Kachiri, The Outcast.

CHARGE!!! Cried the Chief as all of his people ran fiercely through a row of trees towards the enemy tribe. All except one. Kachiri lay trembling under one of the long canoes her tribe used to row across the Amazon River. She hated all the fights her tribe got into. War scared her with all its clanging spears and blood curdling cries. After what seemed like hours, she heard her people coming back. She climbed out of the canoe to face the looks and mutters, as everyone was no doubt thinking about what a coward she was. Kachiri was an outcast, a freak, looked upon in disgust and disappointment by her own tribe. Some said she was a changeling, swapped for a child that was linked in blood to the rest of them. Others said she was one of the blood-drinking vampires that lurked deep in the jungle, using her powers to disguise herself as a human. But Kachiri was none of these things. She was a spell caster. You would call her a witch. She knew what she was because, just before her mother died after giving birth to her, she had whispered to Kachiri, “you are special. Use your powers wisely. You are a spell caster.” This was Kachiri’s only memory of her mother, and she was able to remember it because witches have very good memories. But she didn’t look like a witch. She had silky black hair, tanned brown skin, and, unlike the rest of the tribe, with their faded brown, almond-shaped eyes, Kachiri had wide, vivid green eyes. Anyway, one day, Calana, the cook, sent Kachiri out to look for food. As she was walking down a small, muddy track looking for berries, Kachiri suddenly heard a strange noise. It sounded sort of like a very shrill voice saying, “Take me here! Take me there!” She followed the sound to a small, green clearing covered in lush grass. As she looked up, she saw a tall, leafless tree; so white it looked like a skeleton. And on a branch in the tree, there sat a beautiful bird. Its body was chocolate brown, but its wings, neck, and tail were a shimmering blue and green colour. Kachiri knew where the strange call was coming from. It was the beautiful bird. Suddenly, the bird swooped down from the branch and gracefully flew off through the trees. Mesmerized, Kachiri followed. She could hear the fluttering of wings, but that was her only guide. Eventually, she arrived at a cave. Kachiri stooped under its rocky entrance and surfaced in a narrow, claustrophobic, tunnel. From what looked like the end of the tunnel, came a low, eerie humming sound. There was also a faint red glow. Kachiri walked down the tunnel and came to a big cavern with a very high roof. And sitting by a dying fire was an old woman. Her face was all crinkled up, like the bark on the strange trees that grew in the swamp. She had long, thin, white hair and was sitting cross-legged on the floor. She beckoned to Kachiri and Kachiri obeyed. Then the old woman spoke in a soft, soothing voice. “Hello. I have been expecting you child. My name is Zafrina. I am a spell caster.” Kachiri’s breath caught in her throat, but the woman continued to talk. “I will teach you all you need to know about magic and spells. Your name is Kachiri, am I correct?” Asked Zafrina. “Yes, but why are you doing this for me, and how do you know my name?” Replied Kachiri. “Because I am your grandmother.” Just then, the light from the fire brightened, and Kachiri could see Zafrina’s eyes. They were wide, bright and very, very…green! Just like hers! As Zafrina told Kachiri about everything, she learnt that she was to live with her grandmother. She was also told that her tribe was in terrible danger of a vampire attack. “But vampires are indestructible!” Exclaimed Kachiri. “Not if you light them on fire. That’s why you must learn the fire spell. It is your destiny to save our tribe.” Replied Zafrina. “Our tribe?” Asked Kachiri. “I was just like you once.” Said Zafrina. So, Kachiri started to learn magic. First she started with simple spells, like conjuring up food, making a stick hover, and turning your eyebrows purple. Then it was harder things like learning to talk to animals and flying. Then finally the fire spell. It was extremely hard, but Kachiri was determined to save her people. And always watching them, always giving advice, was Zafrina’s faithful companion, Senna, the beautiful bird that had made everything seem so much like a dream to Kachiri. Two weeks later… “AAAHHHHHHH!!!” A terrible scream pierced the cool morning air. Zafrina and Kachiri were running through the jungle towards the camp and their tribe. Zafrina, who was surprisingly able for her age, said, “This is it. This is your chance to protect our people. Use your powers. Make me proud.” The last sentence surprised Kachiri. It was not something Zafrina would usually say. “Do you really think I’m ready?” Asked Kachiri. “Of course child. Of course I do.” when they reached the campsite, all of the tribe were standing around the edge, shaking and crying. Even the chief was trembling. And crouching over a ready to be lit fire was a vampire. Its eyes were glowing red but it hadn’t killed anyone yet. That could easily change. Taking a deep breath, Kachiri walked towards the vampire. It spied her and a low snarl ripped through its teeth. She took another step. Suddenly the vampire ran straight towards Kachiri, but dodged around her at the last minute. She spun around, just in time to see the vampire fling Zafrina’s body into the trees. “No!” Cried Kachiri as it resumed its low crouch over the fireplace, ready to spring. A tidal wave of anger and grief rushed through Kachiri, making everything she saw have a slight red tint. She remembered everything her grandmother had taught her and concentrated. The vampire shrieked, and then it burst into flames. There was a sound like nails scraping on a blackboard and then the fire disappeared as suddenly as it had come. There was no trace of the vampire or Zafrina. Only black ashes, but even they disappeared as a warm breeze carried them away. A single tear slid down Kachiri’s cheek.

And so this draws our story to a close. I’m not going to tell you that they lived happily ever after, because, of course, there was the grief for Zafrina, and Kachiri always had a voice, niggling away in the back in the back of her mind, telling her that one day she might have to do it all over again. But she did lead a pretty good life. She visited the tribe regularly and they respected her. She continued to live in the cave, but there was a certain boy that visited her quite often. Kachiri set up the first school in that area of the Amazon. She still practised her spells, but she used her powers to make peace between all the tribes and heal the wounded.
And how do I know all of this? I am Senna, the bird that lead Kachiri to her true destiny.

By Madeline Brundell.


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