Tammy woke up under a full moon, on a gravel river bed, looking up at the stars. Turning her head, she saw a tall, black woman wearing a gold necklace, clad in an outdoorsy yet refined outfit. “Tami’it,” her sonorous voice rolled as if thunder across the plains. “The way is long. You could not help me from where you were.”

Rising, Tammy bowed deeply.

“Help me by helping him,” she gestured to a form near the riverbank, a battled and bloodied, but restuflly sleeping, Seth.

The woman vanished into the woods, leaving Tammy with the image of a lion walking into the jungle. Shifting her form into that of a simple tabby cat, Tammy curled up on Seth’s cat, purring.

Seth dreamed of human-headed birds and rivers full of crocodiles, and two serpents whispering into his ears, something he couldn’t hold on to. There was a man with wings, whose face he couldn’t clearly see, who spoke words of wisdom that evaporated in the hot desert wind.

He knew that, when he next awoke, the sun would rise and his life’s next adventure would begin.