Unfocused lights cut through the night. Coarse voices shouted their way in-between trees, reaching as far as they could to find the figure weaving her way through the forest.
“Don’t worry,” as the burning continued in her lungs, “I’m gonna get you home.” She clutched her bag tightly in front of her and a little cry escaped from underneath the fabric. She was running for hours, so it seemed to her body. But, the chase had only just begun. The men continued their hunt, every second equaled inches closer to stopping her. With no flashlight, she looked to the moon for guidance, avoiding low branches and jagged rocks.
The trees ran far past where her eyes could reach. As long as the men continued, her escape was impossible. For the first time, she stopped to look around. Where? Where could she go? The edge of the forest appeared before her. Her only chance, their only chance. She pushed through the stiffness in her legs.
“I don’t know what’s on the other side but you just gotta trust me, okay?” She felt specks of rain drop down upon them, as the creature let out a soft cry. “Maybe that’ll help.” She reached the edge and paused, “I…” But her words fell flat. The creature pushed its head out of the bag to face her. She stared down into its purple eyes, “We can do this together.” Almost a question, the little head nudged her chin in reassurance.
She bent her knees to take the leap of faith when her legs yanked underneath her and she was pulled through the fresh mud. Loose rocks and branches tearing at her skin. When the pulling stopped, the bag was no longer held tightly to her chest. She turned her body to her defeat. The men laughing at her expense. Hearing a piercing cry that shattered her heart, she failed. The creature was shoved into a metal cage.
The only thing left to do was scream, “Let her go!” Just more laughing. Despite the now pouring rain, she felt hot tears fall from her eyes. “You bastards, I said let her go!” The Men mocked her as she sat helpless in the mud. The laughing died down as a figure approached her.
“That dragon is gonna lead us to our future, sweetie.” The voice, the face, the man were all too familiar but she did not understand the man who stood before her.