“Looking at the height of the moon, we’re probably in the fourth quarter of the night.” Broth whispers as I edge close to the mouth of the cave, careful not to disturb the pebbles and cause any of them to fall off.
I look up to the sky. It seems like the night will never end. Tonight is actually a beautiful night. There’s not a cloud in the sky. It’s as black as can be, and all the stars are glistening so bright as if they are dancing. I look at my favorite star, my guiding star. The brightest one of all, will you guide us tonight still?
I lean forward a bit, keeping my body in the shadow away from the moonlight to look down at the foothill and into the woods. The night breeze brushes across my face, waking me from my sleep deprived body. The rustling of the leaves fills the air, distracting my hearing. I look to the left and right and all I see is the waving of the leaves of treetops where the moon lit.
Broth points out to the left and whispers, “Over there, where the woods divides. Do you see it? It’s been probing near where the path meets the river. That road leads to the City of Refuge.”
I scrutinize at the road that cuts through the woods. It comes out from the woods like a snake, winding along side the rocky whitewater river that disappears in the roaring waterfall to the other side of the cliff and to my destination.
Then I spot it. Hiding behind the huge slap of stone that arched out from the path. The moon rises higher, stretching the stone’s shadow away, as its yellow eyes beam out from the dark of the woods. Can it see us? I check myself to make sure I’m still in the dark. Why is it revealing itself? Does it have that much boldness that it fears not being seen? I can’t help but feel the turn in my stomach.
Broth firmly grabs my shaking arm, his other hand on his sword. “Take courage. I will deliver you there safely.”
I stare at his silhouette, searching for his eyes.
“We must make our way down now and get pass the waterfall before the sun rises.”
Broth grabs the vines and hands them to me. He climbs out and I follow him, inching our way down the cave. I turn my head to see if its still there, but I see nothing but treetops moving.
We land far off from the road, and follow it from a distance, away from the water where we think the beast is. Keeping my steps close to Broth, following his footfalls quickly, hoping the sound of the woods will hide the crumbling of leaves and twigs under our feet or the beating of my heart.
The moon shines through as the tree branches rushes above my head. The stars are beginning to dim, and I can’t see anything but the leaves and the moon. My breath steams out from me to Broth’s back. The water rushing louder in my ears, so we must be getting near the waterfall. We’ll pass the woods soon.
Then a big wind howls above and leaves shower down on us. I slam right into Broth’s back and fall down, tripping over a branch.
“Back!” screamed Broth, drawing out his father’s sword in front of him.
I look up and see Broth rises above ground and then his body fling away crashing into the tree trunk. It rises above me covering the moon from my sight, its huge yellow eyes staring directly at me, petrifying me. Then it shows its fangs through its clucking growl and its rotting breath consuming at my throat.
Preparing for my last moment, I look up above the yellow eyes into the sky and see my morning star. It’s still there, watching down at me, ready to receive me. With a beam of light the morning star shoots down, plunging through the neck of the beast. It stands up roaring a huge cry crashing over me.
I dodge away and see Broth’s face coming out from the glare of the blade. His eyes shining bright reflecting the light from the sword. I look up to the sky again, stars are retreating as the sun rises above the horizon, but the morning star is still there, shining forth, guiding still.
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