I've shared this story before, a long time ago and I have new followers now, plus I'm working on the story to edit it. If you've read the story and have no interest in reading it again - with or without the improvements and commentary - please feel free to move on and ignore it.
If you've not read the story or you feel you'd like to re-read it and are perhaps curious about the comments and adjustments I'm making, please, grab a cuppa or a glass of wine, sit down, and enjoy the journey.
The cover image for Deadlier Beginnings as seen on Amazon.com Link
Tensing herself in case he attacked again, she slowly moved into a position where she could see where he was. Hazel found herself in a wide, yet shallow cave; she sat up and looked towards the cave mouth.
Nothing stirred. Her wrap was lying close to her; she grabbed it and put it around her shoulders again. It was only then that she noticed the smell of it. It stank and she threw it from her in disgust.
Then she realised that her wrap had been lost on her flight from the woods the other night. The comprehension encouraged a groan of despair to escape her. A deep, sinister chuckle jolted her attention around towards the back of the cave and she recognised the sound from the night she was chased.
She put her hands to the back of her head where she had hit the ground and closed her eyes. She did not try to shake her head but she did move it from side to side. Then Hazel scrambled onto her knees and slowly started backwards towards the mouth of the cave, keeping the shadows of the back of the cave and the manufacturer of that horrid chuckle to the front of her.
"Don't make this harder for me, girl," the something that was still hidden in shadows whispered. "I've done playing with you."
"I don't know you. I don't know what you want. I want to go home." Hazel wailed.
"I'm sorry girl; your wants aren't of any interest to me," the voice was deeper than anyone she had ever spoken to. "Stay there, close your eyes and I promise you'll survive. If you start struggling, I cannot guarantee your safety." Again there was a deep chuckling.
She mumbled, "Why me?" to herself and the voice answered.
"You don't know? Ah, girl, you were chosen months ago. You have been the subject of a lot of planning and you nearly destroyed those plans when you escaped the other night, then again last night by staying at your friend’s house. Too many deaths would have roused everyone's suspicions. Just one disappearance however, will not cause too much fuss."
He moved in the shadows and she scuttled backwards in a desperate effort towards the cave entrance and escape.
"I told you girl," he said with a melancholy sigh. "Make this harder for me and I shall enjoy it too much, then there is no telling where or when I'll stop, if I can stop at all, of course!"
He leaped from the side, surprising her as she was facing a different direction, and Hazel grunted as he landed on her, squashing her to the cave floor. She was rolled over onto her back and her arms pinned across her chest by the weight of him leaning on her. His face was pressing into the right side of her face so she had no chance of seeing and recognising him.
"Close your eyes girl!" he growled in her ear. "Close them tight!" His right hand was reaching for her wrap, which she had landed on and which was trapped under her shoulders. He yanked it free and covered her face with it, holding the wrap over her eyes with one hand and tearing at her skirts with the other.
"Nooooo! NOOO!" Hazel screamed, kicking her legs, frantically trying to unseat him.
She pulled one arm free from the confines of his chest and her own and reached her fingernails to his face, gouging at his eyes. He stopped tearing at her skirts and tried to grab her hand, it was awkward for him though.
Suddenly she jerked away her hand; he had bitten it. The fleshy part just below the little finger was torn and blood was flowing from it down her wrist. He grabbed her hand in his free one and then began to lick at the blood, sucking at the wound. Little moans of pleasure came from behind her hand, and screaming in sudden fury, Hazel redoubled her efforts to get free of the wrap and his weight.
He resumed tearing at her clothing with a snarl, angry at her resistance. Before she managed to get free however, he tore her skirts away from her left leg, baring her thigh to the cold air. She ignored the pain in her hand and reached behind his head to grasp a handful of hair, trying to pull his head up from her by it but she could not move his head, despite her best efforts. The longer she struggled, the more strength she was wasting in her futile attempt at freedom. He lay there, but loosened the wrap just enough so that she did not suffocate, that was all the concession he gave.
His weight on her chest and stomach was making it difficult to breathe and still he lay atop her, grumbling softly. He took hold of the wrap in his right hand, pressing it close to her face, and then with his left hand he took her right arm and folded it back under his chest. When he had both her arms pinned in one huge hand, he lifted his weight off her body enough for her to manage to draw a deep breath. The relief to her lungs was obvious and she swiftly let the breath out and took another whilst she could. When she was breathing more normally, he gently lowered himself back on top of her and held the wrap with his left hand again.
Her hand was starting to swell. The wrap over her face was wet with her tears and spittle. It smelled bad and was starting to make her gag.
His weight shifted again and she believed that he was letting her go. He paused then, as though changing his mind. Then he knocked her left leg free of the torn remnants of her skirt with his right knee. Hazel whimpered. The growling that had been a constant but gentle rumbling in her ear changed pitch and then just stopped.
Images From Google
I can see my summer mapped out before me and it's going to be hard work!
Are you staying for the journey?
I hope so, I enjoy reading your comments and advice.