Rainer sat on the topmost rock of the hill. The sun shone bright in the sky and warmed him. He was shirtless and the soft breeze cooled his skin and gave him goosebumps. He loved sitting in the sunlight and being out of doors, rain, snow or shine.
The breeze turned cold, and the wind strengthened. A storm cloud rolled through the baby blue sky towards him. It darkened the land below it. Rainer stood and faced the cloud; soon it would obscure the sun.
“Someone’s coming,” he murmured. An eagle swooped down and alighted on the rocks nearby. It screeched at him.
“Show me,” Rainer said, and the eagle flew heading east, towards the storm. Rainer sprinted down the mountain, nimble as a cat and eyes on the eagle. Now and then he skipped from rock to rock, his footfalls soft and silent on the barren ground. Rainer followed the eagle into the woods; it led him to the riverbed.
He stopped on the bank and listened to the river as it flowed over the rocks. Rainer glanced around him, straightened his neck and sniffed the air. The night before he’d heard two bangs, and the acrid chemical stench of gunpowder had overwhelmed him. Now the gunpowder was faint, but the humid wind brought with it blood and fear.
The storm cloud blocked out the sun and Rainer’s spine tingled with foreboding.
He turned to the eagle, “I will wait inside tonight.”