the storm and the cave

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We stood together but apart on the high, rocky bluff. Far below was a sea of forest racing out to greet the oncoming storm. The line of dark, flickering clouds were veined with static. Its front split the horizon from pole to pole.

Each one of the group could feel it tensing the air. The wind was on a crescendo, whipping white horses on the tree tops from the pale, flashing undersides of their leaves. Occasional spots of rain peppered the shelf of bare rock outside the cave. Everyone knew what to do. Each busy in their own self-appointed duties, scurrying, silent around the supplies: securing, tying, lashing, covering, checking, herding and bedding.

The Watch signalled it had arrived. As one we halted and retreated into the security of the cave. Darkness came swiftly. A clap of immense force crashed outside. All that could be done had been done. There was nothing more to do. No skill or knowledge mattered now. We huddled, within ourselves, listening to the rapid tenor of our hearts. Alone but together. Waiting for the storm to pass we could do nothing except ponder the ancient etchings on the cave wall that became animated in the stuttering firelight.

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