Her blue dress lay nearby on the floor, and she was peeling guarana for his open mouth. The fruit was sweet and juicy, and so was she, he thought.
Outside, moonlight swooped through limbs of towering kapok trees, and silhouettes of bug-hungry bats sailed silently this way and that.
A fine mist was all that remained of the earlier rainfall. They lay on the hard-packed floor atop a wide pad of reed fibers covered with purple cloth.
She spoke little of his language, but he had come to understand she was tied to the Matipu people and her name was Pira-Tapuya. Her eyes were strangely green.
Light came only from a kerosene lamp near the door. It was nearly dawn, and his mind shifted a second to nitroglycerin and then to her caged scarlet parrot.
And to Pira-Tapuya’s bare, sweaty backside and the sweet, juicy guarana.
Suddenly, she stood and walked to a small, low table on which sat a sliced, dry gourd. She lit a match to dry leaves within that gourd, and smoke rose that smelled faintly of cinnamon, or was it something far different?
He inhaled, and Pira-Tapuya, her back toward him, stood still a moment. Then she turned and smiled, and her eyes were now as indigo as a blue-winged pitta.
What is happening? he asked of no one.
And no one answered.
(To be continued, or not.)