I encircled her arms around my shoulders and let her weep and cry as much as she needed to.

“Please let us help you”
Peter couldn’t hear her whispering from where he stood but I heard her loud and clear. I only wished that I could convey the importance of the two of them leaving.

“You are. But you can’t stay here. You and Peter must get help. Everything depends on us getting more people out here.
“If you and Peter can’t get help, we are all dead. That’s how you’re helping me, Sarah. Go now and bring back help” I said.

Sarah slowly pulled back from me and looked into my eyes. Her once neat shoulder length curly brown hair had become disheveled and dirty. But it was not her hair I was admiring at that moment.

“What if you get killed…” She said with her voice trailing off. I raised a finger to her lips to stop her from saying anything else on the subject. I was fully aware of the possibility of my death. But I would not allow her to think about it.

I glanced over to my right hand and saw my gold signet glistening in the morning sun as it shone through the trees. I quickly removed it and regarded it with some thought.
It was on my eighteenth birthday that my parents had given me the gold ring that resided on my right hand.

Without saying anything I took Sarah’s left hand and placed my ring in her palm. Before she could react, I closed her hand around the ring.

I was looking into her eyes as I did so but as I moved back a step, she opened her hand and looked at the ring. Sarah and Peter had been there when I had needed the ring resized a couple of times so they both knew how important it was to me.

She looked up into my eyes, mouth ajar. I put on the best smile that I could do and made sure that she had nothing further to say.

“I’ll be back for this”
Sarah bit her lip and nodded softly. I was unprepared this time for when she threw her arms around me and held me as tightly as she could. I embraced her back, pulling from it as much joy as I could.

“Please be careful” she whispered. I rubbed her back reassuringly.
“Don’t worry. Without you two, I’m hunting him.”

I gently released her and turned to Peter, glad that I didn’t need to convince him as well. I extended my hand out to him.

He looked at my hand and then up to me. Shaking his head, he moved close and embraced me himself. I could feel through his embrace that he was genuinely scared.

Not of my parents’ murderer, for he had never really been afraid of bullies and people with knives. He was afraid for me, and I knew it. He pulled back from me and then shook my hand.

Sarah moved over to where Peter was standing, preparing for the task that she did not want to undertake. I let out a deep breath and turned back to Peter.

“Do you know where you’re going?”
Peter looked all around us, out to the forest and thought for a few moments.
“I know this area well. I just need to find a single dirt track and once we do, getting out of here shouldn’t be too difficult” he said.

I put my hands on my hips and nodded. I looked at the floor and tried to slow my racing heart by taking long deep breaths. Peter leaned over to me one last time.

“Just promise us you won’t do anything stupid” he said. Looking up I saw that Sarah was naturally waiting to hear my promise as well.

“I can’t promise that. But I promise I won’t take any unnecessary chances. I will do what I need to do, nothing more” I said.

With everything said Peter nodded before turning away and beginning his trek into the forest. Sarah waited for a moment, looking me in the eye one last time.

“Go” I whispered to her. She bit her lip once more and nodded before turning after Peter. I stood stoic and motionless as I watched them leave.

Sarah looked back over her shoulder at me once but Peter did not. I remained rooted to my spot until the two of them had moved out of my sight and I could not hear them any longer.

I picked up my jacket and brushed it off once more.
“Well this was a bright idea” I muttered to myself under my breath.

I then saw in my free hand that I was bleeding. I searched for the source, and I located a deep cut on my right arm.

I was curious as to how I got such a cut and how I had not noticed its presence. The blood was still fresh, so I knew it had happened very recently and not during the night.

Such a cut would have caused me some pain before but this time I felt nothing. Smiling a little I realized that I had reached a level of ignoring some levels of pain.

Thinking ahead to my possible confrontation I knew that this new strength could prove to be very advantageous in a fight.

Looking towards the now risen sun I saw the direction home. It did not lead directly to my family home; I knew it led to the coast.

With nothing but duty on my mind and in my heart, I began my own lonesome journey. The events of the coming day would prove to me once and for all the wisdom and strength of my inner self.

But I also knew that win, lose or draw, my parent’s killer was going to know he was in the fight for his life.

And at that moment, I awoke. I walked for some time through the unending flow of bare trees that littered the forest. I had been following the sun for well over two hours.

As the hour approached midday, I was beginning to lose my bearings as the sun ascended into its glorious position in the sky.

I stopped for a few minutes to see if I could get my bearings. Everywhere I had gone it was the same. The trees were everywhere, presenting the same view everywhere I looked.

For a fleeting moment I felt as though it was hopeless. But the thought was put to rest when a flicker of light in the distance caught my eye. I turned to the source and focused. A smile met my lips, as I knew I had found what I was looking for.
The sea.

I started again slowly at first, but soon accelerating into a fast-jogging pace. I moved through the forest with the grace and speed of a wild deer.

The thought of that deer entered my mind again and gave me strength. Reminding me I was not alone and that good would overcome.

I emerged from the forest onto the coastline. There was barely a cloud in the sky and the ocean waves were beautiful.

I stopped and closed my eyes for a moment, enjoying the view and the feel of the sun on my face.

A force within me and completely out of my control showed me something I did not want to see.

Distant memories of the sea, myself and my family playing on the beach. The sand irritating the space between my toes, the wind tickling my once long blonde hair.

Keeping my eyes closed I allowed myself the pleasure of some heartfelt tears. I had to allow myself something, for I knew that I was in danger of surrendering to my despair.

I could not allow myself to do that. I turned to my right and sure enough, in the distance was my home. From where I was standing, I could not see anything wrong.

It was a normal day for me, after having been out exploring with my friends. I saw the house, and I was about to jog over once more.

Where I knew my parents would be waiting. I would turn up at the door out of breath from my jogging and listen to my mother advise me on how good vegetables really were.

It was all so still. The sound of the ocean waves filled my ears and my soul. The house standing so distant was my home. But now it was the means for my success.

Wiping my face clean and thinking clearly about my task, I began to remember the secret places where my father had hidden weapons and some supplies.

I began to walk towards the house, and every single step I took presented a new memory for me. I was thankful for one thing only at that point.

My parent’s bodies lay on the far side of the house from me, down by the shoreline. I could not bear to see them at that time. I knew that I would when the time was right.

I returned my attention to the house and continued walking. As I drew closer a terrible thought entered my head.

The possibility of the hunter still being at the house presented itself to me. I felt no fear for my personal safety. I felt fear about the failure of my mission.

To Be Continued…..

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