Author’s Note: This piece contains words that are not appropriate for very young readers.
Maeve and I ducked as a dagger hit the trunk of the tree. I glanced for a second before pushing Maeve.
“We’ve got to run, Maeve! Don’t stop!” I shouted.
“I’m trying, Blythe! But I’m getting tired!” My 12-year-old sister screamed back while we were running.
We moved past the tall trees and jagged forest paths. Our breathing was beginning to get heavier every run. The loud crunches of the leaves were no match over the loud yells of the men who kidnapped my sister.
“I’m going to kill you, little bitch!”
I heard a swoosh sound. My sister shrieked and abruptly stopped. I saw a long cut from her right cheek and the blood was oozing out from it.
“It hurts, Blythe!”
I fought the tears that were trying to spill. I ripped a piece of my shirt and put it on her cheek.
“Hold this first. Maeve, we’ve got to run. Malcolm is waiting for us. He’ll keep us out of here. Come on.”
I tugged her and ran again. The curses of the men never stopped. I felt my heart running fast as if it would take out of my lungs. My legs were beginning to weaken but I never stopped. I couldn’t stop. I must take my sister safe and out of here.
The amount of trees began to ease off and that was when I saw Malcolm. But it seemed that he was still far from us. He released his finger from the arrow he was holding and it flew behind us. I heard someone behind me screamed.
I looked over my shoulder and noticed that they were almost behind us. I couldn’t let them take away or even hurt my sister again. If my father just paid his debt to them, all of this wouldn’t happen.
I needed a diversion. I needed Maeve out of here, alive. I couldn’t risk Malcolm’s life. Then there was one person left.
“Maeve, listen to me. Go to Malcolm. Run to him as fast as you can. I will distract them, okay?” I shouted in the air as I couldn’t risk to stop running.
“No buts, Maeve! Just trust me. I’ll be back. I’ll do my best, Maeve. When I say run, you run.” I glanced at her eyes and saw the tears rushing out of it. I gave Maeve a weak smile.
Maeve still ran straight. I turned left and tried to speed up. The men shouted commands at each other. I peeped from my shoulder and saw that most of them were coming my way.
I took two daggers from my boots. I twisted around in the air and release both of it. Screams erupted. I snatched out the other two daggers from my waist belt. I took my time and spun around again and threw it. A single scream emerged behind me.
I reached for my crossbow behind my back and loaded it with a poisoned arrow.
But before I could turn around to shoot, an unbearable pain sliced through my back. I went down, face first and my crossbow flew.
I couldn’t breathe. My vision was beginning to whirl. I could smell blood and metal in the forest air.
Laughter boomed across the place. I heard footsteps, all coming to me. I saw a brown worn-out hunting boots in front of my eyes. It seemed like the person ducked and just then, I felt another ache. I screamed.
“You think you can get away, huh, little hero? You are wrong. I heard you miss your Mama. You want to see her, huh? You miss her? Well, your wish is my command, little bitch!”
I felt the hilt of the dagger deepen under my skin. Another set of thunderous laughter combined with my scream hovered in the forest.
The last thing I remembered was my prayer to keep Malcolm and Maeve out of harm’s way before the darkness took me.