Flores Girl: The Children God Forgot
By Erik John Bertel
Copyright 2005, 2012
64 Bellewood Avenue
Centereach, NY 11720
ISBN: 0-9822576-0-0, 78-0-9822576-0-9
Copyright 2005, 2012 by Erik John Bertel
Edited by Katrina Robinson, Calliope Writing Services, LLC
No part of this novel shall be copied, broadcast, or used in any manner without the express written permission of the author Erik John Bertel or Millennium Publishing.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. This is purely a work for entertainment, and any similarity to any real or fictional person or event is purely coincidental.
To My Nancy,
You gave me the opportunity and that is all I could ask for.
Your Loving Erik
On October 28th, 2004 Australian scientists announced to the world a startling fossil hominid find they had recently made in a large cave complex on Flores Island. Their discovery, called Homo floresiensis, appeared to be a dwarf variation of an early human ancestor called Homo erectus, who inhabited the Indonesian Island of Flores some thirteen thousand years ago. The adult Homo floresiensis stood three feet tall; they lived on the island with modern humans for thousands of years. Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not, the islanders also have a local folk legend regarding a dwarf race of people that they called the Ebu Gogo.
Since the announcement, scientists have been in a fervent debate as to whether or not the "Hobbits," as they were called by the press, were a new species or were, in fact, a group of diseased human beings. Anthropologists are now scouring the island trying to find where Homo floresiensis made their last stand when faced with the continuous onslaught from humanity.
What follows is a fictional account of their rediscovery and the repercussions of introducing such innocents to our less than brave new world.
The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.
-Stephen Jay Gould (1941 - 2002)
"Why am I here?" Sarah cried aloud to herself while shaking her head against the spiraling winds. To her embarrassment, she observed the two native guides watching her, and she wondered if they had overheard her lamentable outburst. Damn it, she didn't want to create a scene, not now and definitely not during this furious storm.
Dark clouds continued to encircle the beleaguered boat, and Sarah could only look up and shout, "Just my freaking luck!"
The guides could see that their passenger was uncomfortable and doing all she could do to hang onto the side of the small boat. The storm chop worsened, and the spray washed over the open boat in a continuous, unrelenting shower over the boat's occupants. The small American brunette was dressed in her customary khaki long-sleeved shirt with shorts, all of which was soaked.
When the first spray drenched her shirt, Sarah was initially concerned about giving the native guides an unintentional show as the wet shirt clung tightly to her breasts. Now, her only concern was to survive this ordeal. Goose bumps covered her exposed, tanned legs due to exposure from the cold ocean spray, and she fought hard to avoid shivering. She could hear the boat struggling against the swells as dark, pungent diesel smoke poured from the ancient motor.
"Why did I agree to go on this stupid trip?" she yelled in the direction of the guides.
Supar looked back at Sarah, observing how sad and lonely she appeared. Sarah, in turn, caught Supar watching her, so she managed a small, brave smile for him that said she knew everything was going to be all right. Unfortunately, she did not believe that small lie for a moment as another large wave crashed against the boat.
The small vessel bounced from swell to swell, and Sarah refused to relinquish her grip on one of the old rusty cleats. The grey, violent storm was rapidly closing in around the small boat, causing Sarah to question her sanity for agreeing to go on this research trip in the first place. What sane primatologist would travel in a boat that wasn't large enough for safe passage in a second-rate theme park, let alone a vast ocean? For Sarah, all of the scientific research and good intentions meant little in the middle of this tempest. It was then that she realized the whole boat trip had become a metaphor for her sad, lonely life.