Chapter 25: The Night’s Terrors, The Morning’s Glory

The trees above her shadowed the forest floor, leaving the sunlight to peek through small spaces between the branches overhead. On the ground only lay the velvet moss and roots of oak trees that cushioned her falls and trips as she ran, heavy with batted breath. She wasn't sure how long she had been running for, but the chase had begun early morning, before dawn actually. And now the sun was above her in its bright glory, reminding her that she was able to keep herself going despite her burning and weak legs. How she had not fallen to ground in exhaustion was a wonder, even to her.

Not wearing any shoes did little for her (as her feet were cut and bruised with every step she took), and the same could be said about her poor choice in clothing. When the rioting villagers and ignorant mad came for her, she hurriedly went for her attire that lay on the foot of her bed, but she knew she should have token a moment to think before acting, that way Alkyra wouldn't have been trapped in a forest during late spring when the air still carried winter's almost forgotten cold, clad in a (now ripped) silk night gown, barely reaching her scrapped, fleshy knees, and an oversized men's coat which seams were barely intact.

But she had to run. They were mad. Crazy. Her "family" had left the day previous to the attack, knowing full well that they were coming, and had trusted Alkyra to take care of the farm. But what farm? She knew the villagers were fiendish. They would have destroyed and burnt the land as quickly as they came for her. And what would be left, she wondered? A few livestock and repairable windows...and blame - aimed at her.

At least they would think me dead, the lizard thought dryly. She will be anyway.

 Slowly, she dropped her heavy and fatigued body to the base of a tree, hidden from the path she had taken. Allowing herself to take a breath or two, Alkyra tried to think of somewhere to go, someplace to hide for some time. Not one thought came to mind though, and that moment she told herself that she was doomed (or lucky. It would depend on how much a person valued their life in this type of situation). The salty tears came after this realization, rolling down her dirt-covered cheeks. With nowhere to run to and no place to hide, she decided she could at least offer herself the freedom to cry; to be heartbroken all over again.

The sobs did ease her a little, but not enough to motivate her to keep moving. She would rest under the shade of the oak for the day, and maybe she'll be lucky enough to lose the remaining trackers and their dog. But if they indeed came again for her, she will pick up her wounded feet and run until they or she get lost in the great forest with no exit.

--

The morning already arrived by the time, Alkyra opened her eyes. She blinked once or twice to understand completely where she was. "Sistren..." she uttered, her words barely audible in her drowsy state. Almost comfortable in her new bed, she tossed and turned a little to pull away from the heavy covers. To the left of her bed was Eru, sleeping soundly with her cute pet curled up to her forehead in adoration and safety. Alkyra almost smiled at the sight as she moved to tidy her bed up.

It was past dawn certainly, as the sun, once again, was up in the sky with all its bright glory, but when she peaked outside her room, the house was as silent as ever. Hoping not to disturb the sleeping girl in her bed, she tiptoed to the dresser hoping to change out of her sleeping gown. When she opened it her eyes went wide with greed and surprise. The dresser was filled with more clothing that she had ever seen in her entire life!

She chose the first thing to fit: the white sundress with frills going to her ankles. Out of giddiness Alkyra spun around, watching the skirt of the dress twirl with the motion and giggled to herself. Then she heard the birds outsides, up and a buzz in the early day. Alkyra practically ran to the window and jerked it open.

"Alkyra...what are you doing?!" Eru gasped, stirring her pet from sleep.

Alkyra snapped her head to the winged creature and looked equally shocked. But for a very different reason.

Alkyra had one leg swung to the other side of the open window and was moving the other before Eru woke up. "Jumping," she joked, but Eru squeaked and jumped from her bed. Out of habit, the lizard bit her tongue, deciding that was a terrible, terrible joke to use this early in the morning. "Not really!" she hastily replied, "I was just going to sit here and catch some sun."

The other girl looked a bit confused. "Like...bask?"

Her face dropped to mock seriousness before it lightened up in obvious humor. "Of course not! I have scales ‘n I'm pretty much lizard through and through, but I don't "bask"! That would be strange, even by my standards."

"Oh." Eru's expression lifted a little, probably a little more content than she was when she woke up to a lizard-girl climbing out the window. In her dress no less...

Her wings arched up, while she scowled not very threateningly. "Is that my dress?"

Alkyra coughed and squeaked all at once. "Um...maybe?"

"Alkyra!"

By now, said girl was pretty sure that the entire house awoke.

The End

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