The mouth of the cave was darker than the moonless night.
Killa and Iluku rested under the canopy of a huge tree.
Afraid to continue, afraid not to keep on.
- We must enter, Iluku finally stood up shaking from the effort, it will be morning soon and they will close the cave.
- You think they will just let you, Killa sneered, they eat humans. You know that. And we are disguised as humans, both of us, just like you wanted.
Oh, hush, scary baby, Iluku hissed, just do exactly what I tell you. Do you really think we look like a delicious morsel to them? As old as we are now?
Killa looked at himself, and old man, too old to count the years, the meat shriveled at his bones, the skin lost all its luster and hair thinning in his head.
And Iluku wasn’t better at all, she looked like a tough old woman, many years pass her prime.
- I would prefer to eat old shoes than us, Killa finally answered, but you never can tell with the jaguar men. They are totally insane.
- Just do what I tell you, Iluku sighed, and don’t do any sudden movements. Or they might bounce on you on reflex. They are partly cats after all.
- How comforting, the moon muttered, at least we don’t look like mice.
Snickering to himself he stood up, also shaking from the effort it took from him.
- I’m too old to be cavorting around in the jungle during the night, he groused, I really have better things to do than follow you around in your mad errands.
- Hush, old man, Iluku answered; do you think I don’t have better things than run around with an old man?
They both stood still when they heard a burst of racoucious laughter from the mouth of the cave.
- Are you going to let your woman talk to you like that old man, a voice taunted them, or do you not have any manhood left? I would have beaten her years ago?
Iluku stood still with her head bowed down.
Killa raised his stick and let it fall couple of times to her back.
She stood still, shaking, and took the beating.
- Maybe that’ll teach you, Killa panted.
- I don’t think that fondling taught her anything but to continue with her sassiness, the voice protested, give me the stick and I’ll teach her!
A hideous form stepped out of the shadow.
A man’s body, mangled with jaguar’s feet and head.
It’s teeth glinted in the starlight as it stared Iluku and licked its lips.
- Her old bones are so brittle that they will just break, Killa moaned, and who will cook for me then? Am I supposed to warm my bed by myself and take care of myself, all alone? She might not be much to look at, or have a mouth no woman should have. But she is all I have and I’m too old to find another woman for myself.
- Well, that is the truth if I ever have heard one, another voice answered from the shadow.
A new jaguar man walked out of the cave and stood there, looking at both Killa and Iluku.
- You are both old and miserable, he groaned, and stink death to the very bottom of our cave. What do you want here? Don’t you know what we do to your kind?
Killa looked around helplessly.
- Excuse me, Iluku whined, her eyes gazing the ground.
Both of the jaguar men raised their heads and stared at her unblinkingly, their ears pointing out.
- I know that I’m but an old woman, she shrank in her clothing, and disrespectful to boot. But I’ve been married to that old fool for more years I can count and he has started to forget too many things with his old age. I’m afraid he doesn’t even remember why we came here!
Killa grinned and made an angry face as he turned towards the guards of the cave.
- Of course I remember woman, he roared, but since you like so much to talk and I’m a bit tired after our walk. I’ll let you explain it.
The jaguar men roared in laughter and Killa relaxed a bit.
- We happened to hear, Iluku’s voice squealed and whined, just around there, you know. Well, we heard that you might be having a feast and that you might need someone who would be able to cook it. And who would just have the right ingredients for it. And well, if I’ve something done in my life, it’s cooking. And I always carry the ingredients with me. So, if you want your feast to be delicious and your chicha to be plenty. I am the one to do it for you!
- Yes, Killa boasted, that is exactly why we came here. My wife is a renowned chef and she will cook you a food that you will never forget. That I can promise you!
The two guards stared at each other and then they shrugged their shoulders.
- We will take you to the Kasike, they grabbed Iluku and Killa with them, the head of the jaguar men, our king. He will decide if you will cook the feast or be part of it!
To be continued...
This is the twenty third part of the story.
To read the first part of the story, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 1
To read the second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 2
To read the third part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 3.
To read the fourth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 4.
To read the fifth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 5.
To read the fourteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 14
To read the sixth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 6
To read the seventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 7
To read the eight part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 8
To read the ninth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 9
To read the tenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 10
To read the eleventh part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 11
To read the twelth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 12
To read the thirteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 13
To read the fifteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 15
To read the sixteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 16
To read the seventeenth part, go to the The Queen With The Frozen Heart 17
To read the eighteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 18
To read the nineteenth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 19
To read the twentieth part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart 20
To read the twenty first part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - The Night Of The Black Moon
To read the twenty second part, go to The Queen With The Frozen Heart - To The Enchanted Night
The picture of those caves is breath taking. I have only seen stuff like that on tv. How cool that you have them right there.ReplyDelete
Wow, everytime I read that is the first thing that jumps into my head xReplyDelete
Your stories are always so fantastic and conjure up great imagines in the mind whilst being read. I love your pictures of the caves and of the old people. They look like such lovely, wholesome people.ReplyDelete
I have been follwing this story and I love it.ReplyDelete
A great continuation of the story! As always your pictures are great. You have convinced me that I need to go to Ecuador someday.ReplyDelete
Beautiful photos as always!ReplyDelete
those pictures are great, and really go well with your words xReplyDelete
Oh my gosh these pictures! They never cease to amaze me. You are such a talented photographer.ReplyDelete
The story weaved with photos is very dramatic. Those eyes tell a thousand stories!ReplyDelete
These pictures are just so pretty! And the story you weave throughout the photos is great!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness I don't want them to be eaten! Love the photo of the caves.ReplyDelete
Stunning pictures! Love the one of the leopardReplyDelete
Your photos are gorgeous - thank you x x xReplyDelete
Great pictures, as always xReplyDelete
Beautiful!! How cute are the animals? :)ReplyDelete
I need to read other parts of this story!ReplyDelete
Those photos are amazing, and the words draw everyone in xReplyDelete
I'm so captivated by the cave and all.ReplyDelete
You're such a great story teller.ReplyDelete
I love the photos too
Beautiful story and photos!ReplyDelete
Really interesting pictures.ReplyDelete
You are a really great writer and I love those pictures, too.ReplyDelete
I love the photos. Your photos are always amazing in your blog posts.ReplyDelete
I always love these stories! Loved the pictyures of the animals this time too :) so cute!ReplyDelete
I love how you share these stories. You leave us just enough to whet our appetite to come back for more.ReplyDelete
Wow, those caves look so cool! And that cheetah (is it a cheetah? Haha I have no idea..) picture is really neat!ReplyDelete
The first picture is of an ocelot. Her mother was killed by a poacher and a Kichwa village adopted her.Delete
You always have such great photos!ReplyDelete
Is that a CHEETAH?! You take some amazing photos!ReplyDelete
Thank you! The first picture is of an ocelot.Delete
Intriguing story.... and the photos are great. I particularly enjoyed the photos of the elderly couple - it's great to see a sliver of their world... What a great experience!ReplyDelete
Such beautiful writing and photos! I absolutely love that photo of the tiger!! :)ReplyDelete
I'm going to have to take some time to go back and read all the other parts of the story!ReplyDelete
I'm interested in whether or not they let her cook. I hope they're kind to them. Coming back for more. :)ReplyDelete
I love this story: so touching and the pictures speak for themselvesReplyDelete
Fantastic as always. Great combination of story and photos.ReplyDelete
They look like such a nice couple sitting there.. that is how i want to be when i get older..ReplyDelete
I wonder if the Jaguar men are friends or foes. What would their king decide on in the next chapters.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing these lovely photos! I love that close-up photo of the leopard (or is that a cheetah?) the most. :)ReplyDelete
Great pictures & story as always! I love the pics of the cave.ReplyDelete
I love the story and the photos are amazing!! I love how close you got, your photos turned out really well :)ReplyDelete
Absolutely beautiful pictures, I now have to go read the rest of the story...so much for getting some work done :) Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Great creative writing matched with fab pictures.ReplyDelete
Wow, I need to catch up on this story! And the pictures are amazing ! Makes me feel like travelling soon !ReplyDelete
Wow! Looks like I have a lot of reading to do during naptime! I love the photos, especially the close up ones of the people- stunningly beautiful.ReplyDelete
You have such a wonderful way with words, and your photos always match up perfectly!ReplyDelete
Experiencing new cultures is so eye-opening. Thanks for sharing, and beautiful pictures.ReplyDelete
Amazing photographs! I feel like I am there with you.ReplyDelete
Another awesome chapter as always! I really hope they are not part of the feast in the next one! Can't wait to read it. =)ReplyDelete
Absolutely gorgeous pictures - it must have been so incredible to be so close to that ocelot!ReplyDelete
Great choice of photos to accompany this engaging story! It feels like we're right there with you and the characters.ReplyDelete
What an interesting chapter in a story! It's the first one I've read, so I need to go back and read the rest of it.ReplyDelete
These photos, as usual, are beautiful! Simply amazing.ReplyDelete
I definitely like your story and your ability to tell a story!! One of these days I will go back to the beginning and read all the chapters all at once.ReplyDelete
OMG I love your stories. Will read the othersReplyDelete
This is the first time reading this series. It was a beautiful post and I loved the photos. I couldn't believe that they could put their finger in the cat's mouth. I would have been scared to be that close to a wild animal.ReplyDelete
Is that a jaguar or a puma? Whatever it is it is gorgeous.ReplyDelete
The first picture is of a ocelot. There are two pictures of jaguar too, they are the ones taken further away.Delete
You take amazing pictures. It makes me feel like I'm there.ReplyDelete
I love the pictures and how you capture each story. Now, I might have to come back and read it from the beginning. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Those caves are amazingReplyDelete
intriguing story and gorgeous photos the big cat photos are stunning!ReplyDelete
Wow, what an amazing picture of the "big cat". I've never seen one up close.ReplyDelete
The continuation speaks of the story part. Very nice for a story with corresponding pictures.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous photos! :) You are such a talented writer!ReplyDelete
I have watched these kind of places only in tv or youtube videos. I like the way how you have moved the story with beautiful and different pictures. Your photography is amazing.ReplyDelete
These are great photos. I love reading parts of the story as well. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
So refreshing to read your story, I love the way you have captured the essence of the tale with such great photo's you are indeed very talented and it is a pleasure to be following your wonderful story. Thanks for sharing StephenReplyDelete
Interesting story and I literally can't wait for the next to see what happens to them. The pictures are awesome and go great with your story. Thanks for sharing. Well done.ReplyDelete
I love the way you portrait some quite difficult moments, another compelling instalmentReplyDelete
Your pictures are wonderful. You tell a wonderful story.ReplyDelete
Another great chapter - I love how the pictures really tie in with the story too.ReplyDelete
Very intriguing story. Always enjoy your photos.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous photos and a great read.ReplyDelete
Caves can really be scary. Now, their fate awaits in the next chapters.ReplyDelete
Awesome pictures you have there!ReplyDelete
Very interesting story. When I have more time I think I just may start from the beginning. Loving the pictures that are falling right into the story!ReplyDelete
Having pictures of old people captures the heart of readers. This is an interesting chapter of the story.ReplyDelete
Great story and those photos are amazing! XReplyDelete
What an imagination you have! Interesting how you match the photos of real life to the fictionReplyDelete
Loved the story. Your photos are great too!ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, those photos! What awesome memories.ReplyDelete
Amazing pictures and one again what a story to go with them. xReplyDelete
You wirite so beautifully! Pictures are gorgeous!ReplyDelete
You write so beautifully. Even without your gorgeous photos, you write so descriptive that you feel as though you are there.ReplyDelete
Always such great photos, especially the big cat! Your words paint a very vivid picture, of angst and strife. Well done!ReplyDelete
I'm glad he didn't continue to beat her. I hope they cook the meal!ReplyDelete
Love the story and especially the pic of the old couple. They show so much of a life lived in their faces.ReplyDelete
Interesting story, and I like the way you use the language ! But more than anything, you've further fueled my desire to visit Ecuador - by all accounts, a lovely interesting country to explore! Thanks fir sharing.ReplyDelete
What a unique way of writing! And the photos are truly captivating!ReplyDelete
This story is so cool. It sounds so much like a folklore. I'm looking forward to what happens next!ReplyDelete
This is a great story to follow. I'll try reading it from the start. amazing photos also.ReplyDelete
Are these stock photos? How did you actually take photos that come out with stories like this?! It's amazing! did you actually come out with stories as you take more photos? If so, I hope one day you take photos of me and write a story too! LOlReplyDelete
They are my pictures, Tiffany. Some of them I take for the story, and I have a lot of pictures (thousands actually) that I have taken here throughout the years. So, I go through them and try to find something that fits the story.Delete
I would love to take pictures of you for a story. Since you're an actress it would be perfect because you could actually depict the mood and the story. Hopefully it will be possible one day.
ANother great part of the story! Lovely photos as always! :D Enjoying the read! :DReplyDelete
aw i love the couple! they are way too cuteReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing all the beautiful pictures! Such an awesome post!ReplyDelete
Amazing photos and beautifully written! Thanks for sharing!!ReplyDelete
Wow!! I am amazed at the pics and the story!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing!!
Wonderfully written and I love all the pictures. It's an amazing that you get to see that and you're finding a lot of inspiration all around you.ReplyDelete
your photography is amazing! i love that you are weaving a story, but using real life photos too!!ReplyDelete
Love this story! You should publish all of your stories!ReplyDelete
I like that you are using real life photos with your story.. Not many people could do that!ReplyDelete
These pictures are so amazing! Truly!ReplyDelete
Love this story much... And the photographs are nice!ReplyDelete
That cat is absolutely gorgeous. is it an Ocelot?ReplyDelete
Yes, it's an ocelot. There are couple of pictures of jaguar also, the ones that are further away.Delete
Awesome cave life! Nice photography!ReplyDelete
Very intriguing! I love the photos interwoven into the story.ReplyDelete
I love the cat pictures...it is truly amazing though how you weave the photos into the story!ReplyDelete
Such a great story! You always leave me wanting more!ReplyDelete
Oh dear! How exciting. I want to hear the next part. Yaye! Thanks for sharing. I love reading it and it's comical as well. :)ReplyDelete
It is so exciting to feel a part of the amazing adventures of Killa and Iluku through your story.The relationship between these too seems so lovely, they have a deep bond and have been together for so long, I love the tenderness and sense of humor they use talking to each other!ReplyDelete
Whenever I come to your blog I always think where is Ecuador, and finally today i take decision to Google it, great pics and storyReplyDelete
What a great series and story here on your blog! I love the photos, it must be quite an eye opening life there!ReplyDelete
I love the photos you use to build the scene. I had to go back and read the last one.ReplyDelete
Great pictures and story.ReplyDelete
You really should have this in a book! I can't wait for the next! I also really loved the pictures, especially the one with the finger in the tiger's mouth!ReplyDelete
And yet another great post here.. You better look for a publisher, really!ReplyDelete
Very cool! I love the cute little animals! Great storyReplyDelete
As always, awesome pictures. And brave too - giving a finger to a leopard!ReplyDelete
Just curious with the picture of two elderly, are they the real character in the story?ReplyDelete
Another great read, The photos are so perfect with the storiesReplyDelete
Another great addition to the story! Those caves are so cool! I would love to go see them sometime.ReplyDelete
How romantic that you found that elderly couple... They fit the role perfectly and brought a big smile to my face... So sweetReplyDelete
Pictures are such a great way to tell a story. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete