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02 November 2008 @ 02:09 pm
Histories: 02  
In which Ava tries to run away and Baqir tries to stop her

            She had been running so long that she wasn’t too sure what was happening any more. Her legs felt weak and her lungs burned, but she had to keep going. She had promised her sister and the princess that she would make it out alive.
            “Ava Mallory, don’t think you can get away from me! I will get back that pendant!”
            The girl squeaked, slipping from the narrow path and sinking knee-deep into the mud. It wasn’t the first time, and she figured that falling into mire was the only thing that kept her safe so far. Something about dogs being unable to follow the scent? Then again, the witch didn’t own any normal dog.
            Frantically, Ava pulled herself back onto the path, gulping in deep mouthfuls of air. Her pale hands went to her chest, feeling around for the gold chain to make sure it wasn’t lost in the mud. Fingers wrapped around the heavy charm nestled between her small breasts and she allowed herself a relieved sigh.
            The howl from a wolf froze the blood in her veins. He was close—too close.
            Ava stumbled back onto her feet and started running again, keeping one hand closed over the charm. She lifted the other hand to try and rub the mud and tears from her face, but only resulted in making it worse.
            With each passing second, she felt like her heart was going to burst from her chest. The wolf’s howl came again and again, drawing closer until Ava was certain that he was right behind her. But still she willed herself to run faster. Every hesitation she made meant one more moment closer to being caught.
            The sound of a heavy branch cracking under pressure shot out through the forest, and Ava skidded to a stop. Her mud-stained dress clung to her trembling body as she whipped around to look at the path behind her.
            Nothing was there. Only the fog rising from the bogs that stretched around her on every side until it disappeared into even more fog and the countless trees. Her wide hazel eyes darted back and forth, unable to trust anything she saw. Shapes kept appearing and changing between the fog and the shadows.
            “Nowhere to run, little pigeon,” a deep voice growled from behind her.
            Ava squeaked again and spun back around, stumbling backwards a few paces as she spotted the large wolf. “B-Baqir… Please, let me go.”
            The wolf only chuckled, taking a few steady paces towards the girl. His coat blended in perfectly with the mud and shadows, and his hard grey eyes were lost with the fog. “My sweet Ava, you know I can’t let you run away.”
            “Please,” she begged, grasping the charm against her chest with both hands. She looked away, trying to find a path for escape. When her frightened eyes swiveled back to the wolf, a man stood in his place.
            He took a step closer, watching with a small smirk as she kept the distance between them. “You should know as well as any one you’re the last person I want to harm, Little Pigeon.” The smirk dropped from his face and he held his ground. “You shouldn’t have stolen that pendant from Luminosa.” His eyes studied her hands for a moment, before returning to her face. “If you give it back to me, I promise I won’t hurt you.”
            Ava took a sharp breath, her grip tightening until the edges of the charm dug into her palms. Her legs tensed, and she dodged to the side, but he was faster.
            Before she could take three steps, the large wolf was already upon her, knocking her back into the mud on the side of the path. “Don’t be stupid, Ava,” he snarled, one giant paw pressing down on her breast bone. “If Luminosa gets to you before you surrender to me, it will be worse than you can imagine.”
            The girl shook her head, struggling under his weight. It felt like the mud was wrapping around her arms and pulling her down. “I-I promised Princess Valencia!”
            Baqir’s hands gripped onto her shoulders. “Listen to me, Ava!”
            “No!” she cried. She was losing consciousness from the lack of air, and something felt like it was squeezing her head in a vice. Ava struggled against his hold, pulling at his fingers, her hands slipping on the fur of his foreleg; her palms pressed against his scruffy jaw, fingers getting lost in his grey-brown fur.
            His form was shifting back and forth between the wolf and the man as her mind struggled to hold on. Suddenly, the wolf’s head jerked up and his ears flattened back on his head. “Luminosa caught up…”
            Ava took a deep breath of air when his hands lifted from her chest, but let out a strangled cry as the golden chain was tugged from her neck.
            “Let me hold onto this for awhile,” he whispered into her ear, pocketing the charm as he straightened his posture.
            “Good job, Baqir. Where is my necklace?”
            The wolf lowered his head, trotting obediently around Ava to join the witch where she stood on the path. “The charm fell off in the mud,” he growled, his ears still flat against his head as the old woman rested her arm against the top of his head. The bandages around her wrists did little to soften the fact that there were no hands.
            “Well, that’s not good, is it Lady Ava?” the witch cooed, taking several even steps so she could see the girl’s face. “First you run away with my charm and then you lose it?” Despite the smile on her face, the witch’s eyes were cold. “What a stupid thing to do, child.”
            “It’s not yours! It belongs to Princess Valencia!” Ava cried, struggling to sit up.
            Luminosa gave a cruel laugh, and the wolf at her side gave a warning growl. “Lady Valencia is not aware how much power that charm holds. It certainly belongs in the… possession of someone more capable of wielding it.”
            Ava struggled against the mud as it pulled at her hair and arms. “You’re nothing but an old woman who lives in a hut surrounded by mud! And you dare to call yourself a witch—”
            “Shut up, Pigeon!” Baqir snarled, snapping at her hands.
            “That’s enough, Baqir,” the old which said with a thin smile. She held out her arm to stop the beast from advancing. “I hope you think carefully about what you have done, Lady Ava.”
            The girl let out a strangled cry as the mud pulled harder. Her eyes widened in horror as she watched tendrils of the muck stretch across her stomach and chest, pushing down harder than Baqir had. “W-what are you doing?!”
            Luminosa spat on the ground and let out an angry snarl. “I may be an old woman, Lady Ava, but ever little inch of this bog belongs to me. The spirits and the elements obey my command.” She pointed a bandaged stump in the girl’s direction. “You will stay here until you suffocate, or until you managed to crawl your way out. Baqir, you will wait until either one of those happens.”
            The wolf lowered his head and sat down on the edge of the path. “Of course, Master.” He followed the witch with his eyes until she was swallowed by the fog. “That was a stupid thing to do, Little Pigeon,” Baqir said with a sigh, laying down on the edge of the path and watching the struggling girl. He would have to wait until it was safe, then he would pull her out of the mud and carry her back to Luminosa’s hut, and leave her to the charge of her sister and the princess.
            But until then, he had to do his best and ignore her cries.

 
 
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