Title: Eug-en's Journey
"Deer!" Eug-en hurled his spear taking down a doe as the herd emerged from the cover of the increasingly thick forest brush at the base of the hill like an explosion of startled game birds and raced out across open gravel scattering from the intruders.
"It appears," The spear-impaled doe screamed in pain to no avail as Eug-en raced forward to bend over it long enough to cut its throat. "we eat tonight."
"Well Old One?" Eug-en splayed its belly open emptying the internal organs from the carcas. "What do the organs tell us?"
The Auger walked closer until he could kneel down and examine the organs. A nick in the intestine revealed a green leaf pulp.
"No signs of sickness." The Auger rubbed it in his fingers. "They have been eating green plants with good water."
"Good." Eug-en continued to gut the carcas wondering which direction the plants lay. "We will need it."
Eug-en squeezed the grass stalk into his mouth for every drop of water and sugar and pulled another grass stalk seeking its moisture. The Deer had eaten heavily leaving little. They had obviously arrived hungry and thirsty from somewhere out there. Eug-en looked out across the horizon. It was definatly dry out there. Eug-en considered taking the north route around the great mountains. At least there would be forest.
"It will be a difficult crossing," The Auger scraped at his rectum with a rock seeking to remove any dregs. "We will need to move at night."
"I think we should go North around the great mountains." Eu-gen longed for forest rather than the barren way to the South that promised heat, thirst, and the unfamiliar.
"No. We go South." The old one spoke up. "There are forest demons up North that would kill, skin and eat us both for simply trespassing on their lands."
Storm clouds broke against the far side of the barrier that divided the morning from the evening and Eug-en watched as lightning illuminated every peak.
"There! Do you see it?" The old Auger pointed at the mountains. "The way the lightning lit this side of that peak?"
"Yes!" Eug-en struggled to see anything in the dark but he had seen the light of the storm flash against the mountain. "What does it mean?"
"There is a way through the mountains there."
The mountain lion pounced from its hiding place hurling itself at the two intruders. It had learned that speed and power were all it needed to make a quick meal of any prey.
"Move!" Eug-en spun instantly with a large rock snatched from an easily reached shelf smashing his fist sized weapon against the skull of the predator halting its roar and inflicting instant suffering while the weight of its collision of both predator and man drove Eug-en back against a boulder.
"Haaagh!" Eug-en screamed with pain and rage as he took up his rock and smashed in the beast's skull until it was most certainly dead. "Light a fire old man. I need to rest awhile."
Eug-en passed out against the carcass of his deceased opponent.
The stink of the lion carcass and the pain of the night's encounter still with him, Eug-en scratched his itching ballsack to provide what little warmth from the morning cold it might enjoy staring at the old Auger tossing his prized bones about on a piece of fine scraped leather that he normally kept concealed. Was that the scull cap of the Auger who trained him?
"Well old man," Eug-en sniffed at his hand and was repelled by the characteristic scent of it. "What do the bones say?"
The old Auger concealed the bones in their cloth.
"If I catch you standing on my shadow again," The Auger struggled to his feet with the aid of his staff. "I will add a bone to my collection."
Eug-en snatched up his fire hardened spear and resisted the urge to drive it through the old one. How often had the old man walked across Eug-en's shadow? More often than he would have killed another for. He valued the man's guidance as his father had before him but his habitual contempt in return amounted to disrespect. Eug-en set aside his anger growling at himself for the weakness.
Men are not threatened by the disrespect of others. Eug-en flexed his fingers into the palm of his hand testing the tightness of the tendons.
"Where do we go..." Eug-en cut his question short and pointed at the Smoke rising skyward in the distance. "What is that?"
The Auger began the slow descent down the rocky slope carefully weaving his way past boulders from the mountains above him. "That," The Auger looked at the black smoke rising from the edge of the world. "is where we are going."
Eug-en followed slowly making every effort not to stand on the Old One's shadow.