Tuesday, August 6, 2013

On the Run (continued)

Hey-dee-hi, hi-dee-ho! C'est moi, that side-sleeper, back-sleeper, stomach-sleeper, pillow-armer, fortress-sleeper, crash-lander conundrum, Hannah!
Yes, few will understand, and yes, that is a sort of a sorry title up there. I couldn't think of a better one on the spur of the moment. If I ever continue this story I'll see if I can't get a bit more creative. In any case, here's the second part of that blurb I promised.


The impact drove the breath from her, and her dagger bounced out of her hand. She was left on her back,

stunned, unarmed, and in pain.
Through the haze, Sofie saw three blurred figures approaching. One swore in a male voice, struggling to reload the crossbow.
“I won’t miss this time,” he snarled at his companion, pulling the string back.
Sofie forced herself to roll upright. She got on her feet as the crossbow clicked behind her.
“Got it,” the man muttered, raising it to eye level.
Breaking her pact not to look back, Sofie gazed straight at the man, backing against the net in fear. The moonlight glinted off the tip of the bolt. There seemed to be some gel-like substance coating the head.
Poison, Sofie’s subconscious guessed.
The man pulled the trigger, though Sofie didn’t remember hearing a sound. The bolt buried itself in her shoulder, deep in the muscle, flinging her backwards against the net. The woven trap under Sofie bore her smoothly to the ground. She lay there, unmoving, as the light flickered out in her mind.

Colter Serek had been waiting in his tree. So far no one had found him there, and he could keep an eye on the hunter’s activities unnoticed.
He had been sitting in the same position for the last hour, maybe longer. His legs were asleep. The only things that moved were his eyes - darting back and forth, taking in every movement and detail - and his fingers, drumming on his knee, only pausing when anything alive came into view.
Colter heard the tell-tale swish-swish of someone running through the woods. His fingers froze in mid-air.
A hundred-plus yards from the base of his tree, Colter saw a figure bounding over trees and branches with hardly a sound. The person didn’t slow as they sped toward the net-fence. Colter couldn’t help but wince as they ran into it at top speed and were flung backward onto the ground.
The figure recovered quickly, jumping to their feet. They looked around at the fence, then began to dig down at the base of the netting, squirming underneath the fence moments later.
He frowned. Who would go into the Hunter’s Haunt intentionally?
A moment later, the answer to his question came up panting along the same path the first person had arrived on. They stopped when they reached the net, obviously familiar with the trap. It looked like a big man, from what Colter could see. The man went along the length of the fence someways, then slipped in through a hidden entrance.
Colter switched back to the first figure in time to see them break cover and dart over to the opposite fence line.
Inwardly, he sighed. It would have been safer to stay among the old barrels.
He watched as the old cabin’s door opened. Three people came out, a lantern in hand. The person digging at the fence froze. Then they jumped up, clawing at the net like a wild animal and trying to climb out.
One of the hunters fired a bolt at the figure, dropping them to the ground. He started to load another bolt, and Colter was surprised to see the figure jump up again and turn to face them. The hunter fired again. The figure fell back against the net, then slipped to the ground.
Colter saw the hunters kick the body, but it didn’t move again. Finally the one with the crossbow bent over and snapped off the now-useless shaft of the old bolt. The three hunters went back into their cabin, leaving the body sprawled on the ground.
Colter closed his eyes. So passes another victim, he thought.
A light mist began to fall. Colter raised a palm to the gentle rain and sighed. He stretched his legs and climbed down from the tree, landing silently on the ground.
Time to go home.
He turned to trudge away, then cast a final glance back at the fallen figure. In his culture, it was a grave dishonor to leave a body unburied. Letting a fallen person decay in the open was the ultimate insult.
Colter let out a breath. He might as well bury them, whoever they were.

He had to move quietly, and slowly. If the hunters saw him, it was all over. The dirt under his feet was turning to mud, and he knelt next to the fence, careful not to slip.
Unsheathing his dagger, he slit the netting and went into the Hunter’s Haunt, walking as lightly as the elves of legend.
Crouching next to the fallen body, Colter was shocked to see the long hair and delicate features. Even among the blood and dirt, he could tell that it was a girl. Probably younger than him by a few years. He felt a surge of anger against the hunters. Their cruelty had reached an all-time low.
Gritting his teeth, Colter sheathed his dagger and took the girl’s arm. He pressed two fingers to the inside of her wrist.
No pulse, he thought grimly. He muttered something under his breath about the lineage of the hunters.
Colter’s eyes widened. There was a pulse, faint, but steady. Quickly he put a hand above the girl’s nose and mouth, where he could feel her breath on his skin.
She was alive.

Sofie was having a nightmare. She was lying on an infirmary table. It was cold under her back.
As she lay there, a stylus appeared over her head. It was the kind you wrote with, only it looked metal. No one was holding it, but it floated down and stabbed into her shoulder.
Instant pain flooded her body. She tried to scream and pull away, but something was holding her down, and her voice seemed to have deserted her.
In her shoulder the stylus twisted and dug around, tearing the muscle. Then on it’s own accord, it burst into flame.
Sofie’s hand was loose; she clawed at her shoulder. Her insides were on fire. The flame spread onto her left hand, shooting down her fingers, devouring her as easily as dry paper.

She jerked awake with a gasp. The fire in her arm had died away. It was just throbbing dully now.
Sofie looked around. Where am I? At first, she was dazed from sleep, but then she realized she really didn’t recognize her surroundings. It looked like she was in some shelter, a temporary outdoor construction. The ground was cold against her back, bringing the image of the infirmary table to her mind again.
Someone knelt a few feet away, their back to her.
Without thinking, Sofie sat up, grabbing for her dagger.
Immediately, the fire reignited in her shoulder, her fingers closed over empty air. Her dagger was gone. The effort made her arm feel like it was being torn from its socket.
The kneeling person turned and saw Sofie, catching her before she fell back again, hurriedly clamping a hand over her mouth.
“Don’t scream,” he hissed.
Sofie’s eyes grew big. He - because she realized it was a boy - lowered her back down to the ground, and after a warning look, took his hand off her mouth.
She didn’t scream, or make any noise, so he turned back to whatever he had been doing. Sofie watched him. Whoever he was, he didn’t look much older than her. A little older, definitely, maybe seventeen. He had dark hair, cut a bit long, but it was brushed out of his eyes, which were as dark as his hair. His skin was a pale brown, like one of his parents had had dark skin, but the other hadn’t.
“What am I doing here?” she whispered, suddenly noticing how dry her throat was.
The boy turned, handing  her a glass of water. He propped her up and helped her drink. “I saw what happened to you in Hunter’s Haunt.”
“In what?”
“That fenced-in place. Haven’t you heard of it?”
Sofie shook her head. “And you got me out?” she asked hesitantly.


Well, that's all I've got. What do you think? And also, don't forget to check out this Pinterest board, and pick a numbered picture for us to do a creative writing on!

Sosrin God ignt eht ceallian,
(To God be the Glory)

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