Camille sat on the fallen tree trunk, caressing the ruffled bark with smooth fingers. Around her a single shaft of strong yellow sunlight threaded into the forest clearing. She felt warmed by its caress. Sparkles of fragments of dust twinkled in the strangely harsh exposure of the ray, wafting in the draught, floating in haphazard patterns of fall.
Her visitor introduced himself with nothing more than a grunt of acknowledgement. Camille stood up, reluctance visible in the exaggeratedly slow movement of her muscles, and moved tentatively towards him.
Grmph stood two heads taller than her and was covered from top to bottom in a thick and matted coat of dark green fur. His limbs were long and heavy, powerful blocks of potential violence, his face hidden beneath the slightly more delicate feathering of his facial fleece.
Camille stood detached from him, looking up into the general area of his face with a forced smile, and opened her arms in welcome.
‘Thank you for coming.’ She started, pausing until he nodded, wanting to make sure that she was being heard. ‘I have a job for you.’
Grmph tipped his head to one side to indicate that he was hearing her, that he was listening.
Camille’s heart was racing, adrenaline pounding her body into frightened numbness, but she couldn’t say what she was scared of. It wasn’t of Grmph, he was reasonable in his violence, a creature that would only unleash the power of his body for a good, or well paid, cause. She knew also that she shouldn’t take his ineloquence as a sign of lack of intelligence.
It wasn’t that she was scared of what she was asking him to do either. The job simply had to be done. There was no choice. She had thought about it ceaselessly for days and unending nights and had come up with no other way.
‘I want you to kill my father.’ She said, her voice shaking resolutely.