River of Hope by Jackie Anton

He searches the wind trying to catch a whiff of the threat that woke him from his doze.

Small animals scurry through the underbrush in a state of panic.

He lifts his head higher as an acrid sent fills his nostrils.

The midnight sky has turned orange and red urging him to rouse his family.

Mares, yearlings, and foals follow his trumpeted orders.

Black as night, he usually fades into the darkness.

ShadowOne quick look to the west, his eyes glow like the embers lighting the treetops.

Shadow drives his small band toward the east.

He knows there is water east, but traffic is heavy.

Every living creature is running from the inferno with the same destination.

A roar of deadly intent precedes the monster’s increased speed.

Flames lick at their tails while the hot breath of the beast nips at small heels.

Shadow bellows encouragement above the roar of the fire.

“Run babies, run for the river!”

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