“We’re being followed,” I whispered.
Light snow began to fall, erasing any of the minimal warmth that existed previously. Ice pricked my skin repeatedly, numbing my body.
We had to continue forth and quickly. Otherwise, we would not make it. The village is on the other side of the forest, and it’s our only chance to survive the night.
“Martha keep up, please! You’re falling behind!”
A few yards behind, Martha trudged on with no purpose as shown by her slumped over shoulders. Her brother was dead, and I understood all too well what she was feeling. The loss of a loved one never failed to hurt.
I glanced around, in an almost nervous response to the situation. The shadows of dangerous things were moving between the trees and thick undergrowth, stalking us.
I looked behind, watching Martha move more slowly than before. Maybe the cold was freezing her alive but she no longer cared. I did.
Sunlight had completely disappeared, with a thick mist forming and slithering its way throughout the forest, obscuring most details a few metres away.
The sound of my heart rattled my head, throbbing with intense pain. I could hardly hear myself think.
In the distance the sound of barking and barbaric chanting echoed, increasing in intensity.
“Hurry up, quickly! You’re going to kill us! They’ll be upon us soon! Please, Martha!” I begged, realising my next decision could prove costly.
I stumbled towards her, reaching for her arm to place over my shoulder. Her arm was freezing and her once blue eyes held no joy, only guilt. I tried to quicken the pace, but with my limited strength and the temperature against us, it would prove quite difficult.
The voices were everywhere, leaving us defenceless and shackling my courage with chains. I did not wish to die and definitely not the way in which the hunters would choose. I did not plan to become a feast for all those abominations of men.
“Martha, I’m sorry.”
I punched her in the ribs, hearing her groan and feeling the warmth of her breath as the air left her lungs.
I began to run, not daring look back. Even as I listened to the dogs dig into her.
To read Part 1 of Winters Breath click here.