Friday, February 19, 2016

Avarice: Chapter Three

Update: The KickStarter for The Siege of Abigail Beson (Previously titled 'Avarice) is live!

<-- Chapter One
<-- Chapter Two

Abby hurried up the stairs to her room. As she climbed the stairs she thought through the things she wanted to take with. She didn’t have many treasured possessions; a leather bound journal and a battered old chess set were her only treasures. She grabbed them and her a hooded cloak, then headed back down the stairs.

The refreshing crispness of the morning air was starting to wane when they left the house. Osman led the group as they walked down the path from their front door that led through the field to the woods. They moved at a quick walk, all deathly silent. The occasional chirps of nearby birds seemed to shatter their silence like rocks thrown through glass.

Abby walked behind Vera. She looked to be moving comfortably, but her obvious anxiety and modest head wound robbed her of any semblance of grace. Vera nervously looked left and right, occasionally pausing to stare at some potential danger off in the distance.

The brief walk seemed to stretch on forever, but they eventually reached the forest’s edge without incident. Abby noticed Vera’s hands were shaking, left and right alternately clenching and releasing. Understandable, she must be even more terrified that we are, knowing she’s the target of whoever’s out there.

Abby stepped into the shade of the oak trees at the edge of the forest like she was crossing some grand threshold. The trees that yesterday had been inviting were now made her shiver with fear. Their shade was as much a hiding place for criminals as it was a relief from the sun. The closeness of the woods amplified the sound of each step they took. The crunching of sticks and leaves underfoot made Abby feel naked. We’re so exposed here. Why didn’t we go at night? At least then we’d be hidden. We know these woods. They don’t…

They walked in a single file line. Each holding onto the silence like a rope that linked them all together. Close behind Vera, Abby couldn’t see much of the path ahead.

The path turned and forest rose up around them on all sides. They kept walking, marching forward like a rowers on a boat with no land in sight.

Vera screamed. She turned and started sprinting toward the house, nearly knocking Abby as she passed. Only when Abby had recovered her balance did she notice the shapes of men moving in the forest ahead. Abby turned and ran. She heard a crash on the path behind her, and heard a cry as Emery hit the ground.  Abby kept running. She didn’t know what to do.

Tears streamed down her face as she sprinted back up the path. She ran as long as she could, never looking back, convinced there was someone behind her.
Finally she saw the light of the forest ahead. As she emerged into the light, she saw that her parents, aunt, and Glad were still running, and had nearly reached the house.

As Abby approached the house, she heard her mother crying. “Why did we leave him! They’re going to kill him!” “There were too many…” sighed Osman. “I saw at least 6 men, and I’m sure there were more. If we’d tried to fight we’d all be dead.”

“Marietta...” Vera started.

“You brought this on us!” Marietta cried “Why did you have to come to us…”
“There was nowhere else to go…”. Vera sat down and put her head in her hands.

His shoulders slumped in defeat, Osman sighed. “If they didn’t know where we were before, they do now.”

Chapter Four -->

Copyright 2016 Tyler Smith

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