Previous: Chapter 14
Chapter 15 (For all I’m worth)
We panted, darting between trees as we ran.
The figure’s body, wreathed in flame as it was, illuminated the woods with ease, but the smell of burning pine and the heat kissing our backs made the exhaustion and hunger seem irrelevant. No matter how fast we ran, the creature slowly closed the distance. Animals of all sorts burst out of their hiding places at our passing, but instead of bothering us, they bolted to the left and right of us, out of the figure’s path.
I wasn’t sure how far or for how long we had run, but we couldn’t stop.
Yalrein tripped, landing in a prickly bush that ripped into his side and right thigh.
No time to pull out the ointment and bandage him up, I skidded to a stop and picked him up, placing his left arm around my shoulder and starting forward again. “Hang in there.”
“Stop imitating Ekanli.”
“Then stop telling me to do something that would hurt her.”
Yalrein gritted his teeth and worked his right leg as much as he could, unable to put a lot of weight on it. But with me being half a foot taller than him, my hunched form, no matter how trained my muscles were, couldn’t keep up the pace we had been going. That was until the figure behind us let out a roar like an enraged pentabull.
I hooked Barges on my belt then scooped Yalrein up in my arms, running with him as my burden for all I was worth.
“If you ever mention this to anyone,” Yalrein said.
“Wouldn’t dream of it.” I tried not to smile, and with another roar from the figure behind us, this time sounding rather close, it wasn’t too hard not to.
The heat behind me intensified and crunching footsteps followed close on my heels.
No looking back. Just forward. Go. Watch out for trees. Watch out for bushes.
A blazing hot hand pressed into my back, and like when I had gotten Weron’s way, the melting of flesh blackened my vision.
This was it. We were done for. But maybe …
“Roll and crawl off to the left!” I tossed Yalrein with everything I had left then took off in the opposite direction.
The hand on my back shoved me forward then a wave of hot air threw me through the forest into a massive pine. The heat vanished, and darkness overtook the woods.
I wasn’t sure if it meant the figure had gone away, run out of time like the One or if I was just passing out.
The slack in my muscles and my heavy eyelids said it was probably just me passing out.
At least Yalrein should be safe.
Next: Chapter 16