Horror and Thriller Fiction posted November 7, 2017 Chapters: 1 -2- 3... 

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Fiction/horror/thriller/Ice Age/novel

A chapter in the book Screaming In The Night

Dawn Of The Hunt

by BOO ghost

The sun dips low, displaying vibrant colors. Ice sheets are terraforming the planet. It is estimated that, at the maximum glacial extent, 30% of the Earth's surface was covered by ice. Spring brings migrating herbivore herds and fierce Apex predators. At twilight, in the Eurasia Enchanted Forest, the Homo erectus will hunt the steppe mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, wild boar, and reindeer. 

Prehistoric cave bears, wolves, and saber-toothed tigers stalk the Java man nimrods. Spear broadheads are honed from stone and bone. Some stones come from silver deposit caves. This particular hunting expedition consists of eight Java men and four Nariokotome boys. The clan elders, women, and children take shelter in caves. Homo erectus youth must validate their hunting skills before being indoctrinated as a warrior. The Homo erectus practice superstitious beliefs and rituals. 

The hunter apprentice must eat the heart and liver from a slaughtered animal. Blood is smeared on his face, this pattern represents a tribal sign unique to his name. It must stay there for six moons. Betwixt the dawn of the seventh sun, he must swim a lava-filled river. Molten lava melts the frozen water and cascades into the stream. Numerous Homo erectus boys were drowned and frozen by this hazing initiation. 

A fire sparks on the permafrost bitten bank. It reflects an aberrational mirror of fire and ice. Without fire, the boys would perish by hyperthermia and suffer frostbite. The erectus boy that bags the biggest trophy will have his choice of the clan daughters.    

The northern dawn sun reveals its sheer effervescence, as it eclipses the horizon. Today begins with a long trek into this glacier landscape wilderness. Mammoth and herbivore herds graze in the fertile lava valley that seeds abundant life. April brings the salmon spawn and hibernating cave bears into streams. Eight adult Java men and four Nariokotome boys hike downhill from the mountain shafts. Southwesterly winds bring rain and a big thaw, down in the valley fords, where it's a cool thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit.  

The hunt must go on... this arctic climate is unpredictable and unforgiving. Nevertheless, the Homo erectus is aware of diurnal climates. Knees arch perpendicular to each precarious step. Snow avalanches are common in mountain peaks when the mercury rises above freezing. The hunters must be cautious of gorges covered with loose snow. Literally, their next step could be their last! 

A Java man, on point, uses his spear to check for death traps. The snow may feel solid, as a rock, but can collapse like a raw egg. Rain pelts protruding foreheads and stings the face. Mother Nature has provided personal hygiene for these musky skunk apes. A screechy howl echoes through the canyons and conifers, carried by prevailing winds. 

Dren's primitive vocal cords resonate two grunts. His thick tongue vibrates sounds off the roof of his gums. The hunters stop and listen. Dren makes a facial gesture that means wolf. 

Primal ape evolution: Homo erectus: Methods of communication.
Although Java men had the smallest brain of ape-human species, they had methods of communication. They were probably capable of making noises considerably more complex than the grunts and screams of modern apes, their speech, would probably have been slow and clumsy. However, Homo erectus had another medium of communication at their disposal. These were gestures. We can speculate as to what they were and what they meant. Human beings have more separate muscles in their face than any other animal. They make it possible to move the various elements: lips, cheeks, forehead, eyebrows, in a great variety of ways that no other creature can mimic. There is little doubt, therefore, that the face was the centre of Homo erectus's gestural communication.

Nod gestures with a nod and moves his wind-blistered lips. He acknowledges that wolves are near. Dren stares at the Nariokotome boys and grunts.  

"Dak - tonga - dag," mumbles Dren.

"Yak - noga - dag " mumbles Zoc, a Java boy. 

Vertical spear shafts flex horizontally. Doogged assumes the point. Positioned in a defensive stance, the Nariokotome boys flank him, in a crescent moon formation. The adult Homo erectus males watch and grunt. 

 'Yaki -yak!" screams Doogged, about to defecate on himself.

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Timeline is in Ice Age. 1.85 BC. Homo erectus leave shelter of caves to hunt in thawing valley. (Spring) Month of April. They encounter...

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