge that had carried her to victory was gone and now she could not have gotten to her feet even if the raft had been invaded by crocodiles. She lay unconscious while the raft floated slowly downstream.