Small

My entry for the new picture prompt competition. Lara has been unimportant and small all her life. Now, she wants to escape. But what will she find out in the real world? (Please like and favourite, if it's not too much trouble. :) )
**This is NOT discontinued. Continued on any of the two regular fiction websites mentioned in my profile**

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10. New Land

Lara's eyes fluttered open by a fraction. What she saw through the two small slits was blurred, and it kept swaying.

Where am I? She thought. When she tried to speak she found her mouth had gone dry; her throat not even capable of mustering a hoarse cough. Her surroundings smelt of sweat, smoke, and congealed blood, which., in her opinion, wasn't a pretty combination. However, she had more important things on her mind-like why the earth was moving up and down, and how she was travelling without being able to move a muscle. She felt an arm wrapped around her back, and another around her legs. Someone was carrying her. Before she could absorb anything more about the journey, unconsciousness claimed her again.

 

Hours later, she awoke. The ground no longer shifted beyond her control, and the dazed feeling had disappeared. Her eyes surveyed the room, then did a double take when she saw it wasn't a room. She was lying on a cheap mattress that appeared to be minus a few springs, with grime spread over its creamy surface from the debris that surrounded her. The area itself smelled of damp. Something caught Lara's eye, and she realised it was a person-a man to be specific, sat with his back to the wall and his head between his knees. As soon as he noticed she was staring, his head shot up and a look of joy crossed it. He approached her, and for a moment she couldn't remember who he was, then it all came flooding back to her.

I'm a runaway, I met him-James-days ago, and while I've been having visions, we got attacked. She reminded herself.

 

"Hey, you okay?" James asked as he took a seat on the mattress.

"Not sure," Lara mumbled.

"How's your cheek? Healing?" she reached up to her cheek and felt around gently.

"It's gettting there. Where am I?"

"You're in the city," it took her a while to digest what he had just said.

"The city?" she gulped. Her hair fell over her face as she tried (and failed) to calculate just how far the city could be from St. Avorlina's. "I don't know exactly how far away we are, but I have a pretty good idea. We're ages away from anyone we know!"

"Anyone you know," James reminded her.

"I need to go and look something up," she said, trying to get away, in both meanings.

"Lara, wait-" when she tried to stand, a crippling pain bolted through her ankle. "I think you might have...caught...your ankle when we were dealing with that thing."

"Great," she said, ignoring the fact that she had no idea what thing he was talking about. She'd ask him later, that's what she'd do.

 

Who-knows-how-long had passed, and cold started to drift down the alleyway to Lara and James' hideaway. It made Lara shiver, but she stayed put nonetheless. However, James had grown tired of sitting around.

"Come on, we're leaving," he said, offering his arm out to her so she could stand. Thankful, she took it and used it to support her as she limped along beside him.

"Where are we going?" she asked, seeing that they were moving out of the alley and onto the pavement of a busy road.

"To find somewhere to stay."

"I thought we already had somewhere to stay."

"Well, we're finding somewhere new."

"If you're thinking of a hotel, we don't have any money," Lara reminded him while she shook the pockets of the thin cardigan she wore.

"No," he countered slowly. His finger pointed to a building at the edge of Lara's vision. When her eyes fell on it, she saw it was homeless.

At least we look the part. She thought.

 

As the two stepped through the doors, butterflies hatched in Lara's stomach. What if they could tell she wasn't homeless? What if someone was going to die if they weren't taken in, and she was using that space up? It just felt wrong. But the shelter itself was wonderful. The aroma of freshly cooked food hung in the air, and the heat from the fireplace came as a welcomed delight to Lara. James approached the desk while she continued to take in the room, standing there like a lost puppy.

"We've got a room," James' whisper startled her.

"Are you trying to kill me?" she replied with equally low volume, stuffing her hands into her pockets. It was all she could do to avoid jumping like she was insane. James just chuckled a strained sort of chuckle and pulled her along to their room. Before them they saw a small, moderately up-to-date thing similar to a cupboard.

At least it's something. James thought.

"So what did you have to research?" he probed as soon as the door had swung shut behind them.

"Do you ever give up?" she marvelled at his ability to be persistent. His grin said 'no'. "Something I saw."

"What do you mean by saw?"

"I mean as in sight. You know, people use these two things called eyes to do it."

"That's not what I meant," he made a note to not fall into that trap again. "You said 'saw' in a funny way. And I don't mean the funny that goes with the word hilarious."

"I had a 'vision'. I know, I know, it's sounds like I'm as insane as those who believe in voodoo, but I'm telling the truth." she picked at the corner of the blanket that was draped over the bed, entwining her fingers in the loose threads made by people before her who had obviously the same idea.

 

"A vision?!" came James' surprised tone. He looked as though he had only just managed to stifle a laugh. Lara nodded.

"With a voice in it."

"Go on then. What did it say?" he challenged.

"Something about a man. He was in love, and something went wrong."

"That's it?" he looked shocked-to say the least.

"What do you expect? One of those I'm-Aladdin's-Genie Visions?"

"Well, no... It's just..." his hand came up to itch his scalp at the awkward atmosphere.

"I think the voice wanted me to find out about him." she said, then looked at James. He seemed to be thinking.

"What if it meant to warn you about him? What if that something was violent?"

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