The Journey Home
(Note: This story was written for a Second Life script reader story-teller that is designed to read separate lines at 10 second intervals. So, please excuse the fact that each sentence is on a unique line and no one line exceeds 256 characters in length.)
The elven trio set off from the Southern Oracle on their long trek home and soon they had left the Valley of the Wolves behind them.
“It’s late afternoon and we must hurry,” announced Maxwell anxiously, “We have a long journey ahead.”
As he spoke, a double clap of thunder rang out across the darkening skies and the first of a multitude of tiny raindrops began to fall.
“Did you hear a cry of help?” asked Kris with an air of alarm, pricking his ears up to catch the very faintest unspoken sounds.
The two other elves both shook their heads in disbelief and continued with their long journey home.
“I think we’re heading into a storm,” Skippy announced with apprehension and, as he spoke, tiny raindrops fell upon his face and trickled into his mouth.
“The rain tastes salty!” he exclaimed with an astonished cry to his brothers, “Something’s wrong!”
“I’m sure I heard an unspoken cry of help,” Kris repeated and he held out his hand to catch the falling raindrops.
Maxwell did the same and the two of them raised their hands simultaneously to their mouths to taste the fallen rain.
“You’re right!” they both exclaimed together, “This rain is salty. Something’s very wrong indeed!”
The three elves turned back towards the Valley of the Wolves and quickly followed their steps, from back where they had once came.
With a heightening sense of alarm, they traced their path into a shaded wooded area to discover four large sinister-looking men standing over two grey limp masses.
As they stepped closer, they made out that the two grey shapes were the dead corpses of two adult wolves; one male and one female.
The four men looked up together at the approaching elves and one of them gave a warning shout.
“Beware! Stand Back!” he called out, “There are dangerous wolves in these woods. This pair nearly killed us all!”
The three elves surveyed the wooded area to see the four men hovering suspiciously over two dead wolves, their guns propped up on a nearby tree.
“You cowardly thugs!” Kris yelled out in anger, ”You liars! Those wolves didn’t attack you!”
It was obvious to Kris, who could hear the unspoken word, that the men were deceitful and could not be trusted.
One of the men turned and reached for one of the guns that was propped vertically against the tree while a second rushed forward and grabbed Kris firmly by his shoulders.
In anger, remembering his elven oath, Maxwell screamed an ancient elven spell and waved his hands in the air.
As he did so, a vine sprung from the tree and wrapped itself around the four guns, securing them firmly against the tree.
Skippy followed suit and called another olden spell. A nettle sprung from the ground and whipped its serrated leaves across the face of Kris’s adversary.
With a painful shout the man released his grip on Kris and dropped him to the ground with a thud.
The remaining three men closed in, formed ranks and ran towards Maxwell and Skippy, clenching their fists threateningly and menacingly.
Kris stood up, raised his hands in the air with an air of authority and called upon the trees using an enchanted magical charm.
The ancient trees creaked and groaned and bent their branches down to the ground, shedding their leaves and exposing their bare harsh brushwood surfaces.
With a defiant slash, the trees whipped their branches firmly across the buttocks of the hunters, causing them to scream in pain.
The four men looked around with disbelief at the swaying branches of the trees and again, the branches slashed through the air, to flog them again and again.
With a scream of wild panic the four men turned on their heels and ran in disorganized retreat away from the scene leaving the three elves safe in the security of the woods.
Kris, Maxwell and Kris looked reassuringly at one another and then down to the ground at the dead bodies of the two wolves.
“We can’t leave such noble beasts here in the woods,” sighed Kris with great sadness, “It would be such a disrespectful way to treat such a magnificent animal.”
The other two elves nodded in unison and the three of them searched the woods together, searching for falling logs and branches with which to build a funeral pyre.
Within hours they had gathered sufficient timber and they built one large pyre on which to place the two dead bodies.
The afternoon was turning into night and the sun gracefully bowed its head below the distant horizon; the first shafts of darkness crept into the wooded glade.
Then, with great respect and reverence, the three elves dragged the first body (the male) onto the timber mound and carefully arranged his limbs spread-eagled across the wood.
As the three elves returned for the second corpse, the body of the female, Skippy gave an astonished yelp and pointed down at the dead grey mass of fur.
“I’m sure I saw something move!” he cried out in excitement and pointed down to the underside of the carcass.
There, hiding in the folds of the fur was a tiny wolf cub, barely a few days old.
Kris removed his cloak, bent over and carefully scooped the tiny creature lovingly into his arms.
He stroked its head with great affection and a tear welded up in the eyes of each of the trio – there was no way that they could leave this vulnerable creature alone in the woods to fend for itself.
Delicately and with great care, Kris wrapped the wolf cub in the soft warm folds of his cloak and then the three of them continued with the respectful cremation of its two parents.
Finally, the three elves sat at the edge of the pyre as Kris held the bundled wolf treasure securely and tenderly in his arms.
As the flames of the pyre sprang and danced into the darkened woodland air, tiny orange sparks flew up and danced in the swirling smoke.
The twirling eddies of smoke carried the glowing orange cinders into the night sky and they vanished within the thousands of twinkling stars.
As the rites determined them to do so, Skippy played a haunting dirge upon his flute, Maxwell sung the words of a sorrowful lament and Kris spoke the words of a deeply moving eulogy.
They had shown the proper respect to the passing of two great noble beasts and had performed the due rites with correct reverence and honour.
The Thousand twinkled in the blackened nighttime sky, looked down at the three elves with the sleeping wolf cub and bestowed a silent nighttime blessing on them all.
Tomorrow the three elves would finish their journey home but they also now had the responsibility to care and nurture the tiny wolf cub too.
Kris’s special gift has proven its worth twice that day and the three elves knew that the power to hear the unspoken word should never be underestimated.