Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used: “You know something? You frighten me.”
Shane brought his lips close to my ear and growled, “Stay here and do as I say.”
I swallowed, to force down the bile that rose up in my throat. What had happened to the Shane I knew? I whispered, “You know something? You frighten me.”
Shane withdrew before he audibly inhaled. “I'm sorry I frighten you, Gil. Just... just please listen to me. You don't know the dangers that could await us.”
“There are more dangers than getting eaten by a large, black dragon?”
“The creatures that could be interested in us are all dangerous.”
“You mean they're interested in you. I'm just here by accident,” I said, clasping his hand tightly.
“They know you're important to me. I reek of fear, so they'll go after you, knowing they'd hurt me. Please, trust me.”
“That trust thing is a bit difficult after all that's happened,” I replied.
“Shane!” the dark silhouette hollered. We both jumped, then Shane sighed and waved. “Silvion, we're here!”
Silvion? How did he find us?
The large man clomped toward us, muttering something under his breath all the time. When he reached us, he glanced us over and then engulfed us in his brawny arms. Breathing became a real effort, but I didn't mind too much. Here was someone who offered a moment of respite and safety.
I let go of Shane's hand and wrapped my arms around Silvion's neck. Without hesitation, he slipped an arm underneath my ass and hoisted me up. Closing my eyes, I rested my head on Silvion's broad shoulder, hoping this was all a nightmare.
“Hold on, kid,” Silvion rumbled.
I didn't even lash out at him for calling me kid. Right this instance, the word kid sounded great, as if someone else would take care of me and make sure everything would be all right in the world again.
Silvion secured my head with his free hand while I dug my fingers deeper into his brown robe, remembering times when I was little and my father carried me around after I'd hurt myself. At least I wasn't a sobbing mess as I'd been as a kid. When I swallowed, there was a lump lodged into my throat. I coughed to clear it, and tears welled up in my eyes.
“Gil, it's gonna be okay, we're out of the tunnels. We made it. We only have to go back to the portal now. Do you hear me? This will all be over soon.” Shane tugged at my ankle. I pulled my leg away. I couldn't stand his touch. I couldn't stand this whole... thing anymore.
Silvion set me back on my feet. We were back in the forest, but dusk had settled in, casting deep shadows around us. Leaves rustled in a gust of breeze, and I clutched Silvion's arm to anchor me.
“Gil? Sweetheart, come on, you've been so brave. I promise—”
“Stop promising me stuff!” I shouted. Shaking, I lifted my gaze to look at him. He held his arms stretched out toward me and wore a shocked expression. I took a step backward, closer to Silvion, who seemed rather uncomfortable.
The silence that followed my outburst was unnerving. Eventually, Shane lowered his arms and turned his back to me. That gesture sliced through me like a stab with a knife. A small whimper escaped my mouth. Shane's head shot up and his gaze seemed to penetrate me. I couldn't take the first step, I just couldn't. I didn't even know what I wanted anymore. Here he was, my Shane, risen from the dead or something like that, and all I did was push him away.
Silvion held on to my hand, then stepped toward Shane and snatched one of his wrists as well. “You two better have a long talk when you're back. Now, let's get you to the portal.” He added, “In silence.”
Neither of us said a word as we struggled to keep up with Silvion's pace.
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