The gray, overcast sky foreshadowed a dire day for little Horsfall. Or so it seemed. He had strayed from his brothers on the field of gold, so close to his family’s farm in the village of Lower Mire. They were returning from a long day of gathering potatoes, peppers and tomatoes in their ancestor’s land, the work soiling his tiny hands and clothes beyond recognition. He liked to play in the mud and the creek nearby when he knew there was work to be done. What compelled him today to wander so curiously towards the small forest which lay just beside the fields in isolation? Its green barks bordered the stretch of corn that dotted the landscape in that particular area. Horsfall took a moment to look up at the fabled mountain in the distance where his village sat nestled at the base. He loved his home. It seemed so far away at this moment, yet not far enough. His uncle always told him that “you were only on an adventure if you could not see your home, even in the slightest.” Horsfall frowned at that.
A small bird suddenly drew his attention as he could hear the last echoes of his brothers shouting casually at him to keep up. Their slow march back home was a journey he would rather not take just yet. He could see now the bird in perfect flight soaring above his head. It darted quickly into the first canopies of the forest just as the clouds began to release their underbelly of rain. Horsfall laughed in eager anticipation, turning his face upwards towards the gentle spray, his eyes closed, rich water streaming down his cheeks.
Then the lightning came. It slashed the sky in cruel strokes. One after another as the rain became heavier. Startled, Horsfall reacted with such fear at the sudden onset of noise and blinding light. He hurriedly crouched down hoping to drown out the sound and chaos closing in on him from above. His eyes still closed, hands raised to his ears in a hopeless attempt to block out the thunder.
It seemed like an eternity for Horsfall. He had never seen, let alone been in such a bizarre storm as this. Thoughts raced in his head all in one blurred flash. He wanted his brothers to come and rescue him, yet something within his heart began to emanate. It was a strange sensation and started to rise within his body, spreading to his mind and all the tips of his fingers. The fear began to ebb and within moments was completely gone. Horsfall steadied himself as he slowly rose from the defensive position he had assumed only minutes before. He opened his eyes in eager anticipation. The rain was still pouring torrentially around him; the thunder cracked and the lightning continued its steady lacerations.
And all that stood before him was the gaping entrance of the small forest, beckoning.
One step at a time, Horsfall began to walk towards the border of trees, knowing it was the only shelter he could find until the storm passed over the land. As he approached the periphery, he took a brief moment to look back at the path where his brothers had been calling for him earlier, the rain seeping in his eyes, making it difficult for him to see. But there was no one there. He knew the deluge must have forced them to run home as quickly as they could, carrying the baskets filled with vegetables to safety. With this thought firmly in his mind, Horsfall quickly turned around and crossed the threshold of trees waiting for him eagerly as the branches swallowed him up in their delight.
Part 2, the conclusion, tomorrow...