THE SUN HAD set an hour ago, and the rain lashed down and the wind
howled on the dark moor. A storm this late in the season was unusual, but
this one seemed different. The clouds were more menacing, tinged with
anger, the rain colder and more biting than usual.
Skerrill had to find the lost calf and get him back to the farm before his father came
back from the city on business. He'd been looking for two hours now, and he was
right in the middle of the moor when the storm hit. He knew he should have turned
back as soon as darkness fell, but then he was never the brightest boy in the valley.
If only he had remembered to lock the farm gate.
The calf was now likely dead anyway having stumbled among the boulders and rocks
panicking in the dark, and then fallen in a floodwater stream and drowned. Either
way, he was in more trouble than he could imagine.
Suddenly, a bright flash of white light and a roaring peal of thunder were preceded
by an explosion as a huge object fell from the sky and impacted the ground of the
moor no more than a stone's throw from him. Dirt, mud, water, and debris erupted
from the impact site, flying high into the air and then covering the moor for hundreds
of feet all around.
Skerrill was knocked to the ground instantly and covered in the fallout from the blast.
His ears rang and his head spun, but he staggered to his feet in a daze.
He stumbled to where the blast had happened only moments before, and in a depression
in the ground lay a huge stone glowing orange as if hot. Skerrill passed out.
Two more thunderous explosions crashed in the distance.