Bravebelly had won again! He had proven his worth once again at the Great Feast of Antatauk. He had devoured no less than 2 extremely tasty krukituks, several bowlfuls of Gworp, and for dessert, a Smarktanoup of an incredibly-tasting delicate sweetness. For drink, he had already dispatched half a barrelful of Glooch, a heady mix, whose effects were being felt by all the menfolk at the great stone ring-shaped eating platform. The women were wise enough to retire early and let the revelry burn itself out like the central fire in the platform.
Many hours later the fire had died down to its glowing red embers. A rumbling dozing motley at the table, on the grass, on the table, half on the table, were bathed now in moons’ light. Bravebelly had found his favourite tree and found a pillow on the soft mosses covering one of its protruding roots. The feast of Antatauk had been a great success as it was every year. The next day would be spent recovering from the evening’s merriment, and for most of the folk a slow return to normal duties such as tending to the harvest, the livestock and the fishing. Bravebelly would soon venture North in the direction of the Sula range, through the pass into the beautiful valley of Cador. There it was his mission to barter with the Gurf for precious stones and metals in exchange for food and drink. He would not go alone. Five traveled in the caravan of seven heavily laden jorgs.
It was very late into the night, and the heaviness of the food and drink produced some frightening dream imagery. Bravebelly groaned and awoke at the same time. He had the idea to walk down to the beach and fill his lungs with the fresh sea breezes. He felt sure this would help him feel better, and then it would be back to sleep; although this time he would seek out the greater comfort of his hammock and pillow, and forego the spot underneath the tree.
With everything bathed in moons’ light it was easy to find the path to the beach but he still walked slowly and carefully to avoid tripping on any roots or rocks. The beach was soon underfoot and he trod closer to the surf on its smooth yielding sand. He paused, lapping foamy seawater soaking into his shoes but he was quite oblivious to it. The air here was cool and he gulped in great mouthfuls. His head seemed to clear a little. The breeze was delicious. He was feeling quite happy and gazed at the flat horizon and the serenity of the ocean. ‘What a beautiful night!’ he thought, and was sad to have to leave it so soon for his beckoning hammock.
He turned and as he was turning, out of the corner of his eye, there was a momentary flash of luminescence. ‘What?’ he turned to look at the waves once more. Was it a fish leaping out into the air, shining with its own light? It was not uncommon to see many of those at night-time.
The light did not reappear so he assumed it was one of the shiny fish and turned once more to walk up the beach to the path. Another flash of light! This time he eyed the sea keenly expecting to spot a few of the shiny fish breaking the surface in one of their leaps.
For some time he looked but nothing appeared. Not one shiny fish nor any other sea creature disturbed the gentle waves.
Feeling very tired all of a sudden he decisively headed to the path. He was puzzled but not very surprised. Soon he was on the path and heading for his hut. At the topmost part of the dune, he picked out his hut and began walking to it when brighter than the moons’ light he was lit from head to feet in a blinding white light. He shielded his eyes with one arm and tried to discern the source of the light. It was hard to see and very painful. Then it was gone. He did not realize it then but he had departed suddenly from consciousness.
The morrow found him near the pathway lying on his belly, the ample folds of which must have cushioned his fall to some degree for there were only scant scratches and bruising to his face. Everyone assumed it had been last night’s revelry which had produced this but Bravebelly knew otherwise, and was for the first time in his life filled with a most unpleasant feeling of trepidation.
He walked the beach later that day hoping perhaps to find a clue to the mysterious lights but there was nothing to be seen. None of the other villagers had seen any lights apart from the light of the moons that night. He did not make much of what he had experienced, and began issuing orders to his travel-fellows in preparation for their journey. He busied himself and did his best to forget the strange light that had so bedazzled him.
copyright © 2014 by RW
This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.