Sibling to 30 Minute Manuscripts but with less rules and restrictions: these may be longer and more polished. Also, hopefully, a weekly occurrence. I haven’t yet decided whether to continue Thea’s story (or find a beginning to it). Guess we’ll all find out next week. 🙂
Thea stumbled through the night, casting panicked glances over her shoulder; not fooled for a moment by the emptiness behind her. Her magic Sense was alert to the threads of power coming towards her from every direction, a net that was drawing tighter with every passing second.
Vaulting a low wall in an awkwardly timed leap, she landed with a whimper, scaring a rabbit out of the long grass. As it bounded away, she felt a rush of empathy for it, roused from its bed and terrified into heedless flight.
“Sorry fluffy,” she muttered shakily, pushing herself up onto trembling legs.
The threads of magic still burned into her consciousness, tugging at her Sense and pushing her towards recklessness. The temptation to turn and fight was strong but she was outnumbered and quite likely outmatched. She could literally taste him out there – Mannen – the tangy, caustic flavour of his power stretching towards her like tendrils of fire.
Running again, Thea’s tired mind began concocting a plan. She knew she couldn’t outrun them but maybe she could outwit them. The landscape was different at night. Dips and hollows that she knew well became unknown entities just waiting to trip her, trap her and deliver her to the pursuers. If she was right though, she wasn’t far from something that could turn the tables.
Darting to the right, she ducked under the low hanging branch of a Sentinel tree, which confirmed her estimations. Maybe four hundred yards lay between her and her destination. She reached out with her Sense, deepening the connection to the hunter, tasting their intentions and proximity.
She had minutes at most.
Dashing headlong towards the partially concealed entrance of the natural cave, she failed to spot the deeper shadow that lingered inside until it was too late. As she crossed the threshold, strong arms snaked around her waist and warm breath tickled the hairs on the back of her neck.
“Don’t scream.” A deep voice that she felt as much as heard rumbled in her ear.
She snorted derisively. “Let me go and maybe I won’t” She had no intention of alerting the rest of his buddies to her position and if he wanted her quiet then maybe she could use that to her advantage.
“If I let go, will you promise not to do anything stupid?”
“Sure.” She purred, already planning her attack.
Her captor loosened his hold on her waist and placed his hands in the small of her back, giving her a shove to create a clear space between them.
She struggled to maintain her footing on the uneven floor while drawing twin stilettos from their ornate sheaths as she turned to face him.
“I’m thinking that whatever you plan to do with those may qualify as stupid.” The whisper of a long blade sang through the space between them. He held the sabre in a loose, one handed grip; non-threatening but prepared.
“Stupid, would be trusting you.”