When Death Smiles: Chapter 1 - by SheaRyhai
The snow fell quietly, covering the forest and empty road in a blanket of white. A faint hoot of an owl echoed in the distance of the dark silent night. Chilled ice clung to the branches of a berry bush as a field mouse hid nervously. It's small dark eyes lite up by the lanterns on a approaching carriage.
Four large work horses moved together at a steady pace pulling the cage of shackled young boys and girls behind them. Unlike the driver, who was thickly wrapped in warm furs, the young captives huddled together trying to keep warm.
The owl settled down on a near by branch to watch the passing carriage lazily. Behind their miserable merchandise three guards on horse back followed leisurely, armed with muskets and short swords. The last guard pulled another captive girl along by a rope, forcing her to walk bear footed in the snow behind them. His jerk pulled the girl off balance and the teen slipped down into the cold frozen mud below. Without a whimper or a word the girl clambered back up clumsily before the man could drag her. Green eyes buried under matted dirty blond hair remained lowered, glazed over by the pain of the cold. The guard spit in her direction and urged his horse to a slightly faster pace, forcing the girl to move faster.
In moments the carriage and its miserable occupants were gone, the field mouse moved hastily across the road. It's tiny red beating heart coursing blood in and out through small thread like veins. The owl watched it for a moment before taking flight, not towards the small morsel, but the carriage and its far bigger prey.
In the trees two ravens took off flying above the carriage, their red eyes glinting in the moonlight. On the ground below, racing through the forest a black wolf kept pace at the carriages side.
The work horses became uneasily jittery at the smell of the wolf, they increased their pace frantically ignoring the drivers hurried attempts to calm them. Behind the carriage the guards were instantly alert, shouting out to the driver who answered by pointing off into the woods and shouting "wolf". Gold eyes flickered down at them before disappearing, in the distance a howl filled the night air and the two guards hurriedly road forward to catch up to their driver and their cargo. The third driver cursed tugging at his roped captive impatiently. Instead of increasing her speed she simply collapsed onto the road.
"Fine be food for the wolves," the guard snapped with impatient disgust, cutting the rope from his saddle and moving towards the disappearing carriage. The owl passed overhead glancing only once at the unmoving girl's body before it swooped lower, eyes focused on the guard racing forward.
The driver finally managed to pull his horses to a halt, his two comrades reigned in beside him searching the woods for the source of this annoyance. Up above them the two crows circled then dived down, their small shapes shifting and enlarging as they struck the mounted guards with enough force to drag them to the ground. Fangs glinted in the moonlight briefly before they sank into the guards neck finding the warm blood they sought with greedy hunger.
The wolf launched up at the driver moving with impossible speed and taking his victim down onto the road where sharp teeth silenced the man's last scream as his jugular was ripped open. The now crazed horses quickly took off in another panicked run, anxious to be away from the red snow and vampires behind them.
"Our foods leaving in a hurry," the wolf snarled rousing the two female vampires from their meal. They instantly took flight as crows again quickly gaining on the carriage before the horses could crash it on the slippery roads.
The last guard halted at the sight of his comrades horses racing past him with empty saddles. The owl choose this moment to dive, shifting as he closed in on his victim.
"What the devil?" The guard murmured seeing the wolf standing alone among the dead bodies, his eyes filled with growing fear as he saw the slashed throats and blackish blood flowing everywhere.
"More then a devil," came a sweet child like voice against his ear. He turned to find a small boy no older then 10 kneeling behind him on his horse. Blue eyes stood out against a pale white face as the boy laughed, sharp fangs revealing themselves between the child's lips.
The wolf sat back, his howl bearly covering the guard's scream as the man drew his sword to late. The boy took him savagely down to the cold white ground, strong small hands snaping his neck as the boy drank his fill.
The guards scream pulled the girl back to reality. For several moments she gazed around herself in confusion. She had lost all feeling in her hands and feet, her body seemed drained of everything but the desire to sleep.
The horses rushed past her narrowly missing her with their dangerous hooves. She came fully awake, alerted by the strange sense of unease and danger. Raising her blackened hands to her face she murmured words into them. A faint glow appeared around her cold fingers, warming and healing them. She quickly wrapped her hands around her ankles, moments later all sign of the dangerous frost bite was gone.
But she was still to drained. 'Get off the road, out of sight' came reason jolting her back from the comforting pull of sleep yet again. She forced herself to her feet and moved hastily into the woods. The moon above seemed to watch her every movement, gradually the clouds returned to cover it once more as the snow continued to fall gently covering the blood drained bodies of the guards on the road.
Natashafinally ran out of strength, collapsing between a tree and a bush for warmth. She reapplied the spell onto her hands and feet once more, her eyes constantly dropping heavy with exhaustion. The guards had stripped her of everything but her thin under dress in an attempt to force her to reveal her magic.
Having magic was dangerous, even thoughNatasha only used it to heal, it was looked upon as a demonic power.
She missed the fur lined boots big brother had made her for her journey.Natasha was 16, the age where all young mags went out into the world to find their own homes. To many magic users drew unwanted attention.
That she was so young and desirably pretty had singled her out for these kidnappers who had intended to sell her and the others off to some foul Lord as slaves. She shuddered inwardly at the thought, but in a town full of guards and witnesses she knew better then to offer resistance, even when her mothers broach had been taken.
The broach had aroused the Captain's suspicion, so she had been stripped and searched for any form of spell books. Little did they know that all the spells Natasha's family had ever know were stored inside her head.
The cold had been her undoing, by the time she was safely away to consider escaping it had slowed her reflexes and her mind. Under the watchful eyes of three guards each armed with a gun she had slowly realized her mistake and the real danger she was in. Once her hands had become to frozen to properly form the spells she was helpless.
A twig snapped in the blackness andNatasha shrank back against the tree. A strong sense of darkness lingered in these woods. Her barely focused mind struggled to understand what had happened to the guards and the other captives but found no answer.
Sleep finally conquered her fears and she slipped into the cold of darkness, unaware of the wolf following her tracks.