Wednesday, November 29, 2006
New Beginning 166
The firelight flickered in the eyes of the tall, lean man as watched the faces of his two associates. They shivered in the evening chill and stared as the flames danced hypnotically, sending their shadows into frenzied convulsions among the twisted oaks.
Raymond, a lanky man with stringy blond hair and hollow cheeks, looked across the fire. “So, Silver, when do we go after the treasure? It’s getting late. Shouldn’t we be getting started?”
The tall one, Silver, met his gaze. He was looking for something in Raymond’s eyes. Something he’d seen earlier, in the daylight.
“Soon,” he said. Long black hair framed his face, and his deep-set eyes revealed nothing.
He scanned the perimeter of the small clearing but the darkness was impervious to the firelight and hung like a black curtain just beyond the first line of trees. The forest felt alive but completely still, as if resting or lying in wait, and the droning cicadas provided a phonic pulse. A pocket of sap in one of the logs popped suddenly and the two men flinched.
“I don’t see what’s the point of just sitting around...” Raymond stared at the flames, holding back his irritation. There it was again, just as Silver had seen it before. A thirst for adventure, a hunger; but also a hollow emptiness, a tragic void.
“All in good time. We have a long journey ahead, but I assure you, you’ll find tonight’s quest very rewarding.” Silver glanced at the other man, who smiled enigmatically. “But first . . . we must understand what brought us here--”
“Whoa...” Raymond held up a hand. Something else flickered across his eyes: a sudden realization. “There . . . ain’t any real treasure is there? It’s, like, metaphorical? We’re just gonna sit round this fire all night talking?!” Raymond flung his arms out in despair. “Crap. I shoulda known. This is literary, isn’t it?”
Opening: Grasshopper.....Continuation: ril