Chapter Two – Who Can I Trust?
The mind has a way of playing tricks upon a person and for a single moment I am at peace. I wake today to the sun beating down upon my face and feel its warmth reflecting off my thick black hair and bask in the serenity of the moment. Sadly I must accept the truth for I am alone and would give anything if I could once again embrace my family. Alas, that could never be; because King Mord and his Morshmen have destroyed all that was good in my life.
The air on top of the mountain is much colder than that by the shore. Unsure of what lie ahead, I realize that I must find someone whom I can trust, somebody to help me safeguard my secret. By now the Morshmen have figured out that the stone was removed from the village and without any doubt they would be on my scent. The Morshmen are horrid men that posses beast like qualities. They hunt like jackals and will stop at nothing when after prey. With little left to go on, I begin to venture further away from my home then I had ever imagined. How I miss my family and the home that I love. I will never again set my eyes upon either and I know now that my family is gone. All that I have left are my memories; and so today I begin an uncertain destiny.
As I look around at my surroundings, I search for a solution, a direction to follow. I know that I must keep moving; to stay here means certain death. In time the Morshmen will find me and take the stone that has been entrusted to me. I am uneasy and unnerved, so much of my life has changed and I fear that I am no longer alone. Unable to escape the feeling that I am being watched, I take a deep breath and clear my mind. Surprisingly, this feeling does not frighten me and in some odd way it enchants me. It draws me in; as if I am being called. As I cautiously search, I happen upon a regal looking animal perched
high upon a rock. It is quite large, weighing approximately 170 pounds. The animals’ smooth grey coat and crystal eyes captivate me. As I approach the majestic beast it snarls and then grunts with a strange smile like grimace. The large animal continues to mesmerize me. Then with fear of confrontation, I slowly turn and walk away. As I quietly leave; I begin to move quickly until I find myself running. I run until my breath hurts inside my chest. I run as far away from my home in Nicosta, the cave and all that I have ever known. I run until I stumble and fall; as I fall I hit my head on a rock. I watch as the blue sky above spins out of control. Then as if all the events that have led me to this place disappear, I find myself at home again with my family. I am laughing as my little sister Amelia dances and mother sings, while father claps his hands. My home is warm and secure, and I am happy.
Time has no meaning when all you know and love is lost. I want to stay in this place forever, but alas this can not be; then darkness fades and gives way to the light. As I open my eyes a large creature is standing above me. She is licking my face and the wound on the side of my head. As my mind clears, I focus upon the beast. I realize that this is the same majestic animal that sat perched upon the rock. This time my fear subsides. I realize the beast is a large dog. The largest of all the dogs and it is these animals that are used by armies to hunt Morshmen. I had often heard stories of these great hunters; they are Cane Corso Mastiffs, bread to protect Kings!
I sit up and gaze intently into the eyes of the animal. The huge dog simply licks my face and then nuzzles me with her head. She patiently sits by my side until my legs are strong enough to support me. At this moment, I know that this animal is here to protect and guide me. I stand up and begin to look around; I am not sure which direction
to pursue. But with a nudge from the dog, my new friend, I follow and together we will find the answers and a place to protect the stone.
This lordly creature needs a name. I walk for some time until her name manifest in my thoughts as if spoken to me; “My name is Lavinia” she replies. I am surprised to hear her name so clearly and it is at this moment that I realize she has the ability to communicate with me. I stop and stare at this great animal before speaking the words “Lavinia” with a convincing nod, I am sure that I found a companion. I am grateful to have another beside me, so much has changed so quickly. Together we walk and I dare utter a word when my stomach begins to growl; I hadn’t eaten for several days and hunger consumes me. Therefore I must ask, “Lavinia are you hungry?” Without wavering Lavinia breaks free of my grasp and with speed and grace she runs from my site. Sadness once again consumes me; I thought that I had lost the only friend with whom I could trust. Alone again, I continue moving forward; then in the distance I see Lavinia, prancing proudly toward me. In her mouth is a small deer, it is a feast to my eyes. With kindness and care my new friend has become my protector. Lavinia stops and waits for me to reach her, and together we walk until we come across a small clearing, completely surrounded by trees; here we set up camp. After we eat, we will rest and regain our strength. Tomorrow is a new day and we will embark upon this journey together.
The morning air is biting and I am not prepared for the cold mountain air. I use the deerskin as a cloak to keep warm. With renewed strength I begin to consider which direction we should pursue. There are so many unanswered questions. Am I capable of safeguarding my stone and how will I protect it from the evil King Mord and his army of Morshmen? For weeks we travel the mountain; making sure to stay ahead of the
Morshmen. Lavinia is fully aware that she could communicate with me and warns me about the dangers that exist upon the mountain. She tells me that we must leave the mountain, to stay would mean certain death to both of us. “The Golbotros Mountains belong to King Mord,” she cautions; “the answers you seek are not here. They can only be found beyond his grasp!” We continue on for several more days before our decent brings us to the plains. “It is from here that you will discover the truth,” states Lavinia. “It is from here that your journey truly begins…”
We escape the mountain and rest beside a great elm tree. The plains are a refreshing change and a welcome relief from the cold air that marks the ridge. Suddenly, Lavinia begins to pace and I feel her uneasiness. “What’s wrong?” I ask. Once again I hear her thoughts, even though her voice is silent. Her words whisper inside my head; and as she beckons I hear the urgency in her tone, “We must go now!” exclaims Lavinia. “The Morshmen are upon us.” We cover our campsite as best we could; then Lavinia demands that we run. I am captivated by this extraordinary creature and I know that it is in my best interest to listen to her. Speaking candidly she begins, “I have much to tell you, but first we must find a safe haven; a place where I can protect you. It is there that all shall be revealed; and then you will understand your destiny.”