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


3. Chosen Hope Or Reluctant Hope



“Your late, Miss Kendie.” The sharp voice said, I shook my head and smiled smartly.


 I walked through the arched doorway and looked across the ‘training field’ it wasn’t much of a field as much. It was more of glass tank with racecourses. The field was divided into 14 different sections, each separated by the glass shields. The course was a mile long.


“If you mean by late on time Miss, then yes. I’m late.” Her eyebrows knitted together at my rudeness, not that I really cared. The girls where assembled outside their pods, some of the girls shot confused glances in my direction. I smiled sweetly, although they all knew I was nothing but ‘sweet’. Even the word made me feel ill, it reminded me to much of Gemma Perks, who ended up dead. I took my space labelled 14B, my code. Picking up my knife, I looked at the course ahead of me, four hurdles, six easy distractions, two manikins and two targets. Easy!

“Now 1st position.” Trainer Hartpon barked loudly, I pulled into the first position, my fist extended, I jumped, the hurdle appeared in front of me, I tumbled and tossed, my knife still in an extend in my arm, I aimed it at the manikin that appeared two meters ahead of me, hitting it the heart so it collapsed backwards lying on the floor, I could see through the glass wall that the other girls where slightly behind me. So I kept running, jumping over another hurdle, soon a ditch came into sight, I leapt. Landing in crouch I kept running, jumping and tumble-turning I appeared at the foot of the glass door. The doors opened automatically and then there was a small gathering area. I was the first to arrive. Soon later three others appeared a girl with long blonde, one with short spiky black hair and finally the girl with red hair. The others came in drifts; the longest it took was ten minutes fifty five seconds. Trainer Harpton watched all of us and then began shouting loudly at us, clearly attempting to drill it into our heads “You have three weeks of training, and then you must fight” or die “They want something we have. It must remain hidden and valuable.” there’s always something that will never truly be there’s “and you will get it. It will be held here, two teams, you fight for us” and survival “or die.” She said harshly her strict voice sounded deadly, again the girl with red hair glanced at me.


Every year, before we graduate we have to fight, I was strong, fast and crafty. Half the year would be dead before the hour had started. We must fight until the last person standing, can either protect or receive the item. I never understood why they did this, it was a competition, I was told. The leader of the school will want to see how strong we are, but they make up excuses. The lesson was long and hard working, the second part of the lesson was fighting skills. I fought and I mostly won, then the shriek came. The red girl, stood her back to me, beside her was a girl with brown woven hair, the knife we had been using cut over her shoulder and right over her heart. She would be dead in seconds, but the school only cared that they had lost a player. The girl with the blonde hair was now focusing on me, I looked away confused.


I could see the pain in her eyes, the deep cut in her flesh, her lips turning blue, her fingers filled with dirt. The girl with red hair was now watching me to, she didn’t act.

“Over.” Our instructor called, pleased to escape the scene I hurried down, past the changing rooms; I pushed past the other girls and exited towards the running stream in the hill. But as I approached the barbed wire, someone caught my hand. I spun around, for some reason I felt angry and used. The girl with red hair stood there, the bloody knife in her belt not to different to mine. I watched her

“Come to kill me?” I say, she looks hurt

“That was training.” She says,

“It doesn’t make a difference. You killed her!” I say, I never really cared for her. I cared that the red head girl showed no sympathy to killing the blonde haired girl.

“You’re not going to survive a second if you don’t kill in the fight.” She spoke harshly, her lips curling smiling,

“Look, I don’t need you telling me what I need to do.” I said, snapping receiving my knife out, Red laughed

“You’re seriously going to fight Me.” she said swinging her knife around, so I went for her neck, pushing her against the bench it collapsed under the force of her weight,

“Yes.” I said, but I gave up and let her go, she smiled and shoved her knife back in her pocket

“Could you show me something?” Red says standing up,

“What?” I demanded, my eyes flashing angrily

“What’s in your satchel?” she asked wondering over to the wall with the growing Isis up the wall

“Why?” I snapped pursing my lips tight; wanting to escape and speak to Lloyd instead of this red head whose name I had forgotten

“Because I want to show you something. Get out you bow and arrow.” She demanded, this time she wasn’t asking. I watched her; she didn’t say anything for what seemed liked ages and then I slowly my mud covered hands I began to undo my buckle and then I produced her with my bow and arrow.

“Go and stand there.” She demanded, reaching for my bow she pointed to the corner, pulling the string back, I hesitated. She was doing to wrong, her fingers weren’t in the correct place. I moved,

“Watch.” I say my eyes tracing hers unsure, I clutched the bow against my chest and then pulling the bow back, the arrow in the correct place and released it; hurtling forwards it caught a strand of her red hair. She smiled, I grinned

“My name is Hope.” She said raising her eyebrows in a mocking way that made me smile slightly, and for the first time in ages, I felt hope.





I didn’t sleep well that night, it rained too much and I was still freezing the stiff Hessian bedcover didn’t warm me. I climbed out of bed, I glanced around the quiet dorm, pulling on my blue cotton shirt, rough trousers and uncomfortable leather boots over my night gown, I moved towards the door. But someone behind me cleared their throat

“Going somewhere?” It was Hope. I sighed annoyed and turned around

“Yes, I need some fresh air.” She changed quickly, I didn’t know whether to leave her, but if I didn’t it would make more noise and wake more girls. Not the attention I needed or for that matter particularly wanted. We managed to escape, dodging the man on night patrol. I was careful about my words, but I had never been close to someone at the boarding school before and some how I wanted to share my secrets with Hope. We went through the courtyard, our previous meeting rung in our heads as I pried open the barbed wire and we both slithered through. I thought of taking her to the village and then an idea came to my mind. If we escaped we could be shot, we didn’t leave the area. The staff where allowed on these grounds so this didn’t exactly classify as ‘escaping’.  We climbed the hill, and I lead her to the running stream. Hope was fascinated, she had been at the school for six years and not once had she escaped. I was embarrassed by her excitement, I often escaped during training.

“Come on,” I said leading up the rocks and clambering onto the top, where a waterfall was falling gracefully creating patterns in the water. I perched myself on the highest rock, my legs hanging over the edge of the firm rock. Hope grinned and sat down beside me

“I have wanted to leave for so long, and now I have.” She whispered, and then smiled. Her smile didn’t last long, her happy face soon turned thoughtful and then hurt

“Why do they do this to us?” she asked, I didn’t know the real answer, but I often thought of theories

“It’s all a fight. We are players, they don’t need us. I don’t know where we’ll be killed. But it’ll be a blood-thirsty scene for killers.” I whispered truthfully.

“Are you going to fight?” she asked, my answer was already out my mouth before I had fought to much

“Well, I wasn’t going to hide.” I said strongly my head high. She smiled,

“My mother died when I was a baby, I was there. She was shot. I remember it. They wanted something. But they didn’t find It.” she said, my eyes watered. Why was I here? My parents where still alive, my mother was an accountant my father worked for a printing company for books. They didn’t want a daughter, I always assumed. But as Lloyd chucked me the book yesterday, my eyes went to the publishing page back in our dorm. Published by Earl Richardson companies. My father had worked there. I smiled to her

“At least you’re alive.” I said kindly, it wasn’t like me. I was a cruel person, who didn’t care for others feelings. I was abandoned; I was forced to never feel love. So why did I care so much? About Lloyd, about Hope.

“We ought to get back. They’ll be waking soon.” I said, truthfully I was cold and rather tiered and my conversation had made be begin to think.





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