NaNoPrep 2015 Day 10: The tribe

by Robin de Voh on October 20th, 2015

With everything packed away, we set off. We are what you would probably call nomadic. We travel around with our tents and herds, and we settle for short amounts of time in a location that fulfills our need at that time. It's an interesting way of living. Your roots aren't in a specific location but with the people you live with.

Now, we might be a little different than other nomads. We have a village elder, and he goes into a trance one every few days. He says it's to detect evil spirits, to ward off bad luck, and more like that. But to be honest, we've got television and satellite internet, so I don't put much faith in that sort of mumbo-jumbo.

But every so often, maybe once every few months on average, he'd suddenly exit his trance, eyes wide open and shout that the bad spirits are coming and that we need to move as quickly as possible. And everybody will get all worked up, pulling down the tents, packing everything away in the carts and rounding up the herds. And within a few hours, be it day or night time, we'll be on the move again, not stopping until he decides our next stop.

Yesterday, it happened again. I'd been talking to some of my friends about it and we decided that next time it happened, we'd stay behind and see whether the old man was full of crap or not. We were pretty convinced there was nothing chasing us. So while everybody else was packing everything up, we slipped away to the other side of a hill just down the road. We knew it'd take them a while to realize we were gone, since they were all too busy.

We waited until an hour after they left, then got up. We walked back to where our camp had been and sat down. We'd brought coats and blankets to keep us warm.

We waited for an hour or 3 before we noticed anything at all.

It seemed like darkness was falling, but it was still late in the afternoon, hours before it dusk should set in. But it was coming from the opposite direction to where the tribe had gone. And it was moving our way, rather quickly, in a not-so-natural way.

Some of us got afraid and ran to where the tribe had gone. The remaining few stood up and looked into the darkness. I noticed something in there, red lights?

Eyes. They weren't lights, they were eyes. Hundreds of them, in pairs of 2, but also in pairs of 3.

And on the wind we could hear a whisper that made our skin crawl.

"You should've followed your elder..."