Little Tree and Little River (part 2)
“My name is Little River,” she said.
“My name is Little Tree. Why did you save me?”
She stood up and helped Little Tree to his feet. She led him away from the little room and down an earthy passage to a large cave like room. Lain down neatly in rows were skeletons of bodies not much different in size than his own. All of them showed cracks and missing parts, skulls dented and femurs broken. Above each was a small candle and upon each skull (when there was still a skull) was a wreath of dried flowers.
“I'm not the first Little Tree am I?”
She shook her head.
Little Tree was exhausted and collapsed against the wall. A dream lifted up around him.
Little River sang light into her hands and lifted the boy up gently. Putting him into the bed she had prepared so long ago she watched his eyes flicker in the light of the glow bugs. She felt a calm.
That was immediately replaced by a panic. She started running from room to room of her underground home not quite knowing what to do. The glow bugs chased after her and were having a hard time keeping up with her. They had never seen her like this.
“you run and you run. why?”
“I … I … uh… I don't know!” she stammered. “There is a boy here! I just don't …. What do boys eat? He better not eat glow bugs!”
“do you think he might really eat glow bugs?” the bugs said nervously in unison.
“I just don't …. I just don't… I don't know anything!!”
Little River and the glow bugs lost a little of their glow and cautiously went back to the room where Little Tree lay. They carefully watched him looking for some kind of sign on his sleep murmurs which could be reveal if he was a glow bug eater.
He could see his father draped over a spiked fence. The monster flailed at the dead body with a nine tailed whip counting the father’s sins. Fire crept up around the bottom of his vision until it filled his entire view. The red and orange grew brighter until that's all there was. It slowly dimmed into darkness.
In the darkness little white rings could be seen to start forming like raindrops on a small pond. They grew larger and more cacophonous until the became a complex web of lines that caused his heart to race faster and faster. At the point where the lines were so dense that the black was almost gone, his eyes jolted open to be staring directly into two big green eyes surrounded by little dim suspicious glow bugs. Things in his life were changing.