10 years ago
The branches lashed in her face. Tears jumped in her eyes, but she quickly pushed them back.
Alyssandra wouldn’t allow herself to stop. She had to keep running as long as her feet could carry her. In the dark, she made her way without knowing whether she was still heading in the right direction. Even though she did not know this forest, she had no choice other than to run for her life.
She cast an anxious glance over her shoulder. She thought she had almost lost them, or at least she hoped so.
She heard shouting behind her and cursed. They had picked up her trail again! More than once she had tried to create a false trail, by throwing stones and branches in a different direction and deliberately breaking small branches as if she had changed her course in a hurry. As they caught up with her, she no longer risked spending her precious time on it.
The farther we get from this area, the better, she thought. Before the first light appeared, she wanted to lead them as far away as possible from her actual destination.
In the meantime, her pursuers no longer attempted to move through the forest inaudibly. There was a loud shouting from a group on her left to another a little further on her right. It won’t be long before I’ve got nowhere to go, she panicked.
Out of the corner of her left eye she saw a movement in the distance. Instinctively, she dropped to the ground and slid a long way through the damp woodland as she felt an arrow rushing past just a few inches above her head. She quickly scrambled back to her feet, only to see how another arrow from the other side drilled itself right into the ground behind her, where she had just slid through the leaves. She looked around in shock. Even though there was no sign of a pursuer, that didn't mean that he wasn't there. She turned and hurried on, deeper and deeper into the forest.
She was hiding behind the trunk of an old oak tree, torn from the ground with roots and all. Hoping that they had lost sight of her, she granted herself a moment to rest against the rough bark. The blood pounded in her headbecause of the effort of the past few hours. At least it felt like she had been running through the forest for several hours, trying to get as far north as possible, far beyond the border. She poked her ears and tried to calm her heavy breathing. It would be ridiculous at this point if she were caught by making too much noise. However, she couldn't sit still any longer, no matter how hard her muscles protested. Alyssandra knew it was only a matter of time before they picked up on her trail again.
She stood up with renewed courage, stretched her muscles and ran through the trees at full speed. Until a sudden blow on the back of her head made her stumble and fall. Even before she hit the ground, everything went black.