Dovina whirled around and raced back toward the bridge. It was believed that the horseman couldn’t cross water, so if she could get over the bridge she should be okay. At least she hoped she’d be okay. She really didn’t have a choice, not with him blocking the path back to civilization.
Sweat coated her body as she ran faster than she’d ever run in her life. For once, she wished she were less of a bookworm and more of an athlete. The bridge got closer as pounding of the horse’s hooves got louder. A maniacal laugh cut through the dark. She heard the swish of his blade as he brandished it through the air.
She was going to die.
Damned if she would. Dovina dug deep and pushed harder. The muscles in her legs cramped, her lungs screamed as she managed to quicken her pace. Her heart was pounding at a furious rate as she scrambled toward the bridge. She jumped onto the wooden structure, not stopping until she was on the other side.
Only then did she glance behind her.
As if he’d been waiting for her, the horseman appeared on the far side of the bridge. Again, laughter filled the air. “You cannot escape me. I will have you.” His deep booming voice echoed through the woods, coming from nowhere, yet everywhere at the same time. The horse reared again and she took a step back.
The horseman reined in the horse and urged the great beast forward. It’s foreleg stepped on the wooden structure. Oh god, the water and the bridge wasn’t going to stop it. Real or ghost, it didn’t matter. It was after her.
The horse had placed only one hoof on the bridge when a massive shadow appeared in front of her, blocking her view of the horse and rider. Dovina blinked and the shadow coalesced into the body of a man. She shrieked, certain the horseman had dismounted and was almost upon her.
It was then she saw his head. Whoever this man was, he at least had a head. “Run. He has a sword.” For some reason, she felt compelled to warn this stranger who’d put himself between her and the deadly horseman.
“So do I,” came his gruff reply.