3- Escape

3- Escape

A Chapter by D. Connolly

After the brutal death of her family, Hele leaves her town in fear for her life. But where will she go?


Hele walked herself home lethargic, drained and barely lucid.  The day's events, so unreal, replayed again and again.  Unable to erase the images from her memory, her blood soaked feet slapped heavily through the streets, mud filling the spaces between her toes, and as the rain melted her hair onto her face, it mingled with her silent tears. 

Arriving home to the empty house, as if dreaming, she wondered how she got there.  The morning fire had burned out long ago, leaving only embers. Crumbs from her father's breakfast still littered the wooden table in the center of the kitchen where he had rubbed his face against hers. Pressing her hand to her cheek and turning towards the steamer in the back of the house, Hele saw that the white linens were still in the basket where she had left them to chase her brother. The apron carelessly discarded on the floor. Bending down to pick it up, she put her hand over her heart and wondered, was that just this morning?  Clutching the apron to her chest, Hele stood in the center of her home, turning around slowly. Looking at the emptiness before her, she tried, without success, to decide what to do next. Closing her eyes, she noticed the lingering of her father's scent, only described as hard work and laughter. Releasing a sob, she understood that she would never hear that laughter again, or that of her brother. Fresh tears began to bloom in her eyes, the reality of the morning's events beginning to sink in. Setting the apron on the table and steadying herself, Hele softly put her cheek to the surface and cried, remembering Jetu's small face splitting in terror, and her father watching, broken, unable to move or protect him.

After the crowd had quieted and dispersed, Hele had crawled to the center of the square and cradled her brother in the mud, holding her father's mangled hands in her own.  Time stopped for her, and she stood and wandered back to her house, unfeeling. The bodies were still there in the mud, the blood pooling around them.  No one was there to help her move them.  Picking her head up and absentmindedly wiping the breakfast crumbs onto the cold wooden floor by her feet, Hele was startled by Ugha frantically crashing through the doorway and grabbing her shoulders. 

"Hele, you have to run" he rushed, breathless and turning her towards him  "You have to go, now! They are coming for you!"

Unable to find any emotion, Hele muttered, "who is coming?"

"The people!" cried Ugha, "Hele, you have to go! They are coming to burn the house! They are coming to kill you, Hele!"

"Wha-" still dazed, Hele stood motionless in the kitchen, watching the sweat drip down Ugha's temples, his mouth frantically moving, possibly screaming at her, and vaguely noticing his hands on her shoulders, shaking her. With a violent shove into the tall table behind her, Hele was jolted into awareness. 

"Coming" she tried to understand, "Ugha, what-"

"Your father sided with Madame Heloa! They are looking to blame, Hele, you have no time! Go!" pushing her towards the back door, Ugha turned towards the window and pointed, "Look Hele, they are close!"

The yelling was getting louder, and as her eyes widened in fright, she realized that these yells were no longer just a memory from the town center. These were here in the present and getting closer.  Looking through the window she saw the townspeople coming with blazing fires atop torches, and they were moving towards her home, fast.

"Run Hele, by the Tosk, run!" Ugha turned back towards her as he stopped in the doorway, "I will hold them!"

Without hesitation, Hele rushed towards the back of her home, and out through back door.  As she ran towards the waiting darkness of the surrounding jungle, she heard one scream above them all, that of Ugha, who surely suffered the same fate as her family for offering his warning and depriving the maddened horde a fresh kill. The sound filled her with new terror and panic, and breaking into a full run, Hele reached the jungle's edge with lungs of fire. With her heart pounding and the rush of blood in her ears, she pushed her way into the brush. The jungle thickened and thorned vines and branches scratched at her face, tearing at her bloody, mud caked clothes.

Welcoming the pain, the rage in Hele's heart erupted, and the drive to survive gave birth to a new energy. The warmth of her own blood pouring from the deepening cuts kindled a fire in her soul, and as she pushed aside her fears, running through the night and into the outstretched arms of the abysmal jungle, she made a vow of revenge.

© 2017 D. Connolly

Author's Note

D. Connolly
I found after reviewing, that this chapter seems to be a lot slower that the first two. I don't know if that's good or bad- not all parts of the story have to be action, action, action, but just the same, I'm going to work on lengthening this a bit, and I might add a little more action to speed it up. There's just a lot of introspection, and I'm not sure that I like it.
What do you think about how I'm moving the character through towards the next phase of the story? Any suggestions? Also, it's much shorter than the other 2 chapters, and I don't know if that's a good transition or not.

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Added on December 14, 2016
Last Updated on December 22, 2017


D. Connolly
D. Connolly

Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, FL

Hi, I'm Dani! I'm from Southwest Florida, and I write stories and poetry. In regard to friend requests: Please read my work and review before requesting to be my friend. I probably won't accept f.. more..