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Into the open Air

By Unniekurn



The night was finally setting in. For the thousandth time, I wondered if I was making the right decision. But there was no going back now. I had to go. I carefully folded my favourite dress and put it in my satchel. I had packed everything. Just a few more minutes, I said to myself. And then, you’ll be free. The idea of freedom excited me, but I was scared. Terrified, even. Never had I felt this way before. Torn between the excitement of an adventure, and the guilt and fear of leaving everything behind.

The bloody door squeaked as hell. On my toes, I went down the stone stairs. The kitchen smelled delicious as always. Suddenly, I noticed Maudie, sleeping in a chair. I froze anxiously, but she hadn’t heard me. I quickly crammed some apples and carrots in my satchel and left the room.

It wasn’t raining, thank god. I rushed to Angus’s stable. He was sleeping. I gently touched his smooth nose. He wonderingly shook his head. ‘Calm down, lad,’ I whispered. ‘We’re going on an adventure.’

I touched the stone wall of the castle one last time. I sighed. ‘Goodbye,’ I whispered and gently kissed the cold stone. A tear rolled down my cheek, but I quickly wiped it off. I quietly walked to the gateway, listening to Angus’ footsteps, to make sure he was following me obediently. When we passed the bridge, I climbed Angus and we galloped away.

It started to rain. I had no idea what time it was and how long we had been riding, the only thing I knew was that we were riding uphill.  ‘Slow down, boy,’ I whispered to Angus. His neck was sweaty. My hair was already soaking wet and I felt cold, but I had to keep going.

After the incident with the clans about my betrothal, my mom seemed okay with the fact that we wanted to choose the ones we love ourselves. I thought it was settled then, and everything would go back to normal. But I was wrong. Only two months later, she invited all sorts of men so I could meet someone to marry. But I am still not ready for marriage and I’m actually not sure if I’ll ever be. So I decided to run away. It’ll be hard to put my whole life behind me and start all over again, but it’s for the best.

Angus and I rode on, until the first beams of sunlight appeared. I could finally see where we were going. The road became steeper and steeper. Angus started to breathe heavily, so I jumped onto the ground. ‘Come on buddy, we’re almost there,’ I said, as I stroked his neck. I looked up and saw the path didn’t go to the top of the mountain. Instead, it went to what looked like a crack that had split the mountain into two mountains. I smiled and ran and stumbled the last part to the highest part of the road. At the top I stopped to catch my breath and wait for Angus. There were rocks everywhere. The path suddenly was completely flat, but it was really narrow, and at both sides were the giant mountaintops like giants made out of rock. Thick, grey clouds covered the snowy tops. Angus had joined me. ‘Let’s find a place to sleep,’ I said, smiling. Angus neighed affirmatively. We went on. Walking on a flat road was relieving. It was still raining, but my bad mood was partly gone. After a while, I saw a small cave. It was just big enough for Angus and me. He lay down, and I joined him. His coat was warm and damp and my hair felt like a wet towel draped around my head, but we were both so tired we instantly fell asleep.

Angus woke me up when the sun was shining brightly. He was full of energy. I grabbed my satchel and gave him a carrot, which he happily gobbled up. I took an apple. It had stopped raining, fortunately. When we were done eating, I got up and we went on. The path slowly got wider and wider, and eventually there was enough space to ride Angus again. Everything was good, so good I almost forgot what was behind me, and all the things that were yet to come.  

It was getting darker, not only because night was falling, but I felt there was rain coming and it didn’t improve my mood. Luckily, we found a big lake where we could rest and drink a little. We proceeded, as the skies were getting darker. ‘Keep going,’ I whispered to myself. ‘We’re almost there.’ But I knew it wasn’t true; we still had a long way to go.

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