Amy C over at Romance Book Wyrm and Dottie over at Tink's Place have come up with the idea for a Monday Morning Flash Fiction challenge. Each Monday a new picture prompt will be posted and if you choose to participate - you post your story on Friday - 350 words, give or take.
And here is picture prompt #33:
The Marking Part 2
The Head Start
By Michelle Greathouse
Commander Chance Strong had no idea how much of a head start he was being given, but he meant to use it to the best of ability.
Slowing as he entered the forest, he scanned his surroundings looking for an established path. Finding just what he was looking for on his left, Chance headed right hoping to mislead his pursuer by not taking the obvious route.
The forest was quiet, as if every creature were holding its’ breath, waiting to see what Chance was going to do. As carefully as possible - while still moving at a steady pace, Chance eased his way further into the trees.
He estimated that he’d been running for the better part of ten minutes and had to think that the woman was following now. He needed a plan because he had no intentions of being recaptured.
Chance entered a clearing and to his surprise, found a fairly swift moving stream. Without hesitation, he entered the water and walked to the middle, finding that it was deeper than he’d first thought.
He kicked his feet out from under himself and let the water move him down stream. It was risky, but he was willing to take the chance.
He rode the water, scanning left and right for any sign of the Warrior - but he did not see her or anyone else for that matter.
Suddenly the water began to speed up, churning and frothing. Chance heard a roaring and it took a moment for him to realize it was a fall. He had no choice but to follow and braced himself the best he could before going over.
Chance felt as if he were falling forever, but it couldn’t have been more the seconds. He hit the pool of water below him, the impact knocking the air from his lungs. When his feet hit bottom, he surged to the surface, coughing until he regained his breath.
He had no idea how far he’d traveled - but he knew he couldn’t rest. Chance pulled himself from the water, picked a northerly direction, and continued his journey.
If this were not so serious, he’d think it funny. How had a Commander from the Elite Rover Squad of Tarchar 3 been captured in the first place? It was sabotage, had to be. Chance had checked and re-checked his Prowler before he left Docking. All systems were clear and ready for take off - but three hours into a five hour tour had his equipment panel lighting up like a BellDay tree.
He’d been lucky to land his Prowler on this rock - but his comm link was fried and he had no way of contacting anyone for help. He left the Prowler with his emergency beacon searching for a link every sixty seconds and thank the gods, the cloaking mechanism was still operable, disguising the Prowler to blend in with the surroundings.
He had not gone more than 50 clicks when he found a well laid trap and ended up fighting for the entertainment of a bunch of Warrior Women.
He was not mistreated. The fights were not to the death - but men did die. The weak or ill - it truly was survival of the fittest with those women.
If his sense of direction was correct, he was heading towards his Prowler. If he could get there before the Warrior found him, then he would not have to kill her. Because he did not want to kill her. She was fierce, unlike anyone he’d every seen before and her death would be a waste. But he would not be held against his will again, and if she forced his hand...
Chance quickened his pace, determined to reach his Prowler.
Talah gave number five a ten minute head start, nodded to the Queen and left the village at a steady pace. She entered the forest and took the well worn path. It did not take her long to reach the Gate of Solitude. Talah removed her bow and quiver and knelt, seeking to steady her nerves.
She drew in a deep breath and then another, calming her center. Talah stood and placed her quiver on her back, added her bow and nodded to the Gate.
She turned and trotted back the way she’d come, found the spot where number five veered from the path and began her Hunt.
Word Count: 747
Well that is part 2. What do you think? My daughter says it’s not as exciting as last weeks - but she realizes I have to set some things up to move the story along. What a critic. LOL