Monday, 12 September 2011

11) Coming for the Shepard

    Once upon a time a Shepard was out with his flock. The sun was low in the sky as he enjoyed a dried fish supper when a star shot directly overhead. It blazed all the colors of the rainbow as it screamed like a ghost. Even the sluggish sheep turned up their head to watch it trail by. The star disappeared over the rise and the valley, there was a pause, and then a loud thump the Shepard could feel in his chest.
    His dog began to whine. He tucked its tail between his legs and hid behind his master. The Shepard soothed the dog as best he could.
    The air had gone quite hot, so hot that the Shepard had to take off his cloak. The sheep, now fully awake were milling around and calling balefully. The Shepard picked up his sling and walked towards his flock, ready to protect them from whatever may come.
    The thumping sound returned and continued and became louder and louder. For a moment the Shepard held his ground. He reached up to his bare chest and fingered nervously the small golden scarab he had there on a leather cord, his god and his life.
    Then they came over the rise across the valley. First they looked like fat men with tiny legs. Then the Shepard could tell they had six sets of legs. He could just make out that they were holding spears and that they wore striped robes. They walked in endless rows a hundred across and advanced towards the Shepard and his flock.
    The Shepard whistled for his dog to gather up his sheep, but his dog had already ran away.
    The stomping became louder and the Shepard felt his stomach drop. The army was only several minutes away. Cursing his gods the poor man dropped his satchel and ran after his dog, abandoning his flock and livelihood in the hopes that he could simply save his life.

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