Monday, March 26, 2018

Page 1631

((Triple Monday -- Page 1 of 3))
They abandoned their home and ran. As his mother pulled him into the dark and open wilderness, Parson looked back at the dwindling Trintol behind.

It was burning.

He could hear more screams like the one earlier, equally as horrible or more.

And he saw horsemen. Not just in the village but around it, too. One of them was riding toward them.

“Mother!” he tried to whisper. But there was too much chaos. Too much noise. She didn’t seem to hear him. Or she was simply too focused on running.

He didn’t need to be dragged, anymore. His legs were carrying him in stride with her now. He was almost dragging her, even.

But when he looked back, the horseman was still coming. It was dark, but his mother definitely noticed the rider now. She grabbed Parson and dove into a line of underbrush and rocks.

Without any shoes on, Parson’s feet were getting cut up and bleeding, but he hardly even noticed. He could still hear the horse trotting, closer than ever now. His mother stopped and held him in place with her, huddled low behind a large stone. He could barely make out the contours of her face despite being close enough to feel her breath, to hear her heart beat, even.

His own heart was pounding harder than it ever had, too. He wanted to go back to running, but she was holding him too tightly in her arms and kissing his forehead.

The horse’s clopping steps stopped, suddenly.

And they waited.

“Out with you, woman!” came a man’s shout. “I know you are here! I saw you flying the town!”

Parson could feel her trembling.

“Make this easier for yourself and come out! I will not hurt you!

His mother forced him to look up at her.

“Stay,” she said beneath her breath. “Stay, boy.”

He felt entirely unable to control himself, but he managed to nod, somehow.

Then she stood up.

He tried to hold onto her, to keep her where she was, but she was stronger than him.

And she left him there.

He didn’t move. She had told him to stay. That was all he could think about. He had to listen to her.

He tried to listen for what was happening, but he could only vaguely make out a voice every now and then. A horse neighing. A bush rustling. A bird cawing. The wind howling.

He waited. He waited a very long time. He grew cold, but for the longest time, it didn’t bother him. He was too occupied with listening, with waiting. When was she going to come back? What was taking so long? What was happening?

He wanted to know. And he also didn’t. Just thinking about the answers to those questions made him feel far colder than he already was.

At length, however, dawn broke, and he began to feel the wilderness around him. The cold, the wind, the dirt, and the hunger.

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