Did you like those pics I added in the last segment? I love the Hoh Rainforest. Most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
And my writing enjoyment continues. Here’s the 7th installment in PM.
======== The Path of Moonlight ========
I stared at the blade, my mind strangely calm though my pulse hammered in my throat. What do I call that? I thought to myself. It was too long to be a kitchen knife or a dagger, too short to be a sword. I couldn’t take my eyes from the sharpened implement being pointed at my face.
“Who are you?” a voice asked.
For a moment a crazed part of my mind thought the knife was talking. Then I remembered there was more to the world than the tip of a blade and the realization that a person, a man was on the other end of the weapon sunk in. I didn’t answer him. I couldn’t. I was transfixed and knew without thinking it that the moment I moved or looked away from the blade was the moment when it would strike me and I would die.
“Are you mute?” the man asked. “Where’s your tongue, girl?” When I continued to stay silent, he brandished the weapon in front of me and demanded I answer him.
The sudden movement and harsh tone made me wince. I blinked, my eyes burning, and began to breathe again.
“Charlotte,” I said. Squeaked actually so I had to repeat myself when he frowned at me. “My name is Charlotte.”
“And what are you doing out here? Nobody comes to this forest unless they wish for death.”
None of what he said made sense to me and I gaped, unable to grasp what to ask first.
“Did you hear me?” he asked, lowering the weapon a trifle.
I stuttered, trying to gather my wits and answer him. “I…I don’t understand.”
His frown deepened as he stared at me and his stance became more wary. I saw that he carried another blade at his waist about the same length as the one he held. It didn’t make me feel better. A small part of me briefly considered running if I ever saw the chance but I doubted I’d make it far. His clothing was odd – nondescript, worn leather made up the majority of the outfit; he looked like something out of a romanticized medieval movie. Even I, as out of touch with pop culture as I was, had seen pictures of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. I had heard others talking at school about Renaissance festivals and such and wondered if he participated in those kinds of things.
The more I watched him, the more suspicious I became that he was an escapee from an insane asylum. If I wasn’t careful, he may get violent and I might find myself skewered on those blades of his. They looked real enough and sharp, but how would anyone, especially an escaped lunatic, find weapons like that?
“Are you one of the forest folk?” he asked and I saw his free hand curl around the second blade. I tensed, sure now that he was an escaped lunatic, and wondered if I would be able to run away before he attacked. I didn’t know how to swim so I couldn’t retreat backwards. I didn’t know how deep the water was either. Either I would drown going that way or it would be shallow enough for me to walk through in which case he’d be able to follow and, being stronger and faster, kill me anyway.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“You don’t look like one,” he said and seemed to be speaking to himself as he studied me. “But they’re known to change shapes. You could be one. I’ve never come up on one unawares.” He was silent as he stared at me. I stayed as still as one facing a wild animal might. He sighed. “Life is made up of firsts. It’s a lucky man who catches a living forest born.” He frowned again. “Or unlucky.”
I licked my lips and attempted a timid request, hoping that might bring him to his senses. “Sir,” I said, “I was walking through the park last night and got lost. Could you help me? My parents must be worried that I never came home last night.”
He looked at me strangely, as if trying to make sense of my words though we spoke the same language. Then he pointed the blade at me again, his wary stance renewed with purpose.
“I will not listen to your lies, forest girl,” he said. My hope that I’d break through his delusions and appeal to his better nature crumbled. He obviously didn’t think he was Robin Hood or he might’ve helped a damsel in distress.
“I’m not lying.” I stared at the weapon pointing at me and the pleading note in my voice was real. After all I had done to run away, I didn’t want to die now that I was free. “My name is Charlotte. I have no idea what the forest born are. I just want to get out of here.”
He didn’t move and his expression was hard as he stared at me, debating my words.
======== End of 7th Installment ========
Will this renaissance escapee lunatic believe her or will he capture her and sell her to the highest bidder of forest born oddities? Where’d that come from? No idea. Just making it up as I go along.
Come back later this week for the 8th segment. And try to do more that just trudge through your work week. Enjoy yourself!