He began to pull me through the trees, moving quickly down a path only he seemed able to find. Branches whipped my face and legs, and we picked up speed as we ran through the forest. We must have run, stumbling, for ten minutes before I remembered the Seven League Boots.
"Sam, hold up!" I called, as I pulled back on him. "I can get us there faster."
He stopped, asking, "How? Do you have magic boots or something?" He laughed at his joke.
"Actually, I do. Seven League Boots."
The satyr's jaw dropped. "Where did you get those? Last I heard. . ." he looked around quickly, peering into the darkness. "Last I heard, Erebus had those!"
"He did. I have them now. I have a few friends who know some secrets."
Sam almost looked frightened. "You couldn't have said this during the day, could you. Well, you'll be safe once the moon rises, so long as you hang out near the fire. Do you know how to work them?"
I laughed. "I've gotten the hang of it. It's a bit like riding a bike, except I'd never taken a step in Boots like these before. My first step brought me to the edge of the water, on the opposite shore from you. After that, it was all normal steps, like now. I figured them out while taking that step."
"Most people don't understand them at all." Sam said. "Erebus sure didn't. We knew because we'd see a shadow fly by on a cloudless day, and we knew he just hadn't figured out how to stop. Are you positive you're safe in them?"
"Positive," I said, nodding. "Here, hop up on my back, point me in the right direction, and let's go, okay?"
"Sure thing," said Sam. "Turn a bit more to the left. . . Yes, there."
With that, he climbed onto my back. I slid my arms under his hairy knees and got ready to step forward. Suddenly, I felt the need to ask something.
"Geez, Sam, could you put that thing away for even a few minutes? You're poking me in the back. I don't appreciate it."
Sam's laughter echoed in the night. "You know, you're pretty up-tight for a Chaos Magician." I looked up ready with a snide remark, but it died on my lips when I saw the satyr had put on a cowboy hat that his goat horns poked through the brim of.
"Dude, you'd better count your blessings that I have a good sense of humour," I said. "How far?"
"You'll see it. Getty-up!"
Growling and mumbling about how much I resented this, I took a step forward.
To be continued. . .
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V
Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X
Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV