Copyright 2010 Patricia Kekewick
Silence. Nothing has stirred in the sacred space for a hundred years, and it seemed that nothing would stir it for the next century either. There were no native birds twittering in sync with each other and no kangaroos ever dared to bounce amongst the fallen branches since before the times of the Aboriginals. Nothing that comes to this place that ever wants to stay for very long. The Old Ones that watch over the land have taken up a duty to protect it from those who have impure intentions. It is the Old Ones that have shaped the forest. They created all the twisted turns to confuse hapless wanderers and the gnarled wild roots that trip unwary seekers of adventure. It is their strength that flows through the land, the grass and sky.
The Old Ones still breathe the air and will always keep those who seek to harm away from the land. They alone know where it is buried, hidden away from a world that would never understand its true purpose.
Her breathing was ragged and she didn’t want to keep on running any more. There was no way that she was going to tell them that though, because that would mean they would win, and she would never let them win. Her hair, only a few hours earlier carefully straightened to the thickness of sheet metal, blew around her head with wild abandonment, tangling itself into large knots. Her eyes blurred with tears of exhaustion as the noises around her joined together so that one was barely discernable from another. Her legs ached from the overuse. She could smell the faint traces of sweat as it rolled down her face. Oh God, I’m going to smell when I stop running, she thought, horrified at the idea.