Island Life - Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
As the Beer and Flies stepped slowly off the beached vessel, wading through the shallow waves, the tribal meeting party gathered close around them whooping and pointing their bows and arrows at their necks.
‘Just remain calm’, said the Captain, ‘and don’t look them directly in the eyes.’
‘Why not the eyes?’ asked Jay.
‘It could set them off, they might see it as a challenge.’ said the Captain calmly.
‘For all they know,’ added Mad Myx, ‘we could be the scouting party of an invading army.’
As the band got onto the beach the tribesmen went crazy – singing, dancing around them, some hammering the sand with their axes while others leapt up into the air waving their hands like flightless bats.
After the initial confusion that ensued things settled down pretty quickly. A man who was clearly the island chief, with the huge plume of feathers on his headdress, strange tattoos covering his face, neck and shoulders like a writhing armor and his steady confident stare, ushered the band to some logs at the top of the beach.
As the band sat under the shade of the palm trees on the logs, some female members of the tribe appeared with half split coconut shells, inviting the band to drink the sweet water inside.
‘Delicious,’ exclaimed Scott as he drained the coconut water in one swig, catching the eye of one of the local women, who was, like they were all, dressed only in short skirts made of grass. She smiled shyly then rushed away to get him another.
‘They’re kind of friendly,’ said Ziv, ‘you speak their language Captain?’
‘No, unfortunately not,’ replied the Captain, ‘what about you, Mad Myx? Can you gather what’s going on?’
‘Maybe,’ mused the Doctor, as he sipped on the coconut water, ‘I might have an idea…’ he said ruminating on the scene.
David, the Quartermaster, still thinking of the ship’s supplies, had got up to follow the women, making hand signals for ‘food’ and ‘water’, the women were laughing but in no time at all the band were led into the tribe’s village.
Quickly, a fire was made in the center of the huts, and an array of dead animals were brought out and roasted – some recognisable, like the wild pigs while others were less easy to identify.
The sun was setting and the night was young. The food had been delicious and they’d washed it down with some type of banana alcohol that burned the throat but made you want to dance.
The drums were going, the fire was blazing and Brandon Davis was right in the midst of it, hammering out beats that made the tribe go wild.
The whole tribe had come out to celebrate the occasion and it seemed that the band were safe and, if nothing else, weren’t on the menu that night.
‘What next?’ asked the Captain as he watched the scene beside Mad Myx, sitting on a type of bamboo seat behind the throng of dancing tribespeople, swinging around with the rest of the band members, ‘it doesn’t look like we’ll get those engine parts here.’
‘I doubt it, Captain, and whatsmore I can’t understand a word of their language…’ said the Doctor as he swigged the banana alcohol brew.
‘How do they make this stuff, it’s like gunpowder?’ asked the Captain.
‘It’s a very basic distillation, I believe they fill a clay gord with fresh bananas and water and then slow boil it until the alcohol solution drips out into coconuts, which they collect and kaboom… basic alchemy but it does dilute the worries of the soul.’ said the Doctor, winking at the Captain.
The Doctor got up calmly, giving the Captain a nod, as he was led by the tribe members dressed in skull-like face paint and elaborate headdresses into the thick jungle behind the village. The rest of the band were still dancing, drunk on the banana alcohol, while the Captain watched on, hoping the Doctor might find something of use.
The Doctor followed the tribesmen, one of whom he gathered was the village Shaman, into the jungle. At first the path was tiny, weaving through the undergrowth but soon it opened up into a wide dirt road. The Doctor noticed, even in the relative darkness, that the path was lined with tall spears, some of which were topped with feathers while others had skulls on the points.
Finally, after what seemed a long time, the Doctor was shown into a large square, surrounded by burning torches. At the back of the square was a huge rock face, onto which were carved etchings around a huge cave mouth in the center.
‘A temple?’ asked the Doctor.
One of the tribesmen quickly put his finger to his lips to hush the Doctor, and led him forwards into the cave.
God damn, thought the Doctor as he looked into the cave’s mouth, ‘I knew it..’
Meanwhile I hustled through the Bangkok streets, paying bribes and donations until at last I got to the airport. I was finally getting out of Bangkok and heading to the Gold Coast to meet up with the Beer and Flies, who I hadn’t heard from in days now.
I had been ignoring calls from various editors around the world who were desperate to hear the latest from the Beer and Flies and their epic world tour, but since I had nothing to report I ignored them all.
Later, as I awoke from a short Vodka sleep the plane was banking down into the Gold Coast Airport. Just a short drive to the hotel from the airport, I thought, I hope those guys made it here alive!