The forest was filled with lush emerald green leaves that swayed as the wind occasionally switched directions. There were some gaps in the foliage, showcasing the rich brown bark of tall logs. The forest was dense so it was impossible to look far into it. It wasn’t possible to know who or what lurked inside of it. If I wasn’t set on finding my master, it would’ve been a pretty good place to hide away.
As the sun gradually fell beneath the earth, the color of blood seeped out of the sky’s edges, signaling darkness was coming. I heard the yawn of Darryl on my shoulder. I could tell he desired sleep but his wants were not my concern. I was a golem. I did not sleep.
I kept moving under the dim light of the stars and moon. I could not see much but the road was still visible so I continued walking. I heard noises in the night, strange noises from strange creatures searching for their prey. I did not bother me. No creature of the forest was a match for a golem.
To my right, an unnatural flickering of light was slowly growing brighter. Someone or some group was in the forest, and they were, for whatever reason, coming towards me and Darryll.
“Hey, wake up,” I said to Darryl who I was carrying in my arms. He wiggled around as he came to his senses.
“What’s the problem?” Darryl asked.
“Someone is moving towards us. If you look over there, you’ll see the flickering of a torch. The light has been slowly getting brighter, for the last hour.”
“Ok, put me down.”
I lifted Darryl up and placed him gently onto the grass before beneath us.
“How close do you think they are?” Darryl asked.
“I think we have about 15 minutes before they make their way to us. Maybe ten if there isn’t much brush between us and them.”
“Let’s get off this open road and head into the forest. That way if it’s a large group from the mayor, they’ll have more trouble working as a unit.” Darryl exclaimed.
I nodded. That seemed like a wise decision to me. I had grown up in the woods, and would always feel the most comfortable in the wilderness where only wild animals lurked. Humans and Elves and Gnomes were the fiercest predators and they didn’t come from the trees.
I led the way into the woods with Darryl close behind me. It was still dark outside so it was difficult to see where we were headed. I hoped that we’d have enough sense of the direction of where we’d come from. I didn’t want to get lost. While I enjoyed the forest, climbing over large boulders and slipping between narrow gaps between trees wasn’t the fastest or easiest way to travel.
I knew this would only slightly delay whoever was tailing us. We’d have to stop soon in order to figure out how we were going to handle the people coming after us. If it were up to me, I’d smash them into tiny pieces. It was what I did. I’d have to ask what Darryl did.
“They’re close,” Darryl stated. I stopped and swiveled my head. Sure enough, the flickering light wasn’t a small speck in the distance. It was the size of the sun and illuminated much of the dark forest in its direction. Shadows danced around the trees, dodging the incoming light. Soon we’d see whoever lurked in the night.
“Let’s split up. Let’s try to ambush them.” said the thief.
This wasn’t something I would have done, but I learned that everyone had their own method. I was curious to see what Dyrral had in mind.
“Ok, I’ll go to the left,” I replied. It was less densely pact with trees, which would give me more room to swing my arms and crush the predators stalking us. I watched as Darryl slipped into the cover of the foliage. I could hardly see him even when I squinted.
Eventually, I could see vague figures in the distance. I spotted eight in total, all following one man with a single torch.
“We know you’re around here somewhere. You left quite the path. It was nice not having to climb through bushes to get to you. Show yourselves or I’ll be extra cruel when I skin you like a cat.” shouted the figure holding the torch.
He was a tall, lean man. Like Dyrral, he wore leather clothing that was tight around his body, seemingly creating a second layer of skin. The scars covering his face suggested this man was one who didn’t shy away from conflict. Looking around at his compatriots, I’d say they did the same. His brown hair was cut short, probably by a sharp knife. It wasn’t elegant like my masters, his servants, or even those found within the innermost section of the village.
I didn’t grow hair so I never took an interest in learning the details of cutting hair. I always thought it was overrated, something that didn’t matter. Humans, though, put a lot of thought into how they’d mess up their own head fur. A straight cut was something simple to do, yet something most humans seemed to mess up.
Another man stood out among the nine. He wasn’t the best looking folk, but that’s not why he stood out. His size made the other in his party look like gnomes. He was a foot shorter than me but was the biggest man I’d ever seen. In his hands, he wielded a large club with nails sticking out of the top of the mace. He did not have any head fur.
The enemy group was only twenty feet away from me now. The only reason they hadn’t spotted me yet was the absence of a full moon and the cover of trees. I knew if I waited around any longer, they’d see me and I’d lose my advantage of surprise.