“Stop it with the self-reflection!” Cornflower was speaking. “I think we outran the fire.”

Acorn slowed just slightly so that he could look behind him. Sure enough, there was no fire left to be seen. In fact, it was nearly pitch black, and he had no idea where he was… where anyone was.

As the panic started to fade, the pain set back in. All of his joints hurt, and he was now thoroughly exhausted. He collapsed, anticlimactically, onto the wet soil.

“You’re completely exposed,” it pointed out. “We aren’t in any kind of shelter…”

“I can’t,” he choked out. “I can’t anymore.”

“Can you just… crawl a little more to the side, here? Maybe there’s a bush?”

He laid in the grass. All he could do was turn his head a little so that dirt didn’t get in his mouth.

It spoke again: “I don’t think anyone’s coming for us.”

It was right. He had already come to accept that. Whatever he had done to deserve this fate, he would just have to come to terms with it now, as the rain came down around him.