"Cold Winter Forest" by mripp is licensed under CC BY 2.0
I’m so tired. I don’t think I can keep going, but—but…I have to keep going. For her. I will save my baby girl even if it kills me. I have to run, keep running Senza. RUN! Senza thought to herself as she fled through the cold, and snowy winter night, her baby wrapped tightly in her arms. She ran through the pine trees with the seven-inch thick snow slowing her down, keeping her from running any faster.
The pine trees tore at her off-white tank top and her navy blue pants as she ran by. The wounds from bullets in her leg and stomach left a crimson trail leading right to her and the baby cradled in her arms. She ran as fast as she could go. Then she saw it; the border. She ran up to it and stopped, noticing something off.
Why is it all red? She thought as she looked right through the transparent red dome, so why couldn’t she get to the other side? She reached her right arm out to touch it, balancing her baby in her left. She made contact and little waves rippled from where her hand had touched. It seemed squishy, like a jelly, or a wet blob of paint. She pulled her right arm back, she threw a punch trying to tear through the vail of danger to safety. This time it wasn’t as squishy. This time it was as hard as a rock, leaving her hand, not broken, but scraped and bloody.
“Mother! Fuck…,” she suppressed through her teeth as she tried to hold back her screams of pain, so she didn’t reveal their location.
“Senza.” She heard a familiar voice call out. She turned to see her brother standing there. “What are you doing here?”
He was walking towards her, with the snow crunching beneath his black boots. His navy trench coat white with snow on the bottom and on the collars of his sleeves. His short dark brown hair covered in snowflakes, his steel-colored eyes stained with restlessness. His pale face was frostbitten and fingers red as cherries.
“Stay back Zander! I won’t let you touch a hair on her head!” Senza yelled while she secured her injured hand back around the baby.
“Senza, look at yourself! Is that demon’s bastard child really worth your life? If you just give it to me we can pretend this little… accident never happened,” Zander said as he stepped closer to her, the crunching snow ringing in her ears as he got closer.
“What do you say, Senza? Give it to me and all your problems will disappear. You could have your life back, your throne, your clothes, your lover, and even Father’s love.” Zander was so close to her that he put his hands on her shoulders, and leaned in closer to her ear.
“You could have it all Senza, just give it to me and I’ll take care of the rest.” Senza looked down at her baby girl and moved the thin blanket to gaze at her child. She saw her violet eyes looking back at her, her cheeks and nose red from the cold. Her little hand peeked out from the blanket’s protection. The child so small and delicate, she placed one of her frostbitten, and bloody fingers inside the little hand. A tear slid down from her eye and froze on her cheek thanks to the cold night air.
“I refuse,” Senza stated firmly. He let her go, not understanding her answer.
“What? You…You refuse?! Why? You think that child is worth it?! You think he is worth it?!” Zander started to yell again as she turned to him so he could see her frozen tears.
“Yes. They are both worth the risk.”She turned and started walking away from him. “Until you have a child you would never understand, and this ‘bastard’ child has a name. It’s Raven. Goodbye Zander.”
“I won’t let you!” He shouts and she reaches in the back of her pants grabbing out a gun and pointing it between his eyes. She glared at him as he slowly put his hands up defeated. “You’re going to get the death penalty for this.” He mutters.
“I don’t care” She stated and glanced back to take a step back when she heard crunching snow. She tugs the trigger and a shot and scream ring out giving away where they were. She looks back at Zander holding his shoulder, but all her sympathy was dried up. She put the gun away and started running away from him. Shortly after she heard his screams of pain and heartache.
“I don’t want to shoot you Senza! If you run away from me, I’m going to have to!” Zander shouted after her. Senza started to run faster with more tears running down her face, and freezing on her cheeks. She called out her lover’s name while her heart was shattering.
“Fang…Fang!…Fang!” She tried to yell to the other side of the transparent border, slowing down a little every time she yelled.
“Fang! Fang! Fang…” She tried to keep going but she was too weak, and she’d lost so much blood. Her vision started to blur, breathing heavier into the cold night air, and losing any feeling in her fingers and toes. Her lips started to turn blue and she shook like in a violent earthquake. She fell onto her knees holding Raven closer to her chest, and tried not to shake her.
“I’m so sorry Raven.” She said to her baby as she tried to hold back the tears. “I wish I could have saved you from this nightmare.”
Something shuffled in the distance. Senza looked up now alert. There it was again, what was it? Was it her brother coming to kill her demon child? Or was it Fang, her love, coming to help her?
“Senza?” Someone called to her from around the bend, but she couldn’t distinguish the voice. “Senza?!” Who was calling to her? Should she stay, or should she run away? There was no shelter in the forest to her left, and she couldn’t cross the demon border. She was going to die anyway. She chose to wait and see if she would be saved or slaughtered. “Senza? Senza!?” Her vision so blurred so that she couldn’t see who it was. What she could see was a blur running towards her, from the other side of the border. She knew who the figure was at that moment.
“Fang? “ She asked, still shaky from her bullet wounds. His darkened tanned skin, with his short black hair, was a relief to see. Along with his red apple eyes.
“Senza? What’s going on over there? And what is this red thing, and why can’t I get to the other side?” Fang asked as Senza started to tip from side to side until she finally fell backward. The snow freezing her backside. “Senza? What happened, you’re hurt, really bad?”
Senza tried to sit back up, but her frostbitten body wouldn’t allow her to move another inch. As he started to pace around on the other side.
“Fang…They found out about—us.” Senza started as Fang, surprised, stopped and fell to his knees as she continued to talk. “So they’re following the law—they’re coming to—kill—me and…” There was a long silence until she was able to muster another word.
“Our child…” Then the tears started to roll down and freeze on her cheeks once more. “I thought—I could—I just thought I could save her—So at least—She could see her first sunrise.”
“No…No! There has to be something I can do! I can’t just sit by and watch my family die! There has to be something!” Fang said as he started walking back farther, trying to get a running start.
“Fang? What are you doing?” She tried to look over to the blur that was Fang, as she wondered what he was doing. Then she finally realized. “Fang, no! That wall may seem soft and squishy, but it’s not! As soon as you hit that wall it will turn as hard as a rock! Don’t do it, Fang!”
“I have to at least try, if I don’t I won’t be able to live with myself!” Fang shouted, then started to run towards the wall and was expecting to hit a soft exterior. As Senza said, when he hit the dome wall it turned hard as a rock, and Fang screamed so loud that it rung in her ears.
“Fang? Are you okay? What were you thinking?” Senza asked him as he tried to ram into the wall again, this time with his opposite arm. “Fang! Fang stop you’re going to kill yourself!” Fang ran into the wall again, but not as hard as the other times. He leaned on the wall while falling to his knees once again.
“I’m sorry Senza, I wish I could help,” Fang said as he rested his forehead on the dome wall, and let his tears of sorrow fall down.
“I wish I could do something, anything! I’ve never felt so useless!” As he tried to hold back the tears closing his eyes, Senza was able to make her frostbitten body move. So she slowly sat up in the cold snow and put her bloody right hand on the dome wall.
“Fang it’ll be alright. We can figure something out, right?” Senza said her words with no hope attached, thinking she wouldn’t be able to see the next morning. Then Fang, who tried to hold back the tears, felt something on his nose. He opened his eyes and saw a little hand touching his nose, he moved his tear-stained eyes up to see his little girl, his daughter touching him.
“How did she-? What?”
“How is she doing that?” Fang asked. Then both Senza and Fang looked at each other when they heard Zander and his men coming from the distance.
“Senza? Where are you?” Zander growled from a distance away. “I just want to talk to you.” Then the two groups gazed upon each other. “There you are.”
“Fang take Raven! Take her and run or fly away!” Senza yelled as she pushed Raven through the border and into Fang’s arms. She made her bloodied and frostbitten body move to stand up, but she couldn’t move an inch before her brother Zander was on top of her.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” Zander whispered into her ear, while he dug his nails into her shoulder.
“Did you really think you would be able to get away from me?” Then he pushed her back into the border wall and she fell right into the snow again, holding her bleeding side. He pulled his pistol from the holster and pointed it directly at Senza’s head. “This never had to happen Senza, this could have all just gone away. You could’ve come back with me, you know. We could’ve forgotten that this ever happened. You could have lived the rest of your life with Father and me, right at your side. We could’ve been happy just like we used to be.”
“Maybe you would be happy, but I would be suffering. Knowing that I let you kill my child for my life. Father would never accept me; he never has and never would. You would never look at me the same way again, so why would I go back to living a life that will just be misery for me? Yes, I would be alive, but I wouldn’t be living.”
“Don’t you even think about touching her!” Fang tried to protest, but Senza stopped him from the inevitable.
“Fang stop it. We both knew what the penalty was. If this is the price I have to pay to protect you and Raven, I would do it a thousand times over without giving it a second thought.” She said smiling, as she heard the click of the gun. “I love you Fang, and I love you too my little Raven.” A final tear ran down her face then they heard a gunshot fill the cold night air. Fang watched as her smile and body went limp.
“Senza? N-N-No! Senza!” Fang yelled into the cold, bloodstained night air. Zander put his gun away and turned to Fang on the other side of the border, while Fang struggled to contain himself. “Senza! No!”
“Fang, give me the child,” Zander said while Fang was panicking, and started hyperventilating. “S-Senza! Senza get up!” Fang tried but she wasn’t moving, only staining the snow. “Fang, the child,” Zander repeated and Fang looked up at him like a jerky robot.
“What?” Fang asked as he subsided from screaming, as he was still contemplating what just happened.
“Give me the child, Fang.”, said Zander, both frustrated and saddened by tonight’s events. “Give it to me and we will get out of your hair.”
Fang slowly looked back down at Senza laying there, then raised his head looking at Zander, with tears stained on his cheeks.
“Why the hell would I do that? This child is the only piece of her I have left now. Thanks to you!” Fang yelled looking up at Zander, while Zander looked down at him.
“Fine. We can do this the hard way.” Zander said as he quickly pulled out his gun, and shot the border. Fang barely had time to cover Raven from the attack, but the bullet bounced off the border and shot one of Zander’s men in the leg. “What the hell?”
“There is no hard way, Zander,” Fang said as he stood up with Raven, and looked enraged at Zander. “You can’t do anything to get this child, and I would never hand her over to a man like you! And trust me when I say this Zander, you will pay for tonight’s events! Not even death will save you from my wrath! I’m going to take Raven, and raise her to hate scum like you!” Fang yelled at him, then turned around and left him to ponder his fate. After a moment Zander gathered himself.
“Fang get back here! We’re not done yet! Fang!” Zander yelled as he banged on the border wall, with a gun in his right hand and his left balled into a fist. Fang just started running out of Zander’s view. Zander, stunned as the realization hit that he failed his mission, screamed into the freezing bloodstained night air, “FANG!”