With the image of her parents murder still fresh in her mind, Elise continued to run until her legs would give in. She ran for her life, for safety, for her parents, for everything she had ever loved. Her dress got more torned up the more she ran, stumbled and fell over bushes and rocks. Her feet bled and her lungs ached for air.
The day had started off as usual. Her parents got out of bed early to take care of the chores, just like any other day. But the calm sunny day had been abruptly disturbed by shouts and horses neighing. The Brittle Brothers had shown no mercy when they hung up her parents in separate loops from a nearby tree. Elise had witnessed it all thru the window. None of the brothers had noticed her so she saw her chance to run off to get the marshal. Her parents had got the worst of punishments, just because they were "niggerlovers", as one of the Brittle Brothers so delicately had put it. They had laughed at her parents as they hung in their loops, first struggling to get lose, to catch some air. But the kicking had eventually stopped and a gruesome silence had fallen over the little farm.
At a tree nearby, Elise stopped to catch her breath. Her lungs still ached as she gasped for air. She had no idea for how long she had been running. She collapsed against the tree and watched as the sun slowly started to descend behind the trees. Her mind was blank and she felt completely empty inside. She wanted to cry but her tears seemed gone. She tried to stand back up. She felt she needed to run again, run until her heart would give in and stop beating. She wanted to run 'til her last breath. With weakened legs she started walking towards a small dusty road she knew about. Perhaps there she could get help and maybe even some food and a safe place to sleep. As she reached the old road, she noticed how quiet it was around her. She didn't like it at all. For the first time in hours she had time to feel fear. What if the Brittle Brothers were close? Had they followed her on a distance? She took a quick look around and started slowly running up the road. At that moment, the only thing she heard was her heavy breathing and her own hearts hard thumping inside her sore chest. She hadn't been running for long when her legs gave in again and she fell hard against the gravel. A small cloud of dust flew up in her face and made her cough. She sat up and felt completely miserable. She was alone on a dark dusty road, without anyone to console or protect her. Elise felt like giving up. Why didn't the Brittle Brothers come and finish her now? Atleast then she would be with her loving parents again.
As all hope seemed lost, she suddenly glimpsed a faint light in the distance. Quickly, she got back up on her feet, dust off the gravel and filth from her dress and began walking towards the faint light that grew stronger for every step she took towards it. Suddenly, the shape of a horse, a man dressed in gray and a big wagon with a giant wobbly tooth on top. The image made her almost giggle but she was too tired to. As the whole carriage finally reached her, it stopped and the man in gray took his paraffin lamp and held it up close to her face. She looked at the older man and felt her heart skip a beat when his kind eyes met hers. She was gonna be okay, she was safe now. "Good evening to you, little lady. How come you're out here all by yourself at this hour? You seem completely worn out. Please, jump up next to me and I'll take you wherever you wanna go." Elise wanted to cry of happiness by his kindness and jumped up and sat next to him. She automatically curled up next to him so she wouldn't freeze. Without a word, the man next to her pulled of his coat and placed it around her. Then the carriage started to move and Elise felt herself sink into a welcoming deep sleep.