CARNIVORE is the fourth book in the Windfallow series, the first of the second trilogy. Zach and his brother, Jake, are grown men now with families of their own. Their sons now become the heros. The scene opens as the boys find an old wooden box…
“Hey, Uncle Zach, what’s this?” Jake’s son came loping from the house with an old wooden box in his arms. “We found this in the attic but it’s locked. There’re three more just like it!” The boy, tall and gangly, looked much as his uncle Zachary had looked at that age. He dropped to the ground beside his uncle’s chair with the box in his lap. “Aunt Melyssa says you can tell me about it.”
At first Zach Thomas looked startled. “Where on earth did you find that, Cory?” He took the box from the boy as a nostalgic look played across his face. “Remember this, Jake? What a time! Thirty years? Been a long time.”
“You know about this, too, Dad?” Cory turned his attention to his father. Red hair and freckles contrasted with his dark complexioned cousins. “Come on, tell us about it!” By this time two more adolescents had joined the first with a toddler trailing behind.
Zach looked at Jake. “Do you think it’s safe now to talk about this?”
Jake shrugged and Zach turned to the children. Cory stood tallest with David and Sara, Zach’s twins, only slightly below his chin. Joshua, Jake’s four-year-old, came up beside Jake and lifted his arms to be held. With Josh seated happily on his father’s lap, Zach took a ring of keys from his pocket and chose one with an ornate design.
In seconds the box was open and the children crowded in to see. No tissue paper had been needed to keep the contents fresh. A clean, earthy smell came from it and Cory was surprised to see a tear glistening in his uncle’s eye. Zach sat very still for a few seconds, breathing in the almost forgotten odors of Windfallow. Then, slowly he lifted from the box a tunic-like shirt, with no buttons, made of a material that glistened in the dappled sunlight under the big maple tree. Beneath that was folded a pair of slim leggings made of similar but heavier cloth and on the bottom a pair of odd-looking shoes. Beside them lay an object that flashed and sparkled in the occasional sunbeam.
“This was your box, Jake.” Zach lifted the sliver of gemstone from beside the shoes. “Here’s your knife.” He handed the knife to Jake taking care not to touch the razor thin edge.
“That’s a knife?” marveled Sara. “But it looks like a ruby! Where did it come from?”
Jake spoke up. “Hold on, kids. You are about to hear a story you will have trouble believing, but I know it’s true, because I was a part of it. Zach?”