“The tribe has spoken!” crows Lor. Her right hand holds her weapon, her left, the severed head of Elder Hela, the last survivor from the first group of settlers. Her eyes flutter and roll around in her head once, twice, more before settling skywards. The other women dance and shriek: it’s almost the full moon and, instinctively, are responding compulsively at the sight of blood. The sand under their feet gives way under their weight and pushes up to spill over their toes. Two hundred women’s arms shoot into the air, hot, frantic fire shadows slicing their new identities into their skin, dipping into the dark coarse spaces under their arms and between their legs. Their breasts swing in time with their collective heave towards the head, and away from it, towards and away, forward to pick it up and back to carry it right to the fire, right into the heart of their settlement. Their stomachs strain dangerously over the popping fat, skin and flesh. Their thighs rub together, hard and damp.
It’s been 80 years since the first two dozen women were marooned here.