5:38 PM


EDIT: I'm not posting another until I get some sort of response. kthx

The first thing I did when I woke up was bang my head. Ow. High mats and low ceilings do not go well together. Outside, I heard someone yelling and the twang of a bowstring, followed by scuffling. Wary, I grabbed my sash and dashed outside, ready to face anything. Well…anything that didn’t have to do with thinking, at least. My head was still throbbing.
“What are you doing?” A girl yelled. An ember landed in her pixie-like hair, and she hastily smothered it. I followed the girl’s gaze to another girl, struggling fruitlessly to free herself from the grasp of two teens. I paused. Great. Thinking. Who was doing what? Who was she yelling at? “You almost burned down the whole town!” The girl, who I presumed was the culprit, seemed not to hear. She continued to struggle valiantly. A smoking arrow caught my attention. It lay off to the side, its stone head still faintly glowing. Stone…? How did stone catch fire? I decided not to think about it. My mind wasn’t functioning completely. I made a note to lower my mat later.
“My master commands it,” she said mechanically, “and so it shall be done.” Her eyes, the color of cocoa powder, seemed lifeless…soulless. A powerful gust sent long black hair flying into one of the boy’s faces; he coughed and spat out what he’d just inhaled. Her struggling intensified. Working as a team, the two boys managed pin her to the ground, and one of them sat on her back. Still, she struggled, like a flailing fish. I decided to help and held down her legs, for she’d been kicking the shorter boy.
“What’s your name?” The shorter one asked. He had black hair, cropped short, and brown eyes. He might have looked similar to the girl, but his skin was darker. The taller one, holding down her arms, had brown, almost black hair, slightly longer than the other’s. He had other brown eyes as well, and was only a little tanner than their prisoner. As she struggled, I noticed a circlet sitting on top of her head.
“My master commands it,” she repeated, “and so it shall be done.”
“What’s with the crown?” I asked. “Take it off.” The taller boy reached for the circlet.
“NO!” The girl roared, throwing off all three of us in a surge of strength. When I looked up again, she was fleeing towards the north part of the island. Without thinking (my brain still wasn’t working) I ran after her. The other three followed.
Although she wasn’t very fast, she kept a steady pace. I maybe could have caught up with her, but I managed to trip and fall flat on my face. Today just wasn’t my day. The two boys went on ahead, tailing her, but the other girl stayed behind.
“Are you alright?”
“Yeah.” I said. “Let’s keep going.” I could barely make out the two boys in the dense forest. “Before we lose them.”
We seemed to run forever. I was perfectly fine with it, but I could see that the other girl was not. We slowed to a jog and kept going. The taller one was slowing down as well; the shorter kept going, trying to keep pace with the girl until she tired. But she did not.
The sun was starting to set, and we were far enough into the forest that trees were all we could see in all directions. We’d lost her. The taller boy had given up and walked back to the two of us; it took a minute for the shorter to join us. It was too late to go back, and we were all exhausted.
“I still want to catch her.” The shorter one said unhappily.
“We’ll probably see her again.” I remarked. “It was like she was hypnotized or something.” The other girl had started a fire after clearing out a space, and we lapsed into an awkward silence.
“So…” The taller boy said. I chuckled nervously. “I’m Seth.”
“Valerie.” I replied.
“Bryan.” The other boy added.
“Masako.” The girl was tending the fire, coaxing it to grow a little larger. The fire cast orange flickering shadows on the vegetation around us, giving the illusion that the foliage was moving. I caught a glimpse of something that was definitely not a shadow outside of our little ring of light. A figure was holding a bow and nocking an arrow.
“Duck!” I hissed, and flung myself down. Seth, Bryan, and Masako followed suit. Not a second after I’d uttered the word, an arrow struck the tree trunk behind me. My sight had saved my neck. Quite literally. Quickly, I took a throwing knife from my sash and launched it towards the figure in the darkness. A soft gasp followed. Masako blanched, and the knife fell to the ground. The figure turned and melted into the trees.


Lucia said...