Spring came early that year, in late March. Hotah and Adils had survived the winter with no problems. Now, they prepared to go on with the journey to the forest of life. Hotah himself had never seen the forest, but he had heard rumors, and there were old myths and legends about medicine men that used the fruit from the forest of life to cure diseases.
They needed to move out fast, for they were afraid that the other natives, the Ottawa as Hotah called them, were going to track them down soon, and Adils did not have time for a fight. He needed to get the fruit to his ill uncle as fast as he could.
It took them only six hours to burn the cabin and spread out the ashes, leaving no traced of their existence so that the Ottawa could not track them. Before the two of them left camp, Hotah made Adils a pair of moccasins made from deer hide. As he handed the moccasins over to Adils he said, “Here, they keep your feet light. No need for boots.” Adils smiled and accepted the gift.
They left the campsite, and started walking north. Adils figured that the forest was some ninety miles away. He figured that if they covered fifteen miles each day they would be there within six days.
To get to the forest you must have a canoe. The forest was said to be on an island located in the middle of a large lake. The lake was said to be bigger than a sea, and it would take a whole day to get to the island on canoe, but Adils had to do it for his uncle.
The two walked for several hours without a break, putting a good amount of land behind them. They came to rest at the base of a stone cliff, and decided that they would stay there for the night. Adils gathered some firewood and attempted to make a fire. The wood was soaked, all of it was, the whole forest. He tried lighting it until the sun had set, and the moon had risen, but still no fire. They would have to go through the night without heat.
They huddled close together to share body heat and wrapped a buffalo skin robe around them. The temperature dropped rapidly, and Adils could feel Hotah shaking, he did not sleep at all.
The next morning was a good one. They had venison jerky for breakfast, and also a squirrel Hotah had shot just the other day. The sun was high in the sky, and it had soon become hot.
They traveled about six miles before they noticed smoke rising from above the trees. Adils instantly knew that it was the Ottawa. They took extra caution walking around their camp, careful not to make any noise, in case there were hunting parties out and about. Even when they had gotten far enough away from the camp so that they could not be heard, they still did no talk.
Suddenly, a moose sprang out from the forest, and just missed Adils. He could here yelling not to far away and then the sound of footsteps; it was the Ottawa.
“Quick, hide!” Adils said to Hotah, but when he turned to look at him he was already gone. Figuring that he had already hid, Adils tucked himself under a tree that had fallen down in a storm.
He could here the voices, they were whispering, but Adils could hear what they were saying perfectly. He pushed himself further under the log, and prayed to Odin that he wouldn’t be seen. He would surely be killed.
Soon the voices faded away, and Adils came out from his hiding place. He looked around for Hotah, but he was nowhere to be seen. “Hotah!” he whispered in a hoarse voice, “you can come out now, it is safe.”
Then heard the screaming of a boy in the distance. “Hotah!” He yelled. The boy had been captured.
© Copyright 2016 Banitt. All rights reserved.
Book / Westerns
Short Story / Science Fiction
Book / Science Fiction
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