Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Brrda, Savage Savior of the Secret Land

Deep in the frozen heart of Canada lies a small pocket of forest that looks as though it is a child of the great Amazon, separated from its mother by centuries of ice and civilization. Protected from satellites by forces that mankind will not soon grasp, this land has remained largely untouched by modern humans. To many it is just a myth, but to thousands of magnificent monsters and beasts it is home.

To others it is merely a place to rest and catch an exotic bite to eat. Every year, when Summer has taken the chill from the air, they make their journey North from the forests of Washington and Oregon. Neither man nor ape, but mistaken for both. Orange beasts with savage tempers, and a taste for brutalized meat.

Even the bears know better than to set foot on the paths cut by these beasts. Their numbers and versatility make them dangerous enough, but these are no small beasts. Their muscle is packed so densely that they are unable to swim, trapped in the river murk by their own elephantine strength.

A number of these monsters are gathered now in a rare clearing of the forests of the Secret Land. Despite their shaggy coats, the humidity does not bother them. The array of orange hues sewn into their fur helps to hide them from the eyes of their quarry. In this case a small monkey with bulbous eyes more accustomed to the winter's endless night than the blinding rays of summer.

Unfortunately for them, this monkey happens to be under the care of Brrda the Savage, the only man to set foot in the Secret Lands for forty years. He watches them from above, quickly climbing from branch to branch of the ancient trees. There are three beasts, all of them males. If even one notices Brrda before he strikes it will be over in a matter of seconds.

He is very cautious with the first, dangling from a low branch and strangling it with his legs. It tries to bite him, but its teeth merely slice the flesh. The struggle begins to take a turn for the worst as Brrda realizes that its neck is thick for him to choke or break. He releases the tree, using his powerful legs to sit himself atop its shoulders. It roars desperately. Not a threat. A call for help.

They arrive before the call is even complete. Brrda knows he must end this quickly, or they will eat him alive. He grabs the sabre tooth that dangles from a thin string around his neck and drives it into the eye of his perch. It hollers for a bit, with such terror that its fellows dive into the bushes. Then it collapses, silently heaving its few last breaths.

The others return from the brush as Brrda retrieves the tooth. They're on him before he can turn around. But it's a ruse! Brrda lashes out, shaving the flesh off the chest of one beast and rolling between its staggering legs.

The unharmed monster, too slow to change the course of its actions, crashes through its hunting-brother. Their attention turns, and Brrda knows to make for the trees. The two beasts toss one another through ferns and thickets, gouging eyes, ripping noses, and snapping away fingers like twigs. Their cries carry through the Secret Lands like thunder.

Brrda allows himself a moment of relaxation. They won't be back. The forest is safe. For the moment.

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