The moon hung, silently. Somewhere far, a clock ticked past two. The forest slept. Well. Mostly.
Around a small, dying fire, a colony of beavers plotted death. And plotted it well.
Their shadows were thrown on the ground beyond them. A black circle, shapes jumping in the firelight. A cardinal, a deer watched from the surrounding trees.
The eldest beavers spoke between themselves and finalized. They nodded. The rest, as well, nodded.
The colony would attack at noon.
Amongst the trees by the highway, the first-wavers congregated in a circle. Thirty beavers in all. They slapped their tails. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP. On the cold, thawing ground. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP. The road rumbled with the speed of automobiles.
“IN THE NAME OF ROWDKIL!” one yelled.
SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.
“FOR THE BLOOD SPILLED!” shrieked another.
Now, all first-wavers, “FOR ROWDKIL!”
The second-wavers sat or paced at a distance. Some held their weapons steady. Others continued to gnaw on the pointed ends. Gnawing and gnawing. Sharper and sharper. Most prayed quietly to Rowdkil.
“Let this branch, with the assistance of Rowdkil, find its way into the necks of the Landthieves.”
As on the night prior, but farther away, the deer and cardinal, once more, watched from behind the pines.
The first-wavers screamed into the sky. To Rowdkil!
They turned to the highway.
SLAP. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.
“FOR THE BLOOD SPILLED! FOR THE LAND STOLEN! FOR ROWDKIL!”
The first-wavers charged the road.
The cars swerved. Trucks tried to plow through. The metal twisted. The sound of crashing tore into the clouds. People screamed from their mangled cages.
Blood, human and animal, mixed on the asphalt. Dying beavers twitched under wrecked automobiles.
More than one fire formed and roared within the pile-up. Slowly, screams extinguished. Moans and weak cries remained, begging for help. Anyone. Help.
Through the wreckage, after the smoke, at the side of the highway. The second-wavers, the more solemn of the two murderous groups, slapped their tails on the ground. But, gentler.
slap. slap. slap. slap. slap.
They spoke together. “For spilled blood. Find their necks, Rowdkil. And drive our weapons forward.”
Onto the red, wet road, the second-wavers swarmed.
To the beavers, it was undoubtedly the paw of Rowdkil which drove the weapons into the gasping throats of the Landthieves. It was down the gullet of Rowdkil, which their blood drained.
The second-wavers made quick work of their brutal, uncaring task. Their sharpened branches soaked in thief blood.
Ceased were the final groans from the destroyed cars.
Out of the pines, came the elder beavers, walking briskly. They inspected the burning cars, the lifeless Landthieves.
The second-wavers fled the highway. Back into the forest. To gather wood.
On the road, the elders nodded at the pile-up. It was horrific, but necessary.
“By Rowdkil, we have done right. He has led our tails.”
The second-wave beavers returned. Chewed, shaped wood in paw.
Among the carnage, the wood was placed just so.
Back into the pines to collect more wood. And, back onto the road to position the pieces along the crushed cars.
The second-wavers repeated this process. As many times as they could, as fast as they could.
The elders watched, always nodding. “This dam shall be completed. By Rowdkil. This dam will be done.”
Sirens blared from miles down the highway.
“Second-wave!” called the eldest. “More Landthieves approach. Ready yourselves. Take up your weapons.”
The second-wavers held their pointed branches, firmly.
“GUIDE OUR PAWS, ROWDKIL!” they bellowed as one. SLAP. SLAP. SLAP.
The elders nodded. They gazed upon the pile of wrecked cars, wrecked bodies. The sirens squealed through the air.
“This will be a dam.”
The elder beavers sauntered from the road. Retreated into the woods.
“Landthieves be damned.”