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Chapter 37

His flight led him in the direction of the Pint. He fled, not knowing where he went, not knowing where he was, only knowing that he had to get away from the horrid mass that would not relent. As he ran along his wizardly path, he vaguely heard the mob as they poured down the streets in pursuit of him. If anything, his mind only raced even faster. And as quickly as his mind raced, his feet raced even more so. His inordinate fear was triggered by past events in his life that hovered on the verge of memory. But he would not allow himself the recollection. He had locked away those traumatizing moments long ago and did not wish to look upon his frightening past. As he tore down along the runes, tearing them down behind him as he went, he quickly lost his pursuers, such was his fear-fueled speed. The terrain below his began to slope gradually up, as it neared to elevation upon which sat the Pint. The roadway had risen to within a few feet of his path as he stumbled. In his fear, he had incessantly looked back over his shoulder behind him in search of the pursuing mob. As he tired, he tripped over his own feet and fell to the roadway below. He landed on the cobblestones with a resounding thud, rolling as he struck the lane, crashing into a rain barrel. The water soaked him completely. As he stood and made his way up the slope, his footing was less than adequate because of the wet leather of the boots. He stumbled up the hill toward the tavern, unable to make out anything clearly, his mind in utter turmoil. His flight led him further. As he approached a busy street, he veered off into a side lane. His only wish was to avoid other people.

The alley he stumbled into alone seemed vaguely familiar. Some strange trick of fate had led him into the same alley that he had once occupied, lying in wait for some unwary passer-by. Rats protested wildly as he staggered and lurched through the alley that they occupied. Three thugs stepped out of recessed doorways and interrupted his escape from his fear. One of the three stopped him with a fist in the gut. His face was one of the more vulgar things that he had seen. The nose was crooked and flattened, one nostril having been torn, probably as a result of someone not liking his nose ring. His face was pockmarked, scarred from the pox, with evidence of it still on his face. And open festering cut crossed his cheek, with pus dribbling from it. His ears were rat-bitten, standing straight out from his head. His hair was brown, or appeared to be, with splotches of white.

"Hey where do youse think yer goin'? Youse gots to pay the toll. I want yer boots. Give 'em to me. Now!"

(AUTHOR's NOTE: please do not read this chapter without immediately reading the next, and should this chapter not make sense to you, please re-read the scenes in which Derrl is first on the beach as well as the scenes following it. Thank you, I hope that this will enhance your experience)

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