Unforeseen Dives – Vb – A Walk in the Park

<< Va – A Walk in the Park

Walking outside was a bittersweet experience. It had been a long time since I saw something beside the barren walls of my prison and smelled anything but the cadavers rotting on the floor. The breath of fresh air deserved its name.
The flipside hit hard though. Guarded by two men, hands bound, I froze as we followed the pathway. My shoes disappeared a couple of weeks ago and my naked feet regretted them as my flesh sunk in the snow. The bucket of water used to wake me up now turned to ice in my hair and on my flimsy clothes. The ripped fabric hardened against my skin and bit my wounds.
Ryan dragged me slowly toward the wood. The non-reader occasionally shoved me more for the fun of it than because I needed incentive to scuff along. My feet were unbound but my hips hurt so I avoided wide strides.
We entered the cover of conifers. The evergreen trees shielded my body from the wind. My numbness receded and I managed to focus again. As subtly as I could, I searched for an opening. Ryan’s hold was fairly loose. An unforeseen tug might be enough to break his grip on my arm. I knew how to fight. If for some reason I didn’t have to face them both simultaneously, I had a chance to down them. Unfortunately, a forest wasn’t the best place to find a narrow corridor that would allow me to pull off that escape.
Nevertheless, I prompt dived silently, splitting my focus between the mindless task of following Ryan and the investigation of probable futures. My stubbornness didn’t achieve a lot. Every escape attempts I thought about resulted in a failure. I dared not scout too much ahead for fear of swimming head first in yet another whirlpool.
I tried my patience, promising myself to try another dive when my immediate surrounding changed, either when we reached our undisclosed destination or exited the woods. Thankfully, the non-reader walked silently. I concentrated on that small blessing to prevent any foolish attempt to get out of here before I had a real opening.
My body rapidly grew reluctant to any form of movement. My teeth clattered and my extremities felt dead. Not that hypothermia surprised me given my condition but it seriously crippled my chances to get away.
One step brought my foot over a sharp stone buried in the snow. My knees buckled as the rock pierced my sole. My face hit the snow before my head registered the pain slowly radiating through the numbness of my frozen foot. Things kept getting better and better.
“The princess forgot how to walk?” The non-readers stood a few feet away, grinning. “She should be careful or she’ll be dead before she meets the king.”
“And whose fault would that be?” I retorted vehemently. The non-reader laughed. Ryan was already forcing back to my feet, without a care for my fresh wound. Though his cruelty was part of my routine, it still destabilized me to suffer in the hands of a man I once worked with and respected.
We resumed our progression on the path immediately. I yelped for the first few steps, and then it reduced to a cringe. Eventually, the snow froze the blood flow completely and my fresh cut stopped hurting me. Shortly after, a clearing broke the line of trees, revealing a small hunter’s cabin. Its chimney fumed in a deceptively homey way. Behind it, along the border where the forest resumed, several corpses froze, negligently thrown there until they could be buried when the ground thawed.
Or maybe they would be left there to rot. I couldn’t pretend to understand the sick mind of the person orchestrating a war.
I concentrated on prompt diving again. I furiously scoured the possibilities of the future. Each step brought me closer to the end. I didn’t believe for one second I would have another chance to escape once I entered the hunter’s cabin. The opening had to come before that.
“Isn’t this exciting?” The non-reader taunted. I mumbled a response, refusing to let go of the Ocean but avoiding suspicions.
Attacking the non-reader first wouldn’t cut it. My strength to resist Ryan’s broadcast of sordid images had vanished days ago. Attempting to down Ryan opened the door for the non-reader. He had a gun on his hips. Grabbing the gun then shooting Ryan took too long; the non-reader had a secondary weapon at the ankle.
Then I saw it, the opening I was waiting for. I exited the Ocean with adrenaline surging in my veins. Like clockwork, the non-reader took the key to the cabin out of his pocket and they slid out of his hand. He bowed to grab them and Ryan did the same by reflex. Their heads aligned side-by-side.
I released the strongest kick I could manage, causing the heads of my captors to get sandwiched between the door and my foot for a stunning blow. My body seemed to wake up from its trance with the rush of adrenaline and the jolts of pain every movement sparked.
There was one sure-fire way to fight the cold; forget about the pain and run.
I prayed my captors would be stunned long enough for me to get a good head start. When I saw the path was clear in front of me for a few footsteps. I glanced over my shoulder. No one followed me. My joy was short-lived as someone collided with me forcefully. We rolled around in the snow, in a messy tangle of limbs. Just before I landed my first punch the man called my name as soothingly as possible given the circumstances.
I recognized him and smiled.

32a – Secrets >>

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

4 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – Vb – A Walk in the Park

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