The City (On Hold)

Ariana lives in The City. The people there are oppressed by The Dictator and fearful of his Ritual. But soon, their fear is fading and they are no longer willing to suffer in silence. When rebellion breaks out, Ariana runs to freedom, leaving The City, and her family, to burn. Having lost everything she has ever known, she accidently stumbles upon her gift and unknowingly enters a world in which she is more than the daughter of a drunk.
The question is; What will she do to save the ones she loves?...
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2. Chapter One (part one)



The sun peered through the thick canopy of leaves, creating bright patches of light in the otherwise green tinted air of the forest that surrounded The City.

I weaved my way through the trees, taking great care in where I placed my feet, attempting to be as silent as possible. I breathed in, inhaling the comforting scent of the woods I was travelling through. It smelt of dry earth, fresh plants, summer berries and the underlying hint of water, despite the fact it had not rained in over a month. Because of this I knew I was close.

 I picked a cluster of the small red berries, whose fruity fragrance infused the air, and popped one into my mouth. I ran my tongue over the surface of the summer fruit, enjoying the smooth texture, before biting into it. The soft flesh gave way easily under the gentle pressure, then the sweet, sticky juice ran down my throat and moistened my tongue. Not only did the round, crimson fruit quench my thirst, but it was also flavoursome. I had to remember to gather some on my way home.

At the sound of rustling leaves, almost undetectable to even my heightened hearing, I stopped dead. My hand flew up to the hilt of my knife I kept in my belt whilst hunting. I gripped it tightly, but did not pull it out of its sheath. The noise would alert my enemy to my position and, even though I could probably win, I would rather avoid a fight if possible.

 I stayed still, breathing as silently as possible. Every now and then there was a small sound of a twig breaking or leaves being kicked into the air. And they were getting louder. The last noise had to be a little over twenty metres away.

 I sighed and drew my knife, the soft scrape of metal echoing slightly through the small clearing I was standing in. There was no getting out of it now. Conflict was imminent.

 I settled into a defensive stance,  one foot in front of the other, my back foot turned slightly, allowing me to run if necessary, and crouched low to the ground so as to attack my enemy under their defences. Hopefully.  I readied myself to throw my knife. I was no good at knife to knife combat (any other weapon is a different story), but my aim is excellent and throwing it gave me a definite advantage. Anyway, I had another knife concealed in my boot, not to mention the bow and quiver full of arrows on my back.

The leaves of the bush opposite me trembled slightly, indicating to me that the person who was about to have my knife lodged in their thigh was coming through the thick bushes and into the small space I was standing in.    And then I burst out laughing.

It was a rabbit.  A fluffy, innocent, harmless little rabbit. Practically a baby.

He looked up at me, his nose twitching and whiskers almost brushing the leaf covered forest floor, and for a second I thought about killing him.

I brushed that thought away immediately. He had barely any meat on him and by the end of the day I would have so much I would barely be able to carry it. One little rabbit wouldn't make a difference. Not to mention the fact that any rabbit who could fool me into thinking that he was person walking deserved a chance at life.

I stood up straight and slid my knife back into the sheath that was hanging at my hip.


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