6.1: The Startled Beast

“Ugh!” grunted Wyatt, “My legs are like noodles! How much further Elijah?”

“Relax, would you? It’ll be just another half mile,” I responded.

Granted, Wyatt did run the first two miles, so he had a right to exhaustion after walking all day. “What time is it now?”

“Almost ID, meaning we get to the city, check into the Dianoche, and sleep.”

“Why Timorba of all places? I’m sure there had to be a closer city, right?”

To be honest, something drew me towards Timorba City. Maybe the bright lights and bustling metropolis was a beacon of hope to me. I studied the map for several hours when I returned from the hospital, and I knew there were closer towns. Timorba just felt the most appealing.

“I thought my parents might have been drawn to the city,” I replied, still unsure of my reasoning.

The trip obviously did not appeal to me. A single strip of road for twenty miles connected Old Tenebris to Timorba City. I passed by dozens of side streets that would have led me to other closer suburbs, even to farms along the way. I was compelled to go to Timorba first, for whatever reason.

I only saw the same conifers line this single road, The cars that sped by had the same simple colors: black, navy, silver. There was the occasional red car, which always got Wyatt’s attention. He always had a fondness for red.

We continued walking, admiring the green and black sandwich of the landscape. A quarter mile and Timorba’s skyline would be in our sites. I fantasized what the city might look like, since the tour guide didn’t show many pictures. I dug through the tour guide for any more descriptions of what it truly looked like:

An exuberant and lively city, where the lights of skyscrapers illuminate like the stars behind the twilight. It is filled with a number of attractions, and many places for travelers and tourists alike, including the most luxurious hotels in all of Creput.

Luxurious. They forgot to mention expensive.

Anyhow, it sure sounded beautiful. Curiosity struck me, filling me with excitement. We were almost there, almost the—

“Look out!” Wyatt put an arm in front of me while I was walking, forcing me to collide into it and recoil back a couple inches.

Had I not been so distracted, I would have noticed a brown beast hop the guardrail beside us and land directly in front of us. It had light brown fur with tiny blotches of white scattered throughout. Its eyelids split apart, far from each pupil. Was it startled?

“A doe?” Wyatt wondered. We never saw a doe before, only in books or at school. They never seemed to skulk Old Tenebris.

The doe stopped for a moment, studied us, and ran across the street, dodging the oncoming traffic. By how fast it was running (or galloping?), something must have startled it.

“Someone’s in a hurry,” said Wyatt.

“Yeah, it might be getting chased.”

“By what?”

“I don’t want to stay around and find out,” I answered.

Wyatt, although curious, nodded, and we started our pace up again. We walked slightly faster when we realized how close to the city we were.

“What do you think it was running from?” I asked.

“Not sure, maybe something big. A bear, possibly?” Wyatt stroked his stubble.

“Could be—”


The End

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