“Listen Koga, you need to remember not to look into anythings eyes if you journey into the forest.”  These words of his mother where the first thing that popped into Koga’s head when he looked up from foraging for adderbane and found himself face to face with a snake many times larger than himself.  He looked into its eyes and suddenly his limbs felt numb and he could barely move.

“Move” he though to himself, and some how he did so, averting his gaze from the snake’s and rolling around a tree.  He fell as he rolled, his leg muscles cramping up from the snake’s hypnotic gaze.  As he half dragged half ran himself from tree to tree, he could hear the giant snake crushing plants and flowers behind him.  It was not going quickly, but it was keeping up, and he was fairly certain it was just toying with him.  As he continued his movement Koga considered the terrain and what he could possibly do in this situation.  He drew himself a mental map of the area, then after noting a few important landmarks, began to move in a direction informed by more than just flight.

After nearly a minute of barely keeping out of the reach of the great snake, the boy found the first landmark he had remembered.  Ten or twelve purple spheres, marked with faces and poison signs floated together in a small little valley in the forest.  Koga’s jump onto the valley floor turned into more of a roll, but he quickly got on his feet again and weaved through the floating purple spheres.  The snake however was just too large.  As it came crashing after him, it made contact with the spheres, which called out an angry cry, and then exploded in unison.  The snake was dazed from the explosions and so Koga ran on, down the valley toward a pool of water he knew was located there.  The snake followed.  At the last moment before he reached the stream, Koga fell, turning over on his back and looking up.  The snake reared up gazing down at him again.  The numbness had started to fade a bit as the chase had gone on, but as the snake glared at him, he could feel his muscles tense up.  As soon as he felt that, he rolled sideways, extremely quickly.  The snake’s gaze looked back at it, and Koga could see its muscles tense just as his had, the snake unwilling to lose a staring contest, even with itself.  With a moment of free time, Koga reached into his bag and pulled out something special.  The red and white sphere had been a gift from his dad, something that he had been informed would be used to keep the families honor.  He tossed the ball at the snake, and the creature was pulled inside.  The ball shook this way and that as the snake tried to escape the confines of the ball, but the damage from the explosions and its own reflected gaze was too much.  The ball stopped shaking and Koga picked it up.  He sat by the pool for several minutes, staring at the sphere and letting his muscles relax.  Eventually, he stowed the sphere on his belt, and made his way back home.


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