Midwinter, and Bear had called a gathering of the mountain clans. A man had been seen hunting by the frozen river. This was only the third man to set foot on the mountain. The first had appeared when Lone Wolf was 5.
Both Bear and Wolf had seen the man that day. Rumours of their encounter and why they chose to remain silent, cast a shadow over the mountain clans for years. Lone Wolf was shunned by the elders and yet, this dislike was rooted in fear. Wolf had been there with Bear and had seen the truth. Everyone knew this, yet, until now, they had kept the details of their encounter secret.
Tonight, the truth would be revealed.
When Bear stood up to speak in front of the gathering, the moon was full and the mountains shadow bore down on his shoulders.
“The elders amongst you will remember the winter when the figure of death walked the mountains. It was the same season man arrived.”
All the creatures of the forest, even the trees and the wind quietened to hear Bear speak. “I was starving. I heard a crack of thunder split the sky. This sound was followed by the last bellowing cry from my friend, Stag. I ran down to the river, where the thunder sprang from. It was there, I first saw man. For some reason, he was cutting Stags head off!
Blind with rage, I charged. His scream sang out like the frantic caw of a crow. He fell back on the floor. I stood above him ready to end his life with one blow. But then…”
The entire gathering waited for Bear to continue. But it was Lone Wolf who took up the story.
“I was also there. We both witnessed the demon rising from the lake. It was death, for the souls of the forest were still attached to him. And yet, what terrified us most, was the image of death.” Wolf, who had been standing in the shadow of Bear stepped into the moonlight. He
spoke solemnly, like a foreteller of misfortune speaks when seeing no escape for the souls listening.
“We saw, that the image of death and the image of man are one and the same.” #inspirational_photograph by @buffalo_head_photography