Always for her

She moved slowly, like her muscles wouldn’t work quickly enough. She wiped a strand of red hair out of her brown vacant eyes, she looked like she was falling and struggling to focus. I wrapped her hands around mine, ruined and cut. Her hands where slow and unmoving as she watched up into my watery eyes. My stomach’s tossing; I look into her eyes as she smiles uncharacteristically,
“I’m sorry, Lilac.” She whispered croakily in small quick gasps, her voice stuttering and her eyes attempting to smile, her cracked lips began to bleed. I nodded,
“No, Hope. Stay still.” I say worriedly, propping her head up with ripped bloody jacket, pushing her shoulder down slightly but firmly. She nodded hesitantly; the bloody gorge in her stomach stopped her chest from moving in and out. I don’t want to cry, I am strong. I was strong. But seeing her dying face in my ruined arms, made my heart collapse. She was the closest thing I had to hope, and now she was dead. Her name, Hope. I knew once she smiled

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19. A Bargain for a Life

 

“Wake up.” Lloyd whispered into my ear carefully. It was still dark, but I could see the sun would be rising soon. I blinked a few times allowing my eyes to adjust to the damp darkness of the early morning. Our camp wasn’t big, we didn’t dare light a fire. I lay in the sleeping bag, his hand looped around my mine. I changed quickly. It was weird without Hope, I assumed it was less softhisicated.

“Were to?” I asked, as I pulled on my holey socks and comfortable hunting boots.

“I don’t know.” he said. I blinked.

“I know.” I said, truthfully I don’t rember myself saying so. He looked at me, I continued “To find Hope and Harmony.”

 

 

 

 

 

Part III

 

Pain, love and loss – was all I felt. Our belongings stored in the furthest tree, with my ribbon looped around the sixth highest branch and Lloyd’s most uncomfortable pair of socks sat like a nest in the middle of the crooked branches – just so we didn’t forget. Hope’s files where in my satchel which was slung over my shoulder along with other important belongings. I sat on the largest rock, that over looked the running water fall. Her stuff beside me, Lloyd was skimming rocks. I shifted through the masses of information until I found a file labelled ‘consequences’. I hesitated before undoing the seal. Hope had never spoken to me about these, I wondered if she had left them for me to open and to read. Maybe they where unimportant, but for some reason, I doubted that. My finger slid under the seal, slitting it and opening the package. I bit my lip worriedly and then pulled out the information. Her neat handwriting collided with computer copies. I wondered how long she had this. My fingers went to the first sack of information.

 

 

21/09/1972: A report by Samantha Kendie-

 

I don’t know what to do. The dates have been decided for us to fight. They announced the possibilties that the chosen item we would all be fighting for would be a human. They want us to fight for a human – to kill for a person. Don’t deny, Lily didn’t and she’s still alive,

 

I hesitated and blinked, the report was originally written by my aunt. Lily Kendie – my mother, she kept her maiden name when she married my father. She was proud. I shook my head. My mother didn’t fight, my mother was a normal. She wouldn’t send me here on choice. I continued to read.

 

Her old files have been kept and published. I rarely see her. she once came on an opening evening, I think they may stop them from now on though because we set the kitchen on fire.

 

29/09/1998: One name, of one person and hunders have to die. Its wrong. The founding group, the leaders of the fight, information has been researched about them, people say they don’t exist. But they are leaders, they pick the name, they decide. They want young fighters, if you survive they want you to fight for them for them to join. They are nicknamed ‘Occidere’.

 

I gasped. My aunt researched this information. There was a leadership of people, nicknamed the ‘Occidere’. They decided on the person to be killed, because they thought they where strong. In her files was a small subtitle titled ‘Occidere’ I began to read more rapidly now.

 

There is a inner circle named the Occidere. Many support them, mainly out of fear but there is an inner circle. They collect the survivors of the fight. If the survivor denies they have to promise to enter their children into the school when they turn 14. If they do not have children they must submit a family member to join the training school. If the Occidere where defeated it would not be definite that the training school would stop as there is a loop. There are ten original founders of the Occidere, in generations the children will be recruited.

 

I blinked five times. Adjusting my emotions. My mother didn’t put me through this with choice, she didn’t join the Occidere but she survived the fight. I flicked through the pages until  I found a more recent document that had been filled along with my aunts stuff.

 

Nobody knows. I know. Its me. Every child that falls under the last name Kendie will have to be the item that their fellow trainees must fight over. I am that person. In order for the fight to be over, I must die.

 

I don’t know what happened. I already knew that information. My mind buzzed, my head ached and my body was sore.

“What is it?” Lloyd asked. I shook my head defeated.

“There is no way I can live through this.” I whispered. He picked up the documents I had been reading and registered them each.

“What else is there?” He asked. I hesitated and turned to the wallet and pulled out another report. This one was written by a girl named Henna Kendie, a year after Samantha died. She was a long lost cousin of mine, now dead. I shifted through more information. I paused, my fingers fell on a different document. Callie Kendie, born in 1990. My sister. I chocked. Lloyd blinked, the moment was a tense one, but I didn’t want to be alone

“Its alright.” He whispered. I began to sob. That wasn’t me, I didn’t cry. But there I sat my head in hands.

“You don’t have to die.” He replied, kissing my forehead. I turned to him

“They’ve won. I give up, Lloyd. I can’t protect you, Hope, whilst I live. I have to die.” I whispered tears rolled down my cheeks.

“I don’t believe that.” He replied, holding me in his arms.

“I’m so sorry, but I can’t live, Lloyd. You must understand that.” I whispered, he looked into my eyes

“No. I don’t.”

“Try. Do that for me.”

“I can’t live with out you, Lilac.” He whispered.

“You have to.” I stuttered.

“I refuse to.” He whispered.

“Take care of Hope. Find her, and protect her, don’t let her die.” I whispered. He shook his head.

“You can’t stop fighting.” He told me, I looked at him, with no happiness in rung in my empty smile

“I never began.” I replied softly.

“Your being weak.” He looked at me with confusion on his beautiful face. I looked at him insulted

“How could you say that?” I demanded confused.

“Your not fighting, Lilac. This isn’t the girl I fell in love with.” He replied, I held onto his hand. But he managed to pull away

“Fell in love with?” I demanded, “I was unaware you stopped loving me.” I said my voice harsh and cruel.

“You taking the easiest route. Since when did you that?” He demanded angrily.

“I have to die, Lloyd. What don’t you understand?” I hissed, I felt annoyed and confused. Why was he doing this to me?

“No, Lilac. You taught me how to fight. Try being different again, don’t let them own you. Do that for me.” He said. I didn’t watch him walk away. I knew he would come back, so I didn’t bother running after him. I pushed myself to the end of the rock, millions of miles was exposed before me, downwards. All I had to was jump and then it would all be over, then it would be the end. My foot hovered.

 

“Jump, and everyone dies.” the voice was brutal and rough. To be honest I almost jumped off the edge in surprise. I turned around

“Oh, Solomon. I thought you where dead, or I hoped.” I said smiling with fake happiness.

“Too bad half of these deaths are fake.” He said with the same smile on his lips. It suited him.

“Oh well, I could do it again just as easily, just to check.” I said with a wink of annoyance. He sighed and pointed to a different poor boy that I didn’t recognise. His sandy coloured hair covered half of his hair. I rembered Solomon avidly, he always scared me.

“Found out what you want yet?” I asked tauntingly,

“Yes actually.” He said smiling raising an eyebrow

“So why do want me alive?” I hissed.

“Did they not tell you that part?” He asked. “Your little friend Hope spilled everything.” I blinked confused. Hope had bargained my life

“You have her.” I whispered.

“Did.” He replied. I jumped for my arrow, luckily my fingers wove around the soft wood that had been my comfort for so many years I couldn’t rember.

“Calm down, now. Easy there.” He said holding up one finger.

“If Hope is dead, so are you? Okay?” I said. He raised the same eyebrow again

“Fine. She’s not dead. But she’s almost as good as.” He admitted.

“What did you do to her?” A growl at the back of my throat irrupted. I felt scared. Hope had bargained my life. Brought me time, a chance to live. I assume she had been planning it for a while, just in case. But I wondered if she played the card right? Making them believe it just at the right moment, how much torture she went through for a lie that could buy me time.

“Nothing, everything.” He said cockily. My fingers couldn’t help them self. The arrow escaped my held in the bow. It hit the boy beside him, he collapsed on the floor weakly.

“Now, I’ll ask you again. What did you do to her?” I hissed. He smiled

“Didn’t you get the hint, she choose, she’s with me now, okay?” He demanded. I put on my best surprised look. But personally I decided she had done another lie, along with another acting skill.

“Carefully now there, I don’t play the same rules as you do.” I said just as cockily. But he got the hint. We where now alone. I hoped Lloyd would be avoiding me for a while. I avoided making to much noise.

“I could take your life easily.” He said. I grinned

“Good to know we both understand each other then.” I said my smile was all to fake, but he brought all of it.

“Are you going to come with me then?” he asked almost spectically. I laughed mockingly and shook my head.

“Its not as easy as that.” I said watching him my eyes hovered and then I sighed and dropped my gaze

“You want me alive?” I asked. He nodded and didn’t say anything to my ultimate surprise. “Then you’ll have to catch me.. Okay?” I explained. He looked at me confused. “If I am going to die, its going to be my way...”I said. He watched me dazed.

“What do you mean?” He asked as he approached me slowly. I didn’t move. I just watched him just as carefully as he watched me

“I have to die, Solomon.” I whispered a tear rolled down my cheek.

“I don’t understand.” He asked, extending an arm,

“I don’t want to.” I whispered weakly, it was working.

“Come with me.” He replied, “We’ll run away. I won’t kill you.” He whispered. I watched him

“Your lying.” I said harshly. He shook his head

“I’d love you, Lilac. I’d never let you die.” He traced me with his eyes worriedly.

“You’d love me?” I asked completely

“It wouldn’t be difficult.” He said. I didn’t know whether this was a compliment or not. But I smiled anyway

“Thank you. But if I die, you are going to have to explain why. Okay?” I asked. He raised an eyebrow

“You don’t trust me.” He said annoyingly, I smiled half-heartedly

“No, not really.” I said smiling. He watched me carefully, trying to figure out if I was joking.

“Can you promise me something?” I asked. He nodded, I wound my fingers through his carefully “I want you to promise you will stop this fight as soon as my heart stops beating. Okay?” I whispered. He nodded carefully.

“I never wanted you to die, Lilac.” He whispered. I nodded and wrapped my fingers tightly around his to both of our surprise

“Just keep your promise and then it’ll all be okay.” I whispered. He held me so tightly, that I was worried he wouldn’t release me, the last thing I expected him to do was to raise my hand to his lips and for him to kiss my hands, like a gentleman. 

“Of course.” He whispered. I watched him and nodded and tightened our grip, I smiled slowly at him as I repeated the words that almost got him killed last time: “Trust me.” I grabbed my bow and arrow and with one step, I didn't hesitate. I jumped. 

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