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He was the last of his kind. Not just the last of his family line, but the last of the species. The little people called his people the jungle ghost. He had made the annual trek to what the ruins north of Siemréab in Cambodia. They predate the more famous ones of Angkor Wat by at least three hundred years. By his people's measurements, the temples here were built 12,000 moons ago by the chakravartin (indian concept of world ruler) as an homage to his people.

The small yellow people and his species had lived side by side for centuries. What few times their paths crossed with his people, the small ones would kowtow to them. It was considered to be bad luck to look upon a jungle ghost. In more recent years a larger and stronger people who were mainly the color of slugs came to these lands. There were some of the large people the color of lava rock, but you could tell the pale ones were the leaders. They came to kill the small yellow ones in numbers too large to count. They killed my people as well. Though I doubt they knew it.

Our kind has the ability to become one with the forest. You could walk right up to us and not see my people. The problem was the pale ones had carts that could fly like a bird. Once they had their noisy flying carts high in the air they would throw liquid fire on the jungle below. The fire was not like anything we had ever seen. It would stick to everything and water would not extinguish it. They would throw it over so large an area that it was impossible to outrun it.

Our people were never that large in numbers. The small people could have young ones every nine or ten moons, but for out people it took at least twenty-four moons for a child to form in the female. Unless killed by forest animals or accidental misfortune, our people would live through four generations of the small ones. Now for me, the passing of the moons was a lonely ordeal. This annual trip marks the passing of 480 moons, with no more of my species arriving.

I have considered throwing myself from the tall falls, and ending the loneliness, but I can't bring myself to do it. My life is useless without the possibility of offspring, and lonely without a companion, but I still go on. I guess it is only natural that every animal of the jungle seeks to see the rising of the sun as many times as it can. Maybe that is the purpose.

 

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