The Hunter Gatherers – a piece of flash fiction

paleolithic flash fictionThere was something wrong.  The earth was changing.  Food was not where it once was; the herds had moved.

‘We have almost reached the end of our territory.  Do we go on, crossing into another’s  or do we go back and try the land beyond the river?’  Our leader solemnly asked.

‘The lack of food is not felt by us alone.  We will not be warmly received in anyone else’s territory at this time, and we have the women and children to think of.’  I raised my concerns.

‘I don’t care what is happening to them.  It is my wife and two children that I am thinking of.  We have not had a proper meal for two days,’ a hot-headed man said.

‘We must take into consideration the suffering of others.  To neglect them would be to attract more evil than that which walks with us already.  I too am concerned about our welcome, and in this condition we are not strong enough to defend the tribe.’

‘So what do we do then?’ the hot-headed man asked.  ‘We know there is no food the way we have come.’

Our leader sat in silence.  No one else put forward a suggestion.  The survival of our people was solely in his hands.

‘We must eat,’ he finally said.  ‘Some of the younger ones are already weak.  If we find no food our people will soon find their way back to the earth. We must go into another’s territory.  We must eat.  Once we have eaten, and perhaps have a few provisions, we must return to our own land, and search beyond the river.’

We started moving at once, spreading out to search for edible plants as we went.  It was not long before one of the women called out. And then another.  A walnut tree.  Some root vegetables.  A stew was to be made.  Everyone in the tribe would eat well today.

Tonight we would not go to sleep hungry.  But what of tomorrow?


This piece of flash fiction was inspired by my interest in the palaeolithic.  I had already posted it on one of my other blogs, but have decided to move it here.  Hope you enjoy it.  Feedback is always warmly received…

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