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Basilisk (part 1)
Running as fast as I can, and it’s still not enough. My heart beating faster and faster, and yet I can’t get away fast enough. It is beyond my capacity.
Stumbling over a root, I hear a stream winding through the thick forest. Through the twisting, screaming vortex of thought that is my mind stands single image: a stream. I don’t know if they have started chasing me yet, but when they do they will unleash the vicious royal Death Dogs, which are more beast than dog and more vicious than royal. They can track a person three days after they have left the place, catch them the day after the hunt has started, and bite their victim in half with one snap of their powerful jaws.
But the scariest thing about the Death Dogs is not their powerful jaws, nor their massive claws, nor their tracking abilities, but it is their intelligence. They are not mere canines, which get easily confused, but have intelligence almost level with a human. That may not be saying much though, considering that our king is a raving lunatic and very few souls are brave enough to attempt a rebellion, or smart enough, now that the schools are only allowed to teach children to work for and love the king. So, actually, the dogs may be smarter than most of the population of Acentaria.
I can hear the stream gurgling and trickling down the rocks, like a small beam of yellow light in a pitch-black room. My hope is feeble, and my chance is weak, but it is probably the only chance I will get. I stumble over to where the sound is coming from and discover that the stream is about a foot deep and four feet wide with crystal clear water. It’s perfect.
I stoop down to wet my throat, for I have not eaten for a few days and need something, anything, in my stomach. Then I walk into the stream. The water eagerly dances around my feet, as if it had been waiting to freeze them all of its meager, wet life. The shock from walking barefoot and then entering the frigid water makes me gasp, but I can not stop here. Slowly, I lower my other foot into the stream, my face screwing up from the cold.
I walk for what seems like only an hour, my mind clouded by random thoughts of what will happen to me, when suddenly the wind picks up and takes my long, blonde hair for a joy ride.
“Well, at least its not—” and then it gets caught on a tree branch. Cold, hungry and stuck on a tree, my frustration peaks. I can’t keep controlling my emotions like I have been so far. I can’t help it, and I begin screaming. I scream at the king who decided to make an example of my family to the rebels. I scream at the jury who signed my fate without a care in the world. I scream at the whole country for loving the corrupt king, and at my own stupidity for actually thinking that he would be grateful to me.
My shrill and piercing screech rips my throat raw, and sends me into a fit of heavy sobs that leaves me gasping for breath. I weep for my family, who were unjustly punished. I weep for my home on the cozy hill just outside the village… for Garret. My last thought brings me up short.
My first love and he was the one who told the king that I had “stolen” his precious red falcon, a bird that meant more to him than any one of his loyal citizens. Betrayed by my one and only love and torn from the only ones who loved me, my family.
My mother and father worked at the local hospital. They were the nicest people around and loved everyone unconditionally. My little brother Leif was not even a year old. He was a darling little boy that would laugh at everything with his cute little smile. He was the joy of our little family. And then there was Margret, a little beauty with curly brown hair and eyes that made you melt. She was the pride of our family, with her joyful presence and innocent wit.
And me? I was the brains in the family. Ask me any question and I can answer it correctly, or if I don’t know it, I will find it. The question now is how I keep my hair from getting caught upon miscellaneous nature. The solution is simple. I have to cut it off. The problem with my solution?
I have no scissors with which to chop off my hair. It will have to wait then.
Controlling my emotions once again, I shuffle my submerged feet forward to attempt to detach my hair from the tree branch.