A post written by a dear friend known as P.W., with additions and changes from yours truly.
Southern Europe, +/- 35,000 ya
Durak, the mammoth hunter, had been away from his tribe for nearly two moons. During the recent cold time, a sickness had taken many people from his tribe, most of them women. Now, there were no women for him in his own village, so he must steal a woman from another tribe if he was to have a mate. Durak, and several other men had all left the tribe to search for other clans and villages that might have women. All the others had returned back to the tribe except for Durak. Finally he had found a village, far away in the warm lands. These people were slender and tall, with hair the color of the sun. He was now lying in the tall grass on a ridge, looking down on a small village of the people with sun colored hair.. After watching these strange, tall people for three suns, he had decided upon a young woman who had hair that looked like the sun as it rose in the morning.. He had seen her bathing with other women, cooking with them, but no man made company with her. She slept and worked in the hut that was almost on the edge of the village.
Tonight was the night to get her; the moon was dark and a warm breeze blew in from the south. These people were quiet at night, having no dogs or guards around the village; only a single man who occasionally added wood to the fire. As darkness fell he slowly worked his way into the village and into the hut. By the light of the small central fire in the hut, Durak could see the women were all asleep Silently and quickly he gagged then bound first the wrists then the ankles of the sun-hair woman. Although she moaned and whimpered through the gag, the other women slept on. She tried to hit Durak with her bound fists, and kick with her legs, but he was stronger. Quickly he lifted her, and ducked out of the hut. Just as Durak was about to step into the safety of the surrounding forest he heard one of the old women shriek in rage, waking the whole village. Despite his burden he ran, dodging the shapes of fallen trees and boulders on the ground, hearing the sound of men yelling and women screaming. Suddenly he heard swishes in the air, and the thwack as the arrows hit the trees and land around him. As he ran, trying to blend into the darkness, he felt a sharp prick in his upper left arm. With a grunt of surprise and pain he ran faster, even as his burden began twisting and throwing her weight around. He abruptly changed his course through the forest and slowed down . Soon he was rewarded by the sound of pursuit going in the wrong direction. Durak slowed to a walk and finally stopped as the first rays of sunlight began to break through the forest. Only then did he notice that the arrow had only sliced the fleshy part of his upper arm. The woman had long since ceased to struggle. He laid her on the ground and saw that she was uninjured, she looked up at him in fear, hate and something else. Durak removed the bonds from the ankles and the gag from her mouth. He kept his hand ready to cover her mouth if she tried to call out, but she was quiet, glaring at him. So he reached down and gently rubbed her ankles where the bindings had cut deeply into her flesh and was rewarded with the sight of color returning to her feet. Durak raised the woman to her feet and motioned for her to follow, all the time watching for her to try and run, but she did not. She just lowered her head and followed as he lead the way.
By midday Durak had found a good place to sleep for a few hours near a small stream. For a while now he had felt dizzy at times. Even so, he kept an eye on his captive as she followed but not once did she try and run away. His arm was throbbing from the cut he had received from the arrow and when he looked down at the cut he noticed that it was still bleeding and also that there were red lines radiating out from the wound. He Knew that this was bad and without a skilled shaman he could become very ill or even die. He began to feel hotter than the warmth of the sun, yet shivering as sweat began pouring off his body. Durak went to the stream to wash the wound as best he could. As he bent down his vision blurred, his knees became week and he fell; try as he might he could not stand. The woman just stood and watched. As darkness filled Durak's eyes he thought he saw the woman approaching him and reach for his stone knife.
Lua woke up startled, there was a large hand over her mouth. Before she could cry out a foul-tasting gag was placed in her mouth and tightly tied around her head. As she tried to scream and fight, her wrists, then her ankles were bound. She realized that she could not fight whoever this was so she relaxed and waited. A large dark haired man lifted her up as if she weighed nothing and silently carried her out into the night. Then as the village came alive with the realization that she was missing , the man began to run as if he wasn’t even carrying her. She tried to throw him off balance, but he only held her tighter. He ran at first at first and then walked with her all night and only stopped to rest as daylight began to show through the trees. When he put her down she thought that she would be killed if she fought. But the powerful stranger only removed the bonds from her feet and the gag from her mouth and gently rubbed life back into her numb tingling feet. He then motioned for her to follow, which she did. She saw the cut on his arm and knew that it had been made by a poisoned arrow from her tribe. Having worked with the shaman, she knew how to stop the poison. There were certain plants, growing everywhere here in these woods that would heal him. Yet she walked on, watching him. While he had not hurt her, the powerful dark haired man had taken her from her village, her people. She saw the wound on his arm turn a bright red, the lines spreading outward. She saw him wobbling as he walked. It wouldn't be long now, so she followed him and didn't run home...yet.
The sun was straight overhead when the large dark haired man stopped by a small stream to rest. As he bent to get water she watched him fall and struggle to rise. Lua walked over to the large man and took his stone knife. She worked the knife around until she could cut the bonds around her wrists. As she watched the man finally go to sleep, Lua took a drink from the stream and turned back into the forest to find her way back to her village. The man who tried to take her could stay in the stream and die. After a short time she started to think about the large dark haired man. He had not really harmed her or threatened her. She recalled his face as he had rubbed her ankles. There was something very gentle in his touch, in his sad brown eyes. Without understanding why, she turned around and went back to him, picking the plants she would need as she went. She soon found the dark haired man where she had left him. Grinding the plants she picked on a large stone, she mixed in some water and made a green, pleasant smelling paste. With a large leaf she covered the wound with the paste, tying it up with the remains of the cord that had bound her wrists. Pulling the man further away from the stream, she placed him on his side, listening to his breathing. It was slow, and the color on his face was very white. Gathering dry twigs and branches, she found some fire-stones and soon she had a small but warm fire crackling. Sitting beside the man, she pulled his dark hairy head onto her lap, and began humming a soft, simple song.