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Subject: CHAPTER 73

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Date Posted: 19:22:04 11/21/05 Mon


Nicadea looked up through a gap in the thatched roof at the rising moon. The tilted crescent was turned upward, toward the heavens, a good omen for the journey ahead. All day she had been planning her escape, but now that the time was near, she was hesitant. What if she were caught? Disturbing images ran through her mind, knotting her stomach with fear. She was a slave and as such, had no rights. The general could do with her as he pleased and no one would speak up in her behalf.

She jerked at a noise outside the window. Who would be coming to the storeroom this late? She felt something sharp as she pressed back into the corner as far as possible. Somewhere a rat was digging at the straw covering the floor. Was she about to be discovered? After a few tense minutes, she began to relax. Must have been an animal rooting around near the building. Moving slowly, she stood up and began to make her way to the far side of the storehouse.

Filtered moonlight falling through the straw provided enough light to maneuver through the stacks of stored food. Once she’d reached the door, she paused several moments, scanning the yard and the line of trees beyond. The night seemed quiet, excluding the constant croaking of nearby frogs and the occasional howl of the lone wolf.

Suddenly, the moon fell dark behind the cover of a large cloud, and Nicadea made her break, running headlong for the trees. Once inside the thick canopy, she felt better, knowing she could make good time under the cover of leaves. She had walked what she judged to be about four hours by the position of the moon, when she came to a large stream. She looked down the dark water, its tumultuous peaks kissed by the shaft of silver moonlight.

Crossing the writhing torrent would be impossible because of the swift current.

Disappointed, she turned to either side of the bank, in search of an alternate route. The right side show little promise, but the left sported the remnants of an abandoned edifice. Hoping to find a temporary shelter, she headed in that direction. The structure, located about 300 yards down the riverbank, looked eerie in the light of the pale moon and as she neared, she began to doubt her judgment in even approaching the dilapidated remains. Maybe she wasn’t the only being who sought shelter in the dark of the night.

Closing the lingering distance between her and the shelter was an act of sheer will, as she chided herself for her foolish and whimsical thoughts. The structure had been left long ago. No one was around now. Gathering her courage around her like a cloak, she took the last few steps to the entrance and stood in the doorway—staring into the darkness. Rooted to the spot, a strange feeling overwhelmed her, making the hairs on her arms stand on end. Nothing moved. No sound warned her of an enemy, but deep down inside, she knew she was in peril.

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Subject Author Date
From what? From whom? Don't just leave me!! (NT)Diane20:53:07 11/21/05 Mon
Thanks for the new chapter, Kitkat. I hope you're feelingSheila22:14:25 11/21/05 Mon
I have to agree! Don't leave us hanging. Is someoneAnn05:51:39 11/23/05 Wed
Thanks for another chapter - Natbe someone had asignme117:05:56 11/23/05 Wed

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