The rain was still pouring down, it fitted Bella's
mood, she was wet, cold, tired and frightened, her
body ached and her feet were sodden with mud, but
still she was forced to keep going.
As the hunters made their way through the forest,
Bella couldn't help but notice all the pits, where
the rain had washed away some of the branches, she
felt so sorry for the poor animals that were being
trapped in the pits.
It was quite late when they reached camp, Bella saw
the hunters digging, she recognized some of the men, there was Ruben, Addy, Joel, Sam and Daniel,
they were all friends of her father.
'So this is where they all went,' she thought to
herself. She wanted to ask them for help, but they
all looked as frightened as she did.
Jonah turned to some men, "you! men...take this
snivelling brat out of my sight, show her where to
cook. You other men prepare the horse for tonight
we will feast."
Bella could not look, as the men carried her horse
away. Bella looked at Jonah, "please, don't make me
cook my own horse." she pleaded with him.
"Then," said Jonah, "you will starve."
"So be it," said Bella, she would rather starve,
than cook and eat her own friend.
Poor Bella was not only starving, but because she
would not cook, Jonah had one of his men tie her to
a tree. The rain was starting to ease off slightly,
but Bella's wrists were tied so tightly together,
that they started to cut and bleed.
Bella felt sick, everything started to go bleary
and she passed out. Now one of the men, decided to
approach Bella, as he started to walk towards her,
Jonah saw him and shouted out, "where do you think
"The girl looks ill, I think she has passed out,"
said the man, looking concerned. "Shouldn't we give
her some food?"
"Leave her be," said Jonah, "she said she would
rather starve, it's her choice."
Now the man whose name was Arvid did feel very sorry for Bella...he thought, 'it's one thing taking men as prisoners, but this is a young child.' He wanted to set her free, but he knew Jonah was suspicious and keeping an eye on him.
Bella kept drifting in and out of strange dreams,
she dreamt she could see strange figures surrounding her, but they were all blurred and out
of focus, it was as if they were shadows of people
that just kept walking around her, but she was no
longer in the forest, the back ground was pure white...so bright...she looked in wonder. She wanted to shout out, "Where am I?" but the words
wouldn't come out, she felt paralysed.
When finally she awoke, she was shivering, it was
dark, so black, she was so cold too, she wished at
that moment she could die.
Suddenly from no where, a hand clasped tight around
her mouth, she tried to struggle, but found she had
no strength at all. "Shhhh!" whispered a voice,
"I want to help you, but you must stay quiet, will
you promise not to make a noise?"
Bella nodded, the hand left her mouth, It was so
dark, she could not see.
"My name is Arvid, what's your name?" whispered the
"My name's Bella, please can you untie my wrists,
they are bleeding."
Arvid cut the rope that was so tight around Bella's
wrists. "We must leave right now," whispered Arvid.
"Jonah is sleeping, the guard is getting a drink,
he will be back at any moment."
"But I'm so weak," whispered Bella.
"Then I must carry you." Arvid cut her ropes from
the tree, then picked Bella up, luckily she was as
light as a feather. Arvid quietly moved through the
grass, it was so dark, he couldn't see where he was
going, he just knew they had to get away.
Arvid could hear the running water, of the river,
he decided to head in the direction of the sound.
There seemed to be dangers all around them, he had
to feel his way, it was like walking blind.
The only time man would walk at night, was when
there was a full moon to light his way. Arvid heard
an owl hooting, then the scurrying of the night
creatures, he hoped there weren't any bears or
wolves lurking near by.
He wondered if the guard had noticed Bella was gone, he knew Jonah would be furious when he found
out. He felt sorry for the guard on duty, he was a
friend of Arvids, he wondered what Jonah would do
to his friend.
It was fear that kept Arvid running, so many thoughts were rushing through his mind. He thought
about swimming across to the other side of the river, because the rain had made the ground so muddy, which he knew would show up his footprints,
then he wondered if Bella was strong enough, then
his thoughts turned to the pits, they could easily
fall in one.
'No the river was their safest bet,' he thought.
As Arvid waded down into the water, he told Bella
to hold on to him tight, "don't let go, whatever
you do," he said to Bella.
"But my wrists are still bleeding and I feel...so
weak." cried Bella.
"Listen to me Bella, be strong, fight the pain,
you can do it." For some reason, those words helped
Bella find some strength.
"When we get to the other side of the river," said
Arvid, "I will catch some fish to eat, then we must
flee back into the forest, we are in great danger out here." Arvid was panicking now and just wanted
to get across the river.
Bella was in agony, this was a pain, like she had
never felt before, she wanted to drift off into a
deep...deep sleep, but knew she had to fight it.
As he swam, Arvid whispered, "nearly there." He
was a strong swimmer, you had to be working for
Across the other side Arvid waded up the bank and
lay Bella on the grass. Dawn was starting to approach, soon the dawn chorus of the birds would
fill the forest, before the sun came up, Arvid would need to find a stick that would be sharp enough to spear some fish.
He looked across to the other side of the river,
there were no hunters in sight, 'perhaps,' he thought, 'they were safe for now.'
To be continued ........