(Issue #1 – First Blood: https://ragnarokonice.wordpress.com/2016/02/08/the-tragic-tale-of-cinderella-1-first-blood/)
Issue #2 – Ghosts in the Forest
It’d been two nights since that witch Tremaine killed Cruxley in cold blood. A chill ran down my spine, knowing that my life was in mortal danger. I was the only witness to the crime, one she’d surely want to silence at first chance. The refuge I’d taken in the forest surrounding the estate offered some protection, but I knew it was only a matter of time before someone came looking for me.
Comet was my only companion and a rather fine one at that. On that first, cold night, he stayed right by my side, keeping me warm. Honestly, I had expected the wild stallion to run once we made it this far, but he hadn’t left my side. Comet was content to eat the wild grass and berries that were plentiful.
As evening was turning into night, I tossed another log on the fire. Winter wasn’t far off, so whatever I decided to do, I didn’t have much time to put my plans into place. The animals are the area were already starting to disappear, preparing for the harsh conditions that were sure to come. If I wanted to survive, I’d have to follow suit.
Behind me I heard a bush rustle in the wind. Yet there wasn’t any breeze to speak of. That was odd. “Who goes there?” I tried to sound brave, however I think I failed.
No one replied to my question. Not that I expected them too. I quietly laughed to myself for my paranoia and went back to watching the fire. It was only when Comet started fidgeting that I began to think someone or something might truly be out here. “Hello? Is anyone there?”
Again only the sounds of the forest answered me. I heard no man or predator, yet between Comet’s agitation and a feeling in my stomach, I knew something was here.
I got up and lit a dry branch with the fire. I walked towards the bush where I first heard the noise and peered around. Again, I saw nothing. Checking with Comet, I saw his eyes were pointed towards a particularly large tree just a few steps from where I’d been sitting. I gathered up my courage and made way for it. Again, there was nothing.
“Comet my boy, I think we aren’t cut out for life in the woods.”
“I would concur my young friend.”
It wasn’t Comet who answered me. A chill ran down the length of my spine and I froze in place. Had Tremaine sent some to finish the job? I had no weapons to defend myself, so if so, hopefully it would be painless and swift.
The voice, closer this time spoke again. “It is okay John. I am not here to hurt you.”
I dared not turn around. “Who are you? Why are you here?”
Something passed through me. A greenish light came from my own body and formed not but a foot in front of me. The shape shifted into a man I knew, one I looked up to. I immediately dropped to a knee in respect.
A soft chuckle reached my ears. “There is no need for formalities John; I am dead for God’s sake!”
Looking up, “But my Lord, it’s not proper to address you without the respect of your station.”
“Cruxley has taught you well I see.” He motioned with his hands to rise. “John, I am no longer your Lord, just a spirit who has come to make your life harder.”
“What do you mean my Lord?”
He gave up on me not addressing him as such. “As you know a great evil has swept over this land. The Lady Tremaine has tainted what was once a vibrant and good land. Until she is dealt with, only sorrow will come to those who call this home.”
He spoke with such disdain that I wasn’t sure how to respond. “Was she not your wife Lord?”
“I was a lonely and tired man. I missed my first wife very much and wanting a better life for Ella, tried to give her a new woman to look up to.” He ran his hand through his hair. “I was wrong, so wrong my young friend.”
Comet tried to come up to the Lord and nudge him with his nose. The horse passed through him, annoyed that he couldn’t be touched.
I took in his words very carefully. “What can I do? I’m all alone out here in the woods. I’m sorry but I’m of little value.”
“No my boy, you are far from worthless. In fact, it will be you who strikes the first blow in the war that is going to come.”
“War?” I didn’t know what he was going on about, but this sounded very serious. “My Lord, what are you talking about?”
With great pride he looked upon me. “My daughter Ella is the key. For this to be successful, I need you to infiltrate the main house and rescue her.”
*Come back next week for issue #3 – Anastasia’s Revenge
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