Chapter 7: A Race For Freedom
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Summary: Lord Foster appeared to save Evie from her attempted rape, Jared got what's coming to him. A taste of what Lycans do to those who dare harm a mate/one of their own. Jared died at the hands of Lord Foster and his men. Lord Foster transformed into his true form when he discovered Evie has fled from him and his pack. Now it's time to hear from Evie's POV.
Lord Foster faded into the darkness of the woods, Jared’s screams of terror and pain followed suit. They grated into my mind like claws on a chalkboard. A small seed of guilt is planted in my thoughts. I thought Jared deserved what was coming to him, every part of me wanted him to suffer, to pay for what he did to me and those other girls. Yet this little seed stood out to me, why? Was it guilt or just plain pity? I didn’t know.
Many things run through my mind, now wasn’t the right time to think deeply. It’s my chance to run, to flee from that crazy monster who seeks to claim me. I didn’t want to be like the other women who willingly submit, most importantly I didn’t want to be a shell of a person. Like my mother.
I still felt weak from Jared’s earlier assault, right now the only thing driving me is my determination to get out of here. Every bit of my body was in pain, so much so it reached to the point of numbness. Something I eagerly welcomed after all the shit that’s happened today.
Slowly I turned around, my hands still pressed against the peeling dark red wallpaper of my hallway. Taking small stumbling footsteps towards the kitchen, fear wanted me to become a crying helpless mess as I approached the kitchen. I was surprised I didn’t go into shock, however, my injuries were getting to me. My movements grew cloddish. Stumbling around like a drunken girl. With each step my breathing grew rugged, pressure on my lungs increased immensely. Nevertheless, I propelled myself forward, neglecting my body’s signs to stop.
When I finally got to the kitchen, it felt like I had run a marathon. My breaths came out as a whizzing sound, the pitch hurt my ears. I stopped to rest, my limbs increasing in weight. Each of them felt like a ton of rocks.
You can’t give up now Evie, another voice in my mind piped up, this is your only chance to flee. Lord Foster is a creepy self-absorbed madman, he’s no saviour, no hero. He is an abomination created to destroy all incisive of what alignment and race you are. That thing is what you despise with your very being. My inner voices beseech me not to give up, only a smaller part of me wanted to submit. I would not.
I agree with them, my freedom is greatly at stake, more importantly, my mental state. My emotions surge through me, setting my fear aside I force my body to steam ahead. Focusing on the numbness to dull the pain, I grab my bag from before Jared flung it into the pantry.
I shouldn’t dally, Mr Crazy will soon return. I stumble towards the forest at the back of my garden. Leaving my scent just on the forest’s edge. A false trail for them to follow. I hoped this plan of mine would work, Lord Foster would think I fled into the forest, which is their domain. While I would hide in the guard’s car hidden from view. Those incompetent guards left the key in the ignition. Dumbasses.
Taking route back I came, I didn’t want to give away my location by going the side of the house. It would’ve given my hiding spot away. Before stepping over the threshold of my house, I took out the scent masking spray from my backpack. Soon a wafting mist cleansed me of several scents. I stumbled over to the car with its door fully ajar. I close the car door gently as I could, so I didn’t arouse the monster’s suspicions.
I rolled down the driver side window slightly, just enough so I could overhear the sounds of a desperate crying man. I laid down on to my side across the driver and passenger black leather seats so my small form couldn’t be seen. I covered my mouth to muffle my wheezing intakes of breath. It was now a waiting game.
Jared’s wails followed in agonising moments, a striking clock counting down his demise. Justice was being served to him by the abominations that rule my world. I counted each of them, only they halted for a moment when I reached 5. His wails were heard once again until another more horrifying echoed into the night. My count down had reached 10. This one sounded pained and hopeless, he was giving up the last of his fight, pleading for his worthless shitty life. The feeling I had felt a few minutes ago came back, pity is what was felt before. Because some sick twisted part of me knew just what his punishment would be. Lycans are the worst kind of monsters, ones you don’t want to piss off.
A chorus of howls drowned out the last of Jared’s pitiful whimpers. My heart jolted at feeling a familiar dominant aura pulsating, it was Lord Foster. I tensed up as he approached, his stature grew much more foreboding than before. I started to pray to whatever gods that could hear my prayers, be it God, the Moon Goddess or Bezzeleub. That he wouldn’t find me. Thankfully he walks straight past both cars, his shadow stalking pass my form. I hear his heavy footsteps enter my home, it wasn’t long before I heard it. An earth-shattering roar quakes the earth and all around it. Scaring all lower beings into submission.
Shite. I bolt upright, start the car, and get the fuck out of here. By the time I put the car into first gear and press down the accelerator, the roar grew silent. I tune everything out, turning my focus onto the road and my destination... my real home.
2 hours pass lag intensely, every fibre of my being was apprehensive. The slightest noise made me jittery. My driving was incredibly erratic, eyes wide open and vigilant. I was astonished that no Werewolf guards aka Enforcers had pulled me over as of yet.
I stopped the car just outside of the Grey Stalkers pack territory borders, a small town populated mostly by humans lingered at the edge of two territories ones which were enemies. I left the car abandoned just outside of town. I grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder. Most likely some low ranked humans would strip it for parts, since the Night of Liberation criminal gangs have formed to fund their selfish needs. They profit off any sort of adversity, they don’t discriminate. If you were a target you’ll be stripped of what you own. Man’s greed is also a monster. Maybe one much more terrifying with how it consumes your soul, and how slowly it pecks at you until what you have left is an eroded soul.
The harsh cold of the autumn night air bit into my naked skin, I shivered from the cold, the night air acted as another numbing agent. Only it made things dire for me, Lord Foster’s black coat only offered so much protection from the elements. With one of my hands, I pulled my hair out of its messed plait and stuffed my long chestnut brown locks all around my back and face into the coat to shield me from the cold. I move my freezing hands further up the long coat arms and placed them under my armpits to warm them up. My poor legs hardly had any protection, they bared the full brunt of the cold night. With the little warmth I had gathered, it helped me to carry on my jaunt into town.
If it wasn’t so cold, I would’ve marvelled at the clear night sky. I’ve always loved the night especially, stars were the things I adore the most. Such unsurpassed beauty glimmering in a darkened night, yet they held so much else for orbs of gas. Stars told stories of legendary gallant heroes, Uncle Morgan told me about the ancient greek legends every night before bed. He said to me stars are much more than stories or gas, that they are glimmers of hope within the darkness of this world. Watching over all of us, they offer light in the darkest of places. Light cannot easily be extinguished by the darkness.
This is what kept me going throughout the years I was forced to be away from them, yes forced. Six years ago I was stripped of everything I came to love...my real home. When you reach 20 in this world a low ranked human is ripped away from there family and home to begin anew, in different werewolf territory. Why did they do this? Simply put to ensure we didn’t spread so quickly. Our population has been in decline due to those Lycan arseholes. You are stripped of your previous rank and given little to live on. To them, this proved your worth, a test of sorts. If a low ranked human couldn’t survive by themselves you were considered useless, and you died a slow agonising death. Lycans saw it as population control. Some other humans were considered fortunate when a supernatural claimed them as there mate.
For me, my relocation came at 19. I was never given a reason as to why. One day two werewolves showed up on my uncle’s doorstep with a letter demanding my expulsion from their territory. I had 24 hours to pack up and leave, otherwise, they would escort me to the packhouse. Any unmated human that goes deep into the wolves den ain’t seen again.
Luck favoured me that day, I was taken to a nice territory. Humans had slightly better treatment where I had made my second home. I rebuilt my life slowly over 6 years. Although, nothing could fill the hole in my heart for missing my family.
A few minutes later I had reached the outskirts of Drenchwitch Grove. How did I know this place? It was where a bus had dropped me and several other humans off. That was how I knew where to go. This place hadn’t changed much in the last few years except for the plants. Drenchwitch Grove is a dilapidated town with makeshift buildings built out of any scavenged materials, you could tell where the human populace lived.
Walking further went into town I could see how more affluent my surroundings came, a clear statement to where human and werewolf segregation came. I followed the signs to the bus station, it would be open 24/7 due to the constant influx of travellers. There wasn’t anything special about Drenchwitch Grove, sure the town centre had a quaint victorian charm but nought else.
The bus station had come into view, filled with apprehensive human travellers. The entire building is a total modern ball ache, an eyesore for this town compared to the old vs contemporary. I opened the huge glass doors into the main entrance, no one looked my way. They were all in their own little worlds, sulking at what they lost. I knew that feeling all too well. We seemed like pitiful creatures.
Out the corner of my eye, I saw my refuge for the night, the public toilets. Laugh all you want, too me this meant my race for freedom had passed many a hurdle. Walking over to them, I open the door and go into a cubicle to get changed into some fresh clothes: just an oversized long-sleeved grey t-shirt, a knitted dark green jumper, and faded blue jeans. Next, I go to the mirror and almost scream at my appearance, I looked like a sea hag! That will soon change, I gave my hair some much need TLC, brushing it through with my fingers, cleaning my bruised face with warm water and a few paper towels. My body eat up the warmth, I felt a little better after.
Now I had the chance to get some shut-eye, I curled up in the cubicle from before. I snuggled up into Lord Foster’s coat and rested my head against the tiled wall. Praying to the stars this time, something I haven’t done since I moved, call me crazy but when you’ve been through so much trauma you learn to cope in your own way. This is one of mine. What I pray for is simple; I wanted to get back home safely and just a peaceful nap without any nightmares about my past, or of the events that happened today.
I succumb to a deep slumber, the darkness was soothing to my worn out and distressed body.
I woke up to the sound of bothersome crows aka four cat scratch voices gossiping about gods knows what. My joints cracked and popped in discomfort. The state of my injuries seemed grew more apparent, I knew I had pushed myself too much. My little pitstop gave Lord Foster higher chances of finding me.
Standing up, I pulled Lord Foster’s coat over and grabbed my backpack. My muscles felt inflamed much like my ribs. Unlocking my cubical I headed out of the bathroom with my face covered by my hair. I had to conceal my face and my bruises, Jared’s earlier slap and the cold wind had left my cheeks looking like a flustered clown. Otherwise, I would be questioned by Enforcers, they are only out during daylight hours.
I kept my head down, to blend into the crowd of humans. Heading over to the help desk to get buy a ticket to my hometown of Bridwyn. My bus would arrive in an hour.
When it arrived I boarded without hesitation, I showed my fake passport and ticket to the driver. I sat right at the back near the exit emergency exit door. Not many humans were on the bus, an uneasy silence followed throughout as the bus started up and began to drive into Dreadcrest pack territory.
Suddenly, the bus came to a screeching halt. I felt myself begin to grow nervous seeing royal blue uniforms of Enforcers, second nature kicked in right away, my submissive facade creeping through. They stormed in, armed and ready to start questioning every human about why they were travelling. They quickly approached me, four of them loomed over me, their judgemental condescending eyes watching my every move.
One of them spoke in a deep voice, making me jump in surprise. He spat at me. “Where are you travelling to maggot?”
I wheezed out a breath, it had been difficult to speak. “Bridwyn.”
One Enforcer with short dirty blonde hair scribbled down my answer on a clipboard. The Enforcer who recently spoke to me pressed further. “Your reason for your sudden travel?”
I tried to talk again, my lungs stalled making even harder to draw breathe. The men scowled down at me, they weren’t impressed with my wheezing breathes as their answer.
“Sir.” One of them interjects. “She seems to be having breathing troubles, maybe a softer approach is needed?”
Their leader glares at them with malice, he soon gets a punch to the face. He lands right on top of me, making things worse. I scream silently because his massive bulking form presses into my ribs.
He's pulled back up by a pair of gloved hands, seeing he had dark red locks which were dishevelled in appearance. His furious leader punching the poor lad over and over again.
“Never interrupt my questioning pup!” He snarls and then faces me. “Your reason?!”
I cannot seem to gather my words again, a large hand grasps my upper arm and forces me to stand up. “You're coming with us human.”
“Wait.” I let out a pained breath, pointing to my backpack. “Travel...papers...passport...and...and...ticket...first pocket.”
The head Enforcer nods to the blonde with the clipboard. I see a dark-skinned strong jawline with mixed black stubble just above my line of sight. He’s a beast! I mean that quite literally, he’s ripped as any other werewolf I had seen, towering above an alpha. He could barely fit in the bus, he's hunched over slightly. Even his uniform didn’t properly fit him. His muscles swell underneath the fabric. I swear if Lord Foster had this guy on his guards, I would’ve died of a heart attack.
Blondie snoops through my backpack, grabbing my documents. His voice remains passive. “It’s all clear sir. Her name is Esmee Collins, from the Grey Stalker pack. That still doesn’t explain your reason for travel.”
Pointing an accusing finger towards me, he implies further. “I think she’s lying Captain. These might be fake.” Shaking my documents across my covered face. “Your a lier aren’t you?”
I sweep my hair away from my face, showing them my bruised neck and face. Blondie seems to soften at my outward broken appearance. “Captain.” He pauses for a moment, unsure. “I think she’s been abused or attacked by someone?”
The Captain huffs, “A family member?”
I shake my head, my voice low and raspy. “Boyfriend.”
“Is he your mate?” Blondie enquires.
Again I shake my head, my breath's drawn out with each word. “He’s human, I was assaulted last night.”
The men growl at my words, I’m about to draw on my last breath. “You're running away?”
I put the waterworks on, trying to make my voice desperate. “I have family in the Deadcrest pack. Please, I don’t want to go back to him.”
“Captain?” Blondie asks, waiting for his verdict.
“You may go Esmee.” He says, placing me down gently onto my seat.
Blondie puts my documents back, tapping the back indicating there back safe and sound. He looks directly at me which startles me. His deep blue eyes hold concern and his smile brightens. “Travel safely, Esmee.”
With that, the troop vacate the bus and finally lets us on our merry way.
Two hours later I arrived in Bridwyn, relief flooded through me. I thought those Enforcers would drag me away. News usually travels fast through werewolves, my guess; Lord Foster is still pissed and throwing a fiddly. Thus it would delay my capture.
We all unboarded the bus, it was about midday. The sun rays poured through the dull grey clouds. For the first time I smiled, relief flooded me. I was home!
My relief was so cleansing, it washed away my worries from the previous day. The Stars had heard my prayers. Now the final hurdle came. Please hold on just a little longer. I beg my body.
Slowly I walked through my hometown, it had changed greatly in the last few years. It had grown into a bustling hive of activity, new shops littered the high street. The old wild park had received a much-needed makeover. Humans and werewolves seemed a lot different than before, they interacted like they were friends, maybe equals? Fewer tensions were in the air.
It was a 30 minute walk to my uncle's house, I headed west of town to the farmlands. My pace is staggered a little more. That doesn't deter me. I felt much more motivated. Home was within reach!
I couldn't contain myself any longer, I progress faster as Uncle Morgan's old farmhouse came into view. Finally, I saw my childhood home, it was a three-storey red brick house with red shutters. You could tell how old it was by its sashed windows and additions, crooked Tudor oak framework that had twisted and withered over hundreds of years. Surrounded by five tall hallow oaks, each stood taller than the house. The house had several climbing roses reaching all points across the red bricks, hiding much need work to be done on the house.
Fields of vast and various crops spread further than the eye could see. My uncle would most likely be out harvesting before the coming of the Harvest Moon.
I smiled seeing some of my cousins playing underneath one of the old hallow oaks, a little girl trying to shoot her little bow at her annoying brothers in their treehouse. Her older sister about 13 years old stands bellow, the proud to be the queen. "Off with their HEADS!" She exclaims, swishing her cloak.
Another voice pipes in, one which tugs at my heartstrings. One which hasn't changed with age, it's sweet and kind. "Beatrice, Agatha! Tell your brothers luncheon is ready!"
Aunt Ashley... I smile filled with happiness. Her kind face flashes through my mind. Tears poured from my tired turquoise eyes. Still hard to breathe, I wanted to call out to my family. Yet I knew something, I didn't care. Still smiling as I collapse onto the gravel driveway. I draw my last breath, my happiness and relief consumed me. I finally found my sanctuary.
I was home!
"Mummy!" One of the girls cry. "There's a stranger!"