The dark figure dashed through the woods, knowing if he got caught, it would be over.
It was a cold night, and the figure didn’t know how much longer he could run. He had already been running for quite some time now. The figure quickly ducked behind a bush, giving himself a few minutes to catch his breath. He had so many thoughts racing through his mind. What if…What if…
The pale moon glistened against the creek’s smooth ripples. The figure hid, observing his surroundings, looking for something that could assist his escape. He glanced up at a high ridge, a barn and a few stables catching his eye. With only what could’ve been a few seconds to spare, he sprinted up the hill.
They know I left, the figure realized. They can’t be far behind now. Knowing that if he stopped or slowed down for even and instant, they’d be sure to catch him. The clacking of horse hooves against the moist ground frightened him more than anything. Fearing the thought of being caught, he ran faster and faster, until he finally reached the barn. Then he waited. He waited what seemed to have been hours. He had finally lost them.
When he knew for sure the coast was clear, he sat up and explored the barn. It was old, and was in desperate need of repair. There were multiple holes in the roof, not to mention all the bats the figure had to scare away. He needed rest.
The figure gathered as many hay bales as he could find and stashed them in the corner. Hitting said hay seemed like the best option, but after that exhausting escapade, tired eyes eluded him. He'd wander around a ways, maybe check out the stables. Little did he know there’d be a little something waiting for him there.
He slowly walked towards the stables, hoping there’d be some food there for him to devour; he was absolutely famished. He entered, heading towards the back of the first stable. There was nothing there except an empty feeding trough and an old broom.
He headed towards the second stable, hope slowly exiting his mind. He walked towards the back of the stable when he hit something, causing him to fall. Immediately afterwards, he heard the cries of a horse, in which startled the figure. Was he blind? How could not see this gigantic horse sleeping?
“Shh!” The figure exclaimed. “Please calm down! Please! I’m not here to hurt you, I promise! I just needed a place to stay for the night.” The horse stared back at him with what looked like an understanding expression. The figure gently stroked the jet-black fur coating the stallion, which seemed to calm them both down.
The figure quietly headed back to the barn. After that little incident, he was much less exhausted, but sleep evaded him still. He decided to climb the ladder to the second floor of the barn, only to find the back wall completely missing. He walked towards it, sitting down at the edge. It really was a beautiful night. It was calm, quiet even. It was like the stars spoke to him, glistening almost as bright as the moon itself. He sat there, thinking of what he would do next. He got away from them, that was the first part of the plan, but what now?
He sat up, a worried expression growing on his face. He looked towards the front of the barn, seeing light. He ran towards the window to see not just a village in the distance, but a castle too. A smile spread across the figure’s face. He was already devising a plan. He was going to have to ‘borrow’ the horse from earlier, but he was sure it wouldn’t mind.
He climbed back down the ladder, retiring to the bed of hay bales he had made earlier that night. He was always afraid of going to sleep, because that’s when he got time to think. Think of the unthinkable. Think of things one would rather not think about. He knew they wouldn’t give up so easily, they would stop at nothing to find him. Eventually surrendering to the night, the figure fell asleep, anxiety at its peak.