Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chapter Five

  We woke up before dawn and packed up our things, taking off into the trees just as the sun began its ascent into the blue sky. I had braided my hair down the side, and pulled my hood back up again. We weren't riding fast yet, so I didn't have to worry about it getting knocked down every five seconds. A tree branch shook and sent a flurry of pink blossoms down on us. I laughed and looked at Peter and Michael.
  Both were silent, but smiling. "I love Springtime!" Peter laughed at me and grinned.
  "Ariana, you love every season there is," he said. I chuckled and nodded happily.
  "Yeah, but especially Spring." King snorted and whinnied, shaking his head and stopping. "King?" I said questioningly. Then there was a zip as an arrow embedded itself in the tree in front of me. My eyes widened and I yelled, "scatter!"  They took off as I added, "we'll meet up where we had our first job, okay?" Imperceptible nods. I took that as a good sign and made a lot of noise as I started off in the opposite direction. "Yah!" I hollered, whipping the reins and leaning forward.
  Crunching branches and thundering hooves followed me as I crashed through the forest. I turned around on King and reached for my bow, straining to keep a hold of my saddle as well. I snatched it just as King leaped over a fallen log, knocking me off. My cloak whipped over my head and my arm slammed into the log. The other horses jumped over, the last one hitting the log and making it roll on top of my arm. I screamed, tears pooling in my eyes.
  I pulled my cloak down and tried to move the log back off, but it just rocked a little and settled again. A fat tear rolled down my cheek and I whimpered. There were three thuds and and then the crunching of leaves as three people made their way towards me. I notched my arrow and aimed as best I could, but the fog surrounding my brain was too much to see clearly through. Then a foot pushed down on the log and I screamed again. My heart went into over-time as I bit on my lip to keep from crying.
  "Lysander, stop," a voice said and instantly the extra weight lifted, leaving me gasping. "You're not supposed to hurt them." I shuddered and laughed harshly.
  "Too late," I snarled; it was getting harder and harder to breathe after both the fall and the log rolling onto my arm. The bark rubbed my skin raw and I lay flat on my back, staring up at the bright blue sky. My heart thudded in my chest as I took in the Knights armor.
  "She's pretty," another voice said. "I think the prince will like her." I growled menacingly and sat back up, aiming my bow at them again.
  "If you don't stop talking about me, I swear I will shoot all of you." There was silence, then they laughed. My anger spiked up to a whole new level. I kicked furiously at the log, ignoring the tears pouring down my face and the pain screaming in my arm. I heard angry yells and hooves clopping as Peter and Michael stampeded into the puny clearing, spears aimed at the Knight's throats.
  "Get away from her," Peter snapped. The Knight called Lysander smiled and hefted his sword out of it's sheath. 
  "Or what?" he asked mockingly. Then the growling began. First it was just one or two, then it was four, then eight, then fourteen. All snarling wolves, all from the same pack that had "attacked" us last night. The pack leader looked at me and nodded, practically bowing. I smiled and nodded back. The Knights looked scared.
  Michael and Peter rushed over to me as the wolves began to circle ominously around the Knights and heaved the log off. I looked down at the bloody mess, bruised and puffy, then glared at the Knights. "Give us your swords."
  "What?" Lysander said, baffled. "No! Why would I do that?" I smiled with fake innocence and gestured to the wolves.
  "Because if you don't, my friends here will eat you." He scowled, but handed it over. I lifted an eyebrow at the other two. "You aren't getting out of this, idiots. Do you not see the two guys behind me? They need swords too."
   "But what about us? We need the swords." I smirked at them and shrugged, wincing slightly when the motion caused pain to stab through my arm.
  "That sounds like a you problem. Plus, we're only seventeen. Well, they're eighteen, but not by much. Anyways, like I was saying, we're just kids. You guys have had special training. We haven't." They still didn't hand them over. I narrowed my eyes. "Give. Me. The. Swords. Or. I. Will. Hurt. You. Severely. Got it?" They handed me their swords. "Thank you!" I tossed one to Michael and one to Peter, then strapped mine on. "All right, let's roll." They smiled encouragingly at me and, as one, we whistled for our horses. I almost cried with joy when King burst out of the trees.

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