Chapter 19: The Blood Curdling Scream
It was in the beginnings of the evening hours when we decided to stop for the night, by an old ruin of a long-forgotten house. My body was exhausted, but my mind was as sharp as a whistle. I conjured fire from thin air, to keep us warm. That night I used some protection spells, from any enemies that were lurking in the shadows.
We had been at our small campsite for a while when I heard it. A blood-curdling scream, coming yards away from us. Instantly, I rose to see if I could see any anomalies. No one appeared. Once again, I heard the scream, this time ever so closer. A woman appeared out of the shadows that the trees produced. She was shaggy, dirty looking; her dress was ripped with holes all over. Cuts were on her arms and head. Then two small boys appeared, they too had the same appearance. All of them had hope in their eyes when they saw me. As they walked closer to my little fire, I could see them clearer. The woman had to be around thirty years old. And the boys that accompanied her had to be nine and six.
“What should I do, they do not seem to be threatening?”
" Everything is not what they appear to be. Let them come in. I am also curious about them. Be on your guard.”
I lifted the protection spell, as they proceeded to come in.
" Are you good ma’am, I heard a scream. You are injured. Please, come. Sit by the fire, and commune with me. You are completely safe; I assure you. ” I told them, they seemed a little hesitant before they step nearer to me.
“Thank you, sir, my name is Sophia. These are my nephews, Jacob and Ethan.” She said as I rolled a log up to the fire for their chairs’.
" I’m glad to meet you; my name is Andrew. Would you like something to eat and drink?”
The boy’s’ eyes widened with excitement when I mentioned that I had food and water.
“Please, sir. If you have any to spare.”
" I have plenty to go around. I will be with you in a moment’s time.”
I went over where I was sitting and sprung forth a spring of fresh cool water. I made sure they did not notice that I conjure it up of course. For they will most likely be weary of me. There is an overwhelming power of Evil than good in this world. That sometimes people cannot tell the difference of someone’s motives when they perform spells. For I was the same way, in another life.
I placed the water in wooden cups that I magically brought out of the satchel. As well as the water, I gave them a pound of dried meat.
“Here you go, I found this spring when I constructed this campsite. It is clean water I assure you. I was drinking some earlier this evening. ”
" Boys, what do you say to this kind gentleman?”
A little thank you peeped out of both boy’s mouths before they drank the cups completely dry before they devoured their meal.
" Were you the one that screamed minutes ago?” I asked.
" Yes, men have been following us for a couple of nights now. You cannot see them; they are hiding in the shadows. When we travel during the day, no harm comes to us. But at night, they torture us by invisible things. The only thing that we can do is run until day breaks. My poor nephews had to endure painful tortures these last couple of nights, and I could have done nothing! Only watched as they were in agony.” Sophia started to burst into a steady sob.
" Shhh. It’s alright; you’re safe now. ” I said, trying to comfort her,” Pray, how do you know it is men that are doing these things. If you cannot see them?”
" This area is said to be the home of the evil that lurks in the Ageless Forest. ”
“I am looking for a man who resides in the Ageless Forest. You have stated the evil from the Forest lurks in this patch of wood; maybe I can find him. Do you know by chance the name of Dylan?”
A petrified looked crept upon her face, ” I know the name very well.”
" What do you know about him?”
" He was the man that killed my sister and her husband, leaving these children to my care. Burned our village into ash just for the fun of it. He is a thorn in our backside. We never do know when it is our time that he wants to reach havoc upon us. He takes our sons away from us, no one ever sees them again. That is why I am trying to run, to seek shelter somewhere safer, than here. For my nephew’s sake. I cannot let that monster take the only thing I cherish more in life. Sir, why do you seek him so?”
" I cannot explain that right now. But I need to find him. Do you understand this?”
" I believe I do.”
“Have you been in the Ageless Forest?”
" No one ever dares to venture to that awful place, including I. My apologies, sir.”
" It is alright. You rest now; I will not let anyone harm you or your family.”
" Thank you, sir, for everything.”
" Do not mention it.”
I walked off a little bit to give them some privacy.
“What do you think about this matter, Master?”
“Her story is very captivating. What I am getting out of it, with the combination of what we know already; this area is where Dylan teaches and trains his followers. He steals boys to become his future generation. The situation is more dangerous than I could have imagined.”
“What are we going to do about this woman and her nephews?”
" I do not know. ”
“We cannot leave them here; do you think Jim can take care of them. He has plenty of enough room.”
" I do not know Jim in his older age as well as you do. Do you think it is a good idea?”
" Well, we cannot leave them here since they have endured so much thus far, nor we cannot take them with us on our journey. I do believe Jim will enjoy their company very much. It can get awfully lonesome in an empty house like his. ”
“We will tell them where to go in the morning. Right now, we must all rest.”
" Of course, Master.”
When I went back to the campsite, the little group was fast asleep. Grateful for the protection that I bestowed upon them.