The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 10-The Escape

Elaine saw several witches packing up their belongings. Most of the tents were already down and being folded up. Strangely, Silvia was out of well and Viktor had yet to appear since the witch took her out of the tent.

“Let me go!” Elaine demanded while pulling her arms with a violent jerk.

The witch wouldn’t let go of her end of the rope though. Instead, she just cackled while joining her sisters and brothers of her coven as they began leaving the camp behind.

A tall grey-haired witch passed by Elaine moving to the front of their party. “Come now, we have a long road ahead of us. Azalea will take the lead. Tonight we kill the girl once we return to the faery realm there.”

Why did they go to the trouble of kidnapping me if they are just going to kill me this quick? It seems riskier, Elaine wondered.

She also remembered what the demon had shown her though and began to think Silvia could still be with Colt. She didn’t seem in any hurry to leave anyway.

Elaine watched the witch ahead of her and grimaced when the witch pulled the rope sharply so she’d walk faster behind her.

The witch looked over her shoulder. “It’s what we’re killing you for that you should be concerned about. We know you’re a demon magnet and that alone is good reason for your death.”

“H-how will you find them without me?”

“Oh, so there’s more than one?”

Elaine felt like slapping her hand over her mouth. She wanted to take back her words, but the witch’s attention returned to the group in front of them. Elaine didn’t know if the witch had taken her slip-up of words seriously, but was relieved the witch’s attention had left her for the time being.

The witches will die. I’m afraid this is where we part. I have what I need now thanks to you, little faery, Viktor’s voice sounded guarded. Elaine nearly tripped hearing it so suddenly.

The witch scolded her and she quickened her pace.

When Viktor showed her where Colt was, for a moment, she felt a tiny level of understanding between them. She knew now how wrong she was.

At some point, they were both betrayed by Colt, but she failed to realize that to a demon that meant nothing. She had to remind herself Viktor was nothing like Colt. He was all games and tricks. Colt was direct and more predictable she thought, but now she felt she knew nothing.

“What are you still doing back here?” a raspy voice asked. It was the witch holding the other end of the rope.

“Um...” Elaine to think over how to explain to the witch that she was ditched by her so-called guard.

The witch tugged the rope with a grimace at the faery’s timid and weak behavior. “Where did Finnick go? Never mind that. I’m not going to waste my time on his whereabouts, come along!”

After a couple of hours passed, Elaine’s feet became beyond sore. A gust of wind rustled the leaves of a dead tree branch overhanging in their path. They came to a stop.

“Silvia should be here soon. A storm’s to pass. Look at the sky. It’s darkening too quick. Finnick has still not caught up with us. He abandoned the sacrifice!” an older witch complained while taking out a pouch.

“It’s gone!” the witch yelled while shaking the empty bag over the ground.

The witch at the front of their group, Azalea, departed from her leading spot and met up with the witch swinging her empty pouch around in the air above her head.

“The mirror you were to watch over has been stolen it appears...” Azalea murmured while eyeing Elaine. Soon all eyes were on her and she gulped.

Lightning crackled across the sky and sailed down onto the dead tree nearby the front of their group. Hellfire devoured its dead limbs in just a few seconds. Sparks and burning shards of bark fell to the dirt-covered ground setting it ablaze.

One by one, the witches ran off running in all directions. Some ran to the right and others ran to the left, but none of them ran toward the way they intended to go.

Elaine thought the witch holding her rope happened to be one of the older witches. Her scraggly greasy white hairs stuck out from under her hood. The whites of her eyes were tinted yellow and her skin was splotchy with red lumps. She hobbled off to the right and Elaine was forced to follow her lead while avoiding brushing her legs against the flames dangerously close to them.

The fire would soon cover all the ground and there would be nowhere to run.

A group of wind knots joins the one that I think caused the lightning to strike. Elaine screamed when the tree in front of them caught on fire and a dead branch fell down right in front of them. She got knocked down, but the old witch remained standing stubbornly jutting her jaw out.

The witch hollered, “Move out of my way!”

Then she pointed one of her gnarled fingers toward the giant blazing branch on the ground. It turned to ash as she spoke a spell and she jerked the rope with amazing strength making Elaine stand up and resume following her through the burning and soon-to-be barren land.

Their path through the growing fire was hopeless, and eventually, there was nowhere to turn without being forced to walk through the fire. Elaine remembered her wings and contemplated whether she would be able to carry the witch’s weight and her own. However, her back was still weak and she doubted the witch would let her carry them.

The witch faced the fire ahead of them with her hands on her hips. “Exorbusen!”

The flames on the trees burned brighter and collapsed to the ground. The witch had hoped the spell would clear a path once the trees were burned to the ground, but all that resulted was the ground ahead of them being blanketed in more fire.

“You’re crazy! The whole area will burn down with us!” Elaine yelled.

The witch dismissed her warning with a wave of her arm. A whoosh of flames followed, making Elaine stumble back to narrowly avoid getting burned. Neither the witch or Elaine saw the tree behind them get struck by lightning. Elaine had heard the sound though, but the witch didn’t appear to. It’s dead limbs crackled and snapped in the wicked heat of the hellfire.

Elaine desperately pulled on her rope screaming, “The tree is falling, run!”

The witch didn’t budge at first, but a delayed moment later she turned just in time to witness the descending tree. Elaine had already moved out of the way for the rope had luckily just enough length to give her a substantial distance.

The witch hollered, but the tree covered her scream. A disgusting crunch followed as the tree met the ground. Elaine let out a whimper of disgust thinking no one should have to go out that way. The burning flames swept over one of the witch’s legs sticking out from under the tree. An awful smell met Elaine’s nose and she watched in a trance as the flames ate away the witch.

She knew her fate would be similar too as her end of the rope was still attached to the witch. It must have been fire-resistant.

Elaine yanked on her end of the rope with all her strength planting her feet into the ground.

It was useless though and the flames began to grow closer to her singeing the grass that sat only a couple yards away from me. The other end of the rope was still trapped under the fallen tree. The immense heat from the fire floated around and it started to get harder to breathe for her.

A cough escaped her as she began to choke on the fumes of the fire. A sleepy feeling grew in her head and she felt like she was going to pass out. She could just close her eyes and let it happen -- it would be so easy.

Suddenly, Elaine’s wings fidgeted behind her and glowed a soft pink as a familiar face lowered down to her eye level.

“Lorcan!”

He narrowed his eyes though when they didn’t make it very far.

“The rope! It’s stuck under the tree!” Elaine told him.

With both of them tugging it now, it came loose and Lorcan handed her the other end of it. Then he began carrying her away from the fire. Elaine told him everything that happened and by the time she finished they had flown about ten miles away. They landed right outside of the very castle Elaine remembered from her dream.

“He’s been here distracting Silvia and giving me time to save you. I’m not sure what he did, but it worked. I’m so glad I found you. I was scared I would be too late,” Lorcan’s voice broke.

Elaine hugged him and felt herself relax feeling safe.

A moment later Colt appeared before them as a large black shadow pooled around their feet.

Colt stood by, choosing not to approach seeing Lorcan had already taken his chance to hold her while she cried. He didn’t know what his brother had shown her or told her, but he had a feeling he had done enough damage to make her refuse to look at him.

“I’m sure you are confused, but we need to go,” Colt announced curtly.

Elaine pulled away from Lorcan and nodded her head sluggishly. Then the three disappeared as the demon’s shadow took them back home.

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