Chapter 3: “…! How dark it was inside the wolf!”
“Are you two alright?” the stranger asked with concern as soon as he entered the kitchen. Selvia had thought that it was a grown man but was surprised to hear that the voice of the stranger was merely a child’s voice. Polivia took the candle Selvia had dropped and lit it up with a tinderbox she kept on the cupboard. Then did she saw the face of their rescuer. He was a boy nearly out of his childhood, but a child he still was. But Selvia did not see a childish look from the boy. All she saw a boy who was forced to grow out of childhood by grief. His green eyes did not shine and his face was older than it should be. His hair was gold and his voice was hard. He was very tall, as tall as Polivia and Selvia was only waist high to her grandmother.
The boy was dressed as hunter and he did not only have his gun as a weapon. He also had a bow and quiver hung behind his back, a dagger that was sheathed in worn leather sheath. He held out a hand to Selvia who was on the floor. Selvia accepted it gratefully. She felt that his skin was rough and saw that he had a few scars on the back of his hand. She got up with his help and her grandmother suddenly pulled her into a tight embrace before she could thank the boy.
“Selvia, oh my beloved Selvia! Are you all right? Are you hurt? Did you scratch yourself? Oh Selvia, I was very worried when I heard you scream. My heart nearly stopped when you screamed again. Oh Selvia,” Polivia said frantically. Selvia tried to extract herself from her grandmother without success.
“I’m fine, grandmother! I was just scared by the wolves. We are all right now. That boy saved us, grandmother. We must thank him,” Selvia struggled with the words because of her grandmother’s embrace. Polivia instantly released Selvia and went to boy.
“Thank you for rescuing. I do not know how to repay you for your deed, Vincent,” Polivia said to the boy. Selvia gaped at the mention of the name of the boy. She had not expected her grandmother to know more people who reside in the forest than her. Selvia stared at the boy as he bowed to her grandmother.
“I was just passing by when I heard a scream, milady. It would be my duty to help those who are in need, especially those who lives this forest,” Vincent said bowing again.
“I thank you again, Vincent,” Polivia thanked again and ushered Selvia to sit on the stool beside the table. Polivia offered one to Vincent before she sat on another stool herself. Vincent sat on the stool offered without a word. After every one was comfortable, Vincent asked for a full detail of the attack. Polivia glanced at her Selvia, who saw her.
“Selvia, would you mind explaining what happened when you entered the kitchen?” Polivia asked softly. Selvia stared at her for a moment and nodded. She started with how she remembered what her father had said to her once and how she saw the wolves came as she imagined how werewolves would appear from the front of their victim. Then she told him how the first wolf slammed the door and how it tried to scratch the door open. Then she recalled how it howled and how her grandmother had came, and she faltered for she was tightly embracing her grandmother. Polivia took up the story from there and told Vincent how she was frightened from the sight of the wolves when they managed to broke the door. Then she told him how the other boy came and fended the wolves single-handedly until a wolf caught him off guard. At the mention that the boy tried to help them, Vincent grumbled and stopped Polivia from going on with the story.
“That was not savior that was a setting. He had been planning this,” Vincent said in a very cold voice, and in a small voice he added, “I know he had. I’m sure of it,” which only Selvia could hear.
Before Selvia could ask anything, someone knocked the front door and forced open the door before any one could react. Vincent quickly placed himself between the two ladies and the doorway. From the dark living room, two figures appeared and went to kitchen. Vincent quickly pulled out his dagger and took his attack stance. He was ready to attack until Selvia realized who they were and shouted.
“Mother! Father!” she shouted as Mr. and Mrs. Arendill entered the room. They saw her and went straight to her. Mrs. Arendill pulled her daughter in a tight embrace while Mr. Arendill stood beside his mother and daughter with an anxious expression.
“Are you alright, Selvia? I was worried that you might be lost in the woods in this rain. Oh heavens bless me, you’re all right,” Mrs. Arendill said hugging her daughter again. As Selvia assured her mother of her well-being, her father examined the kitchen and gasped loudly when he saw the rubble of wood that was the remnant of the back door.
“Mother! What happened to your door? It seemed too had been knocked down by something very heavy,” Mr. Arendill said to his mother. Mrs. Arendill, who was kneeling, stood up and stared at the debris her husband had mentioned. She too gasped in surprise at the amount of damage that had been inflicted to the door. With a sigh, Polivia explained to them the attack that had occurred.
As Polivia ended her narration, both Mr. and Mrs. Arendill stared at her in horror and surprise. Mrs. Arendill had taken Selvia off her chair, as she sat on it, and set her on her lap. As Polivia finished her explanation, Mrs. Arendill had pulled Selvia closer to her and Mr. Arendill had gripped the side of the table too hard that it creaked. Vincent had brought himself to the corner of the room as Polivia explained the scenario of the attack.
Mr. Arendill let go of the table once Polivia stopped and went straight to Vincent. He held out a hand and shook Vincent’s hand vigorously.
“Thank you, young lad, for saving my daughter and my mother. I, we are forever in your debt. If there is anything that you need, please name it. I would be honored to help you in anyway,” Mr. Arendill said grateful. Vincent was very surprised by Mr. Arendill’s action but smiled. Selvia who saw this thought that a smile really suited Vincent. He looked as how he would look for a twelve year old when he smiled. It only lasted for a moment for his smile faltered a moment later. It was replaced by a grim expression.
“If there is anything that I may ask, I would like to ask you to take Madame Polivia and Miss Selvia away from here. As far as possible and as soon as possible,” Vincent said in his hard voice. “Wolves are known for their insistency for a certain prey. They would go after it until they got hold of the prey.” He added. Mr. Arendill thought about it for a second and agreed. He faced his family and hugged himself. He was unsure of how he might say it and how they would react, especially his mother.
“Mother, Aileen, Selvia, I think what the boy say has its rights,” he started, “I believe that we should all leave this house as soon as possible, but I do not know if you would agree to this mother,” he said to his mother. “I know that you love to live in the forest because you find more peace in here, but the current situation does not allow this. Would you follow us back to the mansion until we could find you another place, away, as far as possible, from here?”
Polivia considered what her son had said. It was true that she loved the forest very much but she understood the circumstances. She must give up her passion if she was to live longer. She stared around her kitchen as she considered her options. Her eyes found the pile of wood that was once the door and made her decision. She would go and leave her house, forever.
“Alright Steven. I will go, as long as you keep your promise,” Polivia said. Mr. Arendill was overjoyed by his mother’s willingness that he hugged her to show how worried he was about her. Vincent cleared his throat and gestured them to haste. Mr. Arendill straightened up and started to help his mother up.
“There is a car waiting for us at the end of the road. I have two umbrellas with me and Aileen has two with her. I will take the luggage with me and Aileen will take mother and Selvia with her,” Mr. Arendill said. The Arendill’s nodded at his words and they started packing Polivia’s important possessions.
Once done, the Arendills waited at the door for Polivia, who was changing to her traveling coat. Vincent had volunteered himself to help with the luggage for he too had an umbrella. However, Mr. Arendill asked him to escort his remaining family members to the car for the rain was very heavy. Vincent complied and stared off with the other Arendills to the car. Once everything was done and all the Arendills were in the car, Mr. Arendill stepped outside to speak to Vincent alone.
Selvia saw from her window how Vincent frowned and smiled at what her father had said to him. Then her father left him and he noticed her watching. Then he unexpectedly smiled at her. Selvia was quite surprised by this but smiled back in spite of her surprise. Then, the driver freed the breaks and started the car, and then they were off. Selvia stared at Vincent as the car regained speed and left him behind. There was something familiar that Selvia had seen on his face. She felt that she knew someone who was quite similar to Vincent. She could not remember who it was even though she struggled to remember.
Thus, the car sped leaving the woods behind…and, Selvia’s promise to Edmund…