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Memoirs of the Lost

[Savannah] The Huntsmen, pt 2 - The Escape

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April Horinek

[Savannah] The Huntsmen, pt 2 - The Escape

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She pulled her arm out of his grasp, wrenching away and staring at him with wide, frightened eyes.

“You don’t have to do this! Catching us and taking us back, you don’t have to do this!”

He let out a snarl that was more of a hiss, spinning to face her. One large hand wrapped around her delicate throat, and she knew he could crush the life from her if he chose to. His voice was low, his eyes narrowed, “Do you have any idea what She does to those of us that fail in our duties? Do you have ANY idea what happens to the Hound who misses his prey?” He shook her by the throat, accentuating his words.

She let out a whimper of fear, shaking her head as far as she was able, stumbling over her words, “No…I…but there must be another way…”

He snarled, pushing her to the ground and standing over her, “There is no other way, Song Bird. Trust me.”

She quaked, staring up at him and scuttling back away from him, “We could run! You could help me run! I’ve heard stories…”

He let out a roar of frustrated rage, dragging her to her feet and shaking her again by her arms, “We’ll get caught! We ALWAYS get caught, you simpering idiot! You’ll get sent back to your pretty little tower and do you know what would happen to me? Do you? They would send me back to Her. And do you know what She does to Her Hounds that fail? The other Hounds would rip me apart! That is what happens to a Hound that fails. His brothers and sisters devour him, in hopes that they will not be so weak.”

He pushed her away, in disgust, turning his back on her for a moment. She knew she couldn’t outrun him, and she didn’t even bother trying. His voice softened for just a moment as he shook his head, “You think I don’t wish I could? There is no way out, Song Bird. Not for the likes of us.”

She hesitated for a moment, before touching his arm, her eyes wide as she looked up at him, “But we’ll never know, unless we try…I…I’ll do anything, if you’ll help me get away. Please…I know it’s hard, but please…”

He sighed heavily and stared down at her, his eyes sharpening with hunger and desire, “Anything?”

She blinked and swallowed hard, trembling beneath the steely gaze, “If you get me out of here alive…I will do everything in my power to make it up to you…”

He smirked and licked his lips, nodding his head once, “We have a deal, then.” He grabbed her painfully by the arm, “Now then, we run.”

They ran through the thick woods, and she had a moment to mark how he moved through the trees. He ran unburdened despite his size, gracefully moving through the trees. She was hard-pressed to keep up with him, but true to his word; he did not allow her to falter.

She saw a light breaking through the trees and she cried out to him, but he had already seen it. He looked at her, with a look of pure elation on his face, “It’s there, Song Bird! I can see it! The Hedge, we’re almost there!”

Almost unconsciously, he put on a burst of speed, dropping his weapons and his hat as he ran for the light as though his life depended on it. And it did. From behind them, she could hear the baying. The Hounds were here.

“Huntsmen!” She screamed his name, willing him to stop and come back for her. Her lungs were burning with the effort and she felt her limbs start to falter. She watched as he ran, never once looking back towards her. She felt her heart sink again as she watched him disappear into the Hedge.

She slowed her steps, knowing that all was lost for her once again. She felt exhausted – mind, soul, and body. She heard a voice, low and cruel, “He left you, didn’t he, Song Bird? Oh well, one is better then none.”

Rough hands surrounded her, and the world went dark.

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