Brushfire Lullaby

It is a warm Summer day, the shadows hanging far from the trees keeping the clearing cool during the long days. ‘Perfect time for a wedding.’ Alex thought to himself as he watched his friends get married, Cadence the Templar he was squired to and Milo, the dashing rogue that always had his back, even during stupid plays. Honestly surprised it was happening this market, they seemed to keep pushing it back, with everything getting in the way. It was honestly Cadence’s trademark, pushing off stuff that they wanted to do and focus on what needs to do.

Henri was officiating the wedding, looking so proud as he opened up his words. The forest behind decided to erupt in noise, trees falling all over. Not wanting their wedding disturbed, Alex would excuse himself to see what went wrong. He’d make it over to the old bridge, listening to it creak and moan with his weight, making sure to only step in spots where it was still sturdy. The beavers had made a mess of everything, eating all of the wood that was good. Stopping near the end of the bridge, he’d see some rustling in the bushes ahead and readying his gun to meet whatever shows up. Three beavers come out, looking straight at him. Sighing, he’d yell to make some noise towards them, scaring them off into the deeper forests. They dropped their sticks in a hurry, trying to lessen the load to get away from the gunman.

Alex would step off the bridge into the forest, his vision getting clouded for a moment and with a quick wipe, he’d see the forest on fire in front of him. Trees would be long ablaze and the ground shrubs long gone, with the bonfire reaching towards the heavens. The beavers would be replaced by the shadow people, looking back at Alex with their shiny eyes and having multiplied about. All of the eyes would be on him, with him unable to move from his spot and can almost taste the ash on his lips. His hands would feel sticky while grabbing his musket, with what looks like blood covering them. One of the figures pointed back towards the wedding, with Alex forcibly moving his head like it was being held in place by a giant’s hand.

The wedding party would be barely visible through the smoke, the guests all being more shadow people who turned their heads to look at him. The bride and groom would be still look the same, though with both their heads missing and Henri being replaced by a Lion headed man, with a mane of pure flames licking out. Slowly the head would turn to look at him, same as the shadow people.. Same as those in his dreams. A voice would ring out from behind him, making him catch his breath. The flames would blink out, the shadow people all gone and his hands as clean as they were when he first cleared the bridge.

“Is everything okay Alex, anything up ahead?” He’d hear Gerard say from behind him, the town captain showing up to back him up. Taking in a couple of breaths, he cough what felt liked ash from his lungs. “Yeah.. Yeah, its all good. Just some beavers that scampered back into the forest. All is good now.” He’d say, looking back at the wedding just wrapping up. All was well, it was a nice Summer Day for a wedding. His friends looked happy there, now together and able to start a new life together. He’d sigh slightly, ‘That’s something we don’t get to have anymore.’

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