Jeremiah took the package and walked a little distance to the river’s edge, hopped from rock to rock and settled down where the rushing water could rumble around him.
Warm sun forced the long tan coat he wore off, so he folded it neatly and laid it beside him, clear of the water insuring it would be dry for the night’s cold. It was a good coat, showing a few holes from years of wear, but it would be good for years yet.
Settled, he looked to the sky, mumbled a few words of thanks, and unwrapped the turkey sandwich.
Gravel crunched underfoot sounding a rhythm as Casey ran the river trail. The sun blazed down, turning what should have been a cool fall day into very late summer scorcher that pulled sweat from every pore of the lone trail runner.
Just a couple more miles to the bridge and cool shade by the water.
At the bridge Casey drank water from a reusable bottle and stretched the legs out before sitting on a pile of large, cool rocks to rest in the refreshingly moist river air.
Casey never saw who lay behind the rocks until it was too late.
The cleric stood atop the dais, speaking softly to the assembled circling the alter.
“Tonight!,” he exclaimed. Fire erupted from torches bathing the assembled in fierce heat. They pulled away, then leaned in as soft words accompanied the flames dwindling. “Go forth. What has been taken will be reclaimed.”
“Yes,” they shouted. “Yes, we will reclaim!”
“Bring fire upon the unbelievers. Rise up, strong and fierce,” he elongated fierce, accenting it with another gout of flame.
With destruction in their hearts, they poured from the assembly.
The cleric, his work done, retired atop the tower to watch the world burn.