Haven: Chapter One

The clouds are always so beautiful at this height, thought Scout to himself as he soared above the majestic island that rested far below. He spread his wings wide allowing the sunlight to bring its gentle warmth to each of his great feathers. Scout the Gold Eagle was the ruling councils trusted emissary and watchful eye over the islands many inhabitants.

Scout released a mighty call as he twisted into a downward arch. This allowed him to pick up a great deal of speed to better move across the island to check in on the animals. Scout burst from the concealment of the clouds racing towards the earth below.

Scout brought his wings out to pull out of the plummet to a level but hurried pace. He found himself accompanied by a gentle breeze. Today his observation would begin in the great meadow on the Island known as Haven.

The cool breeze moves past the wide pasture lands full of countless varieties of colorful and fragrant flowers. Scout loved gazing down on the countless flowers of every color in the rainbow that filled the sprawling meadow in every color of the rainbow. After centuries of wild cross-pollination has resulted in many kinds of plants that do not exist in the world beyond the meadows boundaries.

Scout rode along the breeze as its arrival signals the animals of rain by this day’s end. The Animals raised their head high to take in the many discerning scents of the meadow, however, the most dominant odor beyond the fragrance of the flowers was the earthy scent of the coming rain. The coming rains are a welcomed addition to the ebb and flow of life here helping to renew the fields of the great bounty that feed the residents of the meadow.

Boundless herds of grazing wildlife of every breed, shape, and size have made its home in this vast meadow. The great herds of wildlife here travel together to help protect their friends and families from the dangers of the natural world. Each herd keeping a watchful eye out for the many predatory animals that hide among the tall savannah-like grass that cover the meadow they all share.

The animals that dwell here understanding that life and death are inseparable truths of existence. Only through the cycle of death and birth can nature maintain the proper balance. The animals here understand that too much of either would through the balance of which might lead to all life here being wiped out.

Scout smiled that today showed no signs of death among the herds. He turned to make his approach to the Great Forest of Haven. The Forest was home to the Animal Council, to whom he owed his loyalty along with every animal of Haven.

Scout watched as the breeze stirred the many breeds of bees pollinating the flowers of the ancient meadows. Just beyond the limits of the meadows, majestic ancient trees reach high into the sky as if they could touch the clouds above. The Massive trees cover and protect the wildlife below allowing each of the many species to grow in sheer volume of life.

The great canopy of trees offers the chance for a fungus to grow in the limited Lite source and earthy smelling renewal of the fallen leaves and branches from above. Molds of every breed dwell in the ancient forest working their magic here in the process of rebirth by eliminating the debris on the forest floor. The sickly-sweet odor of the various molds and fungus fills the air of the forest floor.

Scout moved between the trees with precision and grace. The animals waved at his passing as they knew so long as he made his passing all was good on Haven. Scout offered a perceptible wink as he passed to acknowledge those below.

The forest floor stirs with life as vast and plentiful as the neighboring meadow. High above the forest floor dwells a multitude of bird species and tree-dwelling animals hide in the trees protected from the elements of nature.

Life, as it always does, has dwelt in the dense old forest both on the floor and high among the branches. Among the roots and tubers of the forest floor dwell rodents, insects, snakes, and many other animals that have lived and continue to live their lives unmolested by the corrupting influence of mankind. Just like the animals of the meadow. The forest animals enjoy the abundance of food and water found here on Haven.

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Scout exploded out of the Great Forest in sight of the long sprawling sandy shore of the encompassing beach of Haven. While it was not his favorite location, it was the bountiful sea that brought the fish into the shallow tidal pools that fed most of the animals of this beautiful hidden island.

Beyond the wide reach of the ageless forest lays the beaches that surround the island with pristine sands. The surrounding beach of the protected island the green-blue waves of the ocean wash against the shore. Bringing the bounty of the sea to those who hunt along the off-white sands and shells.

The encircling coral barrier that surrounds the island has created massive coves from which flocks of birds feed on the sea life brought into these places by the tidal flow.

Scout did not care for the shore, but he enjoyed what was to come. He loved to watch a special herd of animals on their daily path. Animals that no longer dwelled anywhere else on Earth. He looked sharp towards the horizon. He smiled as he heard the sound he sought each passing day.

Hordes of Crabs of all sizes fled the coastline as the ground moved under them. A throng of Seagulls left their meals on the shore and made their way high above to clear the path of the oncoming heard. Rolling blue translucent waves washed the shoreline clear of the animals to slow or small to get out of the way as the thunderous noise grew to a powerful crescendo.

Sounds of rolling thunder alert all the animals along the coast of the approach of a special herd of island inhabitants. The approaching herd holds great respect among all the animals of the secret island. The Island of Haven has been home to a herd of mythical and Magical Unicorns.

Scout banked his flight to take him to pass the herd. “Good morning Unicorns!” He called out as he raced past the head of the herd. Scout spun giving himself a moment of weightlessness which allowed him to offer a military-like salute to them. He recovered and continued on his way leaving the Unicorns far behind.

Ahead of the procession of Unicorns galloped their Alpha a tall and majestic white unicorn with a golden bolt of hair in the shape of lightning on his face. Thunder the stern, but a benevolent leader of the unicorns has led the herd for several decades. His mate Rain a and off-white unicorn with the slightest hint of blue to her color followed behind Thunder.

Every day it was the Alpha’s duty to lead the herd around the perimeter of the island which allowed their enchantment to maintain Haven’s in a Shroud of Storms that obscured the island from the rest of the world. It was the herds’ job to protect all of Haven from any who would bring harm to the island or its inhabitants. The Animal Council held power over the day-to-day functions of Haven, but power fell to the Unicorn protectors during times of strife.

As Thunder and the herd made their way across the meadow. Thunder slowed to a trot with a look of confusion in his face. “What is it?” Rain asked due to the sudden change of pace.

“Where is he?” Thunder shook his mane in agitation. Rain lowered her head in submission and worry, “He must have slipped away as we passed the forest. He is still a child,” Rain begged.

Thunder stopped, and the herd followed suit. Thunder spun to face Rain, “Lightning may be our son but he still must earn the herds respect if he’s becoming Alpha. I am not getting any younger and have to pass the mantle to someone. If he’s unready, I don’t know what will happen. To the herd, the Council, or To Haven.” Rain and the herd agreed with Thunders warning.

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The black unicorn, Shadow, brother to Thunder and Uncle to Lightning pressed his way from the rear of the herd. “Thunder? What is it what is wrong?” Shadow panted as he spoke. “Lightning.” Rain whispered.

“Ran off again?” Shadow asked. Thunder stepped close to Shadow, “Yes, I…” Shadow looked to the herd waiting to press onward and then turned back to his brother, “I’ll go collect him. You should lead them on the path. I will find him and we will catch up.”

Thunder relaxed his brow and peace filled his expression, “Thank you, brother. I don’t know what we would ever do without you.” A smile crossed Rain’s face as she watched Thunder calm to the situation. “Thank you, Shadow,” Rain nodded to her mates’ brother.

Shadow turned and bolted off towards the Great Forest. Thunder faced the waiting herd, “All right everyone let’s get going the veil will not maintain itself.” The many loyal unicorns nodded and rushed off behind Thunder and Rains lead.

Rain could not forget the words spoken by Thunder about their son’s naivety. She knew by Lightnings age Thunder had matured. She knew the herd had been very watchful Lightning and his childish ways.

“Thunder please he’s just…” Rain began. “Just what? A child? No, Rain, he is of age to become the next Alpha. He is making a mockery of our family and our burden of Alpha,” Thunder demanded.

Rain recoiled realizing how furious Thunder was with their son. She took a deep breath to find better words to calm the situation before her son's return. “What is it going to take for you to lighten up on him, Thunder? You know you were just about as childish as him when you were younger,” Rain whisper to Thunder.

Thunder scowled in response to her perceived insult, “This is not the time.” Rain nuzzled against Thunder's head, “can you stop being so serious for one minute. If you could you would see he needs room to grow. We have forced him into a position he may not even want. He’s young still and wants to first learn who he is. Before we try to make him what we want him to be.”

Thunder closes his eyes and dwells on the words his wife offered. “Perhaps you’re right, but I can feel the magic of our tribe leaving me. My time as Alpha is ending. I hope he figures out his life before the magic consumes me,” Thunder whispers to his bride.

Thunder and Rain close their eyes and embrace each other. “I am sure he will, Thunder. Between Keeper and us we will get him through all this,” Rain says with a gentle smile. Thunder’s love for his family was never more obvious until this minute. She saw the reflection of the Unicorn she had fallen in love within his eyes.

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