Out of the Mouth of Caves/Forever Never

san jose 128.NEF

Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion

by Cheryl Pennington

copyright 2015

As the Sorceress and Eagna pack for their journey, a small band of travelers from the land of Cliff Dwellers fast approaches the land of the Jinetes, ready to fulfill the Prophecy and propel their world into its forward motion…..

 Out of the Mouths of Caves
As the small clan of Cave Dwellers entered the lands of Jinetes, they sniffed the air, smelling the richness of it, their senses keen to the excitement of this adventure. Even Carraig, who had only moments before been bemoaning his lack of food, ceased his bellowing and instead, remarked in wondrous appreciation about all the new things never before seen in their homeland. The plants, flowers and animals were so different-and some very strange! Lush greenery hung on low branches that reached from treetops, limbs with blooms larger than their hands dangled from vines that swept over the path winding through the forest.  Joy and Othar stopped now and again to scoop up a plant or root they thought looked promising, nibbling a bit first, then stowing each  within their pouches or in the carts they dragged.  A wandering vine curled against Rith’s shoulder, begging to be noticed; and as he reached to brush it away, was impressed by its crimson flower and plucked it gently, presenting it to Joy. Delighted by such attention from her companion she felt giddy as she tucked it into her hair that was always neatly twisted and fastened to the back of her head. Joy was practical and felt that leaving her locks flying freely would serve no purpose in her world. She might well catch herself on fire while leaning over the open pit as she went about her chores. She thought to herself, not a little selfishly, how wonderful it was to be carefree, if only for this journey, where she need only care for herself and her companion. Joy well lived up to her name, and no souls were better suited in the whole of their village than she and Rith. She saw the bright spots in everything and Rith was glad, for he certainly felt she had found them in his rough nature! Even Carraig was kinder with her than with most others.  He just couldn’t be gruff in the face of such…light.  As they walked, there was casual conversation about the blood moon and gentle teasing about the mystical fruit, as well as speculation about who would be first to present new life to their village. None really noticed Carraig’s silence until he stopped walking.
“Sshhh!” he barked suddenly, thrusting his arms out for emphasis.
“Oh what now..” began Rith, agitated that yet again his friend was about to spoil their light mood.
“I said ‘Sshhh’..'”, he repeated, this time in a lower, more urgent tone as he pointed to a dark place deeper within the cover of the trees. “I heard something. Over there, in the shadows.”
“Well, we are surrounded by animals. You can see them at every turn,” Rith reasoned.
“This is no animal. It’s big. And not as patient as a stalking creature. Animals can follow you for most of a sun sky without you ever knowing they are there. This is no beast that hunts.” The rotund male was completely serious and stared into the forest, his hand next to his ear, as if willing the sound to come again.
After a few moments of complete silence Othar, Joy and Rith tired of the wait and were going to continue on the path when Rith came to life, spinning around and pointing in the same direction his friend seemed obsessed with.  “There!” Carraig followed the direction of Rith’s finger, only slightly askew of where he had been staring only moments before.  Rith was anxious, his voice shaking with excitement. “I saw it! There! And it was big.” Carraig saw nothing. “What was it?” he asked warily.
“I don’t know,” came his friend’s reply. “It is too dark in there to see clearly.”  Carraig jerked his head around in the opposite direction. “There! The sound again! But how could it be from over there now?. Nothing could move that fast. It would have had to move before us.” He looked up, but shook his head.  Nothing but blue sky. No, it did not move above them.  But he knew what he saw. It was there. He looked slowly back.  There were more, but how many?

Rustling leaves and branches came more loudly, but it then the sound began moving away from them quickly, and soon the air fell still and silent .

The Cave Dwellers began moving again; but with a look and a nod of understanding between them, Carraig and Rith kept their hands close to their knives and walked on, with Rith in the lead and Carraig falling behind the females.

“Something tells me we won’t be surprising this tribe with our arrival,” muttered Rith. Carraig nodded, for once completely forgetting his hunger. Neither was sure why or if they should be fearful; but they felt the instinct for survival even stronger since their awakening.

The Riders returned quickly to the village, eager to alert its inhabitants. Laoch and Eolas had just returned from the river when the scouts arrived, their horses agitated and breathing hard. They hurried to join the others closing in around the excited scouts. Not yet dismounting their animals, they were describing the travelers they saw approaching through the forest. The Riders waved their arms, words spilling from their mouths like the rushing river. Questions flew at them from the others too fast to process or answer. Laoch pushed through to the front of the crowd that parted for their new leader. He took the leads from the foremost Rider’s horse and stroked its frothy mouth. The Warrior looked at the Rider.

“Tell me, Acosador, what did they look like? Are they males or females, and do they carry weapons? How close are they now?”   He shot these questions at the Rider in rapid succession, too quickly for a response. From over their heads rose the  voice of Guia, commanding and insistent, pointing at the Rider as he entered the group. “How many?” Acosador held up a fist. Up popped the first finger, then the next, then another, and then another, while they waited for the final tally.
“Were they great or small?” came the voice of Eolas. The  Riders were confused, but seeing the Hunter was completely serious, they answered his question.  The Rider known as Fuego gestured, leaning down from his animal to convey a measure well below that of those standing near him. Mumbling broke out among the males. Eolas looked at Guia and they smiled, feeling a surge of excitement making its way up from their insides. “The Prophecy,” they declared in unison.

Eolas turned to a mildly confused Laoch, “These humans are from the land of the Caves. They bring long awaited gifts of knowledge and prosperity from their land to that of the Jinetes. This will mean progress and growth for Domhan.” He looked at Guia. “And increased safety.”

“Should we return to them in welcome and lead them into the village?” Acosador was already turning his horse around to return to the forest.

“No!,” shot Laoch. “Let them come in their own manner. They already seem to know the way and will feel less threatened if they approach us.”

If none other on their world understood male pride, the Warrior was very aware of its mighty force. He knew how he would feel, and wanted to be as fair to them as he would expect for himself. He walked away, but looked back briefly and asked, as an afterthought, “Were there no animals in their company? Nothing on four legs? No great cat?”

The riders looked confused but shook their heads. “No, only they are male and female together. They seem as companions, like we are now.” Eolas wondered about his friend’s question, curious about the direction his thoughts had taken him, realizing there was surely a fork on that shadowy path. For the moment Loach seemed satisfied with the answer that came and so, too, was Eolas.

Guia directed they all return to their work as the Riders ventured off for their hunt, and the happy clan from the land of Caves edged their way ever closer to the village of the Jinetes….

to be continued….
Thank you for reading, for those who have followed the story. I always appreciate feedback, thoughts, ideas. Speak to me!
Love and Light always,
Bulow and Tomoka State Park feb 2015 050.NEF

4 thoughts on “Out of the Mouth of Caves/Forever Never

    1. We will be drifting to different parts of Domhan so to keep it from being too confusing I am posting them separately. I will be putting up a newly edited piece tonight Peter. i ran out of time to post last night. This one is more meaty. 😉


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