Out of the Frying Pan

The cold air slammed through her lungs as she ran, and her blood seeped through her fingers as they clamped over the nasty-looking slash on her side…but she hardly noticed this. She had escaped! It was a miracle, and she truly did not recall how she managed such a feat. Nor did she care. She was running through the fields of Bree-land. Running a free woman.

When had she escaped? It was now afternoon…it had been dark when she first managed to evade her captors. She forced herself not to shudder, as she recalled the animalistic manner in which her captor had held himself. He had not seemed human. She forced all such memories from her mind.

She had to see Ashwyneth…the woman who had always been much like an older sister to Dru. Ash would be hurt from how little Dru had spoken to her, and to see how Dru’s life was reaching out to kill her again. But Dru also knew Ash would be someone she could count on, and would certainly be glad to see her. She would tend her wounds, help her heal quickly…then Dru could set out to search the river where the man said he had dumped Stitches. She had to make sure…that another had not died for her sake.

She opened her eyes. She hadn’t been aware of herself falling over a large tree root, but apparently, she did indeed fall. Fortunately, her head appeared to be unharmed by this, though it did certainly ache. How long had it been since she had slept? Who cared? She was free.

A man’s voice. Then another’s. Dru looked up slowly, her eyes clouded in her exhaustion as it finally began taking a hold on her. Or was it the blood loss? “What if she bites me?” She heard one of the men ask the other…a man wearing an odd mask and bright, obnoxious colour. She had to laugh. He was afraid of her biting him? “Oh, poor lad,” she began in a weak tone, then strengthening her voice, continued, “I would not bite you.” A pause. “I would rip your throat out with my belt buckle.” She could tell neither of them intended to do any sort of good. In fact, she had the deep sense of trouble. Her hand reached for her sword. Gone. “He took it when you were prisoner, foolish lass,” she thought to herself. The men moved. Instinct took over and adrenaline flowed. Somehow, she managed to wrest the frightened man’s sword from his grip. He came at her with his shield, so she pinned his foot to the ground with the sword, the only thing not covered by armour in that moment.

Fading. She could feel it. When did they stop attacking her? They stood just out of her reach. Watching. Grinning. Why was the world folding on itself? “N-no,” she whispered to herself as her head met the ground. Exhaustion and blood loss won. Just before her eyes slipped into darkness, one thought remained. “I failed. To protect. Forgive me…Stitches. Stitches.” The world ceased to exist as her mind went black.