Death’s Apprentice – Part 58

She rolled her eyes. ‘Ideas so we don’t lose each other. IN. THE. FOG.’ She said the last words very slowly.

I’m not stupid, thought Joe, but unless he came up with an idea, and fast, he would end up looking stupid. Think, think, THINK!

Breadcrumbs? He thought to himself. No, crap idea. No doubt some shitty insects or birds would eat the trail. What about…

‘Got any string?’

‘Why on earth would I bring string?’

He shrugged. ‘They use a line when people go cave diving-‘

‘What has cave diving got to do with this?’

There was another howl.

‘Well, cave divers lay a line of string down so when visibility gets really low they can-‘

‘Still find there way back,’ finished Agnes. She ruffled his hair. ‘You’re not as stupid as you look, are you?’

‘But have we got any?’

‘What?’

‘String.’ God, thought Joe, this was getting really difficult. This is why he prefered working on his own.

‘You want string? I can give you string. Look in your bag.’

Joe stared at Agnes for a second. He knew there was no string in his bag. Why on earth was she pretending there was?

‘Go on then.’

Joe sighed and did as he was told. He took the bag off his back and unzipped it. He peered inside and low and behold there was a ball of string in there. A big ball of crimson string. He put his hand in and retrieved it.

‘How did you…?’

Agnes just winked at him. ‘Come on then, no time like the present.’ She held her hand out.

It was the first time he’d noticed that her hands were decorated in intricate patterns that reminded him of Henna tattoos. He placed the ball of string on the palm of her hand.

She took the string and began to tie it around the nearest tree. It looked like a tall Beech tree to Joe. It was very tall, and silver with pockmarked bark. There were no leaves on it so that it looked like a skeleton. If trees had skeletons, that’s what they’d look like, thought Joe. Once she’d finished she gave the string a ping with her finger.

‘Seems strong enough,’ she said. ‘It reminds me of that Greek myth. You know the one, Hel?’

‘You mean the one with Ariadne?’

‘Yes, that’s the one, except everyone knows it as the Theseus and the Minotaur myth when, in fact, if it hadn’t been for Ariadne giving Theseus the thread he would never have been able to find his way back out of the maze.’ Agnes looked off into the distance before adding, ‘ Bloody typical.’

‘And how did it end for Ariadne?’ asked Hel.

‘He abandoned her,’ said Agnes, looking straight at Joe.

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