Entering the darkness of the mine seemed to have a calming effect on me. After only a few feet I stopped and kneeled down to catch my breath and try to calm my mind. The air smelled stale but there was another aroma that floated in on it. It took me a few minutes to place where I had smelled something akin to that pungent odor before. It finally struck me like a blow to the head, it smelled just like the reptile exhibit in a zoo. This strange pungent smell, it was the enemy, I realized for the first time that I had always faced them in the open, never enclosed like this and to be honest, it was a little unnerving.
As daylight broke I watched Culsit drink water that cascaded over a moss covered waterfall like a dog. I just look at him and had to laugh. I knew he was intelligent but he just looked like a two year old with a new toy. I know he had things in his life that I didn’t know about, family life, you name it but you couldn’t tell by looking at him. I just sat on the rock looking down at him and smiling from ear to ear. As I turned too the pool that Vali was kneeling next to, I just watched as she wet her long blonde hair and rung it dry. I stared as the rising sun glinted off of the drops of water as she squeezed her hair dry and thought how I could sit here for a thousand years and just watch her like this. I content I could be to just sit here and watch her like this for an eternity. As she turned to glance at me, I guess she must have seen the look I had in my eyes because she just smiled and blushed but she didn’t look away. It was a perfect moment, if you ask me, but as usual, the big fur bag ruined it.
The going was tough, if you’ve never been in the woods in the South during the hot of the year then you will never truly get how miserable this can be. It’s almost like walking non-stop in a shower, heat, dampness, it all blends into one long wet march. You’d think you’d welcome rain but you don’t because you just know that one, that brings out the bugs and two, it just means it’s going to be even more humid afterwards. As we made our way into the forest, no breeze stirred and that just made things almost beyond bearable. You do get used to it but I don’t think you ever learn to like it really.
I walked over to where Culsit still lay on the ground and looked down on him with a big grin, offering him my hand.
“Get up you big fur bag, we have work to do.” I said as he looked at my hand and took it. The funny part was, I couldn’t have pulled him up if my life depended on it. It was symbolic more than anything I suppose.
I slept in fits all night as the waters continue to roar past the mountain top I sat on which had turned into an island in the middle of a churning river of rocks, mud and trees. I finally gave up on sleep and started searching around in the dark for wood that was dry that I could use to start a fire. I wasn’t cold, I think it was just to have something to occupy my thoughts and keep my hands busy. It didn’t take long to have a nice pile ready for when I got a flame going. I crept along trying to be quite but realized after a few minutes that there was no point to that, the sound of the water was a constant rumble so who cares, I wasn’t waking Jager, Culsit or the Scout with the noise.
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.
We continued up the valley looking as we went for any sign of others or the enemy but the only things I noticed was game signs. Culsit and I took the lead and weaved out way across and up as we went. Occasionally we would send a wood knocks back and forth just to keep up with each other. I was starting to learn why Culsit and his people did things the way they did. I mean to stay basically hidden for so long and still survive and thrive was truly astounding. It still made me scratch my head just thinking of how many wondered not only the wilderness but also right on the edge of large urban areas. It was amazing really the more thought I put into it as I moved towards the head of the valley aiming to intersect a low set of bluffs on my right.
Glancing around the room reminded me of a scene from a movie. Imagine if you took a classic Viking movie and gave it a modern twist, that’s what I was sitting here staring around at. I had food enough to feed ten of me, enough beer that I don’t think even Culsit could drink it all and as usual the laughter and rough behavior was a bit more than just shocking to me. I’ll admit, since if you’re reading this story now it doesn’t matter anyway, that I was still devastated from the thought that Rory had turned on us. I just couldn’t believe that, there had to be more to the story than mere betrayal. As my mind moved over all these things like one giant train of thought roaring through my head, I sat staring across the room at Culsit, it seemed he had found a bucket and was using it as a beer mug, all I could do was laugh.
Hello all and thanks for reading. The Ebook of “The Enemy” is available on Amazon with the Paperback coming next week. Get the last chapters and find out what trouble John and Culsit get into. Thanks for Reading, Jeff