The Pillar of Dominance
Warren awoke with a start. He instantly knew something was wrong.
It was almost light and he had not yet been woken for his turn to keep watch.
Warren sat up. His body was stiff from sleeping in the same position for
many hours on the hard ground. The fire had long gone out.
“Salvador?” asked Warren, looking around the camp. There was no
sign of his brother. Wooffen lifted his head and yawned.
“Salvador’s missing,” said Warren. Wooffen licked Nella’s face and
gently pawed her arm. The girl awoke and softly pushed the dog away.
“Wooffen, stop it,” she laughed sleepily. Nella sat up. Upon seeing
Warren’s posture, her face grew serious. “What is it?” she asked. She looked
around. “Where’s Salvador?”
“I don’t know,” said Warren, picking up Salvador’s handkerchief,
“but I have the feeling he is in some kind of trouble.” Warren let Wooffen
sniff the lacy handkerchief. “Can you help me find him?” he asked.
Without a word, Wooffen pressed his nose to the ground and quickly
found Salvador’s trail. Wooffen moved a little way down the side of the hill
and away from the main path. He looked back over his shoulder at the two
Warren and Nella exchanged glances. In the light of the new day they
could see that the direction Wooffen was aimed looked like something from
a frightening story. The dead, craggy trees were covered in spider webs and
moss. They leaned in sickly archways forming a maze of irregular naturally-
occurring corridors. The forest floor was whited out in a low-hanging mist.
“Come on,” said Nella, following Wooffen’s lead.
Warren went after her, a growing sense of apprehension building in
They made their way deeper into the labyrinth until Warren had lost
all sense of direction. He could no longer identify which way they had come
from. Several times he noticed strange words etched into the sides of
boulders, and he wondered if these were messages of warning. Abruptly
Wooffen came to a halt. Warren and Nella caught up to him, and then passed
him by. They were several strides ahead when Wooffen let out a quiet
whimper. Warren turned around.
“What is it Wooffen?” he asked.
“Woof-Wooffen not go on,” said the dog.
“Why not?” asked Warren, a puzzled look on his face.