I CREPT downstairs and tiptoed soundlessly across the yard, dashing outside the open gate into the dusty, stone-covered road. Heat waves sent electric shocks up my trembling knees. I ran faster until I reached the top of the hill. Without hesitation, I rushed downwards, rolling into the soft, dry carabao grass. Brushing dirt from my knees, backsides and elbows, I advanced toward the dense undergrowth. Abruptly, I was plunged into the darkness.
The thick rows of trees were still and the crackle of dry leaves echoed faintly into the gloom as I stepped on them. I heard the distant sound of running water. A filter of light escaped the protective roof of leaves and illuminated my path. As the light grew stronger, everything was bleached in black and silver. The trees thinned, making way for the wide expanse of water.I flopped into the soft bed of moss covering the bank. Across the mist was a jungle of coconut trees swaying slightly in the breeze. The murky, still depths rippled as a cow bent its head to the water and drank. A loud squawk cut the silence and the cow lazily raised its head, droplets of diamonds from its muzzle causing more ripples. A responding screech followed, and then another and another, until the noise rose to a wild crescendo as I became a captive listener to nature’s symphonic orchestra.
At last, the frantic beating of my heart slowed to an even, normal tempo. I opened my eyes and turned my head to the sound of Rofel Brion’s soft voice.