Camp NaNoWriMo Part 2
‘No plot, no problem’ is the motto this month. If you haven’t yet, read the previous chapter here. Check that out first or this won’t make a lot of sense.
Her first reaction was to curl around the pendant. Her body would heal. The pendant would not.
Rocks and branches whipped against her. Clothes tore and skin broke under the onslaught. Finally, she crashed onto the rocky riverbed.
The pain tried to pull her into comforting unconsciousness, but she stubbornly held on. It wasn’t safe yet. She couldn’t let go until she secured the pendant.
“Miss! Are you alright?”
She flinched at the hand on her shoulder. The reminder that she wasn’t alone gave her the boost she needed to sit up. Pain dug its claws deeper into her and tried to drag her back down but she batted it away. Not now.
“I’m fine.” She stood to prove her point. Her body complained, but otherwise moved obediently under her command.
“No, you’re not. You’re bleeding.” The man reached out and grabbed her shoulder again. “Come back with me. If you want to go to the clinic that’s fine too. As long as you do something.”
“I’m fine. What do you want? Money? I don’t have anything for you.” There had to be some sort of ulterior motive. People didn’t offer help without expecting something in return.
“I just want to help. Someone helped me in the past and I just want to pass that on.”
So… not completely altruistic. She could accept that.
The man pulled back. “This… Let’s start over. His, I’m Darius. What’s your name?”
She pressed her lips together. Her name was too distinctive. If he was connected to them in any way, he would definitely know who she was the moment he heard her name.
His smile faltered. “If you don’t want to share your name, that’s fine too. Just… let’s go? It’ll be bad if those cuts get infected.”
He was persistent. She really hope this wasn’t a trap.
Together, they climbed the dried riverbank back onto the track. Well, she tried, until Darius got tired of waiting and carried her up there.
“My house is this way.” Darius pointed behind him.
She crouched at the side of the nature path where her stone dragon had curled into a ball. There was no way she was going to leave behind a potential clue for them. She dug her fingers under the body.
“Is that yours?” Darius asked.
“… Yes. Art project.”
“Let me take that.”
She stepped aside. Darius grunted when he tried to lift the dragon.
“This is heavy. You carried this here?”
“I’m stronger than I look?”
He sent her a look, mouth open as if to say something, but closed it in the end without saying anything but another grunt as he lifted the immobile dragon.
“This way.” He started walking. While his back was turned, she pressed a hand against her shirt to make sure she still had the pendant before following him.
Darius’ house wasn’t far. Just a few minutes’ walk away. He pushed the door handle down with his elbow and nudged the front door open.
“Put your shoes on the rack. Take a seat. I’ll be back.” He kicked off his shoes and put the dragon on the floor before disappearing through the door.
She hesitated at the main entrance. This could be a trap. He was gone. She could run if she wanted to and he might not catch her if she was fast enough.
She was still bleeding.
She grabbed the pendant and walked in.
“You’re still standing?” Darius returned, but he wasn’t alone. Behind him stood a familiar face she hadn’t seen since last year.
It was her missing uncle.
~The story continues here~