TEVERIUS - Tracking Lorna
Northern Netherwood, Netherlands
“Luca!” Serdephe called. Embracing him upon their return to the hut.
“You should’ve seen everyone! It was so amazing! So beautiful. There was dancing.” She mimicked twirling around in the hut.
Not enough space for much of it. Tev watched her. Hiding his smile.
“It was fun then?” Luca cheerfully held her shoulders. Peering down at her.
He cleaned the hut. Tev noticed. It looked much better then when they’d left. It’d still been in disarray from the crone’s attack on Serdephe.
“I must get back to my hut.” Tev commented. “I leave you two to discuss her adventure.” He gave her back a soothing rub and walked away.
To get Burka.
And find some tracks. The ball had been a momentary distraction but Tev had rushed back to see if he could pick up the trail.
She won’t be moving quickly if she’s alone. And if Radix came and got her. She’s long gone.
Tev walked beneath the hut and went to where he’d purposely planted trees close together to hide the high pen he’d built. Rounding to the Northside, where the only entrance was. He opened the gate and Burka slinked forward on her bony front legs. Almost hopping on her back ones.
He greeted her with a quick pat on the back.
She vibrated in hello and he walked her out. She stayed at his elbow and he led her to the crone’s hut. Pointing to the first track he saw leaving.
Burka blinked her big orange eyes, dulled from her transition back from cimmerii.
“Would you take me to her.”
Burka ducked her head and sniffed the track. He gave her a handful of dried rabbit and she rushed after the tracks.
Tev was on her heels but they only made it to the irrigation river. Before she huffed and began backing up. Her three-toed front feet shuffling nervously. She gave short puffs and shook her head.
She’s warning me. Something is wrong. He scanned the trees but barely had time to spot the first one when three Sarabi descended. Landing across the ditch from him. Watching him with big orange eyes.
He gave Burka two quick pats on her back. “Go home.”
She loped off.
She’ll be safe there. They’re after me.
Tev backed up slowly.
Their gaze was locked on him. Trailing his movements.
They’re going to attack me soon.
And if I move to run, they’ll attack immediately. He scraped a booted foot backward a slight step. Then another.
One crouched. Ready to launch up.
He bolted. Boots skidding in the leaves as he rounded so fast, he skid one leg out. Tossing leaves and the dirt beneath as he twisted just above the ground. Launching into a run on all fours. Breaking into a wolf as he went. Taking the corner around the house in the same manner. Nearly turning horizontal to hug the stone. Lunging in the air. His front paw stretching for the door handle and turning to a human hand in time to catch it and flip it open. By the time his back feet landed, they were the bare legs of a man.
He rounded and slammed the door. Holding it closed.
“Whoa…” Luca’s voice sounded admiring.
Making Tev stiffen as he looked over his shoulder in dread.
Ser was standing with a carrot midway to her open mouth. Frozen as she admired his bare flesh.
Sighing he tipped his head down and formed black clothes over his body. As bleak as I feel now.
His skin was heated with embarrassment.
To his shock nothing scraped at the door or shook it trying to get in.
What happened to them. He opened the door a few inches and glimpsed the three Sarabi standing several feet in-front of the door. Sitting patiently.
Uncharacteristic of the creatures.
When he opened the door in confusion, two Targue forced their way in. Snarling and long strands of drool dragging.
Luca shouted and closed the door behind them. Flipping the latch to keep anymore out as he hovered behind the two giant, dog-like, creatures.
Their hunkered shoulders flexed reflexively. Making the bark coating them grind together.
Serdephe scrambled for a dagger but they were all upstairs in her room. Safely left there when she’d gone to the ball.
Because I’d asked her to leave them since I had mine.
One Sarabi leapt toward her.
Tev caught its massive weight by wrapping his arm around its neck and twisting the opposite direction. Snapping its neck with a brutal crunch. It flopped over. Dead.