Marc Backhaus

Man and Bear 2

Silently Man crept through the village in the middle of the night. He was on all fours and could therefore easily avoid the guards here and there, but they were few; most of them had recamped at the Edge of the Forest, which marked the divide between the village and the River, and the families that had stayed behind rested barred in their huts. Nevertheless, should a single soul even glimpse a spark of his presence, his death would be guaranteed. Not one of the village would stay at the Edge if they heard that Man had returned to them, his human torso bearing the Bear's limb and the Falcon's wing as arms and the limbs of the Tiger and the Dog as legs. At such an excruciating sight of a monster they would certainly suspend their attacks on the River and the Beavers, but they would just as certainly instantly slay him dead out of fear and disgust. He had to find his way to his hut unnoticed and get to the other side of the River before the Beavers' dam was broken. Only if he fought on the River's side and kept the village fighters at bay would the Four who had each sacrificed unto him a piece of their powers agree to peace. Only if he succeeded in overwhelming them into retreat would the Four, the River and the whole Forest relinquish their revenge. With beads of sweat running across every inch of his reformed body, Man crept on.

Across the hills sundered the grounding roar of crashing waves. Clouds slapped together in a horrifying circle dance as they covered the whole horizon in coal black. The Winds ripped trees on the hilltops out of the ground and flung them into the darkness. Then the water came. A colossal wave spilled its tip over the hilltops and flung itself down over the slopes like erupting lava. Children who were screaming about wildly and the families that were throwing themselves protectively after them were swiped away in an instant. The cracking of the huts being washed away mingled with the River's roaring into a moaning, breaking choir. The village fighters at the Edge writhed in horror and despair at their fate from the distance; they were not the River's direct target. They were to be punished with the deaths of the loved ones they had left behind in order to protect them. Man watched from within his cage amongst them and was on the verge of falling limp of sorrow when Hunter approached his cage and grabbed him by the shoulders.
"What have they told you?"
"You will kill me if I tell you."
"You could have prevented this!"
"If you would have let me."
A blow struck across Man's face and threw him against the bars.
"How could we!," cried Hunter bitterly.
Man tried to speak, but all that came out of his mouth was a gush of warm blood.



All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Marc Backhaus.
Published on on 10/20/2013.


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