Before the Cave, part 1

Ilara knew she wasn’t supposed to wander too far from the tribe. But then, she did a lot of things she wasn’t supposed to do.

In this case, the whole idea of “supposed to” seemed unfair. After all, it wasn’t as though she really had a choice. This was where the sighting had been, so this was where she needed to be.

And right now what she really needed to be was very quiet. The tall grass was dry, and easily rustled. If she made any noise that would ruin everything.

She was so busy being quiet, and trying very hard not to move, that she didn’t realize she was no longer alone. Until she felt, more than heard, the giant presence behind her. Startled, she whirled around.

She knew she was supposed to be afraid. But oddly, she felt no fear at all.

The mammoth was looking at her curiously. It didn’t seem afraid either. That was a good start.

“Hello,” she said.

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