The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 109

At least to Mill’s nose, the strong scents that had been emanating from him for several days now had been erased after bathing. But he would need to do better for the nose of the Creature of Virtue, whose nostrils sucked in more and probed the air more deeply than his nose could.

He walked up to a tall pine and pulled away some of its bark, releasing the earthy sweetness of the sap. He rubbed his hands on the trees and then rubbed it all over his body. He found a bit of sap leaking out of another tree, and then, after warming it in his hands, smeared it on his skin.

Once he was dressed, he gathered handfuls of needles from the pine trees. He pulled them in bunches directly off of the trees, and then he stuffed them in pockets down his shirt. Any part of him that could carry the bunches was filled with needles, until his whole body reeked of the scent. This would have to be how he’d approach.

By the time he was finally ready, the sun had disappeared and the forest was black. Some flickers of light were visible in the city, and in particular he could see the fires that illuminated the sentry post at the town’s entrance.

He decided on a route that would lead him directly towards the sunsetward side of the Orinda Lake.  It would bring him to the back of Hassock’s pastures, which he could sneak across.  From there, he could wind his way through the city to Anika’s.

He took several deep breaths as he prepared himself for his long sprint, hopping up and down and moving his body around. A thousand doubts passed through his mind, but before he would let any of them stop him, he began to run. He sprinted at top speed across a distance that was far further than his legs could carry him at such speed. The town was only just visible in the distance when he started to run, and now, as he was passing through the territory of the Creature of Virtue, he could feel his legs beneath him starting to ache.

He now reached the shore of the lake and was turning to the right to circle around it. He was out of sight and earshot of the men who stood guard at the gate. Moments later he could see some of the crops in Hassock’s pastures rising before him. He darted down rows of wheat, moving towards a barn near Hassock’s home.

He could feel his legs weakening. His fear gave them the will and the incentive, but it didn’t give them energy or strength, and the longer he ran, the more that was sucked out of them.

He listened for the sound of the Creature, even though he knew that there would be no warning. The Creature was mostly silent as it stalked.

Fortune, though, blessed him with the slightest warning this time, the sound of the crops being parted by something behind him. He turned back, and all he saw was a black shadow flying through the airs towards him. He ducked and dodged, and the Creature soared over him. He changed directions, but still darted in the direction of the barn. The Creature was ready to leap again, just as he rounded a corner and was able to put a wall of the barn between him and the Creature.

The Creature still pursued, and he still to run, but she started to grow more cautious. As he neared the streets and looked back, he could see the Creature having come to a stop. The Creature made a whine and then growled angrily. She pawed at the ground, creating clouds of dust as she tried to stand tall and look intimidating. She was apparently trying to lure him towards her, afraid as she was to approach the city any closer, but Mill just continued to walk.

His aim was Anika’s. He wove through the city streets, which were mostly empty past the hour of sunset, and found his way, once again to the door of Anika’s home. He didn’t knock this time, instead simply slipping himself inside through the front door.

<-- Go to Part 108         Go to Part 110 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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