A Flower in the Fire

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Chapter 4

Chapter 4: Caspen

The little girl’s hair kept flying into my mouth as we rode swiftly away on Buckley. To be fair, I’d never actually rode my horse with anyone else on it so, needless to say, it took a little getting used to. For both me and Buckley.

It was a little past midnight and we were riding across the countryside. The little girl sat in front of me, hands tied in front of her to prevent her from trying to escape. Although I would be impressed if she did. She didn’t speak but I could tell that she was crying.

It was so easy. The whole thing took less than five minutes and I’m already halfway to Bluefield. The little girl put up more of a fight than her older sister. And their father, well, he was a dead man anyway. Even if Tressa did wake up sooner than expected, she’d have no clue where to begin looking for her sister.

The little girl turned her head and glared at me. “I hope you know that when my sister wakes up, she will be angry. You better be prepared to face her wrath.”

I didn’t spared her glance and kept my eyes focused on the road ahead. “When your sister wakes up, we will be long gone.”

To our left, I could see the looming, dark mass known as the Black Forest. Even from this distance, I could feel the chill of darkness and evil. The hairs on my neck stood up and I shifted, uncomfortably. The little girl stared at the forest warily and leaned as far right as possible. “We’re not going in there are we?”

I scoffed. Every year, some idiot decides to take their chances in the Black Forest, to prove their bravery. Anyone who has ever entered the forest has gone missing. “Of course not. I would not take my chances in there.”

The girl fell silent as we continued on the road. I knew it would be another two hours before we’d reach the small town of Bluefield. I wasn’t worried though. I tried to relax despite the uncomfortable feeling I had. The Black Forest was still and silent. Occasionally I would peek over my shoulder to see if I could spot watchful eyes glowing in the darkness. I was being silly of course, but paranoia was a side-effect of the forest. That’s why very few people make it out.

I could’ve swore I saw something as I glanced at the forest again. The dark silhouette of a person hiding in the foliage. My stomach lurched but I ignored it and faced forward, keeping my eyes plastered on the road ahead.

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