Brad didn't understand that the balls of fire were meteorites and just a freak of nature, he just assumed it was the anger of the watchers, and
that they were being punished.
On Obsidian however, they had observed the whole episode, but they knew that there was nothing they could do. The people of the new world must realise, that as life could be given, it could also be taken away. The people of Obsidian did not want to interfere with the laws of natures.
No more fire balls came, to Brad and Simon's great relief. It took a number of days, and all the man's strength to clear up as much of the mess as he could.
Brad was anxious to take his son away from all the pain, but he also
knew they both needed time to grieve, also not all the bodies had burnt, so they would need to bury the corpses, otherwise wild animals
would make a meal of them.
Simon tried to help, but it was all too much for him. Neither man, nor boy spoke much at all, it was a time of thinking.
The boy thought about Martha's last words to him, she had said, “when you go south son, be careful of wolves in sheep clothing.”
He had asked her to explain what she meant, as he didn't understand.
She said, “people aren't always what they seem, think very carefully before you trust people you meet. You'll be going out into a big wide world, full of strangers, your father won't always be there, just be careful son.”
Simon thought he now understood what she meant, and in a way this
tragedy had helped to make him stronger, he realised he would have to be more independent.
Some days later, Simon was taking time out swimming in the river, whilst his father was diving for fish. It was late afternoon and soon the
sun would be going down.
The water was icy cold, but both man and boy were used to the bitter cold water, it was only the initial getting in, that gave them the shivers.
The water was also beneficial to Brad and Simon's wounds, which were healing well.
As the boy swam, he happened to look off into the distant tree tops
along the sky line. He thought he made out a bird flying towards them,
watching as the bird flew closer, it became clearer, and for the first time in ages Simon smiled. “Father...father!” he called.
Brad was deep under water, but heard his son shout. Swimming up to the surface, the boy excitedly exclaimed, “father! It's Tawny, he's come
back to us.”
As the owl approached, he hooted, landing on a strong branch growing out of the river bank. Both man and boy clambered out of the water, welcoming the bird back.
“Tawny must have sensed the danger and flown off.” Smiled Brad
Immediately the boy wiped himself down, with some deer skin. He put his clothes back on, suddenly swimming wasn't exciting any more.
The owl seemed to be okay, its eyes large...bright and staring intensely.
“Where have you been my friend?” Brad enquired of the bird.
The man turned to his son saying, “I'll go back down and carry on fishing for our supper, you take Tawny and get a fire started.”
“Okay father!” replied his son. “I'll light one in the grove, that way we'll be more sheltered.”
“As you wish Simon...you go now, quick it will be dark soon.” Brad dived back under water with his wooden spear in hand.
The fish seemed to have been unaffected by the explosion, also the birds appeared once more, but Brad realised that the horses had gone,
which meant they would have to travel on foot, not a prospect he was
looking forward too.
He knew Simon would be fine, but he was getting older. New challenges were ahead for father and son, life would never be the same.