Hello! What is this? I'm finally updating? Yes, and I feel completely awful that I left this story for so long. To be honest, I got busy, got lazy, and gave up on it.
IMPORTANT: This chapter has been revised, thanks to the helpful Delia Anole and the review from RoseNymph. Thanks for the encouragement!
Again: *Any resemblances between the characters in the story and people in real life are unintentional.
Riding through my fifth night had left me tired and in need of a place to lie down. And to make matters worse, Bima was getting restless too.
We were close to the heart of the forest when a man jumped out from behind a tree and startled Bima, causing me to be thrown to the ground. I wasn't hurt, however, and I jumped to my feet to see who had jumped out at us.
A small man with an evil smirk on his face started to stroll towards me. I walked backwards in an attempt to get away from him, but my path was blocked by something hard. Another man stood right behind me. This one was tall and looked very strong.
The first, short man then called out, "Hey boys, look what we've got here."
About five other men came out from behind trees and bushes and made their way over to me and Bima.
I was absolutely terrified now.
I didn't know what they were going to do to me and I wished for about the millionth time in my life that I was taller. Maybe then I wouldn't have looked so helpless. I was defenseless against these men, and it looked as if they knew it.
"Such a little thing, isn't she?" One of them said.
I tried to maneuver my way around the men but one of the men caught me by my shoulders and wouldn't let go.
"Let me go!" I screamed. I started thrashing about; kicking and wiggling, anything to get out of the man's grip. But it was too tight and he was too strong. I tried to scream but another man put his hand over my mouth.
"Quiet," he commanded everyone. Right, like I'm going to listen to this guy I thought. "I hear something."
And sure enough, I could hear voices in the distance; male voices.
I silently prayed, Oh please, please let these men help me. Please help me get out of this okay. I heard the voices coming closer. I was confused when the small man said for the other men to "do it quick." Do what quick? I thought to myself; and then I felt pain sear throughout my entire body.
After that, my world went black and faded into oblivion.
x X X x
When I woke up, the only thing I noticed was the pain.
My eyes were still closed and I didn't want to move in fear of making the pain worse. What hurt the most were my ankle, stomach, chest, and head. My ankle was probably just sprained, but it felt like I had cracked at least one rib.
After a few minutes of just laying with pain, I realized that I was laying on something nice and warm and soft; a bed. I bolted upright and almost screamed in pain. I shut my eyes and let my body adjust to sitting.
"Oh, good you're awake," I heard a boy's voice say; "I'll go and get mum. Just stay here." Right, like I can really move anyway. When I heard the door open, I finally opened my eyes.
A boy about my age was standing in the doorway while a woman who must have been his mother bustled over to the bed.
"Hello, dear," she said kindly, "You were beat pretty badly. How are you feeling?"
"Like I'm in a lot of pain," I truthfully replied.
"What were you doing out in the woods all by yourself? You're lucky to be alive! I'm just glad that the boys-"
"Mum," the boy interrupted, "she just woke up and is in a lot of pain. Maybe you should just give her some medicine, check her wounds, and then let her get settled here. I'll tell her where she is and all that." "Of course, dear, you are so smart."
Then she addressed me, "I apologize, Miss…" She trailed off, unsure of my name. "Abrielle," I told her. "Right, Miss Abrielle. My name is Mena. I'm just going to check on your wounds and then I'll be leaving."
As I had suspected, my ankle was sprained and I had two broken ribs. I had also been kicked in the stomach and hit in the head. Mena bandaged my head and ribs and rubbed a salve on some of the small cuts that I had also acquired. I thanked her before she left and moved to lie back down when the boy said, "Wait, don't fall asleep yet."
I sat back up with only a little bit of difficulty and turned my head to look at him. He was tall and thin and had bright green eyes and light brown hair that was cut short. He wore a friendly smile on his face as he looked at me.
"You're name's Abrielle, right?" I nodded my head in response.
"My name's Calgary. And you've already met Mum. Dad and Zander are out hunting; you'll meet them when they come back in a few days." A few days? I figured that since I was hurt and didn't have anywhere else to go; staying there was probably the best thing for me to do. Well, if they're offering, why not? Again, I just nodded my head.
"Where am I?" I asked Calgary.
"In Corandera. It's about 500 miles from where Zander and Dad found you in the forest. It's lucky that Zander heard you yelling, by the way. They brought you home and went back out hunting." 500 miles, this is great! This is far enough away so that it will take Father a good while for him to find me.
"Well, I am very thankful that they found me. I can't even imagine what would have happened to me and Bima if they-"I broke off.
Bima! Where is Bima? I started to panic. "Where is Bima?" I asked him.
"Bima?" he asked confused. "My horse! Where is my horse?" "Oh, you're horse. Don't worry; it's out in the barn."
I breathed a sigh of relief and lied back down. "I'm going to let you sleep now, just call if you need anything." Calgary left and I fell asleep once more.
x X X x
I didn't know how long I slept for; I drifted in and out of consciousness, waking only when Mena made me eat something or when she gave me medicine. I must have slept for several days because the next time I woke up, the pain was less intense, and I found that I could sit up more easily than before.
I gingerly moved off the bed and began to make my difficult journey to the door. Using various pieces of furniture to help me, and falling once, I reached the door and opened it, only to give a little squeak and fell down once more.
Someone was standing right outside the door.
Embarrassed, I just sat on the floor and looked up at the stranger. He was very tall and had dark, wildly curly hair.
"Oh, damn," he said.
"Zander?" Mena called from somewhere nearby, "Is everything all right?"
"Yes, Mum," said the boy who I obviously figured was named Zander.
"Do you think you can stand?" Zander asked me.
Still embarrassed and unsure of what to do, I stared at him blankly. He sighed and, taking hold of my arms, helped me stand up.
I reached to tug on my mother's locket, as I always did when I was upset, but found that it was missing. I gasped in horror and found my voice.
"Where did you put it?" I was angry and my words sounded rude, even to my own ears.
Zander looked bewildered.
"My necklace, of course! Where is it? Did you take it? Give it back!" I was now shouting and I knew that I was making a huge scene, but I didn't care; that locket was special to me, and I wanted, no, needed it back.
"I didn't take your stupid necklace," he shot back, "What would I want with a necklace?"
"I don't know, maybe to sell it!"
"Right, so our plan all along was to save you and give you a place to stay and then sell your necklace, because that makes perfect sense."
"Well who else could have taken it?" I questioned.
"Gee, I don't know," he said sarcastically, "Maybe the men who you stupidly got tangled up with. What were you doing out there alone anyways, you stupid girl."
Hurt by his words, I wriggled in an attempt to get out of his grasp. He let me fall and walked away. Kneeling in the middle of the hall, I felt more pain in the loss of my mother's locket than in my sore body.
I crawled back into the room, curled up in a corner, and sobbed. I sobbed for the missing locket, I sobbed for getting into trouble in the woods, I sobbed for the hurtful words Zander had directed at me, and I sobbed for Corinna and Father, whom I missed dearly. I heard a knock at the bedroom door and was about to politely tell whoever it was to leave me alone when I heard a more familiar voice.
"Hey, it's me," Calgary said, "Mind if I come in?"
"Fine," I sighed in reply.
He came in and sat in a chair near the corner I occupied. "So I see you've met Zander. I'm sorry 'bout him; he's a good guy, but he isn't the friendliest person around. You okay?"
"Yeah," I said, "I'm just overwhelmed with everything."
"I understand. I know that this is probably really hard for you," he said as he got up to leave. Before he closed the door he said, "Breakfast is just about to be served. I'll help you walk to the kitchen if you're feeling up to it."
"Alright," I said, "Just let me clean up really quickly and then we can go."
I quickly washed my face, changed back into my green dress, and retied my hair in a bun. I called for Calgary to come in and with his help I was successfully able to walk to the kitchen without injuring myself further. As we stepped into the bright and noisy room, I prayed that I wouldn't look like a complete fool.
I hope that this revision makes more sense, is more realistic, and above all, I hope you like it!