Here we are at last!
By the way, there are thirteen parts in all. . . which would make this the longest story I’ve ever posted! The Sacrifice will probably beat it though, as I’m on Part 25 right now! 🙂 I think there will be 27 parts–so yes, I’m almost done!!!
Anyways, enough of this! I’ll let you go:
Amelia opened her eyes and looked around. She was in a small room, with brown walls; lying on a green cushion. Everything was dim and hazy; and she felt dizzy and nauseous. Sitting up was out of the question. She felt pain in both her upper arms as if she had been burned.
Amelia closed her eyes. Even thinking about what had happened was beyond her. She was lying on a soft couch, without any spiders near her. That was enough.
How long she lay there half conscious, half awake, before she began wondering what had happened, Amelia did not know. It could have been hours later when she opened her eyes and tried to look around. Her vision was a bit clearer; as was her head. She even thought about sitting up, though she didn’t dare to actually try it. Someone bent over her suddenly. Amelia recognized Cianna Hawthorn, more by her voice and mannerisms than by her blurred face. “She’s come ’round,” she was saying, to some unseen person. Several men approached her couch. Cianna’s young patient recognized Sir Hawthorn, King Titus, Ryan, and another man. “How are you, dear?” Cianna asked.
“I don’t. . . know. What happened?”
“You fell into the web, Miss Amelia; do you remember?” the King asked, seriously.
“Yes. . . I do. I remember. . . that. I meant. . . where. . . am I?”
“Of course you remember, darling,” Cianna cut in, with a bit of a frown, mostly speaking to Titus. “You’re not hurt bad. Spider-poison just stuns, doesn’t hurt. The men pulled you out and brought you here, to our home. How do you feel?”
“You’re sure she’ll be quite alright?” It was the fourth hunter who spoke.
“Yes, she’ll be fine. Just fine,” Sir Hawthorn assured him. “And you’re not to blame. I’m the one who told her to stand by the edge.” Amelia managed to piece together that he was probably the man who had run into her.
“No one’s to blame,” she said weakly. “And I’m sure I’ll be just fine. . . soon.” Soon. Not just yet, she felt horrible. “Why is my hair wet?”
“From when we washed the cobwebs out of it, dear,” Cianna said gently.
Amelia raised a hand to touch her sunset-colored hair wincing as her arm grazed the pillow. “What happened to my arm?”
“The men pulled you out with the ropes they brought, as they would have pulled out the flies. It gave you a bit of a rope-burn. It was the only way to get you out,” Cianna ended apologetically. “Ryan shot the spider with one of his arrows and it ran off the web, but they were in a hurry in case it came back. We don’t really know how wasp-poison affects spiders—they catch bees in their webs often enough.”
“I understand.” She felt like a fly again. Only, unlike the flies, she wasn’t going to be anybody’s dinner. The thought made her stomach clench. She tried not to think about the way the spider had looked as it had stooped over her.
“You’ve got a bad cut on the back of your neck too.” Cianna still had things to explain. “Where it bit you; but it’s cleaned and bandaged, and it will heal soon.”
Ryan had remained quiet the whole time. Amelia wished she could get her eyes to focus on his face. They were beginning to hurt from the effort. She closed them. Why should she think it would affect the prince especially? Well, they were good friends. . .
Suddenly Amelia sat bolt upright, struck by a sudden thought. Her head spun at the motion. She flopped back down again, cringing as her cut neck hit the pillow. “Ugh.”
“My goodness, dear, lie still!” Cianna exclaimed, alarmed. “Whatever is the matter?”
“Jerry. . . my pet. How long has it been? He ought to be fed. . .”
“It’s only six o’clock,” Sir Hawthorn said. “You haven’t been gone three hours.”
“I’ll go over and see him if you like.” Ryan spoke for the first time. He sounded concerned, and overeager to do something.
“That would be nice, if you don’t mind. I shouldn’t worry then.” Ryan ran out of the room as if his life depended on it.
“Speaking of the time, you men ought to go get some supper,” Cianna suggested to the remaining three; adding as they filed out of the room, “Do you feel hunger, dear?”
She might if she could stop thinking about spiders; it made her feel sick. “Not really.”
“That’s alright, if you’re not ready. Just lie still now. I’ll go to the kitchen to find something to feed those men, and come back.”
“I’ll be fine. Don’t rush.” Amelia closed her eyes.