There are fates worse than death…
Welcome to the serialisation of Accidental Immortal. Chapters will be published four times a week so the serialisation will be completed at (roughly) the same time as on Wattpad, if not a little sooner!
If you would like to start from the beginning, please head over to chapter one. There is also a contents list at the bottom of each post.
Chapter 25 – Escape
Why did the guard never close the tent door? Sorry, flap. She breathed out in frustration. Count to three you plonker, he’s not really trying to wind you up. The idiot was insufferable. She thought her mum was pedantic. He hadn’t said much since he’d been assigned to her tent but what he had said showed he thought little of her. She wrapped her arms around herself rubbing her hands up and down over her sleeves to keep warm. One minute he was correcting her, the next, acting like she was stupid and useless. Also what was with the sharpening of the spear all the time? Did he think she was going to attack him? It was going to be the size of a pencil if he didn’t watch it. He really should make up his mind whether she was a danger or not. Huh? Oh, Pico was talking again.
“Oh, yes. Keanu was great in that.” Lynsey replied. She cocked her head to the side. “Did you just hear that?”
Pico swirled in colours in her mind, “It’s nothing, just someone walking behind the tent. So what do you want to watch?”
“Where was I? Oh yes. My favourite film is The Lakehouse. I just really love Keanu Reeves. Take a look at that one.” The great thing about chatting about home was that the guard had no idea what she was talking about and he must have thought she was going, if not already, slightly mad. Well, he was keeping more of a distance than when he was first posted to be her guard. Talking to Pico only in her thoughts all the time just felt weird.
Pico went silent and his colour went murky as she felt his attention go elsewhere. She waited for a moment and closed her eyes. The movie began to play. It was like she was there again. She could feel the softness of the sofa, the popcorn as the salty-sweetness crunched in her mouth and the full feeling from the steak dinner Peter had bought her for their second date. He would have been a keeper apart from his commitment issues. Buying a toothbrush for him did not mean she wanted to marry him. Seriously! Lynsey took a deep breath, don’t think about that. Enjoy the warmth she told herself. She could feel Pico’s amusement. Stop listening to my thoughts, she snapped back.
She relaxed into it. There were definitely advantages to Pico sometimes. This was the third movie since they had left Ghinari. If only he’d mentioned this ability at the beginning, it put a whole new angle on things. She let the heat from the open fire seep into her bones and her current troubles floated away as the credits rolled from her memory. Who needs virtual reality when you have a Pico? She could choose any film she had ever seen and he would play it for her in real time. He was careful not to look at it until it was ‘playing’. These were memories held in the band. He’d put them in there without looking. All those years bingeing on webflicks were really starting to pay off.
There it was again. Her gaze narrowed to the back of the tent. It sounded like scuffling. There had to be someone there. Actually, it was more like a scrabbling noise coming from outside the tent. Could it be? She stood up and moved to the door of the tent. The guard was still there, sharpening that damned spear. What did he think was going to happen? An army of grizzly bears was going to descend on the tent? From where exactly? She shook her head.
The film was still playing in that strange double vision way it did. It was only really fun to watch them with her eyes closed, but Lynsey was distracted as she sat back down again on the only chair in the room. The noise was still there. It had to be Illyara. An animal would have given up by now and anyone from the camp would come through the tent flap. She got up to investigate, loitering close to the noise. If it was Illyara, she didn’t want the guard to see anything and get suspicious but there was nothing to see yet. She sat down again. Her heart began to pound, it had to be her, she just had to have a little patience and play it cool. She perched on the end of the chair. The Brothers weren’t inhuman, they had provided a chair and a bed but they weren’t the most comfortable she had experienced and she would have given anything for the comfort of the nomad tent.
She leaned back and crossed her legs, waiting to see what would happen.
“Are you even watching this?”
“Sorry Pico, something is happening at the back of the tent. I don’t think it is an animal. Whatever it is.is very persistent.” She thought back.
“You are right of course.” He stopped the playback, clearing Lynsey’s vision. “Do you think it is help?”
“I don’t know, Illyara was at the temple, she could have found her people and come to find us.”
There was a momentary silence in Lynsey’s mind. “You said us.”
“I did, I think if we are going to be together for a long time then I need to accept you.”
Just then the bottom of the wall of the tent moved up slightly letting a cool breeze enter. There was more scrambling and then the flap at the front of the tent fell. Lynsey was already smiling when Illyara appeared in front of her with Mewlli.
“Hello Lynsey, would you like to leave now?” She grinned at her friend.
“Hi guys, I thought you’d never ask. I’ve been expecting you.”
They grinned back and pointed to the back of the wall. “I get it. The guard will be used to my voice talking to myself here but he’ll think it is strange to hear yours.” She followed them out of the tent and hugged the outside of the material while Mewlli scouted ahead.
They waited in the shadows. A whistled broken tune floated towards them on the slight breeze. Lynsey pulled Illyara closer to the tent wall. A man was briefly illuminated from fire-light coming from in-between the tents. The sounds of chanting and laughter drifted over as he limped slowly towards them. In his hand, he held a long black cigar, billowing black smoke around him. The stench pervaded the air hitting Lynsey’s nose as he passed. The smoke invaded her lungs before she thought to hold her breath and coughed slightly. She clasped her hand over her mouth, her eyes watered. The tickle grew and she burst into a cough. The man turned seeking the source of the sound. He did a double-take, squinting for a second then he registered who she was. He opened his mouth to yell. Lynsey froze. Her whole body was rooted to the spot. She felt Pico unfurl from the recesses in her mind, expanding his awareness until he could take over. She retreated to let him and watched as her body twisted to get a purchase in the sand. She moved forward with fluid grace, her right hand flexing out in readiness. Before she could think what Pico was planning, her hand jabbed the man in the throat. His yell came out in a strangled cry. Her foot moved of its own volition and stamped on the man’s good ankle. She could swear she heard a crunch. Her body moved backwads, taking a step behind before her knee flew up in a straight line. Lynsey took note of the tears that formed in his eyes with satisfaction. Good, that’ll teach him to smoke. Then the man wavered for a second before falling down silently in the sand. Pico rescinded control. The colour of his thoughts were tinged pink with satisfaction.
“Well done Pico.” Pink turned to purple. “Don’t get too cocky but well met.” He wisely stayed silent.
Lynsey turned back to see Illyara’s eyes shining with admiration.
Her friend darted forward to grab his hands and Lynsey took his legs. They dragged his body closer to the tent. She grunted as she pushed him into the hole that Illyara and Mewlli had dug earlier. They covered his body with quick handfuls of sand leaving his mouth and nose open to the air.
Mewlli came back as they were putting the finishing touches to the mound of sand.
“The guards around the perimeter have changed. They appear to be more alert. We are not going to be able to get out the way we came in. We need a diversion.”
“Can you do that Mewlli?”
He grinned. “Of course sister.” He disappeared while turning away.
“Be ready for something.” Illyara whispered.
“It would have been helpful if he could have given us an idea of what he was thinking of.”
Suddenly, they heard a whoosh and a tent was ablaze on the far side of the camp.
“That is Mewlli!”
“You have to hand it to him. He has style, your brother.” Lynsey panted as they ran.
“I probably would have done the same thing.” Illyara griped.
They moved from tent to tent, keeping to the shadows as men rushed passed them to the far side of the camp with water as the fire jumped to nearby tents.
By the time they got to the end the men guarding the perimeter had gone to help with the fire. Illyara motioned for Lynsey to stay in the shadow of a cart while she disappeared walking in the direction of the yelks. Lynsey saw the ropes holding the yelks in a small compound untie themselves from a post dug into the ground and the camel-like animals began to get restless as they smelled her friend. Illyara reappeared and motioned for Lynsey to join her. Lynsey nodded and ran forward keeping an eye out to see if anyone could spot her. Everyone had gone to fight the fire.
The herd were stomping their feet as the fumes from the fire changed to their direction. She grabbed the first hump she could get to. She hooked a leg over its back and hung off the side. From the corner of her eye she saw Illyara, slap the rump of the lead yelk and the herd stampeded off after it to get away from the fire. Lynsey held on tight to the short fur. She gritted her teeth as a yelk banged into her from her left in the panic. She let go for a second and her heart jumped. She grabbed some fur at the last second and managed to haul herself back up to sit on its back. She heard shouting in the distance from behind them and she bent her head, gripping even harder. She closed her eyes and tried not to think of her muscles screaming. Time seemed to stretch out. Twenty minutes later and it felt like they were going up a hill. She opened her eyes and she saw they were cresting a rise. In the distance she could see that the camp was still fighting the blaze. She doubted that they had even noticed her escape yet.
On the lead yelk, Illyara got off her yelk and grabbed hold of the hair that formed a beard on her yelk then Lynsey’s. It stopped abruptly, nearly sending Lynsey flying over its head. Lynsey opened her fingers one-by-one, letting circulation return to her fingers. The yelks around her were still restless but they stayed as a herd. She dropped to the cool sand with relief. Feet drummed the ground sending sand flying in all directions. She flung her arms up to protect her head as a hoof narrowly missed her. Illyara let go of the two yelks she was holding and it rushed off in a spray of sand followed by the others. They reached the top of a dune and then they were gone leaving Illyara and Lynsey alone under the stars.
“Where’s Mewlli?” Lynsey whispered. She didn’t know how far her voice would travel in the night.
“Here.” Mewlli appeared grinning in front of Illyara. “That was easier than I thought it would be.”
“Don’t get too full of yourself brother, we still need to get back to camp. It won’t take them long to realise Lynsey escaped under cover of the yelks. We have a few miles to travel and we need to do it fast and quietly.”
She pointed in the direction they needed to go to get to the camp. Illyara ran in front to take the lead. Lynsey ran in between and Mewlli took the rear moving his shirt back and forth in the sand to obscure where they had been.
When they saw the camp, Mewlli began to chuckle. Lynsey gave him a sideways look. What was there to laugh about? She grinned back at him. They could have died. Her grin slipped, but they didn’t. The corner of her lips lifted until she began to giggle as well. They must have looked a sight riding those yelks like the devil was after them. Illyara threw her hands up in exasperation but then she gave in with her familiar peals of laughter.
Breathless they staggered in to the main tent and collapsed on some cushions. All around them were curious eyes but when they saw they were unhurt, most of the tribe began to laugh and cheer with them.
Chapter 1 - Duat Chapter 2 - London - Present Day Chapter 3 – Lynsey on Duat Chapter 4 - Nomads Chapter 5 - Scorpion Chapter 6 - The Dragon Temple Chapter 7 - Assassin Chapter 8 - The Luscious Luna Chapter 9 - Arkan Blade Chapter 10 - Kidnapped Chapter 11 - Rescue Chapter 12 - Modesty Chapter 13 - Banquet Chapter 14 - Arkan Chapter 15 - Dancing with the King Chapter 16 - Dragon Brotherhood Chapter 17 - Pico Chapter 18 – The Dragon Chapter 19 – Settling Down Chapter 20 – Danger Revealed Chapter 21 – Betrayal Chapter 22 - A Meeting of Minds Chapter 23 = Invisibility Chapter 24 - Desert