My head throbbed, light pulsing beneath my eyelids. I slowly opened them and let out a loud groan as my body erupted into pain. My back was rubbed raw and something was lying across my legs, holding me in place. I struggled to sit up and looked in confusion at the heavy branches that held me to the ground.
They were covered in blood and sharp twigs had poked into my skin, drawing out small rivers of blood that pooled around me.
I closed my eyes, willing it all to go away, but it didn’t.
Rise… I tried to get my power to work. The branches creaked and I reached out with my arms to push them away. They scratched my legs even more and I stopped when I saw the large gash in my leg. Similar to the one that Rikki had.
The warthog had dragged me away!
With renewed strength I scrambled to get the branches off. I knew that the pig was probably gonna feast on me tonight, and I wanted to be far away when it came back here.
I felt myself fading rapidly and I closed my eyes again to stop myself from blacking out. Fatigue wracked my sore body and I just wanted to curl up on the ground and fall asleep.
“Erik!” Someone called from far away. My head snapped up and I looked around me. “Erik!”
“Help.” I murmured, rising into the air. My strength was almost gone and I had to force myself to keep floating. Keep floating until I could see that silhouette in the trees, running towards me.
And then I dropped.
Fresh pain rolled over me as something stabbed into my leg. I screamed and struggled to leave, writhing in the arms of my captors. Jasmines voice stopped me, her soft hands rubbing my sweaty forehead.
“Erik.” she pleaded. “Please, go back to sleep. They’re healing you.”
There was no sensations the next time. I could feel myself fading in and out but there was no one nearby. Nothing… no sounds.
“Hello?” I called out, my parched throat crying for water. “Hello?”
It was like I was alone in the world.
I fell unconscious for the last time that day.
When I came too this time, there was chaos around me. Something warm was draped over my body and I could feel myself being tossed slightly as people carried me through the woods. Someone was holding my hand, softly murmuring assurances as we moved. I opened my eyes and found myself looking at jasmine’s bright eyes. She smiled painfully and then turned away.
I was shocked by her movements. She was limping on one leg, and rising above her voice were the cries of frightened men.
“Where are we going?” I asked, squeezing her hand.
“Anywhere but the camp.” She replied, her expression neutral.
“The camp was attacked by the blasted pig.” She said, her voice rising rapidly. “And now we’re fleeing, hoping the pig loses trace of us.”
Morgan and Rikki appeared behind her and all smiled. I grinned, happy to see Rikki on his feet, until I noticed the tear streaks running down their faces.
“What’s going on?” I asked angrily, jostled to the side as my bearer leaped nimbly over a log.
“Erik…” Jasmine looked at me sorrowfully. “The pig got Jack.”
I looked around at the train of soldiers running through the woods, looking for the familiar head of hair that usually stuck out.
It wasn’t there.
“Yeah… he didn’t make it.” She swallowed. “We tried to find him, but only found a ripped up shirt.”
I closed my eyes and tried to surpass the lump in my throat. I couldn’t breath.