Chapter 14~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

Chase keeps me on the horse but I want to walk. Even if it would be the most painful thing I’ve ever felt. He moved me to the front and keeps smiling at me. I hate him so much, so, so much! He lied to me. I feel so angry I want to kill him. And I would but I don’t have anything to kill him with. All I can do is stare at Captain Madden’s back and wish I hadn’t been so stupid. I start to shake with anger.

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep you warm.” Chase says mockingly as he wraps his arms around me. I shake him off and almost fall off the horse. I clench my teeth and wonder if the horse is evil. Probably not, he’s just a horse. Tesla has obidently walked beside Captain Madden as if he’s her master. It makes me mad.

“Come on Tesla do something.” I mutter under my breath. As if she hears me she looks back at me with a panting mouth. Then, quick as lighting she’s on the back of the Captain’s black horse. She balences with and then attacks. She’s gets on top of the man and grabs his neck in her teeth. He reacts quickly by grabbing her scruff and pulls her off and throws her to the ground. But she manages to do some damage by tearing into his neck as she falls. Blood spills out of his necks as she hits the ground with a thud. She yelps.

“Tesla!” I yell. Chase mutters a couple curse words as he dismounts and rushes to the Captain. Then, as best as I can, I slip off the horse and crawl over to Tesla. She’s gasping for air and starts coughing blood. Her back is twisted in a sickening position and I can almost see the life seeping out of her. Chase is yelling at me and he kicks her. “Stop it!”

“Stop what? This dog just killed my Captain so you can shut you’re pretty little mouth and get back on the horse!” He screams at me and grabs me as if I’m a doll. I commands the horse to kneel and throws me on. I feel tears coming from my eyes. Tesla’s dead or almost dead. And she killed the Captain for me, if only I could figure out how to kill Chase too. “I swear I’m going to find that rebel camp and I’m going to destroy everyone of your filthy friends. But not you, I’m gonna keep you alive. Just barely, just enough to watch all you friends die.”

“What if I kill myself first?” I mutter, tears dripping down my face. “What are you going to do then?”

“Don’t worry. You won’t kill youself. Now come let’s get going darling, we have a date with the some Foxes.” And I know that I will have to sit and watch everyone I’ve every know die. And then Chase will find a way to torture me in a way worse that death.

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Chapter 13~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

My eyes snap open. I find myself looking at a dying fire with glowing embers, a thin layer of snow around it. I’m not on the horse anymore but I still feel Chase’s warmth against mine. I feel his arms around me and his breath on my neck. A fimilar sense of gulit washes over me and I sigh. I still don’t understand why I’m guilty. Tesla sees that I’m awake and she creeps over and presses her fur against mine. She shivers a little and I try to will my warmth to her. Even with her fur she’s cold. I shift in a more comfrontable poistion and Chase stirs and mumbles something in his sleep. Then I close my eyes and fall back into a much needed sleep.

ashes_stock_3_by_jennyraepip-d4vkk5g

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“Hey Poppy, wake up.” I groan and blink the sleep out my eyes. I find Chase’s green eyes staring at me and his mouth has a little smirk on his face. I smile a little back.

“Let me sleep? for a little longer?” I mumble. I feel even more tried then when I fell asleep. Tesla licks my face a couple times and I give another groan and sit up. My leg is feeling much better, yes it still hurts, a lot. But it’s better. Chase hands me some letf over rabbit meat that’s a little cold but still good and I survey the snow. Only a couple inches fell and it’s stopped but it’s still chilly and if any more falls then we might be in trouble. I also inspect Chase’s face and a question forms in my mind. “What about the sitches, what happenes to them?”

“Hmmm? Oh we pull them out.” He shrugs. Then starts to turn over dirt on the fire. My mouth drops open and I wait for him to say it’s a joke. He doesn’t.

“You’re kidding…” I pause, “Right?”

“No I’m not. You have to pull them out.” His smile grows a little bigger as I stare at him.
“You can do it yourself right?” I can’t even think of pulling that ugly black thread out.

“Some of it, you’ll have to help me.” He looks so calm while I want to puke. I shake myself off and Chase helpps me hobble to Champ. He whispers something into Champ’s ear and the horse kneels. Then Chase lifts me onto the white horse and gets on himself. Then the horse stands up and plods in the direction of the rebel camp. We seem so close but yet so far. I listen to the sweet silence that the snow has brought and I’m beginning to realize that the snow isn’t as bad as it seems. Just a little chilly.

“Hello you two.” I scream and turn, ignoring the pain in my leg. A man with a wicked smile sits astride a black horse, a proud look on his face. I look at Chase, fear pounding in my heart. He gives me a gentle squeeze and turns Champ towards the man.

“Welcome Captain Madden. It’s been a while.” He gives a gentle bow and the man nods his head. I just sit there, dumbfounded. How does Chase know him?

“Well then Soldier Carver, let’s get our prisoner back to the camp.” I have a crazy idea of jumping off and running into the forest but I know, that I’ll never make it. I have to follow. I feel my lip quiver and I steel my emotions. Chase looks at me and I don’t see the little smile anymore, I see an evil grin.

 

Chapter 12~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

When Chase gets me up on his horse it’s amazing. I feel like I’m flying. Chase makes the horse kneel and helps me get on. His so strong but he’s gentle and I feel safe when he’s steading me on Champ. The horse is so powful yet so careful, like Chase. The saddle is a little small for the both of us but we manage to fit, Chase in front and me in the back. I squeeze in middle and he turns his head.

“Scared?” He says with that small smile that makes him look like he thinks that everything’s funny.

“A little,” I whisper with a shrug. “The only experience that I’ve had with a horse is when the Dogs were chasing me down.”

“Well then you have a perfectly good reason.” He urges Champ on with a squeeze of his legs and the horse starts walking. I take a sharp intake of breath then call Tesla to start walking. We’ve eaten the rabbit and it tasted wonderful, then Chase covered up our tracks just in case and we started off. I washed the blood off Tesla’s mouth and she looks less threatning without.

“How did Tesla attack you Chase?” I ask.

“I don’t know, I kinda was just getting water to clean off my hands of your blood and stuff and she jumped out of the bushes and attacked me. She chased off Champ and went straight for me face,” He gives Tesla a small glare then shakes his head as if clearing his mind of it. I can’t help but feeling a pang of pity for Chase’s face, it’s ruined. Because of Tesla and I. I hope it doesn’t scar too bad, but I know it will. “So how did you get here?”
“What?” I shake myself out of my thoughts.

“Where did you come from? Why are you out here, by yourself?”

“Turn a little to the right,” I instruct him with another glance at the map. Chase has agreed to take me to the Fox’s camp and then he’ll be on his way. I’m slightly depressed that he’ll be leaving but at least that’s a little ways away. I tell Chase about how I was drafted to fight and I told him about Koda’s group but I don’t mention Koda. And I tell him about getting shot. I even tell him about Zellie. As we’re talking I tune everything out, not letting my voice waver. I don’t want him to think me weak, even if he already does. Suddenly I feel something wet on my nose. I look up and fear races through me, snow. There’s snow! “Oh no…”

“What?” He turns to look at me and I’m about to jump of Champ but then a sharp pain reminds me of my leg, I grit my teeth and I come close to crying.

“There’s snow, we’re gonna freeze.” I shrink under his confused gaze. He doesn’t understand the dangers of snow.

“Hey,” He turns almost fully around and lifts my chin with a finger. “It’ll be fine. We can work it out together.”

“Ok, but snow.” I shake my head and wipe my tears. “Snow is awful.”

“I promise it’ll be fine.” I nod and cling to him as we start moving again. I feel each snowflake and my heart sinks with each one. As we plod one I start to fall asleep and it gets dark. Chase keeps urging Champ one and I fall asleep feeling Chase’s warmth against mine.

11

Chapter 10~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

When I see Chase, I freeze with fear. Then I melt with relief, it’s not as bad as I thought. It’s a bunch of breakage of skin but his mouth and nose aren’t permently damaged. It looks like something attacked him and the pieces to make a clear puzzle when I study Tesla’s bloddy mouth and Chase’s bloody face. She attacked him. She must’ve thought he was dangerous and she attacked his face. Chase keeps wiping the blood from his eyes and he wavers on his feet. Then he slowly sinks to his knees, a look of anger on his face.

“Chase?” I call out, his ears still look intact so I assume he can hear me. His eyes don’t look damaged either, just blood from other wounds trickling into it.

“Poppy?” He pauses, wiping his eyes again, “Is that you? I really can’t see with all this blood pouring into my face.”

“It’s me. What happened, did Tesla attack you?” He feels the floor around him and sits.

“Who? If you mean that bloody dog,” His face contorts with rage, “You named it? What? Did you send it to attack me? Right after I saved your life?”

“What? No! Look I found Tesla yesterday,” Was it really yesterday? It feels like longer, “She’s been helping me get to the Fox camp. I didn’t send her to attack you.”

“The fox camp? Ah great!” He runs his hands through his hair, for some reason he doesn’t seem to be as bothered by blood as I am. “The first pretty girl I see and guess what? She’s a rebel. Just my luck. And the girl’s dog CHASED my horse AWAY!”

“Chase calm down.” I beg, he’s over reaccting. Well he’s not but, I need him to be calm, then we can get through this. Hopefully alive. “Look, let’s get the blood off your face and we’ll close up the wounds and then we’ll talk. I can’t talk to someone who is spurting blood everywhere. Are you working for the Dogs?”

“I’m more like a loner. Make your dog go away and then I’ll take care of this,” He gestures to his face. “I didn’t realize you were so squimish.”

“Ok, Tesla go away.” Tesla doeosn’t really listen she just starts sniffing some bushes then she prances off into a thicket. “Come here Chase.”

“Just keep talking ’cause I still can’t see.” He’s stop trying to wipe the blood away so it’s starting to harden and it’s really gross.

“OK walk like three steps forward and then your’re gonna be right in front of me.” He stumbles a couple times and lands right in front of me, his face almost touching mine.

“Sorry too close,” He does something like a smirk and then flinches. It must hurt when he moves his face. “How we gonna fix me up? You know how to sew?”

“Uh sure?” I pause, “I’m not sewing up your face!”

“You most likely will have to. Don’t worry, I won’t blame you if you can’t fix this handsome face back to what it was. But at least try?” Then he gives me the most handsome smile and my heart skips a beat, then he adds, “At least try? For me?”

“Fine.” I force the words out, even with the blood everywhere, I still can’t believe how handsome he is. Then he fumbles around his pockets until he find what he’s looking for. A black thread and a silver needle. He places them in my shaking hands and gives my hands a gentle squeeze. I take a deep breath and start to sew up Chase’s face.

Chapter Nine~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

Hey guys, pretty great part here. At least I think so. Anyway, prepare for a cliffhanger because it’s coming. And also I’m sorry for not posting Saturday, I was out of town, unable to post.

When Chase blindfolds me I get ready to kill him. He insists that the blindfold will help with the pain. I don’t understand but I can tell he’s telling the truth, or the most part. I lay on my stomach and I hear the clink of metal against metal. I flinch when he tears the hole in my pants slightly larger so he can get to the bullet wound. The sound alone is terrifying.

“Just pretend your somewhere else.” Chase says, then mutters, “Hopefully you’ll pass out from the pain.”

I clench my teeth, waiting for the pain. You would think I was prepared for the pain or that I would at least have an idea but… When he starts doing what ever his doing, my while body starts screaming at me. I scream back at it. It’s the most overwhemling pain I have ever felt. I try to jerk away but Chase holds me down. I scream and scream until something slaps me hard on the face. A hand. It yanks the blindfold off and for a split second I think someone is saving me. Then I see Chase’s green eyes staring at me with a stern look and a touch of pity. He’s not going to ‘save’ me.

“You need to control yourself. You’re acting like a wild animal.” His voice isn’t as soft anymore. It’s gruffer.

“You wouldn’t know what it feels like, you’re cutting into my flesh!” I yell, my voice breaking and higher than usual.

“No, I do know what it’s like because something like this happened to me.” He’s practically growling at me. “So stop screaming and hold still.” I nod and bite my lip. He slides the blindfold back on and I tense every muscle in my body. He goes back to working the bullet out while I suck in deep breaths and pretend I’m somewhere else. When that doesn’t work, I focus on passing out. It takes every ouch of will power that I’v ever had and a little more to not flail and scream. I find myself thinking of Chase, I find myself trying to impress him. I start to tremble from the effort of not fighting back. I’m sweating and black spots take over my vision. But I can still feel the pain. Finally I feel my self start to pass out, the pain lessens until it’s almost nothing. I pass out to the sound of Chase’s muttering and the sound of clinking metal.

When I wake Chase is gone. I start panicking. Then I suck in a few deep breaths and study the wound. The pain is surprisingly less. I don’t know if that’s just mental pain that I’ve been creating or if it’s the fact that the bullet’s gone. Or at least I assume it is. There are a couple rows of neat stitches swen with black thred. Blood covers my whole entire leg and most everything else. I look for Chase, maybe he’s nearby and I can’t see him.

“Chase!” I yell, I hear a rustle next to me. A dog’s nose peeks through the bushes, Tesla. “Tesla? Come here girl.” The dog wags her tail, getting her thick fur caught in the branches, she doesn’t seem to mind. She prances over and sniffs my leg. I haven’t really moved yet, just craned my neck so I could see the wound but everything feels sore and my leg is starting to throb. I look for Chase’s horse, or any sign that he’s still there. Nothing. Strange. Maybe he always does this, charms and saves a damsel in distress and then runs off while they’re sleeping. Maybe not. I don’t know, all I know is I need to get moving, to find Livy. I’ve stop thinking of Koda completely. I grab Tesla’s collar and I notice something. There’s blood coating her muzzle, a thick layer of blood. And another thing, it’s fresh, still wet. That’s when I see a figure stumble out of the bush, his face mangled and bloody. The second I see his green eyes I realize who it is. It’s Chase. And his blood is covering Tesla.

Chapter 8~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

Hey guys! Can you believe we’re almost at part 10? Anyway, I hope you like it!

By morning I was in brighter spirits, Tesla was good company and she helped me find a stream. It felt good to clean my face and I know I needed to clean my gun wound but I’m worried about the pain, it would not be good to pass out in water. But I start to undress so I can get to the wound. I grit my teeth everytime I move, the bullet needs to come out, I just don’t know how to get it out. I massage the area around the wound, washing away the dried blood. Even touching it brings stars dancing before my eyes. After I wash it I redress and wonder what to do next. I’m going to need food soon, my stomach has been growling all night and it keeps cramping. I’m stroking Tesla’s furry ears, wondering what to do, when she bolts off into a thicket.

“Tesla!” I yell, I can’t go after her and I don’t want her to leave. As I wait I jingle her collar in my hand, I look down and read the label on the tag. It reads;

 Number; Dog 134  

Job;Corpse Clearer

 Breed; German shepard\coyote\unknown

Tesla comes bounding up, tail wagging and a rabbit dangling out of her mouth.

“I thought you ran off and you weren’t coming back!” I laugh at her, a bit relieved. I ponder her tag. If she’s a corpse clearer that explains why she can pull me with ease. But if she works for the Dogs, does that mean they’ll be looking for her? I hope not. I slip her collar back on and she stands in front of me and her tails wags expectantly. I grab her collar and she starts to drag me again. It still hurts but it’s not a as painful as dragging myself. Tesla dosen’t seem to get tried quickly and soon it’s afternoon. The sun is getting weaker and weaker with each day and wind starts to picks up. I shiver, even with all my coats on. I talk to Tesla and my mind tells me I’m crazy. I just need someone to talk to or I’ll go mad. And the only living thing here is Tesla. I start to slip into sleep and I shake myself awake. I take a break and prop myself against a rock. I let myself dose while Tesla does whatever she does. Then I hear something that rises terror in my mind. Horses hooves, Army men. I look around with Tesla, she’s not here. I start dragging myself and I let out yelps of pain as I try to slither away. I’m going too slow, I’m going to be found by the Dogs. I glance behind me and see a large gray horse galloping towards me, the rider has spotted me. I try to see the rider but they’re  crounching low to the horse and I can only see a ratty coat. I furrow my brow as I struggle to keep moving. Why would one of the Dogs’ horsemen be in rags? Usually they were treated with armidration and respect. They always has nice clothes and good food. Sometimes even good living quaters. I shake it out of my thoughts and I realize I’ve only moved a few feet from the rock. I feel tears dam behind my eyes and the try to blink them away. Soon the horse and the rider is practically on top of me. To my suprise the rider doesn’t shoot. I don’t understand why not? I’m obviously not a soldier. Why doesn’t he shoot. Instead the rider stops his horse and slides off. My breath catches as the rider walks toward me. The second I see his face I feel a surge of guilt. Why am I guilty? I push the feeling away, it’s not important. He is the most handsome thing I’ve ever seen. His greens eyes are so intense it takes my breath away and his blonde hair is short and every hair is in place but it doesn’t look like he put anything on it. His skin is fair and clean. His lips are in an almost smile as if something’s funny. He approaches me carefully, taking in my awful sight. I must be the ugliest thing he’s ever seen. Something like a troll.

“Who are you?” He asks. His voice is soft and nice to hear. I instantly want him to talk more.

“Poppy. My name is Poppy.” My voice is hoarse and ugly. I feel self conscious.

“That’s a nice name.” Then he cocks his head, with that funny smile, “I won’t hurt you don’t worry. Although it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to do much if I tried to…”

“What is your name?” I ask quickly, I don’t like him pointing out how vulerable I am.

“Ah, I guess that’s an improtant detail, my name is, Chase.” His werid little smaller grows a bit larger.

“Chase?” I murmur.

“Yes Chase. It means huntsman you know?” He sits down nest to me and plays with some dead leaves on the floor. I wonder where Tesla is, maybe she’s hunting? But she’s been gone for a long time… I silently send a message for her to come back.

“I didn’t,” My mind suddenly shakes itself out of it’s thoughts of his beauty and I suddenly became wary of this boy.

“I’m sorry, how rude.” His smile dissappears and he shakes his head, “There are much more important things to attend to. What happened to you?”

“I was shot by…” I pause, should I tell him? “The Dogs as they are commonly known.”

“Ah of course.” His little smile is starting to bug me. “Well then I guess I better help you. Right?”

“That would be helpful, yes.” I pause, “Do you by any chance, know how to remove a bullet from flesh?”

“Why yes, I’m an expert in removing bullets.” He winks and that terrifies me.

“Nevermind,” I shake my head and give a very fake smile. “I’ll figure it out.”

“Don’t worry I know what I’m doing.” He gives me a reassuirng look. “I’ve done it before.”

“Do you need supplies for it?” I ask, my terror slowly dipersing. Why is it so easy to trust him?

“I have everything I need but thank you.” His smile grows genunine and I suddenly feel comfrontable. I trust him. “Ok lay down on your stomach and don’t move otherwise you will feel the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life. Well, even if you don’t move, this is going to hurt. A lot”

Chapter Seven~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

For a second I just sit and stare at the dog. It’s so big and it’s teeth glint in the faint moonlight. It snarls again and that snaps me out of my thoughts. I shift myself back into a sitting position, pain shooting up my leg making my grit my teeth. I scream at the dog, it doesn’t back down. I throw things at it, whatever I can get my hands on. Rocks, sticks, mud. A couple times they hit their mark and the dog yelps. It’s a sad pitiful sound, almost how I sounded when I let out a cry of pain. I harden my resolve and throw again, it hits the dog square in the middle of the eyes. It lets out another yelp, this one more pathetic, I stop thowing. The dog comes closer and I watch it wairily, rock in hand. My eyes have adjusted to the darkness and I can see the dog’s fur. It’s a brownish color with black spots and white discolorings, well that’s what it looks like underneath all the mud.  It’s eyes are brown, a milky brown. Not as pretty as Koda’s though. I stiffen, Koda… The second I think that name, a dreadful feeling surges through my whole body. It’s worse than the pain from my bullet wound. I look at the dog as the feeling hits me. I need a friend. The dog slowly steps towards me and when I don’t try to strike it, it walks closer.

“Hey pretty thing…” I whisper, I’m such a liar, this dog is pretty ugly. It whines in response. I reach to stroke it’s pointed ears, it whimpers. I feel the soft fur under my fingers, it’s strangly soothing. The dog creeps closer and nuzzles it’s head against my hand. It wags it’s huge tail. I reach to stroke it’s neck and find a thick rope tied to it. It’s a collar. I work to pull it’s of it’s head. It looks uncomfrontable. When it’s finally off I look at it in the faint moon light, I can’t read anything on it but I keep it, in case I need it. I start to crawl again, I don’t feel like sleeping. And besides, if the Dogs (the soldiers that shot me not real dogs) are looking for anyone, they most likely won’t find me in the dark. I start crawling again, I realize it’s a mistake. I let out a blood crudling scream, the wound has gotten worse. The dog prances over to me. It’s tongue lolling out it’s mouth. It doesn’t see the pain I’m in. But it sits paitently as I suck in ragged breaths. This will be so much harder than I thought. The dog walks in front of me, I reach out my hand, it backs up a little so that my hand is on it’s neck. An idea strikes me. I slip the collar back on and wrap my fingers around it. The dog starts walking, dragging me with it. It acts as if this is what it was bred to do. It has a strong neck and a strong back, it pulls me through the mud and while it does hurt, it’s better than dragging myself and the dog seems to scare away the darkness for a little.

“You need a name…” I mumble, the dog doesn’t respond, it just keeps pulling. “How bout Zellie?”

Terribly creative, I know. It’s just Zellie was my first friend so in a way it fits, because the dog is my friend. The dog doesn’t seem to like it because she just ignores me and keeps walking.

“Fine.” I pause, “How ’bout Tesla?”

I have no clue where that came from but it sounds pretty cool. It tickles the back of my mind with a memory but I can’t seem to catch it and see what memory it is. The dog turns and cocks her head.

“Tesla?” I murmur again, the dog wags her tail faster. This dog must have been trained be someone to do something and maybe she was a mmilitary dog, one that has killed but… She’s gonna help me to get to Livy and Koda… The same feeling hits me and tears form it my eyes. I curse and wipe them away. “Let’s go Tesla, let’s go find Livy.”

I purposely don’t say Koda, I pretty sure that would be too much for me to bare. I need to start pushing him away, it’s too painful to even think about him. wolf