Before the Cave, part 19

It didn’t feel like any school she had ever been to. The teacher seemed a little scary to her.

She had never seen such an old mammoth. He moved slowly, but each movement seemed to contain a kind of coiled power. The teacher took his time looking over the class, staring each student in the eyes one by one, until his gaze came to rest on Ilara.

“You seem different today,” he said. He said it simply, without particular emphasis, but still, she felt her heart drop through her stomach. She hoped in that moment that the earth would swallow her up. Unfortunately, the earth was not cooperating.

She decided that the best defense was a good offense. “Today,” she said, “I encountered a human.”

It seemed like an innocent enough statement. After all, it wasn’t really a lie, even if it wasn’t the whole truth.

But then she realized that everyone in the class had gone completely silent. All the other mammoths were now looking at her.

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