6 September 2006

Six Days by Bela Luna

A sequel of sorts to 'Running.' (scratch that -it is a lie!)

Disclaimer: I do not own No Rest for the Wicked ( w w w . f o r t h e w i c k e d . n e t). That lovely comic is by Andrea L. Peterson, an Icarus Falls Production. And I feel quite sorry for butchering such wonderful characters, but I really couldn't help myself.

sSsSs

Red turned the axe over and over in her slender palms, weary and moody. She kept her eyes on the ground, suppressing a growl of frustration welling within her. She sat far from November and that cat, out of sight and upwind. Before, it was easy to stay away from people at this time when she was alone, but now...

She clutched her aching belly, biting her lip against the pain set farther down. She would need to find a stream to wash everything out, and try to move even farther away to build a a fire far from them to dry everything. She scowled, hardly knowing what she was thinking anymore. It was an awful time, but she was glad -was that the word?- that it never lasted more than four days.

-----

The fire crackled and popped, spitting out sparks. November watched the flames writhe and dance. She sighed, resting her chin on her palms.

"Do you think that Red is okay?" she asked softly, not really expecting a response.

Perrault snorted with contempt. "No doubt she is off hunting some poor thing."

November nodded, knowing that this was the likeliest answer. But, still, she had this feeling that it was something else completely. Earlier, she had seen Red stop, a look of horror on her face. She stalked off into the trees, and November hadn't seen her since. Usually, she wouldn't worry about Red, but, right now, something made her stomach twitch uneasily.

-----

Red came closer, but stayed far from them whilst attempting to mask the smell. It was morning, and they were still in the same place. She slumped against a tree, realising that November would not go anywhere without her. If it had just been that cat, he would have gone on, glad to have been rid of her.

Well, if it had just that cat, then she would have disposed of him long before.

She rubbed her temple, willing the forming headache away. She could have disposed of him, but she never honestly tried.

She stopped, suddenly rigid. She picked up her axe and walked away, further down. The ache in her abdomen had worsened today, signaling that she would on her own for a day or two longer.

Red had never wished to be boy, but she found herself cursing her female body.

-----

"It's been three days already," November said worriedly.

Perrault sighed, masking his annoyance without much success. "Your Highness, I am sure that she will come back rather soon. She often disappears without notice."

November found herself somewhat annoyed with Perrault. She knew that they didn't like each other, but this was all becoming very tiresome.

She looked at Perrault, keeping her voice as level as possible. "Master Perrault, if she does not return tomorrow, I think that it would be best if we looked for her."

Perrault's visage was devoid of all expression. "She could be anywhere in these woods, Your Highness."

November looked away.

-----

The fourth day, and the pain went away, leaving behind a familiar throbbing. Her undergarments were stiff from being so often washed and dried improperly. It was uncomfortable, but she kept walking. At some point the cat would tell November that she, Red, was no longer near-by and that they would have to move again.

She kept her axe in her hands at all times. She knew the woods of which she lived in and could navigate them perfectly. These, on the other hand, were unfamiliar. She had never felt fear or had felt worried amongst trees and wild animals, a part of her seemingly wild as well, but she felt uneasy. Something was following her at night, when it would be impossible to see.

She stayed up that night, sitting beneath two large, aging roots of a wide tree. She gripped the axe tightly, feeling a flame of fear and the gnawing of hunger. If this persisted, she would be forced to return to the other two.

If it had been just November, Red would not be forced to go away on her own for days.

-----

"She has not returned," November said flatly, looking expectantly at Perrault.

Perrault was rather surprised at her commanding attitude.

"We have to look for her," she continued, her eyes boring into his.

This is a side of November that Perrault had never seen. It seemed rather out of character for her, for she had prove time and time again that she was helpless maiden.

He stayed silent, but she did not press.

He idly wondered if she thought that he would do just what she said without question.

-----

Something was following her again.

Red kept walking, tired and hungry. It had been the fifth day, and it was the fourth night. She could not smell anything distinctive, nor could she sense just what it might be. After six years of hunting by herself with one axe and her bare hands, all of the abilities she had acquired, everything failed her now. She could not afford to stop moving, but she could not not sleep another night.

Suddenly, whatever it was, it stopped moving. It turned back around and left her be. Red stood there, stunned. She could not find any reason for it to turn away, but she lay down beneath a tree and slept gratefully.

-----

"Our hostile companion is nearby," Perrault said before November could say a word.

November looked relieved "Is she okay?"

"She is her same paranoid self," he replied coolly, adjusting his gloves.

November didn't inquire further, though it was rather obvious that she was having a job restraining herself.

Even royalty can lose their composure.

-----

Red rubbed her eyes blearily, squinting into the darkness. It was night again. She sat up and stretched, massaging her stiff neck. This reminded her of one hunt, where she had spent three days and three nights tracking down an elusive, and, though she hated to admit it, a rather intelligent wolf.

She stood up, axe by her side. She was ready to move on when she heard a branch snap. She whirled around, her heart beating in her neck and head. How could she not tell that something was there? She raised her axe, ready to kill whatever and whomever it may be.

An arm coiled around her waist, fingers twining in her hair. It was too dark to see who it was, or some idea as to who it could be. She raised the axe, thinking of chopping off a hand, when the other hand that had been in her hair yanked the axe from her and tossed it away into the dark.

Fear. It was fear that was welling in her chest. Fear caused her breath to come out in short, quick bursts. She had learned how to handle beasts, but not this kind.

The other arm folded her arms to her sides, holding them there. She feel his breath against her ear, but something stirred within her. She listened closely, and she thought she could hear a low rumbling.

She broke her arms free, twisting around to face him. She hissed in anger at the familiar silhouette. How dare he cause her fear during this time!

She raised her hand to strike him, but he grasped both hands neatly and quickly, bringing his mouth to hers.

Red did not struggle. She did not want to struggle. A heat deep within her came to life. It frightened her that she would not stop, disgusted her even. She fell against him, her slender frame feeling too weak compared to his lithe and sturdy one.

sSsSs

That was... a really long crapfic. I'm not sure what I wrote, or if anyone else does. If you have any words about it -good, bad, or ugly- feel free to tell them to me via review.