Post by Verfallene Hund on May 10, 2016 17:23:05 GMT -5
Verfallene stalked the few remaining hours before the sun touched the horizon. His pack was strapped snug against his back, shifting slightly with each long rhythmic step. The only sound to be heard was the slight hiss of disturbed sand with each footfall. The sun warmed his left shoulder, casting his shadow to mammoth proportions on his right. He followed the slight imprint left by a rabbit in the sand.
He was in no hurry. The trail would lead him to a burrow, and he would sleep there tonight. If he didn’t make it in time, well he had his pack with him. He wouldn’t need water for days yet, and he could find something to burn and set up camp anywhere. This wasn’t an especially dangerous section of the desert.
So he trod onward, his gaze flicking between the tracks he followed, the horizon, and the progress of the sunset. Just as he was preparing to give up pursuit Ver crested a small rise to find a tiny dried up bit of streambed before him. A pair of acacia trees provided spidery shadows splayed across the scene, and an abundance of hummocks and bushes only added to the location’s potential for concealment.
If he was going to find threats, or if they were going to find him, this would be the place they were. Treading lightly, he circled the foliage, peering into the shadows with his eyes while at the same time probing the patch’s depths with the senses of his fingertips. After one full circumnavigation, he sat down still staring at the patch. He wasn’t going to get himself killed by simple lack of patience.
Still keeping watch with the fingers, Verfallene pulled his father’s bone flute up to his lips, slipping the cord it was attached to over his head. Any predator lying in wait for him already knew he was here, the sounds of his flute had never scared off game before, and there was no reason he should waste a perfectly good opportunity to practice.
Steady again, Ver stood, carefully looping the flute’s strap back over his head. There hadn’t been any movement from the copse, and the sun was setting. Soon it would be vanish from the horizon. Confidently, he stepped forward to follow the rabbit tracks. Most likely he would find the burrow here.
Places like this were Verfallene’s favorite. In the gentle shade he didn’t have to worry about heat exhaustion or energy conservation. The richness of patterns and textures of these groves provided the eye with a break from the monotony of endless sand.
He had enjoyed the morning out away from the camp with nobody to disturb him, no need to maintain any façade. It was an opportunity to just let his mind wander.
Finally just when he was coming to suspect that his first solo foray would be wasted, Verfallene had come upon the rabbit trail. He wouldn’t be able to bring much back to camp, but it would be nice to eat a meal not completely vegetarian tonight.
Entering the copse of greenery, Verfallene dropped onto his hand and knees to fit through the time-worn wildlife trail. His hair still caught on a branch. Verfallene had to clench his teeth together to resist the urge to mutter curses under his breath. There was no need to scare away his prey now.
He carefully untied the cord knotting back his and disentangled it from the branch. He moved forward again. There. There was the burrow. Still crouched, Verfallene let a rare smile creep across his face. This might be easier than expected.
Trying to make as little noise as possible, he removed his pack and withdrew a length of trapping cord. Slipping the knife from his side, he hacked off about a yard and tied off an appropriately sized noose. Preparations completed, he tied the other end of the cord to the base of a nearby bush and set up his simple trap at the burrow’s mouth. Now he just had to hope it didn’t have a second exit.
Pulling his pack back over his shoulder, Verfallene slipped back outside the grove to sit on the ground and wait.