I walked briskly through the night. All my expectations had been dashed. The stillness of the air around me highlighted the pounding of my heart. I could feel the tears staining my cheeks. My hair still pulled back, unabashedly showing my face. If anything came too close to me, I would kill it. I was almost wishing some unfortunate being would cross my path, here in the moonlight of this darkened wood. Cutting my thoughts short, I heard a sickening crunch beside me. I whipped around, perhaps I’d get my wish. A lean, grey, she-wolf stood there, watching me walk closer. Judging by her size, I could take her down. The wolf looked surprised in the few moments before I had her leg in my grip. She turned angrily, knocking me on my back. I screamed and she took a hit to the nose. She bit me again. Why did this miserable animal exist? Minutes later, the wolf had her jaws around my face. If I moved, she would kill me. All my muscles tensed, I didn’t dare gasp for breath. I felt her teeth biting down on me harder. I was bleeding. Instinct kicked in, and I used all of my strength to rip away from her. Various spots on my face exploded with pain. I got to my feet, all aspects of the earlier catastrophe forgotten. The wolf, instead of lunging, turned and ran into the darkness. I just looked down at the piling leaves upon the ground. I fell to my knees with the memories that were flooding back. The dinner. All those people. The complete sureness radiating from my parents and I. The lights dimming. The card-reading woman speaking. We knew what it was supposed to be, of course. We’d written it ourselves! I remember laughing at the thought. Thinking they were so stupid. That we could re-write it and not even have them notice. But when the card-reading woman opened the envelope determining who would continue the reign, my parents or a different successor, it wasn’t like they’d written. We’d lost the throne. Papa broke his glass when she read the name from the card. All of a sudden, we were nothing. The guards came in. ”Escorts” they said, “Nothing to worry about,” they said. I just ran. I wonder what they’re saying now! Now, when they can no longer blackmail the card-writers… A dark thought came into my head. One probably true. The card-writers have undoubtedly let out how we’ve been in reign for so long. Revenge is theirs. I crumple into a ball. I realize I’ve started to cry gentle tears. I wipe them from my face and stand. I can’t go back, I think. Besides, I’m lost. Lost in the woods. Like in the old stories. One in particular settles in my mind. An heiress, lost far away in a thick forest. She’s then trapped in a tower, where she falls to sleep and shall never awaken… I don’t remember how the rest goes, but it doesn’t matter. I am not an heiress anymore….. I can’t go back, they’ll execute me. I’m guilty by association…
The realization dawns. I have to run.
And so I do. I am very grateful for the fact I did not choose a dress to wear for the dinner as I tear through the trees away from the palace. East. Hours later, my muscles tired and sore, I can see the light beginning to come back. Again, the snatches of overheard stories running through my head. They say if you run East long enough, you’ll reach the Glowing Mountain of the Gods. Do I believe the stories? I can’t decide. The Glowing Mountain is undeniably real. You can see it in the sky as it passes over each day. But to run long enough to catch it?
I know it’s a cliffhanger…
But hey, what do you think happens next? Where does she go? What happens? …Could she ever reach the Glowing Mountain?
Tell me what you think? Please?