Haunt wadded into the river, the murky water reaching her waist. Twice she slipped on the moss covered rocks at the bottom of the river and gasp for breath as she crawled onto the surface rocks.Her clothes clung to her skin as she stood dizzy and stumbled forward blindly.
“Haunt…” the wind seemed to whisper to her as she headed for the beloved shelter of the trees, and sank behind a bush. She was too tired to move and find any other place to rest.
The scent of the hunters had faded and no one was following her. Fitfully she fell asleep to the rushing of the river.
“Haunt! Where are you? Haunt…?” the voice of her little sister sliced into her head, she turned around and around but there was nothing in the surrounding darkness. “Katrina! Where are you? Please tell me, Katrina!” Haunt’s voice caught on a sob as the shadows swirled and swirled, confusing her and making her feel alone.
“Haunt…..Why? Why did you leave me? Why didn’t you protect me like you promised? Why!?” Katrina wailed from behind Haunt and she turned to see the small girl, dressed only in a white dressing gown. “I-I didn’t know….I didn’t know they’d take you. I didn’t know!” Haunt defended herself, her heart constricting painfully.
Suddenly Haunt was back at the cottage that she had shared with her mother and sister. The three blood hound hunters stood at the end of the room, the body of her mother lay slain on the floor by the door. Fear rushed through Haunts system. Katrina ran from the kitchen and to Haunt, she grabbed her and ran out.
The forest that had been her home for 19 years whirred by in a panicked blur. The sounds of pursuit rang loudly in her ears, she could smell the acid tang of male and blood. Katrina stumbled and fell, taking Haunt down as well. Pain snaked through Her knee as she hit in on a rock, she sat dazed and in pain.
“Get up haunt, get it up!” Katrina cried, tugging helplessly at Haunts arm. She tried standing, only to collapse back on the ground as the pain shafted through her. “I can’t! Go, go! Run, save yourself!” she pushed her little sister away, looking back to see the men closing in on them.
“Wh-what about you?” Katrina’s voice wobbled as she stood there, looking from the men to her older sister.
“Forget me, I’ll be fine, save yourself, head for Darando, they’ll help you there. Now Go!” with a last shove, Katrina stumbled then took off at full speed away from her. She watched her little sister disappear, a tide of despair washing over her.
The three men had paused right in front of her, looking down at her, smiles of triumph on their faces.
“Well, well, looks like I’ve just caught myself a new wife.”