Archive for the ‘Korodan’ Category

The short rock creature threw Help aside as easily as one could toss a small rodent. Leader and Growl rushed to his side to protect him from a repeat attack, but the rocky creature just stood there. Four other rock creatures appeared out from the forest to stand by the first one.

“Good?” Leader asked, not taking his eyes off the group of creatures.

Help just grunted in response, getting to his feet but obviously in pain.

Leader was truly afraid for his pack. Help was easily pushed aside and wounded, and that wasn’t even the largest of the creatures before them. If they attacked, would it be anything but a slaughter? He didn’t worry about himself, but for his mates and his cubs. Without him, they could survive with the pack. Without them, he…he didn’t want to think about it.

On top of it all, he was tired. They had traveled for many days away from the spot where the Old One had left. Leader didn’t want the bad luck to linger around them, and a long trip took their mind off the loss of the Old One. Many still mourned, including Leader, but the daily activities of keeping the cubs moving kept them in the present instead of lingering on the past. Yet, the trip had taken its toll on the pack.

Had the bad luck followed them? What manner of creature looks like rock but moves like like a creature? What did they want, and why did they come straight toward the clearing?

Leader’s noticed a noise in the bush the three of them had been hiding. A small head popped out and made a small roar. Leader glanced down and saw his own Big Cub. Why did he follow them?

Suddenly, the smallest rock creature moved away from the other group and directly toward Big Cub. The creature was making a low, slow noise of rock scraping against rock. It stretched its arms out, reaching out for the cub.

Leader’s protective instinct kicked in and he jumped between the rock creature and his cub. He turned in mid-air toward the rock beast and brandished his claws with a warning growl. After the attack by the green ones, he was taking no chances with anyone or anything getting too close to his cubs. The smaller rock creature backed off then ran toward its group. The largest rock creature moved forward in what might have been a protective gesture.

Growl and Help moved into place behind Leader. He could feel Help’s unsteadiness and fear contrasted with Growl’s cool determination. Leader tried to take strength from Growl’s stance, but his heart was racing with fear for the pack. Puffing himself up, Leader hoped that he could scare off the rocky creatures as he had when the small one went toward his cub. He stepped forward with a roar, swiping at the large rock one and connecting his claws against unyielding stone; his only reward was pain as the claws bounced against the rock creature. Giving an involuntary yowl of pain, Leader stepped back to his other two members while holding one paw in the other.

The two groups sat and watched each other for most of the day. The rocks collapsed into what looked like piles, while the three crouched low or sat with their legs ready to spring. It was late when the hunters arrived back to the clearing, carrying chunks of fresh meat from the day’s kill. The smell of food caught the attention of the three after the long day’s standoff.

“Hungry,” Help said quietly, not wanting to show cowardice.

“Yes,” Leader said. “Rocks not leaving.”

Growl exhaled loudly. “Let’s get food.”

The three moved backward as a group, keeping the creatures in sight as they went to eat with the rest of the pack. Once near the rest of the pack they sat down, still keeping the rocky creatures in sight, and ate with everyone else.

One of the rocky creatures then made an unusual chattering noise. It started to move toward the group while making another strange noise. Leader’s mate stood up and growled at the approaching figure, wary of the group that had hurt her mate. The creature in front made the chattering noise again while pointing toward the meat.

“Rocks eat meat?” Growl said, amused. Help ripped off a small bit of the meat and threw it at the rock creature. It picked up the meat and put it near its head. No obvious mouth opened, but the meat eventually disappeared and the creature made a chirping noise. Other pack members nearby watched the rocky creatures.

“That good?” Scar asked. Help just shrugged and cut off more meat to throw toward the rocky creatures. The rest of the creatures picked up meat and ate it as well.

While they were eating, Help stands up. “Trying something,” he says, then mimics the chattering sound the rock creatures made earlier by biting his teeth together. He then points to the meat with a paw.

The rocky creatures stopped what they were doing and looked toward Help. He looked at the rest of the pack, then repeated the noise. One of the rocky creatures made a chirping sound then the whole group made a lot of noise.

“What is that?” Leader asked, looking at Help.

“I think it’s their word for food,” Help said.

“How do you know?”

“Same way I learned to say ‘food’ after meeting the pack.”

“Huh,” Leader said. “Maybe they not so bad.”

As the light faded, the pack gathered together to sleep for the night. The rocky creatures collapsed into their individual piles near the bush, a little ways away from the pack. Overwhelming curiosity drew some of the cubs and pups near, despite warnings barked by parents. Big Cub lead the way to the smallest rock creature. After sniffing at it, he then curled up next to it and promptly fell asleep. A careful rocky arm reached out and stroked the little one gently before making a quiet noise.

Not so bad after all, Leader thought to himself as sleep overtook him.

The group had been on the move for a long time. The fast one had lead them for a while with the small one trying to find a good site for a cave, but the old one always wanted to keep moving. He often made the warning sound when they stopped even though no danger was apparent to the others.

At last, they came to a large forest. The trees loomed overhead, the last leaves of the season clinging to the almost bare branches. The small one backed away as the others entered the forest. He made the negative sound, then made an unusual sound.

The old one moved over and put his hand gently on the small one. He made the comforting sound, and pointed to the forest. The small one slowly moved forward, staying within the protective aura of the old one. The hard one followed behind the two, lending his solid presence to the small one’s courage. The small one stepped within the line of the trees and after a few moments moved slowly forward.

Already the ground was covered with dull leaves fallen from the trees. The hungry one scooped up a handful of leaves and munched on them. Every once in a while a hand went down and grabbed a few more to eat. The small one timidly picked up a leaf and tried it. He dropped it after eating only half of it.

The fast one made the warning noise, catching everyone’s attention. The group stopped and fell silent, watching the fast one for any information. The fast one pointed at a clump of bushes in a clearing ahead and motioned for the rest to say there as he moved into the clearing. He crept forward, careful to make hardly any noise.

A flash of white came from the bushes and crashed into the fast one, knocking him to the ground. Over him towered an animal that looked different than any the group had seen before. It like one of the wolves they had seen, but it was much larger with longer, thicker legs. The fast one threw the attacker back with one arm and stood up. Two other animals came from behind the bush to stand next to the white one on the ground. The rest of the group rushed forward to stand next to the fast one, watching the opposing group carefully.

Suddenly, a small cat head popped out from behind the brush. It made a noise at the group then looked at them. The small one broke ranks and moved toward the small cat, making the comforting noise. One of the other large cats jumped forward, landing between the small one and the bush. It brandished its claws as the small one made the warning noise and moved away quickly. The animals advanced on the group, moving behind the hard one who blocked the path.

The cat animal that threatened the small one made a fierce noise at the hard one. It stepped forward and swipes at the hard one, connecting claws to hard stone. The animal gave a shout and moved back behind the others, holding its claws tenderly. The two groups stared at each other for a long time, neither moving. The group simply sat down and watched the animals as the sun travels down toward the horizon.

In the gloom, two other animals came into the clearing carrying large chunks of meat. The three animals looked away for a moment, then make soft noises to one another. They backed away as a group to join the others while casting sideways glances at the group. The group watched as many other animals come out of hiding and into the clearing, including many small ones, all tearing into the meat and eating.

The hungry one made the hungry noise, much to the amusement of the rest of the group. The hungry one gave the beckoning noise and moved ever closer to the meat.

One of the cat animals made a fierce noise and stares down the hungry one, who stopped where he was. He pointed at the meat, making the hungry noise again. The animals looked at him and made noises at each other, then looked back at the hungry one. Finally, one of them tore off a chunk of meat and threw it on the ground near the hungry one. Scooping it up, the hungry one nibbled on the chunk of meat. He made the positive noise and consumed it entirely.

The animals continued to throw more chunks of the meat at the group, and all of them tried a bit. Even the timid small one found the meat to be very pleasing. But, the whole group stopped eating when they hear something they never would have expected: one of the large animals making the hungry noise!

The group stared at the large white one, the same that tackled the fast one earlier in the day. The white one looked at the other animals, then made the sound again while pointing at the meat. The old one made the positive noise, and all agreed.

The day’s light faded and fatigue overcame all. The fast one made the tired noise, and none of the group objected. They decided to sit down into resting positions near the brush in the clearing, preparing to sleep for the night. A few curious small ones went over and made happy noises near the group. The small one was surprised when one of the small cat ones flopped down next to him and curled up into a small, furry ball. Reaching out a careful hand to stroke it, the small one made the pleased noise quietly to himself.

The group of them had stayed in a nearby cave for several days after following the big ones to the special place. The rock near the river was similar to what they had found by the sea and digging out the cave was easy for the group. They spent the days soaking up the life-giving energy in the area.

It was late in the day when it came crawling out of the water, differently than the others they had seen. It made a loud noise which they had not heard before The big loud one then moved away from the water to the cave across the sand.

The group was trapped in the cave, and old one made the warning noise as the broken one approached. The group quickly ducked down into hiding position. Together, they felt fear rising as the broken one crawled into the cave. They had never seen one of the fleshy ones so close before! He looked at his lower appendage, touching it carefully and making a sudden noise. The broken one then looked around for a while, before lying flat seeming to rest.

The fast one overcame his fear first, feeling restless as always. He moved slowly toward the mouth of the cave, seeing if the broken one would stir. He moved along the wall, careful not to touch the broken one, and then slipped outside. The rest remained where they were, watching the newcomer for any reaction. After a while they started to move toward each other. The small one made the warning noise, and the hungry one agreed.

They all froze when the broken one started moving and making strange noises. The group dropped into their hiding postures, fearing that the stranger would see them. Sitting up and looking around quickly, he seemed to be searching for something. He might have noticed them! They worried about the fast one, who had gone outside but not returned yet. What if he returned while the broken one was awake and moving around? The broken one then moved out of the cave and into the evening’s sunlight.

The fast one saw the strange one come out of the cave and decided to huddle down into a hiding position. The broken one went to the river to take some water and do something completely inexplicable. After finding some plants and putting them into his head, the broken one then stood tall against a nearby rock and looked at something in the distance.

Picking himself up and moving slowly, the fast one showed amazing restraint and crept toward the broken one. The broken one stopped moving and glanced over toward the fast one. Again, the fast one huddled into a hiding position and waited for the broken one to ignore him.

But, he didn’t. The broken one moved quickly away from the fast one and bumped into a pile of ordinary rocks. He then pushed off and landed in a heap on the sandy area near the water. The broken one made a loud noise as his lower appendage hit the ground.

Taking a risk, the fast one started moving cautiously toward the broken one. The broken one turned on his side to face the fast one’s approach, and had his arms up in the air, reaching toward the fast one. The fast one was confused about what the broken one was trying to communicate, so he moved slowly forward and made the soothing sound. From the cave behind the broken one, the hungry one was repeating the soothing sound. The fast one then got within range of the figure on the ground and waited.

The broken one reached out a hand to touch the fast one. Calming his fear, he let the broken one touch him, feel the delicate warmth of flesh against his rough exterior. The fast one reached out his arm to touch the end of the broken one’s arm and notice the gentle hand at the end. The fast one considered his crude fingers for a moment, looking at the differences.

Leaving the cave, the small one took in the sight of the two near the broken one. He made the warning sound, but they were watching the newcomer too closely to notice. After a while, even the small one became entranced with the stranger as well and watched him interact with the fast one.

The hungry one went to the cave and grabbed one of the pieces of wood it had been eating earlier in the day. The hungry one dropped the bit of wood near the broken one as an offering. The broken one picked it up, looked it over, then put it down. The small one also went back into the cave to gather some of the mushrooms he had been eating earlier in the day, and took them over to the broken one. Once again he picked them up and then put the mushrooms in his head. He made quiet noises and seemed to relax a bit.

The fast one made the appreciative noise, and the others joined in. The hard one made the warning noise, then the negative noise. All agreed that the broken one was no threat to the group so far. The hungry one even reached out an arm to try to touch the broken one, but drew back at the last moment.

The fast one then made the beckoning sound and they all gathered around the fast one holding up an arm. After a few moments, he formed the end of his arm into something resembling the hand of the broken one. The hungry one made an appreciative sound as the rest examined it closely.

The small one then made the quieting noise. They all listened and heard something in the distance making a repeated sound. It was another of the broken one’s type! The hard one made the warning noise and the small one made the agreement noise. Only the fast one kept his attention on the broken one, who seemed to be listening for the sound as well. The hard one was already moving away, making the beckoning noise to lead the others away. The old one, who didn’t care get too close to the broken one, got up from his hiding place and followed the hard one as he went along the water’s edge. The others decided to follow, leaving their cave and the broken one behind.

The last of the sun’s light faded away, leaving only the moon to light their way. They decided to stop for the night, huddling between some stones to get some rest. The fast one didn’t feel much like sleeping, he used his new hand to pick up small rocks and plants in the area.

In the morning, the group got together. The fast one held up his hand and showed off the second hand he had made in the night. Making the appreciation noise, he showed the others how he could pick up small things easily and manipulate them.

The old one made the positive noise and held out his arms. He shaped the crude ends into hands just as the fast one had done. Then the others concentrated on their arms and did the same thing. They spent the rest of the day testing the use of their new hands.

Jor spat out the water and sand. He tried to stand up but his ankle screamed with pain and he fell back into the wet sand.

He cried out, but the hunting party didn’t respond. How far had the river taken him? It seemed like merely a moment that he was in the water, tumbling through the rapid current before crawling out of the water.

Gritting his teeth against the pain, he took stock of his surroundings. Behind him he heard the rushing water of the river that had swept him away from the group and a small cave in front of him. Jor got to his hands and knees and crawled toward the cave, careful not to hit his ankle.

The dark inside of the cave helped sooth Jor’s nerves. Rolling over onto his back, he used his good foot to push himself to a sitting position against the wall. Examining his sore ankle carefully, he found it to be swollen but not bleeding.

The other hunters would look for him along the side of the river. The small cave was unremarkable, with smooth walls and lots of rocks scattered about the small inside. It would be an adequate place to rest, protected from the elements until the others came.

Fatigue finally overwhelmed him and Jor laid down on the hard rock and let sleep take him.

*****

A sudden, strange sound woke Jor out of his uneasy sleep, setting his hunter’s senses on alert. As he sat up, he heard the sound of falling rocks from the back of the cave. He looked around the cave quickly, but just saw the assorted rocks he had found when he entered the cave. Something set him on edge, though.

He took a quick look at his ankle and noted that it was still swollen. Shifting around carefully, he crawled out of the cave into the dying light of the day. He pulled himself up on his good foot and looked around. In the far distance, he thought he saw a fire on the bank, upstream of the river. Perhaps that was the hunting party camping for the night. It was too far away for him to travel with his sore foot.

Dropping back down to his hands and knees, he went over to the river to get some water and to relieve himself. He then went a bit upstream and found some edible plants for a small meal. The bitter, tough roots weren’t all that appetizing, but they took the edge off his hunger.

It was as he crawled back toward the cave that he saw the moving pile of rocks.

He blinked a few times, making sure his eyes weren’t playing tricks on him in the dusk’s light. The rocks suddenly collapsed on themselves, forming what appeared to be a small pile. Jor rolled away and into another pile of rocks nearby. He panicked and tried to scramble away, but ended up sprawled out on the sandy riverbank.

In his peripheral vision, Jor saw the first pile pick itself up and move toward him. It was shaped sort of like a small man, with a body, head, and arms made of dark rock. The figure was easily visible, even in the evening’s light, against the sand. Jor rolled over on his side, facing the figure, hands up to repel an attack.

The figure moved slowly toward Jor, and started rubbing its arms together slowly making a strange noise. From behind him, he heard the same sound from what was probably another rock creature near the cave. He watched as the rock creature got closer and closer while making the grinding noise.

When the figure got close enough, it stopped moving and just remained where it was. Curiosity finally overwhelmed Jor and he reached out to touch the creature. The creature stood still for a bit, then it took its arm and touched Jor’s hand. The ends of the rock creature’s arms were blunt with crude fingers.

Another rock creature came up and stood by the first one. It held a stick of wood between an arm and its body and dropped it on the ground nearby. Picking it up, Jor turned it over and looked at it; it appeared to just be a normal piece of wood. He set it down again, and the second figure backed off. Then another creature came up and dropped some food mushrooms that Jor recognized. Brushing off the sand, Jor nibbled on the mushroom. He didn’t taste anything bad, so he ate it. The figures made different types of noises as he ate.

Jor sat upright, avoiding putting pressure on his foot and looked around. There were four different rock creatures around him. Two of them were touching him, running their blunt arms along his skin. One tried to touch his ankle, but Jor swatted the curious arm away.

Suddenly, the group fell silent. Jor looked around and saw all of them circling the first creature Jor had seen. It was holding one arm in the air and all were looking at it. The arm shook for a bit. Then the rock broke apart and formed into four fingers and a thumb similar to Jor’s hand. Wiggling the fingers, the figure waved the arm around to show everyone.

The smaller rock creature then made a strange, quiet grinding sound that made the others stop and pay attention. Jor strained his hearing and heard something in the distance, a voice calling something out. Perhaps someone from the hunting party was coming!

The rock creatures started making sounds again, faster than previously. After a few moments, they all went off away from the sound, following the river bank downstream. Jor watched silently as the creatures left him alone in the darkening night.

“Jor!” he heard the voice call again.

“Here!” he shouted. The voice got closer and Jor recognized the voice as belonging to the youngest hunter. “Gao!” he shouted. Joy overwhelmed him when the young man finally got close enough to see in the last light of the day.

“Jor, you good?” Gao asked, dropping supplies on the sand and then setting up a crude camp.

“Foot hurt,” Jor replied, quickly adding, “Cave there.” Gao gathered up some of the supplies and moved toward the cave. Jor crawled over and into the cave. Feeling around, he noticed that the rocks he had seen in there previously were no longer to be found.

Unrolling some sleeping furs, Gao set them for both of them to sleep. “Han hurt from animal that pushed you in river. Not bad, moves slow,” Gao finally explained as he finished laying out the furs. Jor replied with a simple grunt of understanding.

“You see anything?” Gao asked after dragging all the gear inside the cave.

Jor stretched out on the furs in the darkness, fatigue coming over him again as the throbbing in his ankle started to subside. “Yes, but tired. Tomorrow,” he answered Gao as he drifted off to sleep.

It was the fast one who became restless first, as usual.

The group had spent many days digging out the rock to form a small cave. It wasn’t large, but it suited them well enough. They slept quite a bit and listened to the sea. The hungry one even went into the waters to look for new types of food and found some strange, shimmering creatures there. The fast one was the only one that dared to follow even part way, the rest decided to stay away from the large body of water with seemingly no end.

The fast one was moving around the cave, back and forth in a show of restless energy. When the others were finally getting up and around, the fast one made the beckoning sound and moved toward the cave. The small one moved eagerly to follow. The hard one also lumbered toward the cave entrance, leaving the last two in a quandary. They really didn’t feel the need to get up and go, but the group had never been separated before. In the end, the hungry one decided it was time to eat and the old one followed in order not to be left alone.

The fast one was pleased at being able to lead the others for once. The old one was a good leader, but it was time for a change. The group traveled away from the sea, toward the tall mountains where they had found each other. It was the fast one that had found them back then, gathering them together and forming the group. Since then, the group had always been together.

They had been traveling for a while when they stopped near a stream. The hungry one made a noise and went off in search of something new to eat. The old one sat still, concentrating on the sound of the stream as it ran over some rocks. The low water made little noise, and the old one thought about how the water sounded different than the sea. The others wandered around, taking in the sights of the area and finding things to taste.

It was the small one that noticed the spots on the horizon first. He made the warning sound and the others stopped what they were doing to look around. They all watched the fast approaching creatures. When the creatures got closer, the group sat down and hunched over, disguising themselves like the rocks in the area. They kept careful attention on the strangers, and watched quietly as they ran near then stopped. Members of the other group were putting down items they had been carrying.

They were tall and thin, and most of them had long pieces of wood tipped with stone. One was leaning against a tree when another approached. They made a series of sounds to each other, similar to the way the group communicated, but with more variation. Others drank from the stream and made quiet noises as well. After a short while, the group picked up their items and started running off in the same direction they were heading before.

When the last one left toward the distant horizon, the fast one stood up and looked after them. The fast one made the beckoning sound again. The group started to follow, moving in the direction the strangers had run, if not quite as their rapid pace. The sounds had interested the fast one, and he wanted to know more.

It was late at night when they saw the other group again. They had set up animal hides over wooden poles and had built small fires. The old one quietly made the pleased noise when he saw the bright fires. The others echoed the noise, and they settled in for the night, watching as the tall ones went about their nightly chores before settling down to sleep. The group decided rest as well.

The morning came before any of the group decided to stir. The others had already taken their items left the area early. The group went over to look at the place they had stayed. They noticed that small piles of fresh dirt covered many areas, including where the fires had been. They found other signs as they looked around the area.

It was the old one that first noticed the pile of stones nearby. He made the beckoning sound to draw everyone over. Everyone stopped and looked at pile; as quiet descended on the group, they felt the one thing they had all shared but never felt since….

They felt the force that had given them life all around the area.

The fast one was the first one to move from his position overlooking the cave below. The group had been watching the strange creatures down near the sea for several days now, and a few of their group had come back with dead animals. The fast one had moved to get a better look at the scene below.

The creatures seemed to move around a lot more now that the others had returned. They had the bright, hot fire burning well into the night, which made them much easier to see as they moved around. At one point the small creatures below started making a new noise, pleasant and kind of like listening to the sea with a certain rhythm and flow.

The old one made a pleased noise. The small one echoed the soft noise immediately, as usual, and the rest followed suit. They carefully backed away from the edge as to not attract attention and found a group of nearby boulders to rest against.


The next morning, the fast one was the first to start moving. He looked around to make sure there were no threats nearby and went off to explore a bit. Far away, near the far edge of the sea, there seemed to be a rock outcropping that looked promising. As the others started to move around, the fast one circled around them and then lead them toward the outcropping.

The sun was high in the sky as they approached their destination. As they turned the corner, they saw a bunch of the violent green creatures. One of them turned and bared its teeth, waving its claws in front of it in an aggressive posture. The hard one advanced on it, making a low, rumbling noise to warn the creature away. It swiped its claws but they did little damage to the hard one’s rocky body. He started to push the green ones away forcefully, and eventually they took the hint and left the area. After getting a short distance away, the biggest green one turned and yelled harshly at the small group, then ran off into the distance.

The fast one moved to the outcropping and made the questioning noise. The old one approached and looked around. After a bit, he made the negative sound; the rock would not be good to create a hole to live in as the other strange creatures had done. The small one made the disappointed sound as the group continued along the coastline.

After a bit, the hungry one stopped the group to try to find something to eat. There was very little soil here, only sand that did not taste very good. The hungry one found a piece of wood to satisfy his hunger while the rest nibbled on nearby things. The water did not taste the same as the other water they had enjoyed before, but it helped cool their bodies down a bit. After everyone was done eating, or trying to eat, the group moved on.

The darkness came again. The old one wished he could make the warm, bright fire like the other creatures did; it gave him a comforting feeling to remember it. The group found some rocks to rest between until the light came again.

The small one was the first to start moving in the light of the next day, but he froze when he saw one of the large animal creatures prowling around. The prowler seemed interested in the group’s location. The small one made the alarmed noise and got the attention the rest of the group. They stood motionless, hiding between the rocks while keeping an eye on the furred one. It got close to the small one and the hard one was ready to make a move, but the old one made the negative sound to stop the conflict. This sound startled the creature, causing it to retreat a distance, look worriedly at the group, then run off away from the sea. The group got together and continued to travel along the coast.

Four more days passed uneventfully until the group found another promising outcropping, this time noticed by the hard one. The group approached carefully, looking for any dangers in the area. After searching around a bit, the old one made a positive sound, and the whole group joined in. They had found the site of their current home. Now, they had to form the cave they would live in.