Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chapter 9

She was running. Her lungs were burning, yelling at her to slow down, but she would not give in. Her muscle's were screaming for a break, but she would not let them.
She glanced behind her to see the man with the scar chasing her. She changed her course, trying to get some space between them, not easy considering he was on horseback and she was on foot.
She glanced back once more, a quick look that she regretted soon after.
In that one look, she saw that the horse he was riding was Krennan, her Krennan. In that one look, she saw all the details that stuck in her memory, allowing her to see the full scene without looking.
She saw the whip marks on her horse's neck, and that wrenched her heart to know that he had been put through hell.
She changed her course again, heading as far away from him as she could.
She ran to the left and doubled back for a little while before heading right, doing everything in her power to get away. But in vain.
She came across a clearing and ran for it, only to come to a cliff face. She cursed her stupidity.
She turned to run back, but her path was blocked by the man and the brainwashed Krennan. She would not beg for her life, she would not plead with Krennan to remember her. From the look in his eyes, he'd forgotten completely and no amount of pleading would change that. Her memory had been beaten from him.
She glanced behind her at the cliff face, at the water below, hitting the sheer wall and then sliding back out into the sea again.
She heard laughter and looked back at the man. He was letting Krennan walk a little closer, into the light so that she could see the face of her murderer. How thoughtful.
"So this is where the chase ends, huh Deanna?" He said, the sunlight showing his scar, purple against his pale face. "You can try to run, if you'd like, I love a good hunt, don't you?"
"I would have thought that obvious, but no one ever accused you of being smart, huh Herndon?" She replied with as much venom as she could muster. He glowered.
"Time to die," He said. "You have nowhere else to go."
"On the contrary, I have many options."
"You have to get through me to go back to the forest, or you can plunge to your death below. I hate to tell you this, but you are trapped, like a rat." He was enjoying this.
"You're only as trapped as you believe you are," She countered before turning and leaping off of the cliff. 
Deanna sat up, drenched in sweat; she was back at her camp. She looked behind her to see Krennan staring at her.
She couldn't help herself, after the nightmare she had, she hugged him and started crying; glad that it was only a dream and that he was safe.
Soon she'd cried herself out and fell asleep. Krennan watched her for a moment longer before going to sleep himself, glad that his mistress was sleeping soundly again..
                                                                    *      *     *
The road seemed to get bumpier as they went.
"Are you sure this is the right way?" Cadman asked for perhaps the twentieth time.
"For the final time, yes." Cayle answered, though on the inside, he wasn't too sure anymore. He'd been told that this was a short cut, but he wasn't too sure now.
He was beginning to suspect that he had been misled, and that the old cod who gave him the directions is having himself a great big laugh right about now at his expense, and Cayle wasn't too happy about that thought.
"Why did you even listen to him? The man was obviously senile." Cadman said unhelpfully.
"Because shut up." Cayle responded sourly, regretting his decision enough without Cadman's help.
"How mature." Cadman muttered before shifting in his seat again, which, in Cayle's frustrated state, was becoming increasingly annoying.
Not for the first time, Cayle wished Cadman would ride with Finn and Alroy, the thought of them making his eyes automatically search them out.
They were riding to the right and a little ahead of him in the other wagon, engaged in what appeared to be an animated conversation.
He heard someone laugh.
At least someone was enjoying themselves, he thought bitterly as Cadman once more shifted in his seat.
                                                                  *      *       *
Deanna woke up slowly the next morning, stiff as a board. She sat up and rolled her shoulders in an attempt to loosen her neck. She heard a loud crunch and groaned.
"Ow." She said before getting to her feet to begin packing up.
It took her a moment to realize it was almost noon; and when she did, she dropped her pack in shock.
She glared accusingly at Krennan.
"Why didn't you wake me up?!" She demanded of the horse, who just looked back at her with that patient expression she knew all too well. "Don't give me that look! Now we've lost almost a whole day!"
She ranted for a few more minutes before she finally calmed down enough to begin packing again. "I appreciate you taking care of me Krennan, but we needed that extra day, and now its lost." She explained as she tightened his saddle girths. "Now we're going to have to ride hard in order to make it up."
Krennan neighed softly in response. She was hopeless.
"Oh shut up." Deanna muttered as she mounted.
                                                                 *      *      *
They made camp shortly before dark, Cadman taking the first watch, then Cayle, and then Alroy.
Finn protested that he could take a shift, but Cadman wouldn't hear of it, once again sending Finn into a quiet rage which consisted mostly of glaring at Cadman.
When it was his watch, Alroy sat up, staring at the stars, lost in thought. He thought back to the events that led to his meeting this strange group of travelers who were seeking something that he didn't know. He'd overheard Cadman and Cayle talking about a woman who was wanted for some crime that they refused to speak of.
Either it was really bad, or they were afraid someone might be listening in and tried to add more mystery to the whole thing. He assume it was the former.
Not for the first time, he wondered what he'd gotten himself into by running away. Again.
He then got up and woke Cadman for his watch, before rolling up in his blankets and falling asleep.