short story, story promptKai is minding his own business when a distressed young woman literally crashes into him. He takes a risk in order to protect her, but will that risk be worth it?


Kai’s breath misted in front of him as he trudged through the frosted field. It wasn’t quite dawn, the faint grey light on the horizon telling him it wasn’t far away though. He shoved his hands into his pockets and scowled. Why did he always have to do the uncomfortable jobs? His step-brother and step-sister never had to walk the mile to the village well to get water. It was always him. His father never listened to his complaints, simply told him to be a man and do what he was told.

He shook his head and took the shortcut through the woods. Better to get it over and done with, then see what other disgusting chores his step-mother could find for him to do today.

Frantic footsteps crashing through the forest caught his attention. He stopped and listened. They seemed to be headed straight for him, so he wasn’t quite as surprised when someone burst from the trees in front of him. He was surprised when the person crashed into him with a feminine gasp. Kai dropped his bucket and grabbed hold of her to keep her from toppling over.

She looked up at him with wide, frightened eyes that were an astounding violet colour. “Please, please, don’t kill me! It wasn’t me, I swear! I don’t know how to do that sort of thing! Please believe me!” A sob escaped her, but it seemed like she was battling to hold onto her composure. She was trying very hard to be strong.

“Whoa,” Kai said. “I’m not going to hurt you, much less kill you. What are you running from?”

The young woman sagged in his arms, faint relief on her face. “I don’t think I can go much further,” she whispered, her voice ragged. “They are going to catch up to me soon. They’ll kill me.”

Kai’s blood seemed to be moving sluggishly. “Why would they want to kill you?” He couldn’t imagine this fragile young woman doing anything wrong, certainly nothing that warranted death.

She was still encompassed by his arms and seemed reluctant to pull away from him, but she pushed away anyway. “I can’t tell you anything, I’m sorry. I can’t put anyone else in danger.”

The faint sound of shouts and footsteps reached them on the still, cold air. Her shoulders slumped. “Maybe I should stop running. Maybe I should simply accept it. At least I’ll be able to stop running and hiding.” She appeared to be talking to herself, unaware that Kai could hear every word.

He put a gentle hand on her shoulder. She flinched away from him and he quickly removed it. “I’m sorry,” she said hurriedly. “I’m a bit jumpy at the moment.”

“Understandable,” Kai said. “Listen, you really haven’t done anything wrong, have you?”

She turned to him, her face full of sadness. “No.” She closed her eyes. “It’s because I have these purple eyes, they see it as a sign that I am evil, that I am capable of doing terrible things. They are looking for someone to blame.”

The shouting was growing louder. Kai couldn’t let her turn herself in. He knew what they would do to her, and it wouldn’t be pretty. He couldn’t let that happen to an innocent young woman, no matter what the colour of her eyes.

“Quick, climb this tree,” he ordered. She looked at him, startled. He pulled her over and laced his fingers together to form a cradle. “Put your foot here, I’ll boost you up.” She silently did as she was told and scrambled up the tree.

Kai backed away from the tree. “Keep climbing,” he told her. “I’ll distract them.”

He turned and picked up the fallen bucket. He glanced at the girl who was still climbing the tree. Hopefully her attention would remain focused on that. He was about to do something he didn’t really want anyone to know about.

He concentrated on the patch of snow beneath the tree. There was a mess of footprints that any person would be able to recognise. Lifting his hand, Kai waved it in the direction of the snow. The snow began to move on it’s own, covering up the tracks until it was simply a smooth patch.

He glanced up, she was still climbing. Good.

He turned his attention to the snow and frost on the ground to his right. This would take a little more effort. The shouts were practically upon him now. He didn’t have much time.

He hurriedly pictured what he wanted in his mind and lifted a closed fist. With a brisk shake, he opened his hand, as if throwing something to the ground in front of him. A smattering of indents appeared in the snow. They looked vaguely like footprints heading away from him. That would have to be enough.

Clutching his bucket to his chest, he put a bewildered look on his face. The first men came crashing to a halt before him.

“You there, boy!” one particularly burly man yelled. “Have you seen a woman running this way?”

With a shaking hand, Kai pointed in the direction where he’d formed the marks in the snow.

Without another word to him, the men charged off.

I think this one could be very interesting! 🙂

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