We humped it through the woods a ways. We found a lot of horse tracks leading out just as the sun was dropping down below the trees. We had to navigate by wits and starlight after that. Didn’t realize we had trekked so far out from the tent village.
Found the militia camp almost by scent and accident. We fanned out until I gave the boys the all clear with a whippoorwill call. Looked as if the land pirates lit out about an hour before we arrived but not before doing something awful to somebody.
We found a tree in the center of their camp with nails driven into it and dried blood with flies blowing around and a few bits of teeth on the ground nearby. Figure they had their fun with the old man who they escorted up to the top of the ridge. We were scratching our heads until our fingers bled over the why and the how of their sudden disappearance when we heard something, a sound of crackling fire in the distance to the north.
It was off in the trees, getting louder by the minute, and making the hair stand up on my arm. I looked at Ryan and the boys in the moonlight and we all felt the same. That’s when the clicking sound got louder and we heard some kind of buzzing as a cloud of kicking, biting, black hell rained down on us and caused us to light out of there like John Force in a nitromethane funny car.
We knew we had to get to the water to make the biting stop.