Julie and the Monkey Witch

Chapter 1

It was nighttime. Pitch black, although the moon provided some light over the rainforest canopy, with stars dotting the sky all around it. It would be quiet if not for nocturnal animals providing the sound, like the squeaks of bats looking for food or wild cats doing the same thing. The tropical rainforest is a hive of animal and human activity, whether at day or night.

There was, of course, some light. A young woman, hailing from the native Teo tribe, walked through the foliage, holding a torch in her hand. The woman, named Hani, knew the area surrounding the tribe’s village and usually went out at night to gather materials to decorate her hut. She was prepared, armed with a slingshot and a knife. With all these dangerous predators in the area, it was best to be.

There was a plant that caught her eye. It was a palm that she hadn’t collected yet. She gently pulled it out of the ground with her knife, inspecting the roots and putting it in the bag she collected it in. Grabbing the torch, she turned back towards the village.

A sound caught her ear. It sounded like a snapping branch. She spun around but saw nothing. The jungle can play tricks on the ears of an unsuspecting person. It was best to keep moving, as the village was only steps away. Now that she was thinking about it, perhaps going out at night to forage for hut decorations was a bad idea. “I’m never going out at night again,” she said.

She heard the snap again. Her heart was racing, and her breath quickened. She looked around — still nothing. “I have to be going,” she said as she quickened her own pace.

Her skin was slick with sweat, not just from the physical exertion, but her fear. Even though she took the same path back to the village as she came, it felt as if the village was getting further and further away. She couldn’t panic; she had to make it!

The rustling of leaves caught her by surprise. She fell face-first onto the ground, while still holding the torch safely above her head. She got up. She looked around. She could see the large wall surrounding the village now. She was so close!

Then, she heard a scream. Her scream mixed with the other cry, until she saw what it was. “It’s just a monkey,” she sighed in relief.

One of the monkeys native to the island had perched itself on top of one of the tree branches. “Go away! Shoo!” she said, waving her hand at the simian. “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

It was typical of her luck that the monkey would not even bother to notice her. Monkeys couldn’t understand human speech, anyway.

But the monkey instead turned towards her, and to her horror, smiled evilly at her, making her blood chill. As the pimples stood up on her skin, more chattering was heard.

A larger shape emerged from the brush. Were her own eyes deceiving her? Did it just change shape? What was once a simian form now looked humanoid.

Hani raised her torch at the person, who was now raising their finger and pointing at her. “Impossible,” she said, her face losing all of its colors. “Why are you—”

“Kill her.”

The monkeys all chattered loudly and jumped on top of her, drowning out her screams. The torch fell to the ground and was snuffed out.


“Damn mosquitoes,” Gina Robinson said, slapping her arm to kill said mosquito. Gina, a 35-year-old researcher from the University of Auckland, the largest in New Zealand, looked around the surrounding foliage of the island code-named Greystoke, after, guess who.

“Maybe you should have put some bug spray on,” said her friend and colleague, John Tamou—a Maori Australian citizen and University of Victoria researcher.

“I didn’t have time because you were rushing us, Lef-tennant,” she said mockingly.

“Wow, harsh,” he said, causing one of their colleagues to snicker. “If this was the Army, and I was your commanding officer, I would have had you disciplined, if just for the way you mocked my rank.”

“Luckily, this is not the Australian Army, nor your good ol’ days,” said Gina.

The forty-year-old former Australian Army Lieutenant rolled his eyes and led the way.

They were part of an international, pan-Pacific research team made up of scientists and researchers from universities in Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Taiwan, and the United States. It had been a year and four months since they arrived.

The island itself was undiscovered until recently. Despite being as big as the islands of Hawaii combined, and a couple of hundred miles south of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Equatorial Pacific, it was impossible to locate unless you knew where it was. This research team found the island and a wealth of undiscovered flora and fauna species, as well as the previously-uncontacted Teo Tribe.

Much of the rainforest was still thick with branches, which was good. If there was anything they could find on this island, aside from just the pure pleasure of discovery, it could help stop deforestation, at least that was Gina’s pitch to her bosses.

Unbeknownst to them, something—or someone was watching them from the trees. The figure leaned down, squatting and holding onto a branch, then moved like an animal out of the way.

Gina was still focused on the path ahead when she heard the rustling. “Gina, not again,” said John.

“Sorry, mate,” she said. “You know, I can never get used to this.”

“I have,” John replied.

The figure above them moved closer, peering through leaves and foliage at them, like a predator and a feral glint in their eyes. They watched as Gina cleaned off her fogged-up glasses and brushed back her dark hair. Her colleagues sat down to take a break, having a gulp of water all the while.

“So, how much longer?” Gina asked.

“Not much longer,” John said. “Should be back in about an hour.”

“Oh, I hate these treks!” their colleague moaned.

“Oh, quit your whinin’,” said John. “At least you’re not—did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Some rustlin’,” said John.

“John, that’s just the breeze,” said Gina.

“That’s no breeze,” said John.

“And now you sound like a bad horror movie trailer,” said Gina.

“Did I really sound like that?”

“Yep,” Gina replied.

“Huh,” he said. “I didn’t know that.”

Neither of them noticed the figure crawling up behind Gina on all fours like a beast. The figure got closer and closer, staying quiet and inconspicuous until they were right behind Gina and yelled, grabbing her by the shoulder and making her scream like she was attacked. John, the colleague and Gina all turned around to see—

“Haha, gotcha!”

Gina let out an exasperated sigh mixed relief. “Julie! Don’t scare me like that! I almost had a heart attack!”

“But it was fun!” Julie Vidic, one of the original team members said with a shrug.

“Listen, ‘Jane,'” Gina said, invoking Tarzan’s wife, “I don’t mind your tryin’ to be a jungle girl, but you can’t just scare me like that!”

“I know, I know!” the 23-year-old Palo Alto, CA native bemoaned, squatting down while putting her hands behind her head.

“Why is she wearing an animal skin bikini and nothing else?” Their colleague asked.

“Why?” Julie asked indignantly. “Why the fuck not? I mean, I am a jungle girl, I might as well wear the fucking uniform!”

“And that’s why you crept up on us,” said Gina. “Perfect.”

Julie crossed her arms over her slender, but fit body with a groan. The bare parts of her fair skin were slightly tanned and freckled from being in the sun a lot. Although one would expect her to be hairy, she wasn’t, except for the brown, chin-length bob cut on her head. Other than that, she was naturally hairless, except on her arms (like Tarzan!). She dug her bare feet into the dirt and kicked some away while Gina and John looked at their GPS device.

“By the way, isn’t he the idiot who said my boobs weren’t big enough for a jungle girl?” she asked. “What’s wrong with having an average-sized rack, jerk?”

“No,” said Gina. “And even if he was, I wouldn’t let you do anything to him.”

“Ah well,” Julie said, rolling her brown eyes, framed by a slender face. As mentioned earlier, she wore little, except what you might call a “standard-issue” jungle girl, animal skin, bikini, and loincloth, although due to some recent incidents, she started wearing a loincloth that wouldn’t flap around in the wind too much, but was still comfortable and kept her well, a jungle girl. “What are you guys looking for, anyways?”

“Nothing in particular,” said Gina. “Just a trek today.”

“Oh, okay,” said Julie.

“Why, are you bored?”

“In here? What are you talking about, this place is—yeah, I’m kinda bored.”

“Not surprising,” said Gina. “We haven’t found anything new, either.”

“Am I supposed to be surprised?” she asked.

“If you want to be,” said John. “Come on, ‘Jane,’ why don’t you come with us if you’re bored?”

“Fine,” Julie said, jumping down from the branch she was on and standing upright. Yes, she is capable of that. “What?” she asked the dumb colleague who was still looking at her.

“By the way, where’s Kainak?” John asked.

“He and some Teo warriors were looking for the Paea village,” she said. “They’ve probably found it by now.”


The Teo Tribe are not a “generic Polynesian” tribe, although they do belong to that same ethnic family as the Maori, Samoans, Native Hawaiians, etc. They were a bit of a hybrid between the Hawaiians, Samoans, and Tahitians, at least culturally and aesthetically, but then again, most cultures are hybrids, and the culture of the Teo and the rest of the indigenous population of Pomaika’I, is still their culture. They’re mainly patriarchal, although it wouldn’t be surprising if they had a female chief (in fact, they have had one or two in the past) and are ambilineal, which means that a person belongs to both matrilineal and patrilineal descent groups.

Sorry, anthropological terms.

Several Teo warriors, who were on a scouting mission, strode through the brush. They carried spears, knives, and clubs tipped with sharks’ teeth, known as leiomano. War paint covered their faces, which drew in the powers of the Spirits and Gods. This is not some foreign, primitive curiosity, this is someone’s culture, and it is to be respected.

Among these warriors was a paleman, a haole; his name is Kainak, and he’s the other half of the reason Julie became a jungle girl (the other half being her genuine love of the rainforest).

Kainak is actually Canadian, from Winnipeg, named Kyle Nailor. His “jungle dude” name is a corruption of his actual name, although it was understandable. When he washed up on the shore of the island, he could only say “Ky… Nal…” before passing out. However, the name ‘Kainak’ means “Ocean that billows” in the native Pomaika’ian language.

The young man, about 23 years old and a jungle dude for about 7 of those, followed behind the leader of this scouting mission, named Hilo. Despite being a Tarzan clone, his physique was more like a male gymnast’s than a bodybuilder (which makes more sense, since he’s swinging around all over the place and not lifting weights). His skin was slightly tanned and freckled, although he did have a little bit of First Nations heritage in him. His hair was dark brown, shoulder-length, quite ragged, unkempt and a little disheveled, although you’d kind of expect that, living in the wild. And like Julie, he didn’t wear much, just a loincloth that would make Tarzan himself proud. And to top it all off, a Teo-designed tattoo adorned his right arm.

“How much farther?” he asked.

“Unaki said the Paea village was not too far,” said Hilo. “What’s the matter? Are you getting impatient?” The other warriors laugh derisively at Kainak, who rolled his brown eyes.

“Very funny,” he said.

“Of course it’s funny,” one of the warriors said as he passed by. Kainak could only shake his head and roll his eyes, muttering something about how they liked to tease him.

Before long, they could see the remnants of what looked like a wall surrounding a village. Emerging from the tree line, they saw that the logs that had been used to erect the fence, some of which were cut in half, others had fallen over.

They fanned out, inspecting the outer perimeter. Hilo poked at the fallen gate with his spear, and Kainak examined some of the posts. “Looks like monkey claw markings,” he said.

“Unaki’s story seems to have been right,” said Hilo. Gingerly, he stepped on to the fallen section of the wall and walked into the village, Kainak and the rest of the party soon following.

There were signs of fire all around, from scorched huts to spent torches. A few burned animal carcasses were strewn about, although they might have been all preparing for dinner. But the place smelled of several stenches; burned bodies, wood, leaves, and other things. Human remains, all in various stages of decay, littered the ground, as were several monkey warriors used by Oranta, the Paea witch who killed them all.

“Unaki was definitely telling the truth about this,” said Kainak. “It’s a crime scene.”

“I doubt there is enough here for these poor people to take to the afterlife,” said Hilo.

“I wish we’d gotten here last month,” said Kainak. “It’s not like they would’ve told us anything about Oranta, of course.”

“It’s sad this happened to a sister tribe,” Hilo said mournfully while looking at the decomposed corpse of a Paea child.

Oranta, the monkey witch, was a member of the Paea, who went power-mad over several years, and thanks to the help of her niece Unaki—whom she abused horribly—slaughtered the Paea. “Those two did a number on this place,” said Kainak. “I think that might be Oranta’s hut.” He pointed to the one hut in the village that was wholly and utterly destroyed.

“A fine way to destroy the evidence,” said Hilo.

“As if she needed to,” Kainak said while tapping on the remains of the hut with his bare right foot.

Oranta tried to get Unaki to transform into a monkey so that she could live like a slave. In Oranta’s twisted mind, this would help her learn how to enslave, by being one. No one said Oranta’s mental facilities were all in order. And she’d taught some of her magic to Unaki, which the younger sorceress showed off to Julie’s surprise.

“We should go back,” said Hilo. “We’re not going to find anything here.”

“Except confirmation,” said Kainak.

“And that’s it,” said Hilo. “Meha! Kainak! P’li! Everyone else, let’s go!”

The warriors departed the remains of the village, ready to report their findings to Chief Manti.


“So, you’re getting another group of researchers coming in?” Julie asked.

“Some of the researchers only signed up for a limited time,” said Gina. “I remember you were one of those.”

“Funny how things work out, huh?” Julie asked, her hands behind her back and leaning forward playfully.

“Yep,” Gina replied. “What’d the tribe do with that Oranta woman’s body, anyway?”

“Burned it,” Julie replied. “And not in an honorable way.”

Gina scoffed. Usually, the Teo would treat the corpse of someone—anyone—with respect. A person like Oranta, who killed several Teo tribespeople, wanted to take over the island like a comic book villain and did a whole lot of other things that weren’t very nice, did not deserve the respect of the Teo. That’s not to say the Teo wouldn’t cremate a body (they sometimes did), but in this case, it was different.

“So what’d they do with her ashes?” John asked.

“You don’t wanna know,” said Julie.

“Why?” the other colleague inquired.

“Because you’d probably want to barf,” said Julie.

“And there’s a lot of things on this island that make me want to barf,” said Gina. “Like THAT!” She pointed at a spot of fresh blood on the ground and turned to Julie. “I really hope that’s not—”

“Why would I do that!?” Julie asked. “Besides, mine was a week ago—”

“I don’t think that’s why,” John said, looking up. All four of them looked up and gasped at what they saw.

The brutally mauled body of a Teo Tribe villager hung upside down, leaking fresh blood.


The sequel to “Julie and the Monkey Queen!” Concerning the story of jungle girl Julie Vidic and her mate Kainak, this is a pure, Edgar Rice Burroughs-esque adventure story with a little bit of murder mystery involved. I want this to be better than the last one, since it was riddled with a couple plot holes and bad pacing. Hopefully I did the trick!

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.