The Boy in the Woods: Part 24

by bdhesse

They set up camp once they thought they were a safe distance away from the house and Rain. They were able to find a fairly deep cave to stay hidden in.
“What now?” Michael asked as they sat together in the dark.
“I guess now is as good a time as any for us to get to know each other,” Bristol replied. “After all, it looks like we may be stuck together for a while.”
Oda snorted. “As if I care who any of you are,” he said. “I wouldn’t even be here if you hadn’t kidnapped me.”
“Serves you right,” Bristol replied. “It’s your punishment for stealing those girls.”
“You have to let me go sometime, you know,” Oda said.
“I’ll let you go when I can trust you not to hurt anybody,” Bristol cried.
“I’ll do what I want,” Oda replied.
“Not with that collar around your neck, you won’t,” Bristol said.
The girl gulped. “You’re not going to put a collar on me, are you?” she asked.
Bristol sighed. “No,” she said. “Oda’s a bad man. He used to kidnap girls from this village. He made them be his wives. We took him with us so he couldn’t hurt anyone else, and we put the collar on him so he couldn’t use his powers to get away.”
“Oh,” the girl said. A scraping sound on the dirt floor made it clear that the girl was shuffling away from Oda.
“I’m not that bad!” Oda cried. “It’s not like those girls weren’t just going to get married and have babies anyway. That’s what women are for!”
“You’re such a chauvinistic pig!” Bristol cried. “Besides, what other people do with their bodies is none of your concern. Nor is it something you have any right to control.”
“Oh shut up, woman,” Oda huffed.
Bristol snorted. “Anyway, I’m Bristol,” she said. “The asshat is Oda. The two boys are Michael and Geoffrey, and the girl is Palesa. What’s your name?”
“Bethany,” the girl replied. “I was on my way home from a camping trip with my friends. My parents are probably wondering where I am.” She spoke quietly, sadly.
“It’ll be alright,” Bristol told her. “We’ll get you back to your parents.”
Oda snorted. “Who cares about her parents?” he cried. “We don’t have time to worry about her.”
“Are you kidding me?” Bristol cried. “Her parents are probably worried sick. Besides, do you really want to drag her around with us? We already have three orphans to concern ourselves with.”
“Hey!” Michael and Palesa cried.
“What’s a orphan?” Geoffrey asked.
“Point taken,” Oda replied. “Fine, we’ll get her home tomorrow. Then we’ll worry about that king.”
“Are we ever going to get to the city?” Michael asked.
“That’s a good question, kid,” Bristol replied.
“What’s a city?” Geoffrey asked.
“Stop asking stupid questions,” Oda snapped. “Michael, Palesa, Geoffrey, go to sleep. It’s time to give the adults some alone time.”
“Bristol and Bethany aren’t adults,” Michael replied. “They’re teenagers.”
“Close enough,” Oda snapped. “Go to sleep.”
Michael and Palesa grumbled as the three kids walked deeper into the cave together.
“I still don’t know what those words mean,” Geoffrey complained as they lay together.