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.
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The question is; What will she do to save the ones she loves?...
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4. Chapter One (part three)

 

The gentle trickling of flowing water could be heard clearly now, and it’s scent was stronger than iwhen I had first entered the forest. I’d always loved the scent of the little river, tucked away in the trees. It smelt of damp earth, fresh air and the vitality. The Rim always smelt like this during a rainstorm, the children running around outside, getting their first wash in days. To me, the stream smelt like life itself.

My father always taught me how important rivers are. The first time he had ever brought me into the forest, he told me that once you’d found water you could find everything else you needed to find. I hadn’t really understood the significance of it then. At six years old, I hung on his every word, ecstatic that he trusted me enough to bring me here. Being trusted was not something I had experienced before.

At the time, I thought he had finally had a change of heart. Or at least got fed up of my constant begging him to take me. Later, I figured out that he thought I needed a distraction from the empty room and haunting silence that waited for us at home. I know he did. He never seemed to leave the trees.

I felt tears well up in my eyes, put there by the haunting memories that haunted my dreams. I knew my train of thought had triggered them.

No.

I must not cry.

With a sudden urgency, I blinked them away. I was not quick enough.

One drop spilled out onto my cheek and fell to the floor. The moisture glistened on the dry, leaf strewn ground before sinking in, leaving nothing but a patch of dark, damp earth behind.

I stared at it for a few seconds, then turned away.

Kicking the leaves in frustration, I wiped my tear streaked face with my sleeve before sitting down on a nearby log.

Why?

Why can’t I be stronger than this?

I knew I was being completely irrational. That I was overreacting. But the thought that memories could break me… It made me sick.

I had always tried to be strong. I went into the forest when no one else dared to. I stood up to The Dictator’s soldiers when they abused their power. I kept myself alive when my parents couldn’t. I even kept others alive.

I knew everyone in The Rim thought I was strong. I’d seen the look of awe mixed with fear that transformed people’s faces as I walked past. Parents told their children to stay away from me. Obviously they didn’t want my ‘rebellious’ attitude to rub off on them.

I wonder what they’d say if they saw me cry. Probably that I was emotionally unstable.

 

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