Still unnoticed by his charges, Seymour saddled Wyrinther and packed up the contents of the saddlebags, minus the scissors, which Seoc would have to return once he had finished with them.  By the time Simon's hair had been hacked down to within an inch of his skull, everything was ready to go.

    They followed the river southward, continuing their journey through the forest, the two humans riding the horse and the Aechyed walking alongside them.  They were in no great haste at the present, for they knew that they had lost their pursuit long before.  Speed and caution would be of greater concern once they had reached the more populated portions of the forest, but there was little need for worry about that until they had reached the Carvil Valley.  At this leisurely pace, that was still several days ahead of them.

    A storm blew in in the middle of the afternoon, sending drenching torrents of rain down from the churning grey sky.  They took shelter under one of the few trees that hadn't yet lost most of its leaves to wait for it to pass.  Plus, they were all eager to rest awhile before continuing onward.

     Seymour sat down against the trunk of the oak and pulled off his boots to stretch out his long, webbed toes.  His feet were sweaty, sore and beginning to blister, so the cool air felt wonderful upon his soles, but no relief was given to his pounding head, which had begun to ache once more with renewed force.  Rubbing his temples with the knuckles of his thumbs, he closed his eyes and wished that the pain would go away.  It didn't.  The darkness did, however, ease the strain on his eyes, for they had begun to loose focus again.

  He drifted asleep then, without intending to, without realizing that he had lost consciousness--though, of course, one generally doesn't notice that sort of thing, but in his current state of mind, that particular fact would not have occurred to him.  In his awareness, he merely closed his eyes, scarcely longer than a blink, opened them again, and glanced at the river... find that it was running with blood.

   "You forgot about me, didn't you, Seymour?"

The End

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