I tried my hardest to relax and sleep but rest didn’t come. I tossed and turned until finally giving up on that whole institution. So I just waited.
In an hour’s time my Band was all fully awake and we started moving. I was eager to get started on the day’s journey, but something in the back of my mind said that this wasn’t quite right.
It was as if the sunshine was forbidding any light to be shown on my edgy mood. I jumped at every snap of a twig and glanced around at the birds’ calls.
Around midday I started nodding off due to my lack of sleep. Eventually I stopped paying attention to my surroundings, a big mistake.
We stopped several times to adjust, rest, and use the bathroom like always. I and a couple others hunted as well. Food didn’t just magically appear in our stomachs, we had to get it there.
When I had killed two hares and a snake, we started moving again. I swung the animals over my shoulder and trekked along in the back in my place.
Not ten minutes probably passed when Shana came back to join me. It was kind of nice to have company, even if our silence was a bit awkward.
“Here, let me carry those hares. You have a heavier burden than I.” She offered. I half smiled, same old Shana, always willing to help.
I handed her both of them. “Here, take them back to your family, I know Ahan didn’t catch anything.” She looked astonished for a moment then shook her head. Seeing her about to protest I cut her off. “Really! Do I look like I need all this? If I tried to eat it all I’d get fat! Then who’d be doing all the vampire killing? And you're right, it's too big a burden to haul if we had to run.” I smiled what I hoped looked like a genuine grin. Shana looked uncertain but then grinned back and nodded. After a while of more considerably less awkward silence she left, taking the hares with her. I sighed and shook my head; I’d never get over that girl.
Then I looked up and around, and froze.
We were walking along side a great forest next to a rolling plain, just like in my dream. And by the sun, I’d say we had traveling this way for a long while.
I gulped and shook my head, who was I kidding? It had been just a dream, that was all, only a dream. Panic struck; I continued with great effort to calmly walk behind my group, fighting a terrible urge to get them to all turn around and head south, or at least west.
After a while we got to traveling in single file across the middle of the canyon. Just like in my dream, both the forest and plain had broken away, leaving deep gullies on either side.
I sweated with discomfort and kept looking around for anything beyond the ordinary. Soon it became evident that there was no going back and I tried to reason with myself that the landscape was just a coincidence. Sure, I probably have been here before and just don’t remember. Probably when I was very little when my parents were still around. That would make sense since I tried my hardest to block out memories of those times.
Yes, we had been here before, I was sure of it. I grinned uneasily to myself and took a deep breath. One of the elders was just in front of me, patiently following younger members of our Band. His name was Domel.
“Pardon Domel,” I started. He turned toward me expectant. Domel wasn’t that old, he still had a thick mop of lush dirty blonde hair and not too wrinkled skin. Battle scars mauled his once pleasing appearance.
“Um, do you by any chance remember going through here before? Any time at all?” Domel’s brow puckered and he thought for a moment. I don’t think he realized how twitchy those few moments made me. Then he looked at me and answered.
I took small comfort of the fact that the path seemed to be getting wider, not like in my dream. We were either at a different place than the one I’d imagined or we had traveled farther than I had while dreaming about it.
“No, never. At least, not while I’ve been alive. When we crossed the White Lynxes the last time they were the ones who gave us these directions to come this way. They assured us that it was a much faster way north than going through the forest, they said it would save us weeks.” There it was again, the north. What was in the north? And why would it matter if we got there sooner or later?
But it didn’t matter now. Domel said he had never been this way since he’d been alive. We can only guess why, said a little voice in my head. I screamed at it to shut up and shivered, but not from any cold.
So, if Domel had never been this way, then I definitely hadn’t either. My breath started coming in short gasps. Suddenly I begun to wonder if that had really been a dream.
It’s not logical! I thought, even if it wasn’t a dream, what else could this have been? A premonition?
Domel saw what I’m sure was my shocked expression and his face turned curious. ”Why do you ask?” I didn’t get a chance to answer.
There was no warning, all at once screams dominated the air as a whole battalion of vampires suddenly were lined up on both sides of the canyon. They had appeared out of no where, and we were trapped.
So much for turning around.