The Boy in the Woods: Part 9
“My aunt lives over there,” Bristol said, pointing to the left, as the man led her towards the city gates.
“Oh, she won’t be at home,” Oda said. “Didn’t you know? The town has been evacuated.”
“It has?” Bristol asked, looking around. “I didn’t see anyone leave.”
Oda nodded. “It has,” he said. “Everybody left before the earthquake.”
“But…what about you?” Bristol asked.
“I was looking for anyone who had been left behind,” Oda replied.
“What a gentleman,” Bristol said.
Michael trailed behind the two, doing his best to stay out of sight. He followed them out of the town.
Bristol looked around. “Where is everyone?” she asked.
The man chuckled. “Too far away to hear you scream,” Oda replied.
“Huh?” Bristol said.
The man grabbed her by the wrists and began to drag her away from the town.
“Hey!” Bristol cried. “Let me go! What do you think you’re doing?”
“Shut up,” Oda commanded. “The less you struggle, the easier this will be.”
Bristol screamed loudly and struggled harder. Oda swore under his breath and stopped to throw Bristol over his shoulder. Bristol began to hit Oda on the back.
Michael followed them from a safe distance. Eventually they came to a large manor house on an acreage about an hour outside of the town.
“Welcome home,” Oda said to Bristol as he carried her towards the house.
Michael waited off the property until Oda and Bristol were inside, then he ran across the lawn until he reached the house. He began to look in each of the lower windows to see if he could find the girls.
“No! Get off of me!” Michael heard Bristol scream from inside.
He gulped and made his way towards the noise. It was coming from an upstairs window, so he couldn’t see what was going on.
Afraid of what Oda might do to Bristol, Michael walked through the front door. Slowly, he crept down the hall in search of a staircase. He froze as he heard a gasp.
He tuned to see a teenage girl, about 16, standing a foot away. “Run,” she mouthed at Michael.
Michael shook his head. “I’m here to free you,” he whispered.
“You can’t free us,” the girl replied. She pointed to a collar around her neck. “If we go to far away, it’ll choke us.”
Michael blinked, then walked over to the girl and examined the collar. “That doesn’t look so strong,” he replied. He grabbed the collar with both hands and ripped it in half, then he took it off the girl. “See?” he said.
The girl stared at Michael.
“Where are the others?” Michael asked her.
“Lohoma is doing the laundry downstairs,” the girl said. “And Yamka is upstairs locked in her room. It’s the second door on the right. The master is with the new girl in his room, across the hall from Yamka’s.”
Michael nodded. “Thank you,” he said. “You should run. Can you get home from here?”
The girl nodded and took off without another word.
Michael found the door to the basement and crept down the stairs. He saw Lohoma in a room to the left as he got to the bottom of the stairs.
“Hey!” he whispered harshly at her. “Hey! Lohoma!”
Lohoma turned quickly and looked ready to scream.
Michael put his finger to his lips. “I’m here to help you,” he said.
“You can’t!” she whispered back.
Michael grinned. “I already freed the girl upstairs. How do you think I got your name?”
“Kachina?” Lohoma said. “You can really help us?”
“Yup,” Michael said. “Hold still.” He walked over to Lohoma and ripped her collar off like he did to Kachina’s. “Now run,” he told her.
Lohoma ran up the stairs and out of the manor as quickly as she could.
Michael went back up to the first floor. He began wandering around until he found the stairs leading to the second floor. He walked over to the second door on the right and tried it. It was locked. There was no way he could get in without making noise.
“Here goes nothing,” he said. He kicked the door down and ran towards the terrified girl sitting on the bed. He ripped off her collar before she could respond. “Stay behind me!” he cried.
“What’s going on out there?” a voice boomed from across the hall. Oda ran out of his room and stopped short when he saw Michael in Yamka’s room. “Who are you?” he demanded.
“Your worst nightmare,” Michael replied.
Oda snarled and walked toward him. “Get away from my girl,” Oda said.
“No,” Michael replied.
Oda made a hand gesture towards a chair in the corner. He flicked his wrist and the chair flew towards Michael. It slammed into him, but Michael had braced himself and it made little impact.
“You’re not the only one with magic, you know,” Michael mocked.
Oda’s scowl deepened. “You little brat!” he cried. He rushed at Michael, transforming into a bull as he ran.
Michael stepped forward and punched the bull in the head as it charged.
Oda changed back almost instantly and fell backwards, unconscious.
“How did you do that?” Yamka asked Michael.
Michael shrugged. “I’m really strong,” he said.
Bristol made her way out of Oda’s bedroom. “I…is it over?” she asked. She was pale and there were tear stains on her cheeks. “Please tell me it’s over.”
“It’s okay now,” Michael said.
Bristol hurried over to Michael. “Did you kill him?” she asked as she looked down at the man on the floor.
“No,” Michael said. “My grandpa told me not to kill unless it was absolutely necessary.”
“You should have killed him,” Bristol said angrily.
Michael shrugged, then he noticed the collar around Bristols throat. “Want me to take that off?” he asked.
“Not necessary,” Bristol replied. “I saw exactly what he did.” She went back into Oda’s room, then came back with the collar in her hand and a small black box in her other hand. “This should work,” she said. She bent over and put the collar around Oda’s neck.
“Now what?” Michael asked.
“Now we wait until he wakes up,” Bristol replied.