Thanks to the most amazing partner in the world for their help on editing and revising this story seriously could'NT have done it without you cause the most amazingggg person ever even if you spell grammerly wrong<33
Note: a story about psychotic rats to got my motivation back. Why not?
The tree bark dug into my skin as I slammed myself against the large oak hoping it would conceal me. The hooded figures dragged Aiden out from under the porch. One looked my way and in the dim light of the pale moon, I swore I saw him smirk. I dove behind the tree just as the world behind me witnessed a single earth-shattering gunshot followed by a piercing scream and the shattering of glass. Ren clambered up onto my shoulder as we watched the hooded figures drag Aiden away.
I knew I had to go after the men. After all, I wasn't about to let a bunch of nobodies take my best and only friend from me. I dropped my pack to the forest floor and unzipped it. I fished around inside it for my dagger but Ren, my possibly psychotic black speckled rat, scurried in my way. "Asani think about what you're doing" he squealed.
"I already did," I replied, only half listening.
"Are you actually going to try to kill them with a dagger?" Ren rolled their tiny eyes
"Well, what do you have in mind? We bomb them and risk killing A too?" I shot back
"I was thinking more of a messy…method."
"Whatever let's go, we can think of more of your "methods" while we go steal a horse." I plucked Ren from my bag and placed him on my shoulder.
It took us about five minutes to get back to town but in that short time, we had formed a plan.
“So…..the plan is that we have no plan.” Ren blurted out.
“I mean let's just say I'm more of a 'Do it now think about my actions later' type of person.” The town was barely visible from the outskirts of the forests and I couldn't even see the top of the church's tall steeple. My boots crunched over the gravel as I made my way to the town stables. The barn door creaked open and I was quickly hit with the putrid smell of manure, hay, and slop mixed into one horrendous concoction. I stepped inside the warm barn and looked around.
Suddenly my eyes met with a pair of dark unwelcoming ones. The farmer's boy. He took a step towards me eager to get revenge from that time I punched him in middle school. He aimed his pitchfork at me but before he could attempt to hit me I held Ren out. The reaction from the boy was pretty hilarious. He looked at Ren and started to laugh but the second his eyes met my rats he stood rod straight. You couldn't make out even a sliver of white in his eyes. Then he looked me in the eyes and slurred,
“How can I be of service to you?”
Moments later we were galloping through the forest at a speeding pace. The sun was peeking out from the east drenching the forest in a morning glow. The horse I had chosen was caramel brown and its mane was hidden beneath a slick white horse hood. The forest soon changed from strong oak to thin brittle birch trees. We had been riding for almost half of the day and the summer sun beat down on my neck slowly turning it from white and pale to a vibrant shade of red.
I clicked my tongue at the horse and jammed my boot into his midsection, urging him to slow down. I loosened my tight grip on the reins and slid down the horse's slick body to the ground below. Unlike the forest I had spent many a night in, this one did not conceal my footsteps as I surveyed my surroundings, for the forest floor was covered with twigs and branches instead of cushioning leaves. I grabbed my pack and plucked Ren from his resting spot near my canteen and shook him gently to awaken him. He normally gets extremely tired after using his ability but we had been riding for hours and he should have regained his energy by now.
At first, he only opened his eyes a bit and offered me a small scowl. After a couple of minutes of searching for a place to camp, he perked up and hopped to the ground using his tiny body to maneuver himself around and under twigs, branches, and logs. I vaulted over fallen trees attempting to keep up with Ren. Suddenly my boot caught on a log and I went flying forward. I smashed in the ground and a throbbing pain erupted in my head before the world crawled into darkness.
A ringing sound pounded through my skull. A soft stinging pain alerted my senses every couple of seconds. I forced my eyes open and was met by a smack in the face by Ren's tiny claw. I shot up and banged my already throbbing head on what I thought was a tree branch above. The forest was pitch black and the only thing I could see was Rens fur glowing a soft yellow in the blackness. I tried to get myself on my feet but when I went to stand up I felt a hard brass-like button under my hand. Instead of standing up, I got on my hands and knees, searching through the darkness. I finally found what I was looking for: a small knob on the forest floor that definitely wasn't supposed to be there. Without really considering what I was doing, I pressed down on the knob, hard and at first, nothing happened. Suddenly a gut-wrenching creaking sound emerged from below me. I had just enough time to snatch Ren from the ground next to me before I went plummeting into the darkness below.
My stomach dropped and I knew I was falling but how? Where? I hoped Ren was still in my hands but even if he wasn't he would probably survive by pulling some crazy rat magic trick of his. Then it hit me like a bullet to the chest. I might actually die without saving Aiden and those hooded men would never be able to witness my wrath. The more pressing matter was that I would die without my best friend by my side. So I silently said my goodbyes to Aiden and Ren. My only friends since I punched that farm boy in middle school and everyone started calling me a witch. I closed my eyes and prepared for the bone-cracking pain that was soon to come.
Instead of pain, I was suddenly enveloped with an ocean of what seemed like velvet bed sheets. I opened my squeezed eyes and spotted Ren drifting gracefully down from above on a leaf parachute. We were in some sort of cave illuminated by lava covered by a thick sheet of glass. I flung the sheets off of me and hopped to the floor. My footsteps echoed through the cave.
“Looking for someone?” and an icy voice pierced the silence. I spun around almost knocking Ren off my shoulder. A woman no older than 36 was sitting atop a glass throne surrounded by lava. She was dressed in all black almost completely camouflaged by the hard lava rock of the cave. A small cat-like smile spread across her face and made me shutter.
“Sorry I got lost I was just leaving,” I replied, anxious to leave this dark and unsettling place.
“Leaving so soon?” she questioned. Suddenly her demeanor changed from freakish and disturbing to beautiful and calming. She seemed to glow in the light of the lava. The small golden chair beside her beckoned at me. I began to make my way to the chair and daintily sat down. The queen motioned at four leather straps to encase my arms and legs. “Put them on,” she said, her voice a sing-songy melody. I eyed the restraints questionably. Before I could protest my arms started to lock the restraints into place without my doing. I opened my mouth to say something but no sound came out.
The only thing I could see was the queen's deep blue eyes. The urge to stay in this place forever was unbearable. I was about to fasten the last restraint when Ren lept at the queen out of nowhere. Suddenly the spell was broken and I quickly unfastened the restraints. Ren was scratching at the queen's face and she was shrieking loudly as I untied the last restraint and went to grab Ren. The lava queen was on the ground and dripping blood from the scratches on her face. I reached down to grab Ren but he squeaked,
“Leave me, go find Aiden!” I tried to grab him once again but he swatted at me. I sprinted through the cave looking for any signs that A would be here. Suddenly I heard a muffled sound from the rock slab beside me. I noticed that there was a small crack in the rock and used all of my strength and finally the rock gave way revealing a bound and gagged Aiden. I quickly crossed the small space and untied the gag.
“Asini, boy am I happy to see you!” Exclaimed A as I undid the bonds tying his hands. Once he was free I basically dragged him out of the small room.
“Good thing Ren and I were here to rescue you,” I said jokingly as we sprinted back towards the throne room. “One question though, how did you survive that gunshot wound?”
“Remember that potion you gave me for emergencies only? Well, I used that and it healed the wound.”
“Wow, I didn't actually think that would work,” I stated as we neared the throne room. I stopped short when I spotted a small black speckled body. It was Ren! I picked up his limp body as tears filled my eyes.
“Ren no!” I exclaimed. Before A and I could start our pity party, Ren's eyes popped open.
“Boo,” he said with a small smirk.
“Are you ready to get some revenge?” I asked my team.
“Born ready,” Said Ren.
“One problem, The doors are locked,” said Aiden.
I lifted Ren up to the spot where the brass lock was located. Ren turned around and stuck his tail into the door. We waited for a few seconds keeping our senses open for guards. Then Ren took his tail out as the lock offered a promising click. Aiden kicked the door and it swung open on its well-oiled hinges. We ran into the throne room daggers flashing. Minutes later the queen and her henchmen, the hooded figures, laid dead on the floor and A and I sat down on the throne with Ren perched on my shoulder.
“If we're gonna keep this place it's going to need some serious renovations,” Aiden said.