Flashes of green and brown rushed pass me in snapshots as I chased after something I wanted, needed, yearned for. I pushed myself faster. I stopped instantly, blinded by a bright light.
“Jasper!” The voice echoed, except rather than getting quieter, it got louder with each repeat of my name. “Jasper if you don’t get your lazy ass up right now dude I swear…” Arggh, Matt… Groaning, I rubbed my eyes, squinting at the light streaming in through the trees. I yawned, unzipped my sleeping bag and traipsed forward, following the smell of smoke…
“What the hell is that?” I said, pointing to what looked like the charred remains of something resembling a rabbit…
“That, my friend is breakfast,” he beamed, clearly proud of his massacre.
“You have got to be shitting me.”
“Nope, I am in fact not shitting you; it’s something I like to call ‘Lapin bien-fait’…”
“A well-done rabbit? Matt you practically cremated the thing.”
“Ok, ok, so perhaps it’s not up to my usual expertise- but it’s edible at least…” He winked, chucking me a lump of the thing. I bit down into the char-grilled fur, grimacing at the taste, I swallowed, and bit down again; beggars can’t be choosers after all…
“Any signs of him yet?” I asked in-between mouthfuls,
“Not yet, I recon it’ll be nightfall before we hear anything,” he swallowed, clearing his throat,“Hunter said to be wary though, this one’s a handful, three deaths in the area- all witch hunters. He’s gotta be a leader or something."
“Hmm, I dunno, but there’s definitely something going on; I just hope I’m there to kill this freak before its next victim.” Matt grinned at my remark,
“Amen to that sister.”
“I hate to break this to you Matt … But I’m not your sister.” He winced dramatically, placing his hand on his heart,
“Ouch Jas, that cut deep man,” he sniffed. I laughed, chucking the remainders of “breakfast” at him, hitting him in the side of the face with perfect aim. He jumped up; hands filled with the rabbits guts, drawing back his arm to throw when, -snap- our heads turned directly to where the sound had come from,
“Should we-” I cut him off, holding my finger to my lips. I crept silently over to the forest, pinpointing where the sound came from.
I signalled Matt to stay there, when there was another crack of a broken twig from about 5 feet away, a second later the leaves of an oak tree rustled, I inhaled deeply, and ran.
Blood pounded inside my head, the only sounds were the forest floor beneath me and the sound of my pulse- my madly pumping heart trying to keep up with me.
They were here somewhere, I could feel it; my vision was obscured by thick trees but that didn’t bother me- I’d played, adventured and killed in this forest.
My ears pricked at the sound of another twig snapping. Followed by a loud crack as all the air was knocked out of me, a searing pain ripping through my chest, my rib was definitely broken. I clenched my fists, the skin turning white over my knuckles; no Witch would hurt me and get away with it…
I spun around, getting hit in the face before being able to contemplate what was going on. Immediately I rubbed my jaw as the pain followed, that was going to bruise...
“Fuck! Awhh shit that hurt like a-” They froze, and within a split second my hands were gripped tightly onto their cloak, kneeing them where I knew it would hurt.
They yelped, in a high pitched tone, but then who am I to judge on reactions when you’ve- Focus Jasper! I pushed them to the ground forcefully, and locked onto their, somewhat small, wrists. Sitting on their stomach I focused in on the enemy, “What the-?” It was a girl. Roughly my age, I leant in closer. Yup, definitely a girl.
As I sat there motionless, she wriggled, squirming around helplessly underneath me. I smirked, if she thought she could escape this flawless hold than she was mistaken. Subsequently I was thrown on to my back, the hard base of her shoe cutting off my air-supply. Ok, maybe I had underestimated her.
I clamped my hands around her ankle, my brain screaming from lack of oxygen. Slowly I lowered my free hand and reached for the blade inside my jean pocket- slicing it through her Achilles heel, she fell to the ground instantly.
I dragged her to the nearest tree, by her hair; she screamed in pain, clawing at my hands, I could feel the warm liquid oozing out from the cuts she was making.
I lifted her up by throat and shoved her against the tree, holding her in place. She stood there, proud and defiant, fearsome whilst I took the rope from my bag. I began tying a constrictor knot with my now bloody, free hand, securing her to the tree.
Not once did I take my eyes from hers, I couldn’t. She was unlike anything I had ever come across. Her rich mahogany hair flowed freely with the wind, the loose waves whipping across her ivory skin; her flushed cheeks giving away her embarrassment.
I had everything ready, within minutes she would be nothing but flames. But there was something about her- I pulled on the knot, tightening the snake bound structure, Shut up Jasper. Just shut up. She’s probably cast some stupid spell on you…Her bottom lip trembled, and her eyes filled up with tears, she's just a girl...
I loosened my grip on the rope; her eyebrows burrowed together- confusion swept over her face. I sighed, whispering “Run…” But she didn’t, she just stood there, staring at me.
“Wh-why are you doing this?” Her voice was beautiful, melodic, yet raspy, her chest was heaving as she tried to regain her breath. I couldn’t answer her- I didn’t know.
“Just run ok? Go! Now! -Before I change my mind…” I said, pushing her away from me, she stared at me; then she ran, never looking back- not once.