The woman scrabbled back, her hand flying to the knife at her belt.
“Who are you and what do you want?” she snarled then her eyes widened as she registered the fact that the man in front of her was covered in a mix of dried and fresh blood and dirt. His brown eyes looked at her dully one of them was bloodshot, his fingers dug into the bark of the tree beside him, holding himself up. The woman lowered her bag to the ground. “Take it easy” she said moving closer her hand still on her knife she offered him the bottle she had, the brown eyes merely flicked down and looked at the offering.
“please.” He said looking to her other hand, his voice was a choked whisper.
“What?” the woman frowned confused, her wariness replaced by a mild curiosity.
“Kill me” the man said “I cant, I've tried.” He dropped to his knees as the tree bark split and pieces of wood rained down on him. The woman knelt beside him resting a hand on his bloody shoulder.
“I can’t kill you,” she tried to keep her voice light “I don’t even know you.” She smiled but the man just kept staring at her.
“Nor do I.” he said, she gripped his arm gently.
“Come on.” She stood trying to encourage him to stand “lets get you somewhere safer” he stood painfully slowly and she helped him walk further into the forest.
The boy shivered fiercely as biting wind cut through the cavern. He never knew where it came from and the both two occasions he had asked his parents in his fourteen years he'd received a smack and ordered by his father, not to question the gods as his mother shook her head in disappointment.
The boy sighed at the memory and carried on walking pushing thick vines away from his face. He traced them along the ground wondering how they grew on the forest floor when his eyes followed them to a huge twist of vines and leaves ahead. He moved near the low mound and knelt down touching the vines, they felt warm and he pulled a handful away from the mound. A tiny lick of blue smoke billowed out before being sucked back down, the boy stared for a moment before pulling more vines away he uncovered part of a swirling blue disc of smoke.
“What in the world?” he thought aloud and touched a finger to the smoke smiling as it curled around his finger and then was sucked back into the vortex. The boy sat down beside the smoke occasionally reaching out to it. The gusting wind didn’t seem to affect the smoke at all and the boy lay down realizing how tired he was.