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Taug was a great warrior who hailed from a village of people who lived in the trees, that lay on the side of the great mountain. The village lived and prospered among the trees for many generations. All the food was provided to them by the earth. No one ever starved because the Earth always gave what was necessary for them to eat. They carved homes out of the ground and in the treetops. They lived long and well.

There may have been enemies of the village people, but this was all part of the way things were on the Earth, and the village people accepted it. A circle of life, between them and others.

And of course, there were the gods.

The gods were something different. Huge giants of untold strength and intellect. The gods did as they willed, and didn’t ask anybody for permission. Sometimes the gods would interfere with the likes of other peoples villages. Not many creatures on Earth could question the gods and their ways and receive any answers. Not many could fight them without being destroyed in return

The gods did much to their own liking. Some creatures were taken in as slaves by the gods, kept as servants, while others were slaughtered mercilessly.

One day, the gods drew a great line in the mountain, with huge brushes that knocked down many of their trees. The line stretched infinitely in either direction, and as the earth was destroyed, nothing knew grew where the gods claimed this land. It was understood that no one was allowed to cross that line, except the gods, for it was cursed. Many of those who tried to cross, died. The gods would come riding down on clouds from nowhere, and destroy everyone who trespassed on their territory. Only a few had ever survived the crossing

When people thought the gods were stepping out of line, many did nothing to stop them. There was not much they could do. The gods had mysterious powers no one understood. They found ways to poison others or bring plagues to entire tribes using strange magic that cursed their lands. Sometimes, starting legendary fires that consumed everything.

It was foretold by a famed and respected seer of Taug’s village, that soon the gods would leave their homeland, and seek to destroy their village to make a new one where they lived. That the gods would seek to poison their water, and steal the trees that gave them food. The seer died being laughed at. ‘The Gods will not move pass their line,’ said the people, ‘They may have great power, but they know their place in this world.’

As Taug grew up, he always remembered the seers words long after he died, but never took them to heart. No one did. At least, until the gods did come, and they did take their trees from their mountain, and much of their food with it.

The village people were distraught. None of them dared enter the line of the gods to challenge them for taking their trees; but something had to be done, and soon, because they began to starve.

Taug, frustrated at the suffering of his people, stood up and shouted, “I will cross the line of the gods! I will bring back food from the foot of the mountain, to help feed our starving people!” The village thought he was mad. But Taug was not discouraged, and asked for companions on this perilous journey.

Two of his closest friends rose to his aid, inspired by his bravery. As they prepared for their journey, many tried to sway their decision to go. Many cried at their parting. But they all gave their brave heroes their blessing before they left.

When our three heroes came upon the great line of the gods, they were very cautious. They payed much respect to the wind- Superstition said that the wind would tell them beforehand if the gods were coming out on their clouds or not. The wind could not always be trusted, though, because sometimes the wind had lied.

As they dared to cross the giant chasm of jagged rocks, they did it pensively. Then, as nothing happened their first few steps, their hearts minds became relieved. The wind gave them no signs of death from either east nor west.

But they came halfway through the rocky gap, a slow, great roar appeared from the east end of the horizon. Fear had pierced all of their hearts. They had froze in sheer horror. Time had seemed to slow, more and more, as a large cloud appeared from edge of the sky. The roar growing ever greater.

Zeus by briankrobinsonTaug broke from his paralysis; “RUN!” he screamed, “RUN BEFORE THEY CATCH US!” They all broke from their frozen state, and began to run. But it was only a moment too late, as one of the companions was struck dead by the passing god.

Taug and his other companion had made it, without realizing that their friend had been claimed by the gods wrath. Only a midst their celebration that they had passed with their lives, did they realize one of them was missing.

The other companion tried to run back to his village brother to see if he could save him, but Taug had held him back. He told him that it was to late, that they had to leave him their, and continue to the foot of the mountain for food. ‘That is what he would want us to do’ he said. His companion reluctantly accepted, and only after much grieving.

After beaten by many hours of travel, they had reached the foot of the mountain were the food lay. They collected food, but during their scavenging, they noticed things they had never seen before. Things they did not understand, that confused them, and struck an eerie feeling into their hearts.

“What is this?” Taugs companion exclaimed, “I’ve never seen the likes of any of this before in my life!”

Taug didn’t answer. He had seen many things in his life, but this had made him speechless. He didn’t like what he saw, strange formations made of things not of this earth. Colors not seen, and shapes and symbols of an alien origin he didn’t know.

He didn’t want to understand, and instead hurried his companion to collect all the food he could, so that they could leave this cursed land and return home

And they made great haste to finish their work. But before they could, a strange creature had appeared out of the shadows. A monstrous beast they had never encountered before. Greater than 20 of them in size, covered in jagged black fur, with a bony jaw as large as both their bodies combined, filled with razor sharp teeth. It stood on four muscle-ridden legs, and it slowly approached them with a maddening stare, and an equally frightening grin. Saliva had dripped from its smile. No doubt they knew it wanted to eat them. They were frozen in fear, yet again.

The beast let out a large bark that had wrecked their ears. Taugs companion was seized by his reflexes, dropped everything, and ran. The beast took initiative, and followed at a lightning pace. His large size seemed to matter little, for he was almost as fast as they were. Taug, still carrying his food, ran in the direction they had gone, trying to distract the beast from his friend- but to no avail.

Hope seemed to capture them both as his companion used his skills to climb up the side a nearby tree to escape; but the climb had only slowed him down, being torn and tired from the days travels. The beast had caught up within a manner of seconds, and claimed his life.

Taug then became angered, and shouted at the beast in rage. The gargantuan creature turned his head around, and stared at him. Until that point, he seemed to forget that Taug was there at all. Now he could see the look in the beasts eyes; the look of a predator locking onto his prey, a moment before he begins his relentless pursuit. Taug was no doubt brave, but he was wise enough to know a mistake when he saw once. Unfortunately for him, he saw his mistake far too late.

The beast, seeming to carry no fatigue from the previous hunt, began leaping towards Taug with a frightening speed. Taug knew that if he wanted to live, that he had to drop everything and run. And run he did.

He ran into the woods. Instinct had told him to jump up into the trees, but he knew that would be a fatal mistake. His best chance was to run and lose him in the thickness of the trees. He could not look back to see where the beast was, that would only slow him down. He had to keep running. Run until he could run no more.

The beast had not given up, or lost Taug at all. Before Taug knew how much time had passed, he saw that he was coming up to the rocky chasm of the gods. For a second Taug saw hope. If he could make it passed there in safety, he would be able to loose the beast, for surely he wouldn’t be foolish enough to cross over with him, and risk death by the hands of the gods.

He did not look back, but he could hear the beast gaining on him.

And when he came to it, run across the great gap he did. Taug was elated that he was almost home, and going to make it out alive. Over halfway through the chasm, he stopped to catch his breath, he was sure he could take a small break, and look behind him to see the beast pensively waiting for him on the other side.

But to Taug’s surprise, the beast was not dismayed by the territory like he was. He had continued to pursue him, with the same ferocity in his eyes at the start of the chase.

At that moment, Taug had given up. He could run no more. He had done everything he could, and had failed in his mission. It was time to accept his fate. All fear left him, and he stood, upright and still; only breathing.

And from the horizon, he heard a large roar. He knew that roar well; it was the roar of the gods. The gods and their dark cloud came swiftly and with great thunder- But this one was different, it was accompanied by a large, piercing screech he had never heard before.

Some of the village people were watching then. They saw Taug trampled by the fury of the gods. They watched as the beast approached him, and walk away, disinterested in a prey he did not rightfully claim.

Most of the village would soon move to another place, but they would always remember Taug for his bravery.

And in the backseat of a Chevy Avalanche, a kid being taken back home from soccer practice, in the middle of playing a hand held game, asked his big sister what they hit.

“It was pretty scary,’ she replied back, looking at him through the rear view mirror, “We came pretty close to hitting someone’s dog, but I was able to move out of the way just in time.” She paused for a moment, then spoke again; “I think we may of hit a squirrel, though…”

She seemed pretty bummed, but she shook it off and continued home. Dinner was ready waiting for them and getting cold. Plus they had to get up for school early tomorrow. A big day of exams lay ahead of them.

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