Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Thursday, May 7, 2015

#ThursdayTreat :-)

Hey Everyone,

It's been a while since I gave you any peeks at my stories, so here's a little glimpse at Roni figuring out how to get herself out of a "bind." ;-)

Roni wasn't quite sure how she had made it through the night. It had been so dark she couldn't see her hand in front of her face, and continuing to travel had been impossible. Yet, sleep had been equally impossible. Every sound, every gust of wind, made her jump and long to start running again. She hadn't forgotten all of the dangers she had seen, and the darkness only made them multiply in her mind. As the endless hours trickled by, she sat, cold and frightened, clutching her key chain and wishing she were safely back in her prince’s arms.

To top her misery off, it had started to rain sometime during the night, and now her clothing was soaked through. Given the humidity in the forest, she didn't believe there was much chance that her clothes would dry anytime soon. She had opened her canteen, trying to catch some of the falling water; but judging by the weight, not much had made its way inside.

When morning found her, she was wet, exhausted, strung-out, hungry, and thirsty; but she was alive and in one piece. Looking around, she saw that while her movement might have been restricted by the darkness, the same wasn't true for all of the denizens of the forest. Approximately five feet from her, in all directions, a web had been woven and several spider-like creatures sat on it looking at her.

She looked back at them and tried to decide what to do. There were four of the creatures that she could see, and the smallest was about the size of a Chihuahua. The largest was about the size of a beagle, and they all had formidable looking fangs. Varying in color from greenish-gray to greenish-yellow, their red striped abdomens pulsed rhythmically.

The eyes they trained on her were multifaceted, and a fathomless black; each one had at least nine eyes on its head. Their legs, of which each had ten, had wicked-looking, serrated, double hooks on the ends. The hooks had a joint between them, which allowed the creatures to use them to grasp objects. All-in-all, they looked like big trouble to Roni, but she noted that, while they had trapped her, none of them came anywhere near her.

It seemed as though her cold iron key chain had protected her while the night had held her hostage, she wondered if it would free her now. Taking the cord she wore it on from around her neck, she held the key chain in her hand. She looked appraisingly at the trap, and tried to determine the best place to break through.

The web had been woven between the tree trunks, and there was one place where the weave of it stretched wider than anyplace else. One of the spider-creatures sat on that section, but it was not the largest of the creatures, and she thought she might be able to get by it. The question was: could she get past the web?

She picked up a rock off of the ground, and after making sure it wasn't inclined to come alive, she threw it at a different area of the web. It stuck to the web but didn't tear it. Apparently the web material was quite strong.

Picking up another rock, this time she threw it at the creature sitting on the web. It was the largest of the creatures, and the rock bounced off of it. The creature responded to the blow by hissing at her, and excreting several drops of liquid from its fangs in her direction; but the venom fell far short of her position. From the lack of apparent damage to the creature, Roni surmised she wouldn't be able to stone them to death.

She held up her key chain and took one step in the direction of the creature she had thrown the stone at; the effect was immediate. The creature again hissed, but this time it scuttled away from her and hid behind the web. Roni backed up to the center of the ring and considered her situation.

Clearly the web was sticky, and she didn't want her key chain to get stuck in it; but she had seen how cold iron burned the Fae, and she wondered if it might have that effect on the web. Since the creatures seemed inclined to run from her key chain, she thought she might be able to test her theory safely.

Before she did, it seemed like a good idea to take the opportunity to eat and drink something. The spider-creatures had refrained from coming close to her all night, so there was no reason to expect they would change that now as long as she had her key chain, and their web kept everything else away from her.

Pulling her bag around, Roni ate one of the sandwiches the cooks had given her; looking at the rest of the food, she knew it wouldn't last long. She drank half the remaining contents of her canteen, and hoped she would chance across a stream soon. Having completed her hasty meal, she closed her bag and shifted it onto her back.

Taking the key chain in her hand, Roni approached the section of the web she had decided looked the thinnest. The creature hissed and spit at her, but retreated before the iron. As she came close to the web, the creature fled to another section, leaving her target abandoned.

Getting a firm grip on the key chain, Roni touched it to the web, and was thrilled when the sticky substance began to smoke and run. Slowly but surely, she was able to burn a tear in it; at last the section fell to the ground, creating an opening. Careful not to step on the fallen web, Roni hurried between the trees.

Once she was through, Roni turned and looked back at the trap. The creatures had swarmed to the center, and seemed to be searching for their lost prey. She didn't want to find out what they would do when they accepted that she had slipped their noose, so she hurried away.