"Sarah! Come back here... I am not done with you!" I could here Mistress' voice screaming from the down the hall, I had to see what had become of Annabelle. I sprung for the window, as I landed on the outside the house my mind began rapidly planning an escape plan. I knew that after conversation between Mistress and I ended that I would have to leave, or I would surely be in harm's way. I immediately for the stables, I was going to need a horse if I was going to make it far enough away by night, as I turned the corner to enter the stable I was stopped in my tracks by sound of small movements in a dark corner. "Sarah...." With my mind moving so quickly I was tempted to ignore the voice but my the compassion that I was born with would not let me. I huddled down to the corner, staying low to the ground in case I would have to hurry into hiding. As I approached the small figure, as I got closer I could hear the voice whimpering as if the person had been crying for some time. I as i got close enough to see, the figure was Master's son Nicholas. "Little Nicholas what are you doing out here? Its late you should be in the house, your mother is probably worried sick, why dont you run along, hurry up now, c'mon, go'on..." as I tried to pull him from off the floor, he fought me to stay in his corner. He just began to lose composure and began to silently bawl. "Nicholas, I cant stay out here much longer, I got to go, please you got to get up." he turned his head from me. "I tried to stop him...." he said through his tears. "Who Nicholas? who?" I tried to rush his words by speaking quickly, I didnt have much time left. He help out his hands, they were covered in blood, I looked down in his lap to see a bloody knife from the kitchen. "He kept trying to hurt her, I didnt want her hurt, I love Annabelle, I just wanted to help her" I couldnt find any words to say. My mind was moving to fast to even begin to question him as to what had happened before I found him. "Come with me, we are going to leave this place..." I said as I moved towards the horses, "Right now?" he said confused he stood to his feet. "Theres no time like the present," I said as I mounted one of the steads, "and in this present, I dont have much time! C'mon!" I reached my hand down to pull him up on my horse and we took off. Riding into the wilderness, the cold evening air thrashing against my face, and the Mistress behind me I was off to find my flower.
We followed a trail along the river that ran from the pond in the back of the camp. We had to have traveled about 20 miles just from the night until daylight. The horse needed rest, and I needed answers.When we got a little closer to a clearing in the woods, I got off the horse so that she may rest. I reached down with my hands into the river to gather water to slash my face. I looked over to see Nicholas washing his hands. I watched him, he was still quite shaken. He scrubbed and scrubbed but the blood stained his skin and clothes. Once he realized it wouldnt wash, he began to cry again. I approached him and began to console him. He cried into my bosom silently.I gave him some time to gather himself, and I turned his head to me. "Tell me what happened.... he exhaled, and turned his face to the water. "It started when she first moved into the house. She was happy, full of life, singing and dancing throughout the house as she completed her chores. She would sing us songs as she cooked for us. Matthew and I would just watch her, she was something else.... But father hated her. He was brutal with his punishments, if he caught her singing or dancing, he would beat her, sometimes until she would bleed. Mother would always tell him not to mark her face, because she wanted to stay pretty." My heart sunk, I had a horrible feeling that the story ending would have my heart standing still. he continued. "So one day he told her, If she angered him again, he would cut her. With his short temper it seemed that he was looking for any reason to bring the blade to her arm. He cut her arms, the back of her legs, and he would always tell her if she screamed he would cut her again." I stood to my feet and faced the sky, wrapping my arms around myself as if to console myself. The tears began to fall from my eyes but I couldnt make a sound. As he continued to tell me the story, all I could think about was that I let them hurt my flower, pluck her away petal by petal. In my mind this was my fault. I let them take away Jim Paul and now I let them take away my Annabelle. he continued. "Last night he came in the field, enraged about something, he wouldnt explain to us what was wrong, he kept saying, Where, Where is she? Annabelle came from the closet where she sleeps and stood in the hall. I could see from the doorway of my room her standing there silently crying, trying to prepare herself for the brutality. I couldn't take it anymore. I jumped from bed and before could make his cut I grabbed his hand. We began to fight, rolling around battling for the knife. I screamed for her to run, She made her way to the door only to find my mother standing there blocking the doorway. She took off for the side room we heard the glass from the window breaking. It distracted my father long enough for me to snatch the knife from his hand and stab him. I just took off, first I searched the whole plantation, I couldn't find her anywhere. So I thought I would hide in the barn to see if she would appear by the morning." I throw my arms around him. I help him close to my heart, because he had earned his place there now. I looked in him the eyes, while holding his face, and just stared at him. "Thank you.....Thank you. You had done a great thing, greater than any man I know, and for that I am forever grateful to you.You saved my Annabelle's life." I kissed his forehead and held him again. "Now we both have a long road ahead of us. We have got to be swift, and smart, or else we will surely be caught. Now we much find Annabelle before its too late." He looked up at me, "But how, she just took off, We dont have a clue which way she went she just..." but before he could finish, I interrupted him. "You must believe! Have faith! Just as we are here, she too is out there, on the run, and I know our paths will cross. Never loose faith, and faith will never loose you." He shook his head in agreement, and we made our way back to the horse. My journey with Nicholas had just began. We sent out to find a flower in the middle of winter.