The day wears on, the sun adrift above the clouds. Gloom has moved across the peaks of the Sirris and reached down to touch the canopy with a light finger. Though I sense no coming rainfall, we retreat to the safety of the mountain walls and slip within a fissure.
We have moved from the opening where once I faced death, staring into its eye. I measure myself against myself as I have none other to reflect upon. I steal a glimpse at my savior as the low fire basks upon his chiseled face. He is a hunter, of that I have no doubt. My hope of travel quail before his life. He has walked the trails of the world where I have walked none but a path from my back yard.
"What troubles you, Clancy?
The silence hangs between us as I stare into the ground. I feel the coolness of the rocks as they surround us. I look up as my benefactor comforts me with his words.
"My day has been unsettling, my friend. I feel the foils of my folly rolling within my stomach."
"I see." I watch as he leans back, resting his hands upon his lap. "You are troubled by what happened to you today."
"I am." It is a statement he makes. "I would be dead had it not been for you."
"Would I have suffered any less fate than you?"
"Well, you may have been able to..."
"To what?" A smile broadens in the light. "You were one against five. You were surprised. Had I been caught unawares, I would likely have suffered the same."
"But you killed them all!"
"Only because they did not know of me. It is surprise that was my ally, and the light of the day."
"What of it?"
"They are creatures of the night. They prefer to walk in subtle tones of night. They do not fear the day, but it is not their friend."
"You seem to know much of these creatures." The churning I feel begins to lessen as we talk. "Why is that."
"I do." My savior rises, dusting off his pants before the fire. He stands tall before me, a serious look suddenly upon his face. "Because I hunt them."
My soul shakes at his words. What has become of my friend? What would turn his life to such ends? I can only guess. The flames crackle as night begins to take hold of the mountains, daylight snuffed as were the lives of my captors.
It is time to sleep.