Sally, Part 43
Or at least that's what Stacey kept telling himself. The farther they went into the wood, the more eyes appeared along the side. They varied in size, shape, and color, and Stacey couldn't stop his mind from imagining what kind of ugly creature would have red slits for eyes. Something with fangs and horns, maybe? But Stacey still said nothing. Mattias and Syrin were still unfazed and so would he pretend to be.
Syrin stopped for a moment and squinted at something ahead. Stacey was so preoccupied with the eyes that he nearly bumped right into Mattias's back. He barely stopped himself in time and Syrin started walking again without a word or gesture. Mattias followed and Stacey held until there was space between them. What had Syrin seen? Or thought he saw? It made Stacey uneasy, and if he were forced to be totally truthful, a little afraid. Syrin never stopped for anything, so whatever he saw must have been something to be feared. Thought he saw, Stacey continued telling himself, he only thought he saw something.
The uneasiness still didn't go away though. Syrin didn't stop walking, but kept looking ahead like he was expecting something. An owl hooted, Mattias and Syrin never flinched, but Stacey almost jumped out of his skin. Why did they have to go in this wood? Why did they have to go anyway? Slavers or savers, Stacey no longer wanted to be a part of it.
Syrin stopped again. This time, Stacey was ready and tried to see what he was seeing. The stop was longer this time and Syrin cocked his head to look from different angles. Still focusing, Syrin made his hands into an odd looking fist and blew into it, making some kind of call Stacey didn't recognize. Mattias had his hand on the hilt of his sword, making Stacey start reaching for his carving knife. Syrin made the noise again and started walking. Mattias quickly followed, and just as Stacey was about to do so, something dark gripped him by the shoulders and carried him into the black of the forest.