An Excerpt

In my travels, I have encountered peoples of varying cultures and beliefs… to discover that humans, to varying degrees, are not much different to one another. 

In the very early hours of the morning, as the mist cleared and diluted light filtered through grey clouds, they heard voices. Two men walked sluggishly in the direction of the cave. The young woman,invisible to the intruders, observed intently from the shelter of the rocky enclosure. Hastily, they covered the remains of the fire, as that would reveal the presence of Jasmin.

Surprisingly, the men were clothes in garments that were not usual in winter or barren, rocky and snow covered lands. Instead of heavy animal fur that should have covered their bodies, they wore clothing tailored for a religious sect. On their feet, they wore heavy leather boots that were more suitable for seafaring purposes rather than icy terrain. Long disheveled hair and heavy beards dominated their heads and faces making unrecognizable. Their hands were rough and bare. In appearances, they seemed different to the characters the young women had encountered and Lindisfarne though aspects of their personalities were familiar. Jasmin and her companions had to ascertain that the identities were their targets and not some innocents who resembled the murderers at the monastery.

The others were not visible to human eyes; Jasmin did not enjoy the luxury of invisibility! She was dressed in black clothing and the cave was yet dark. Daylight had not entered the enclosure. She hid inside. Out of caution, her companions physically lifted her with ease and pinned her to the ceiling where she remained out of sight.

The men entered the enclosure. They carried the carcasses of small animals on their backs and shoulders and stayed briefly to arrange their killings. The two mostly made grunting sounds as they knelt down and arranged their hunt. They conversed in few words and gestures, mostly in connection with the activity.

They had hunting and other weapons strapped to their sides.

Having arranged and tied the carcasses for easier handling, they walked out of the enclosure. Both men appeared in reasonably good spirits. They conducted their homeward journey lazily towards the dwelling.

Her friends lowered Jasmin to the floor of the cave. Together, they observed the men as they departed. They all looked at Futura and she nodded at them. The men were in disguise by changing their clothing and physical appearance. Not dressed as warriors they appeared as forest dwellers who had recently occupied their surroundings. Their intense search had not been futile. he two men were the targets they had so keenly hunted.

An impending fate loomed ahead, one that the men could not have imagined in their wildest dreams. Futura conjured up disturbing images. She considered it prudent not to discss them in the presence of Hamus’ sister. However, she shuddered as images and visions floated past her inner sight. Emotions overwhelmed her and Ynghildr held Futura up by her shoulders.

“If they are who we think they are, then, we have arrived in time,” hissed Jasmin viciously.

Futura nodded acknowledgment.

“They will perish, though not as simply as they might wish for,” determined Jasmin. “However, we must be absolutely certain.”

“I will follow them to gain more information,” announced Ulva decisively. “They will not see my animal self nor suspect my human nature if they did,” she assured the others.

As the others observed in some anticipation, Ulva metamorphosed into her namesake and transformed into a stealthy wolf. The others nodded in acknowledgement. They were invigorated with powers that were not within the range of human capabilities.

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