The Forest of Darkness

This has been a frustrating week. Bad hay fever, miserable headaches, obnoxious and infuriating people (person, rather), utility bills, pouring rain, discovering another book to read with a looming deadline and another deadline just days after that. And amidst all this, I got behind with writing my novel. Though it meant staying up tonight, I didn’t want to fall any more behind, so I wrote. Princess Agnes and the Pooka entered the Forest of Darkness in their quest to rescue the Golden Crab, and, well, it is called the Forest of Darkness for a reason…

Agnes had been transformed into a rabbit.

Behind her came a low growl. She bolted. Instinct told her to run, and how to use her legs. She leapt forward, bounding in quick, far reaching leaps. The hunter chased her, just as swift. She panted, barely feeling the ground beneath her as she touched it lightly with the tips of her toes. Smell and hearing and some sense she did not know told her that the hunter still chased her; sheer luck kept her just ahead of it.

She smelled the thicket before she ran into it. Diving down at the base of it, she slithered and crawled her way under the branches. Thorns pulled at her fur and dug into her skin. Broad, heavy paws scrabbled at her from behind. Agnes was certain her heart would burst. One paw swiped her tail. Yelping, she jumped forward. The thorns raked wicked gashes in her sides. On the other side, the princess sat very still, panting and straining her ears. There was nothing to hear.

Except for the growl that came from directly in front of her. The thicket had been a mere thorn bush. Her struggle through its thorns only gave the hunter time to circle the bush and wait for her on the other side. The growl came from deep in its throat. Deep and low and quiet and terrifying. Agnes only caught the glimpse of yellow eyes as it leapt toward her, its jaws clamping down on her neck. She screamed and screamed and screamed.

…that was the first, if not the second, nightmare Agnes experienced. She was also attacked by willows, wandered lost and blind in the forest, heard horrible things from her dearest friend in the world, mistook something that was definitely not the Pooka for the Pooka, and was pushed down a well by the person she loved. And then she fell, and fell, and fell…

I’m back on schedule and I should finish Chapter Eight tomorrow.

WORD COUNT: 38,571

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