Chapter 5:

Into the Woods (Part 2/2)

Tales Of The Chosen "Heroes"

“Is papa going to die?” Bonnie asked strolling through the brambles and trees.Bookmark here

Shawn stepping over a fallen log said, “No he’s got quite a few hours before he bleeds out.”Bookmark here

“Are these herbs going to help papa?” Bookmark here

“Probably.” Shawn replied as he walked around, eyes scanning through the foliage.Bookmark here

“Will anyone attack us?”Bookmark here

“Unlikely.” Bookmark here

“How do you know so much about plants?”Bookmark here

“I was taught.”Bookmark here

“Who taught you?”Bookmark here

“Stop asking so many questions.”Bookmark here

“Why?” She asked tilting her head quizzically.Bookmark here

“Because you’re annoying.” Still moving forward Shawn turned to her. “How old are you?”Bookmark here

“I’m twelve years old.”Bookmark here

“Why does a child want to follow a stranger into the woods? What have you been taught by your parents?” Shawn said, as he began to changed direction towards a clearer area of the forest. Bookmark here

“Hey! They taught me a lot of things! I’m following you to help papa!” Bonnie said in a huff. Scampering behind him.Bookmark here

“You’re definitely helping to hinder me.”Bookmark here

“What does hinder mean?”Bookmark here

Shawn gave another sigh, “Your making things harder.”Bookmark here

“How?”Bookmark here

“By being annoying.”Bookmark here

“I’m not annoying! Why are you so mean?” Bonnie pouted.Bookmark here

“Because I don’t like dealing with kids.”Bookmark here

“Well, how old are you?”Bookmark here

“… Sixteen.”Bookmark here

“You’re not that older than me! You’re still a kid!”Bookmark here

Shawn walked towards several clusters of wild plants and while scanning through them he spoke, “I’m still old enough to take care of myself. Unlike you, I know what I’m doing.”Bookmark here

“Well, I want to know.”Bookmark here

Shawn looked at her determined face for a moment, before giving a shrug. He crouched down in front of the wild plants and gestured her to walk over. “Come and learn then.”Bookmark here

Bonnie’s eyes lit up with excitement and she scampered over to him. Shawn pointed a plant with white clumped flowers that was taller.Bookmark here

“See that plant? It’s called yarrow, it helps clean wounds and stops bleeding.” Shawn held it and moved it over towards Bonnie, who was studying it intently.Bookmark here

“You can tell by it’s flowers. See the small white ones?”Bookmark here

Bonnie nodded and Shawn pointed at another clump of white flowers.Bookmark here

“See those, yes more yarrow?”Bookmark here

“No that’s called poison hemlock. They are poisonous.” Shawn said as he reached over and grabbed it, letting Bonnie get a better look. She flinched when he grabbed it.Bookmark here

“Relax, it won’t burn my skin. But don’t eat this, it will kill you.”Bookmark here

She nodded cautiously, “What’s the difference?”Bookmark here

Shawn gestured at the stem and leaves.Bookmark here

“The plant itself tends to be gigger, the stem has purple spots on it, while yarrow has a white cotton looking layer. Leaves are bigger, less leaflets and heavier than yarrow ones and the shape is different.”Bookmark here

Bonnie studied the difference intently, then moving her eyes to other similar plants trying to notice the difference. Spotting another plant that looked slightly different from both she pointed at it and asked. “Is that dangerous?”Bookmark here

Taking a quick look Shawn said, “No that’s Queens… something… something- I don’t remember, wild carrot. It’s like wild carrot. You can eat. Now let’s grab some herbs.”Bookmark here

“Oh, can I get some of those wild carrots too?”Bookmark here

“I don’t care. You have to carry though.” Shawn replied as he began to take some leaves of the yarrow plant. Bonnie headed over to another clump of plants and began to collect. Shawn looked at the enthusiastic little girl carefully discerning which plants were which.Bookmark here

Well, she picks up quickly at least. Shawn thought as he grabbed a few more leaflets.Bookmark here

Walking back to the group, Bonnie’s mama was the first to notice them. Running over she embraced Bonnie, who’s hands were full of foraged goods. “You’re alright.” She said in relief.Bookmark here

“Great to know I’m trusted.” Shawn muttered. Talking louder he asked, “So how’s our patient. We’ve only been gone twenty minutes.”Bookmark here

“Yes, Lukas is alright for now, come, follow me.” The lady said while leading the two along back over to the injured caravan guard.Bookmark here

Lawrence looked up and saw them, a smile appeared his face, “Ah, Shawn your back. Got the medicine?”Bookmark here

“Yup, plenty of yarrow in this area.” Shawn said pulling out a clump of yarrow leaves and extended his arm towards Lawrence.Bookmark here

“Alright, chew it up.”Bookmark here

“Are that lazy?”Bookmark here

“I don’t just put my spit on anyone’s flesh.” Bookmark here

Lawrence opened his to reply, before the words Shawn had spewed out dumbfounded him. “You are a weird boy.” Was all Lawrence said as he stuffed the leaves in his mouth and started chewing.Bookmark here

“Yeah, but I won.” Shawn said with a grin.Bookmark here

“Why is Mr. Lawrence eating the yarrow?” Bonnie asked in confusion. “I thought it was for papa?”Bookmark here

Glancing over to her Shawn explained, “It’s the liquid in the leaves that we need, chewing releases the liquid.”Bookmark here

Bonnie nodded in understanding. Lawrence spat out the now chewed up clump, “If you aren’t too busy teaching your new student, could you help cut the bandages?”Bookmark here

Rolling his eyes he walked over to Lucas, and began to unwarp the bandages, showing a nasty gash on his side.Bookmark here

Lawrence quickly told Bonnie’s mama, “Mrs. Myles, it would be best if the young girl doesn’t see this.”Bookmark here

In response Bonnie’s mother, Mrs. Myles covered her eyes and led her to the side, despite Bonnie’s complaints.Bookmark here

“It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.” She chided Bonnie.Bookmark here

Lawrence knelt and pressed the poultice into the wound. Lukas gives a small gasp as he felt the juices of the plant enter his wound, the pain subsided a bit. Bookmark here

“Damn that really works.”Bookmark here

Lawrence asked Shawn, “Fresh bandages.”Bookmark here

“What? Use your own.”Bookmark here

“I don’t have any left.”Bookmark here

Shawn stared at Lawrence for a second, before begrudgingly dug into his bad and pulled out a roll of cloth.Bookmark here

“This is the last one I have.” Shawn said while handing it over to Lawrence, “We better not need another one.” Bookmark here

Lawrence took the roll and nodded before rebandaging Lukas’s wound.Bookmark here

Shawn got up and left the two alone, wandering of and began to patrol the perimeter again. Stopping at the edge of the clearing he stared into the woods. Hearing footsteps approach, he turned to find Rose, still covered in armour she moved surprisingly quietly over to him.Bookmark here

“How do you do that?” He asked.Bookmark here

“Do what?” She asked innocently tilting her head, voice echoing through the helmet.Bookmark here

“The whole moving- you already know what I mean. Fine keep your secrets.”Bookmark here

He swore he could feel her smirking at him.Bookmark here

“So, how’s the guard?” Rose asked changing the subject.Bookmark here

“He’ll live. Should be able to move.”Bookmark here

Rose’s helmet nodded, “We’ll need to move in twenty minutes. It won’t be easy guiding everyone. We’re going to need all the help we can get.”Bookmark here

“Guiding? Don’t you mean herding?”Bookmark here

Rose rolled her shoulders, “You’re harsh with your words.”Bookmark here

“But I’m pretty accurate.”Bookmark here

“Hmm, not inaccurate at least.”Bookmark here

Shawn looked over at Rose, with all that armour he couldn’t really tell what she was thinking. He couldn’t really tell what was behind the helmet. Something vaguely humanoid, but what exactly was anybody’s guess. But the fact that she was staring off into the woods like he was, had him suspect that this leadership responsibility was perhaps weighing on her.Bookmark here

“It’s your fault own you know.”Bookmark here

“Huh?” Bookmark here

This was the first time Shawn heard Rose surprised. So, she can be caught of guard.Bookmark here

“I said, if you’re getting nervous about the trip ahead, then you can only blame yourself. You decided to be the leader of this hodgepodge.”Bookmark here

“Someone had to; besides you and others were likely to help me.”Bookmark here

“You’re rather assuming. But since you still haven’t left, I suppose it means that you approve of me leading them?”Bookmark here

Shawn giving a shrug, “Well, someone has too. But don’t worry about taking care of everyone. The others might help a bit.”Bookmark here

“And you?”Bookmark here

“I’ll be meandering about.”Bookmark here

“Then I’ll be keeping my eye on you.” Rose said before leaving, “Everyone will make it to the city.” She assured.Bookmark here

Shawn looked back towards the woods while he thought. That would be nice.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.