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Pen Your Pride

Henry

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I groaned, sitting up to see something beside me. I screamed and it flew off. I backed up until I hit something and turned to see it was a tree. I used it to help me up and looked down at myself to see I was in a torn up dress. I turned around, examining my surroundings. "HELLO?!" Birds flew out of the trees and suddenly I had an idea. I used the branches to help me as I climbed farther up the tree. When I got to as high as I could go, I moved the branches to see. "This doesn't help," I huffed. I was about to pull back when the branch broke. I screamed as I fell. I tried grabbing onto branches, but they all snapped. Before I could hit the ground, a pair of strong arms caught me. Ice blue eyes met mine and then a smile. I jumped out of the man's arms and grabbed a knife from his belt. "Who are you?!" "I mean you no harm, I have, in fact, just saved your life," he told me. "What is your name?!" "Henry, please put down the knife." "Hand over your sword," I demanded. He frowned and I came closer with the knife. He quickly unstrapped the belt which held his sword and handed it over to me. I took it, strapping it around my waist then pointed the knife at him again. "Leave, before I kill you," I told him. "Might as well, lady of the woods, if I wonder these woods by myself I will be killed by men or beast." I shrugged. "Then die you must," I told him, "I need not a man to drag me down." He laughed. "Then where is it that you want to go," he asked. I hesitated then put on a strong face. "Where I am going is not that of your concern, leave." I started walking and I heard him to tell me to stop. "If you wish to head that direction it will lead you to a mountain where the great and terrible dragon, Smaug, resides. I wouldn't want to seek refuge in such a place," he told me. I kept walking and a knife soon met a tree beside me. "I can't have you go there alone, lady of the woods." I turned to see him walking towards me. I gathered up my dress and ran as fast as I could. I heard him shouting for me to stop, but I wouldn't be stopped. When I felt like I was far enough away I leaned against a tree, catching my breath. I heard a snap and I looked around. I stepped forward and the ground gave way underneath my feet. I yelped as I fell into a man made hole. I looked around as I landed to find dead men and women. I screamed. I tried to climb out, but I couldn't. "I will get you out of there, give me a moment." I waited and soon a rope was thrown down to me. I quickly climbed and when I reached the surface I cried into Henry's shoulder. He held me as I cried. "Now, do you see why you shouldn't go out here alone? I know these woods better than anyone, let me help you to the mountain." I nodded and he held out his hand for his sword. "No, I shall keep hold of the sword until it comes to a moment where you need it the most," I told him. He sighed. "We should start walking towards the mountain, it will take us three days time to get there," he told me. I let him lead me through the thick woods. When we came to a town I suggested we stay in an inn. "No, we are broke and aren't staying for long. We will make camp in the woods," he told me. I sighed, eyeing the inn near a tavern. He pulled me towards the back of the inn where there were stables and the woods. "Stay here while I get firewood and we can make camp," he instructed. I nodded, looking at a horse across from me. When Henry left I walked towards the horse. I held out my hand and he neighed and tried to come closer. I walked closer, placing my hand on it's nose. It nuzzled my hand and I began stroking it, smiling. I heard someone shout and turned to see a heavy man wobbling towards me. "What are you doing to my horse," he demanded. "Just petting is, sir, very sorry." "Don't be sorry, you're the only person besides me that she likes. If you kept your eye on her tonight, feed and water her in the morning, I'll pay you this much," he told me, holding up a brown pouch full of coins. I nodded and he smiled. "Thank you." He went back to where he came from and Henry returned. "Hunters in the woods, can't go in there," he told me. "Hunters?" "They arrest people who wonder in the woods. Some kill animals that are protected by the elves, the Hunters prevent that." "A man offered me a pouch full of money to watch, feed and water his horse," I told him. "That's great but that will get us nowhere," he told me. "I will stay here," I told him. He dropped the sticks that he was holding and glared at me. "Do you want to go to the mountain or not?" I pulled up a stool and sat down, crossing my arms. He huffed, sitting down. He cleared the ground from where we were at, then started making a fire. When it began to ignite the sticks, I could see him better. He had thick, dark hair that was a wavy mess. He had scruff on his face, forming a full beard and mustache scruff. He was pale, but not deathly pale. Mad cake on parts of his face, under his nails and on his clothes which were black trousers and a white shirt. He wore a black jacket with it and black boots. "Is there a reason why you are staring at me," he asked. "Just seeing you better with the light." "Wait here while I go get something," he told me. I did and when he came back I saw he had an apple, bread, and a canteen full of water, I hoped. He handed me a slice of bread and let me cut the apple in half. I cut my piece in half and fed it to the horse before eating. We drank from the canteen, which did have water in it, then he told me to go to sleep. "I'll keep watch," he told me. I nodded, laying down on the hard ground. I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

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