As the sun rose, I rolled over, surprised that I still wasn’t used to sleeping on the ground. You would think that after all the times we have over these months sleeping out in the woods that I wouldn’t be so stiff and sore but yet here it was. I lay there looking our the cave entrance watching the blackness fade to a light grey, I wondered if I would ever figure all this stuff out. I thought about the visitor from last night, birds? Really? Then again, I if you asked me not that long ago about Bigfoot, Nephilim, beings like Philo and I would have thought you crazy. Still, two birds names Munnin and Huginn, Ragnarok, all of this really, was approaching the point of me not being able to keep track of all the things happening.
The more I watched the woods light level rise outside, the more I finally realized the only way to get past any of the challenges I faced now was to just think about myself. By that I mean, not worry what everyone thought about me or what I was supposed to be doing in this world. I would just focus on surviving and if some higher power of the universe had some master plan of what my life was to be about then it would happen rather I tried to change it or plan it or not. The more I thought on it the greater the sense of peace came over me. It was decided, I would simply just live, not think too much about things and just go with the flow, as the saying went.
I made my way to the top of the ridge above the cave and sat facing east watching the sun pop above the ridges I just sat, breathing, not thinking, just letting the smells, sights and sounds just happen. I felt like I had been part of these mountains for thousands of years, sitting in this same spot watching the mountains fade to nothings, trees come and go and letting time march by with a stillness as if I was stone. As the light from the sun was warming me with the feeling of sitting in front of a giant fire it was just then that my body sensed him, well them.
Jager and his group had come from the West and I assume Culsit had gone out during the night to meet them because just a few feet behind me, to my right and left, those two appeared to be trying to sneak up on me.
“Unless you two idiots want me to get up and slap the hair off of both of you, I suggest you give up trying to sneak up behind me!” I said with a grin forming on my face.
All I could hear was snickering on both sides of me.
“Well, John, I am glad you have perfected all that I taught you!” Jager said while standing up and sitting beside me.
“I taught him all this, you did nothing but babysit him while I was busy, that is all.” Culsit laughed out as he took a seat in front of me.
“You two ever think maybe I was born this good, and just never noticed it? Maybe it had nothing to do with you two tick magnets?”
“You know Culsit, I think we need to give John a real name.” Jager said while appearing to ignore the words I had spoken.
“I have thinking the same thing. Little brother needs a name. What do you have in mind?”
They both sat, looking me up and down all the while describing me or rather the things they thought funny about me. How short I was compared to them, how small my muscles seemed, how ugly I was. When they got to the looks I couldn’t help but laugh, I made a comment about that but they ignored me.
“I got it, how about hairless one?” Jager said with the all the seriousness he could muster while looking at Culsit and totally ignoring my protest.
“Hmmm, how about smooth one?” Culsit said just as serious as he looked straight at me.
“Hmmm?” Jager said as he rubbed on his chin.
“How about we just stick with little brother?” Culsit said as a huge grin broke out between the two of them. I couldn’t figure out if they could tell I didn’t like those names or if the whole back and forth had been a joke.
“Yeah, little brother, or sister, whatever works at the time.” Jager said as they both laughed.
I just grinned and shook my head noting that all up and down the ridge I could make out over ten Bigfoot. I doubt anyone else would have noticed them if they walked within feet of them but I could see them blending in almost like mere shadows.
“I don’t assume you came all this way to crack jokes at me Jager, what’s the rush and why bring so many?” I started pointing to each one I could see.
Jager looked even more impressed, maybe the jokes was all to try and distract me, maybe this as all a test to see if I could see the scouts watching all around us. None looking in towards us but all of them looking out and away. Who knows, because neither was saying a thing about that as I point to each one.
“No, we are scouting the area, it seems that our home for over two hundred years is about over. After the attacks, the animals are just disappearing, the rivers carry no fish and even the trees out to one another about the missing animals.”
“You mean your whole band is moving this way Jager?” I asked, worried.
“No, the problem is we have to disband into smaller groups. We haven’t come on any areas that support us all anymore. It is like the world is failing, almost as if the very clouds themselves just blow by with no purpose anymore. Look at the sky, it is the wrong color for late spring. It is warm yet the leaves on the trees look tired. The smell of the forest is off. It is almost as if everything in this world has decided to stop doing its job. I know I have heard the old ones talk of days like this that would come that signal the end of days and the time for us to pass into memory but I still have a hard time accepting any of it.” Jager let on with a sigh.
I had to agree as I looked around, it did seem off, different but in a way that is hard to put into words. I assumed it was just me and the changes that had happened so fast over the last week or so but the more I thought on it, the more I realized these changes had been creeping up on all of us slowly for longer than I had known about all this weirdness I had come to know had finally made enough of a difference that all of us could see and feel it.
“What did the old ones say about these changes?” I asked.
“Well, mainly that the snake men would change this world to their liking, perverting all that the creator has made, making this world into a wasteland where every the birds refused to fly in, where the stars would turn their back, the rivers would stop flowing and the moon would protest by changing its path in the sky.” Culsit said as he just stared into the forest.
“Well, as joyful as all of that sounds, I’m not sure I buy it. I don’t see how all the rivers would dry up much less the moon change its orbit. If the moon could do what it wanted, that alone would create earth quakes and tidal waves that would be almost unimaginable.” I said.
“Think what you want little brother but the old ones never seem to be wrong.” Jager replied.
I just sat there thinking on all that had been said in silence when a knock came from the north of us. Before I even realized what I was doing, I jumped up, grabbing a small branch smacking the oak next to me with all my strength to answer back. As I stood listening, I noticed both Jager and Culsit nodding with approval. No answer ever came so I knew it wasn’t the enemy approaching.
After a few minutes I decided it would be best to head that way and see what the scout had noticed. The single knock was just a way of saying something was different, out of place but nothing was being seen that present a direct threat. I just took off at a silent run to the North. I think it caught those two off guard but considering they could both run me into the ground without even trying, they just took up strides on either side of me.
It only took about twenty minutes at a good trot to reach the spot, I guess I had covered about two and a half miles but I noticed the scout right away sitting just below the lip of high bluff that ringed the entire tip of this mountain. As I approached, the scout who I didn’t recognize just sat there with his shoulders slumped looking at the ground with his arms stretched across his knees.
I came to a halt just feet in front of him and started to ask what he had noticed when he raised his head and stared straight at me with tears running from his eyes. I was shocked, I figured they could cry but I couldn’t recall ever seeing it, even in some of the battles we had seen, even looking at the devastation of some areas to the south of us.
“What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” I was thinking now, maybe the knock was supposed to be a call for help but he couldn’t get more than the one. Maybe he fell, got a snakebite, I was running thru all the possibilities when he just pointed over the bluff. I rose and cautiously made my way to the edge to see what the problem was. Staying on my stomach to not only hid but to prevent me from accidentally falling off I crept right up to the edge.
I just looked out over a wooded valley stretching away to the East, nothing looking out of the ordinary. I scanned as far as I could to the East and west and noticed nothing. I next focused on the mountain ridges across the valley to the South and again didn’t see anything. It wasn’t hot enough yet for a heat stroke but I wondered if maybe the scout had hit his head or something. I say no reason whatsoever for his alarm.
As I lay there looking even closer as Culsit and Jager slide up to my right and starting looking. I expected they would see what I did, nothing. I lay there scanning one more time, looking for movement, or a glint of sunlight off something but came up with nothing. Just as I was about ready to head back I heard Culsit gasp. I turned my head towards him and then to the area off the East where he was staring but I could see nothing.
“Oh no!” Jager gasped as I continued to strain looking for something, anything but again I only saw the valley stretch away.
“Ok, clue me in, I don’t see anything!” I exclaimed.
Culsit pointed but again I saw nothing strange.
“I don’t see anything guys, what is it?” I said this time with a bit of annoyance in my voice.
“Look at the air, see how it is thickening with moisture? See the wind moving up both ridges of the valley?” Jager said.
I stared harder, it did look like it was more humid but then again that was to be expected as the mountains dropped off to the coast. I could see the trees barely swaying, well I could see the tops of them move but again, as the sun heat the air down in the valley it was only natural that it would rise. I just didn’t see what the problem was.
“What do you think Culsit? How much time do you think?” Jager asked as they both held their hands up to the sun measuring to the horizon. I knew they both seemed to be measuring time but for what. I looked back to the East again.
“Maybe twenty minutes give or take.” Culsit replied as the both stood and left me laying there as they started scanning around in all directions. Before I realized it Jager took off back down the ridge and started knocking in a pattern unlike anything I had ever heard followed by a series of yells that made my hair stand up even thought I knew it was coming from him.
“Whats going on Culsit? I just don’t see the problem here.” I said as I stood and looked at Culsit as he stared off to the East.
“Little brother the ocean is coming and its coming fast! Our grandfather used to tell us over and over what to watch for when the oceans jump their places and come into our world. Every one of us are taught from a young age how to tell the times and the season by certain signs. Not some strange spooky way like you are thinking but by the way the earth, water, air, everything behaved. When something out of the ordinary is about to happen, if you know what to look for, nature tells you it’s coming. Take a winter snow, you can tell by the wetness of the air and the drop of temperature that it’s coming or the wind storms of spring, when they sky takes on a certain color and the air feels electrified in a way we know it’s coming.” Culsit finished saying as Jager returned glancing again toward the sun.
He pointed and started telling me what to watch for.
“Look at the air thicken with moisture John,” he pointed, “see how it looks like a storm building from the ground up instead of the sky down? And the trees, look close, they are all pulling down and in towards the valley, up and away like they would if it was the warm air rising from the heat of the sun.” Jager said as he continued to direct me.
The closer I looked and now that I knew what I was looking for, he was right. The trees on both sides of the valley that I could see all seemed to be pulling down and in towards the valley without a sway at all, almost like someone had tied a rope to each as was pulling. As I looked at what I thought was humidity I could see now that the base was dark way above where the tree tops would be. It did appear to look like a thunderstorm that was upside down as I followed the thickness of the air as it thinned as it got a few thousand feet above the mountains. The most strangest thing of all was that it seemed if it was moving, up the valley, pulling on the trees and the more I stared I could start to make out one feature after another disappear into the thickness.
“What are you guys saying? A tidal wave? Thats impossible, we are over three hundred miles at least from the coast not to mention we are almost two thousand feet above sea level here if I had to guess.” I exclaimed pointing to the strange view.
“Well, guess all you want but in about ten minutes it will be here and you will see. Go send another message Jager and tell them to hurry as fast as possible. Make sure they get Rory and Vanessa, tell them to get as high as possible on the West side when they do.” Culsit said as he stared intently to the East.
“Will do, I’ll meet you two down where the scout picked below the ridge, it’s the best choice we have right here.” Jager said as he trailed back down.
“If it’s water coming, shouldn’t we stay up as high as possible? Why drop lower on the West side of the ridge.” I asked.
“Well, little brother, the stories we are taught warn us the before the ocean comes, the wind comes, and it is called the tree ripper wind, now I’ve never seen it myself but from the description of the stories it is something I hoped I never would.” Culsit said as I watched the trees disappear into the thickness faster and faster. It was then that I noticed a sound, like a distant roar but building in loudness. I also noticed the ground start to feel like it was trembling in fear.
“Time to go little brother, we are out of time and if we stand here to watch it will be the last thing we see.” Culsit said as he turned and dropped down the ridge to sit where the scout was. I took one last look at the upside down storm coming and followed him.
I dropped down the last small drop and settled in among the three Bigfoot that sat there now. I just thought how strange it must look to someone, me sitting here hiding behind a ridge from something coming that I didn’t understand and frankly was didn’t seem to look as bad as they described but I trusted them and just as those thoughts popped in I realized it was a good thing that I did.
The roar started to build quickly now, so much so that the ground literally started to tremble to the point that you could look and see the dirt beneath the leaves jumping with vibrations. I sat there watching the leaves and dirt dance when the sun seemed to just disappear. Darkness did fade it, it jumped in as the sound of the roar became deafening. I looked up to see if the thick air had built enough to block the sky but to my horror I didn’t see a cloud but I did see a shattered Oak at least fifty feet tall stripped of its leave coming sailing in a straight line over the ridge. It was followed by the sound of thousands of trees flying over followed by dirt, rock, everything imaginable really. I don’t know if you have ever heard the sound of a belt sander removing wood but this sounded like that then thousand times over. That analogy sprang to mind just then because the sound was the same but what all this debris seemed to be doing was like a giant sander, it was literally scrubbing away everything around us. The only thing saving is, and barely was it doing that was sitting below this ridge all of this earth blew past us at speeds I could only guess at. It seemed like it lasted for hours but I know it was only a minute or so. This is when the sky cleared and the sound changed. This sound was more like a constant thunder clap, continuous and deafening. I looked at Culsit and he seemed to be pretending like his hand and arm was a snake but I didn’t know why. I just looked at him and almost wanted to laugh in the middle of this horror.
As the sound got louder Culsit reached over and picked me up and threw me on his back like it was nothing and all of raced up to the top of the bluff where we had just been standing. As he put me down I looked and watched a wall of brown water running just a mere fifty feet below us, trees and rocks rolling in it like a giant mixer. I think my brain was starting to overload. It was all I could do to not pass out from shear fright. As the water rushed by, the sound changed again to more over a hissing rumble.
“Ragnarok, the serpent has stirred the waters.” Jager exclaimed with a roar.
I thought back to the books I had read and vaguely remember the myth of a giant serpent awaking around the oceans of the earth and causing the water to come onto land. That made me recoil in horror thinking that this might be everywhere. My next thought was the serpent in the myth the enemy we dealt with now? It seemed to make sense to me.
I stared to the West and the water swirling around mountain ridges like boulders in rivers that I had flyfished in. I guess Culsit knew what my worry was.
“Don’t worry little brother, I am sure our people got up higher. Jager sent them plenty of warning. Even though we are stuck on our new little island here for a few days I guess when the noice eases we can knock and send messages around to see what is happening with them.” Culsit said as he slapped my shoulder.
I looked at the cuts and scraps I didn’t even realize I had gotten and hoped he was right. It seemed that every time I made a plan to get past all this something so strange that I couldn’t even dream it happened and I had to start think all over again. I just continued looking west and hoped for the best.
If you liked this chapter, you might want to head over to Amazon and buy yourself a copy of “The Enemy”. The exciting first book in this series so you can see how our friends got to this table looking to their futures.