Here is a continuing story that is still evolving from where it has started. Earlier this morning I was watching the Sun come up as the next part of the story took shape… Happy reading.
The sharing of a tale (the chase)
Continuing from where we left off…
The Forester stands before Pencari, a black bear, with the gold crescent moon of his ancestors, broad across his chest. Pencari and Bulan, are the last of their tribe in this part of our world, Forester. Their ancestors came long ago from the regions of The Great Bear in our night sky.
The Forester turns to the direction of the voice of Bachue, and sees…
“Who are they? It’s like hundreds of eyes watching us.”
“They’re the Shadow Moss, millions of dark moss organisms that form colonies. They can change shape into anything imaginable, but tend to prefer a human like form for mobility. The woods here normally only have two or three colonies.”
“Why are they here, Father?”
“They too know what is about to befall our home here, Bulan, only they want it to happen. Quick, we must hurry. Bachue, do you remember where to find the entrance to The Passage of the Twisted Oaks? It’s the fastest way to The Spring of the Stepping Waters.”
“Yes, I do..”
“Take Bulan, and the Forester, but first everyone follow me, and listen to when I tell you to break away to find the passage, there must be no hesitation.”
“Wait up, please tell why I need to join along with your ragle-tagle band, I’m only just beginning to see again?”
Turning to the Forester, Pencari with a loud whisper, “Because if you don’t make haste to follow us, the Shadow Moss will consume all of you as plant food until there is nothing left, but the moisture where you once were.”
“In that case lead on, I’m all for continuing to live.”
“Climb upon our backs, Bachue, Forester, we need put some distance between us and the Moss.”
As Pencari, and Bulan drop down on all fours, the Forester climbs upon Pencari, and Bachue on Bulan. They take off fast as their paws strike the wood’s floor at thundering launch back into its deep shadows, brushing near misses with fallen and standing trees, across rock outcrops catapulting themselves faster and faster from the meeting place at The Tree. Before too long, Pencari nudges Bulan.
“Now!” as Pencari bounces the Forester from his back to sitting behind Bachue on Bulan.
Bulan veers off in a wide like u-turn, making for The Passage of the Twisted Oaks. The Shadow Moss in their hundreds, catch the ploy, with half continuing after Pencari, while the others race in the new direction towards Bulan and her companions. Many minutes pass as Pencari leads the Shadow Moss deeper into the dark lands beyond the wood into an unnamed forest. As the gap widens, Pencari in full flight wraps one of his fore paws around the reverse side of a large tree to lunge vertical, paw over paw until his claws carry him to the top of the forest canopy. He pauses for a few moments as he watches the Shadow Moss tear past terrorising the forest floor below.
But Pencari knows not everyone is safe, for he saw the other Shadow moss breakaway from the larger group to follow Bulan. Hastened by his paternal fears for both Bulan’s, and Bachue’s (he’s not sure about the Forester yet) safety, with his eyes closed, he begins to repeat speaking the same words over and over again in a lost language, one lost for the most part to time’s dust. The crescent moon on his chest begins to glow a deep sky blue, as he opens his eyes the urgency hits, as he launches with every fibre of muscle he can muster, thundering across the rooftop of the trees as if the leaves were a weathered stone floor.
Bulan, Bachue, and the Forester have almost made it to the shelter of the Twisted Oaks, for few know the way once inside, Bachue is one whom does. Briefly, the companions stumble, allowing the Shadow Moss to close the gap, just, just as they see the entrance into the Oaks’ labyrinth. Scrambling quickly all to their feet, the companions bolt towards what they hope will be safety, and escape to The Spring of the Stepping Waters, they make the entrance as Bachue takes the lead. Twisting, turning, left, right, up, down, and through, and she is but one of a small few entrusted with the coded combination to find passage to twelve destinations.
Behind them, so close, hundreds of the Shadow Moss in full flight slam into the dense oak defences, shattering into millions of moss particles on impact. Chaos ensues in the aftermath as a handful of colonies remaining in tact to make it through the entrance. Soon the Shadow Moss become lost in the maze of awkward paths within The Passage of the Twisted Oaks. Until they stumble on small ponds of water deep in the labyrinth. Each of the five colonies pass into the water transforming into long moss like snakes, for the colonies of Shadow Moss need water to be able to transform.
Now the maze of the Oaks offers no barrier, or protection to their pursuit of the companions, they begin to track, quickly closing the distance in between them and their prey. At a rapid pace the now moss vipers of Shadow Moss wind their way, when out of nowhere a voice from above shouts to the companions.
“Faster, there’s a handful still hot on your heels!”
The companions look up briefly to notice it’s Pencari sprinting across the tops of the Oaks, the Shadow Moss hear him too, as one of them breaks away from their collective launching vertically up through the Oaks. Miss judging the Shadow Moss viper comes up in front of Pencari instead of behind him, with two swipes from Pencari’s front claws, and then body slamming into what was left of the Shadow Moss, its particles vaporises like dust on a wind across the tops of the Oaks.
Soon the companions find the exit to The Spring of the Stepping Waters, as Pencari leaps from the top of the Oaks to rejoin them.
“Wow! Stepping waterfalls…”
“Quick, there is not time for water gazing Forester, make for the lagoon down that way!” shouts Pencari.
Right on their heel the Shadow Moss vipers break free of the Oaks, as all the companion stand at the edge of the lagoon, Pencari repeats a different set of words from the lost language. The crescent moon on his chest begins to emit a translucent green light towards the water as a large whirlpool begins to spiral down into the depths of the water.
“Everyone, jump in now!” says Pencari as he gives a big shove of the Forester into the spiraling water.
The remaining companions follow suit just as the Shadow Moss make the water’s edge to come to a complete standstill. For the water here is too rapid for the Moss, it would tear their colonies apart. But in that moment, they all passed through the slow edge of the water, one taking on a humanoid form again, while the other three collect upon three large rocks nearby. With no time to lose, the human like Shadow Moss picks up each of the three moss covered rocks one after the other, and casts them deep into the whirlpool just before the waters return to their natural flow.
Now all that stands at the waters edge, a lone figure the last Shadow Moss colony to make it through The Passage of the Twisted Oaks, it stands there as it lets out a loud continuous deep booming laugh, echoing into the distance.