Cain wasn’t sure how he’d been sleep, but when he came to, he was still surrounded by darkness. Yawning, he pushed himself off of the rotting tree and stretched. No one came looking for him. Not surprising. Sucking in a deep inhale, he knew it would be best to begin the hunt early. In two days, they would begin preparations for the Offering, and if he failed again…
He shook his head at the thought.
He moved through the thickets, careful to avoid the hard scratches from the thorny bushes that blocked his path as he made his way towards his family’s camp site. As he reached the clearing, his skin tingled, and instantly covered with gooseflesh. His senses alerted him to the presence of something dark. He spun around, and under the low light of the moon he witnessed the hulking form of a man. From what Cain could tell, hair as black as the lunar eclipse hung well below the entity’s waist. However, it seemed as if the darkness grew denser around this form, leaving Cain unable to see his face.
“Who are you?” Cain demanded, wishing that he had not forgotten his spear at the camp site.
“Let’s just say a friend,” the entity stated softly. His deep baritone voice carried a soothing melody to it, that both calmed and unsettled Cain.
“How could you be a friend when I have never known you?” Cain asked, his eyes straining in the dark, desperate to see the entity’s face.
“Let’s just say I’ve known you, watched over you since your birth,” the male said. “And I am here to help you.”
Cain paused and then repeated, “Who are you?”
“You have an offering coming up,” The entity stated, ignoring the question. “And you worry that your father will not approve.”
Cain looked away. “Yes.”
He could feel the entity studying him, and Cain wondered the odds of this happenstance.
“Come down to the water brook on the western side of the valley by tomorrow at dawn. You will find what you are looking for there,” the entity told him. “It would be wise for you to begin your journey there as soon as possible. As I am sure you know, that is an entire day’s walk.”
“And what will be there when I arrive?” Cain heard himself ask.
Despite not being able to see the entity’s face, Cain could have sworn he “felt” him smile.
“You will see.”
“Why are you doing this?” Cain asked.
“I’ve watched you Cain. I’ve protected you even when you didn’t know I was there…”
“But why?” Cain pressed, stepping closer.
“I guess you can say, you are like a son to me.” And with that the entity disappeared.
Cain yelped in surprise, jumping back, unsure of what to make of what just happened. A slight breeze rustled the foliage behind him, and he spun around quickly, thinking that the entity had reappeared.
He did not.
Come down to the water brook on the western side of the valley by tomorrow at dawn. You will find what you are looking for there, he heard the entity’s voice whisper in his mind. The decision to go was a simple one, being that he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If his Offering was not enough for his father and The One on High, he had planned on leaving. There would be no point in sticking around and enduring his father’s disapproval while Able reaped the benefits of their father’s love.
But what if nothing awaited him at the water brook and his trip would have been in vain?
Well, there would be only one way to find out, wouldn’t it?
Gathering up his pride, Cain turned around and continued his journey towards the camp site where his family slept. He had less than a couple of hours to prepare for the hunt. The only thing he silently hoped for, was that Adam would be pleased with what he would bring home, and maybe, just maybe he would feel like he belonged.