“Chase...” her first call was a whisper so as not to disturb any wild creature, but more wails caused her anxiety level to skyrocket.
“Chase... Darling? CHASE!” she was now shouting hysterically and her worn black boots carried her slim figure forward a few steps to the edge of the forest.
All the warnings the elders had ever hissed at the children who dared approach the Woods of Fatality came flooding back into the stream of thoughts circling her mind. They had talked of trees that tripped you, bushes that used their leaves to snare you, and horrible beasts that ate youngsters alive.
“No, don’t think of that. Concentrate on Chase alone.” Esmeralda murmured in a shaky tone that solidified when she thought of her rock. And with that, the young woman entered the forest of her nightmares
She traveled slowly along the faint path which twisted and turned between two sides of towering pines scurrying a few meters, pausing as if sensing danger, and then flying forward again. The tallest of the trees seemed to glare down upon her. A low haunting moan whistled through the leaves, causing Esmeralda’s terror to increase by tenfold. Unconsciously, she began to pick up her pace and cease her hesitations.
Glancing around, her bright blue eyes began to take in more of her surroundings as they adjusted to the dim lighting.She gazed upon calf high layers of dead leaves that carpeted the forest floor, appetizing poisonous berries that swayed on the limbs of prickly bushes, and enormous eyes that slowly blinked from the depths of off path woods.
Pulling her moth eaten shawl tighter around her torso, so as to tighten her grip on an oddly shaped bundle wrapped in an yellow cloth clutched to her chest, and flipping her long french braid of thick ebony hair, the young messenger let a smile cross her face upon the sight of the wood boundary.
She tried to appear calm as she rushed by the fringe of a residential so as not to spook anyone or anything, but by the time businesses surrounded her, Esmeralda was in an all out sprint. Her surroundings barely had time to register with her before she upon them or past them.
Finally, her boots were pounding on the creaky fishing wharf, as she dodged supplies, squeezed between fishermen and arrived by Emerald Queen.
“Chase!” Esmeralda called, holding up the bundle. “You forgot your lunch!”