#5 – A Rustle

The road was winding. It was therefore called the Winding Road. They moved a lot towards the left, then one had to almost turn around and walk towards the right. That made the journey more difficult than ever. And the storms. They kept coming. Gales and breezes, all of them. They whirled the sands into tornadoes and smashed them against the trees. And yet the people kept moving, their legs, forever creating a rustle amongst the fallen leaves.

Even so, these people were not the only one travelling on this road. At night when they slept, they were afraid to light fires, they were cold and they preferred staying so, for far away in the woods they could hear lots of sounds. They came as a mixture in the midnight, the shouts of men, the howls of wolves, the cries of eagles, and the cries of women. The smell of blood carried far and wide, its taste not unknown to these people, a slight salty one — and so they kept quiet for fear of fighting them.

They wouldn’t be afraid if it were men in swords, but beyond the city, in these woods, it were not only men and animals that existed. Everyone knew what else existed, yet no one ever spoke. When they were in the city, they could have joked on the tales over a spit of bull kept on a fire, whilst drinking hoarse wine from the bottles. Here, they could smell it. The gift of smell was a special one. It helped them know what was around them. And right now they knew, they were not unsafe. But no one could tell what would happen in the very next moment. The dead could arise, they had heard so, and had never again halted near any cemetery.

A rustle in the leaves. Only a few were left on the great oak tree. Autumn takes its revenge on nature as much as nature takes a toll on spring. The winds were cold, yet not as cold they would be in some time. All they had to do was wait for the first light, wait for the first bird chirping on dawn’s call, and make their move. Towards another life.

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