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   Chapter 34 No.34

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5320

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

Her sleep-addled mind turned over the possibilities. The answer was not a pleasant one. She remembered seeing them here and there all of her life. The black carriages. Where one could be found, something terrible had always happened. And now she was inside. Caught. Condemned.

She struggled against the chains periodically for hours. It was useless, but anything was better than allowing her mind to dwell on the situation. No one who had been thrown into one of these carriages had ever been seen again. The crack beneath the doors let in little air and no light. The lack of air made it difficult to stay awake, but the dark was a blessing. It spared her what was sure to be a horrific sight left by the last unfortunate soul to occupy this place. Tears welled in her eyes as she began to realize that this is how it would end for her.

Sleep had come and gone a dozen times or more since she had first awoken. There was no telling how long it had been. The only thing she could be sure of was that her captors were moving recklessly fast, stopping only occasionally, seemingly to change horses from the sound of it. She was jarred awake when the lurching of the carriage came to an abrupt end as it had with each such stop, but it was different this time. Outside, muffled by the thick carriage walls, a struggle could be heard. Myranda cringed at the screech of steel against steel and the terrified cry of horses.

All at once, the tumult became silent once more. She could hear the latch that held the heavy wooden doors shut being worked. The door dropped open with a thunderous cra

re headed though a sparsely-treed field toward a dense forest that seemed to go as far as the eye could see. Behind them, far in the distance, a mountain range rose up from the horizon, a mottled green stripe at its base.

"Where are we?" she called out over the pounding of the hooves.

"The Low Lands, " the woman answered.

The Low Lands! If her memory served her correctly, that meant that in her time in chains she had been taken to the other side of the mountains she'd decided not to attempt just before she was caught. She must have been asleep for some time. As tales of the Low Lands slowly came to her mind, she began to wonder if she was any better off now than she had been in the carriage. All through her life, if a tale of murder, crime, or disappearance met her ears, the setting was the Low Lands.

Judging by the size of it, the forest they were heading into was Ravenwood. It was a place that had come to be called the Endless Forest. Now at the fringe of the awe-inspiring sight, Myranda could not think of a more appropriate name.

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