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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16. Grace's Saviour

 

The weather was damp but warm. It had a kind of itching feel about it, the plants where covered in a thin layer of damp fog and the sky was unclear from where I sat hidden inside a fallen tree. Hope was squashed in another tree less than ten centimetres away from me and truthfully I didn’t know where Lloyd was. I think he was sitting in a tree to my left not very far though watching. Its our clocking hour. We take turns to watch and look out for any fires. Targeting the bigger fires. Our plan of ‘clocking’ hasn’t existed for very long. Maybe four days. We had come across nobody. My shift started in less that an hour. So I rolled around in my moss covered bed and waited. It began to get slightly darker; I could hear the distance clicking of bugs and the fading singing of birds. Then I heard Lloyd’s gentle familiar footsteps as he jumped out of the tree and gracefully came and sat beside me. I rolled out slightly, going face first into a pile of damp leaves. I climbed the tree quickly, not looking down. I perched on the lowest branch I could find and began to look or ‘clock’. I allowed my mind to wonder.

 

I had been trapped in here for about five weeks now. No proper shelter, no decent food and no true clean water. I was begging to get used to the earth beds and the small amount of meat and greenery we caught. But my throat longed for some pure water. I rested my head on the bark on the trunk of the tree and listened and waited for something to happen. We hadn’t come up with a plan recently because of me. They where allowing me to do everything. I considered leaving again, but I already knew they would be hurt for helping me in the first place. They where better off with me.

So for their safety I wasn’t going anywhere. I didn’t really like to think about it, I wanted to go down with a fight. But that would be the death of loved ones. I considered drowning or falling by ‘mistake’.

 

But that would be worse I decided. So I sat allowing people to die around me.

 

I picked up some of the berries and ate the small red berries. They weren’t ones I was particularly fond of but Hope explained they healed.

 

I sat there for a few more minutes. Then I heard the soft crackling of twigs behind us about half a kilometre away. I sprung out of the tree and grabbed my bow and sprinted off into the trees in the direction of the noise.

 

I didn’t think for a second that it might have been bad news or a trap. I stood and listened slightly. Nothing. I turned to retreat slightly, then I noticed something in the tree glistening. I slung my bow over my shoulder and began climbing ready to fight if I needed to. I clung to the cruel bark that wore away my finger nails. It glimmered in the twilight, I climbed faster. I perched on the lowest branch and then I focused on the object. It was a small parcel. I extended my hand, grasping the newspaper that was wrapped around the small package.

 

 I undid the string, placing it beside me and wrapped the newspaper. It was three potatoes, one small jar of sauce, three tiny rolls and then there was a piece of paper, I’ll watch for you now. Confused I jumped out of the tree and began my run back to camp.

“Hope, Lloyd! Wake up!” I said, Hope’s eyes fluttered open and she finally focused on me. Lloyd’s eyes opened instantly as if to alert danger

“What is it?” he demanded, looking around worriedly. I shook my head and sat down on the leaves that where in the middle of the circle of logs and unwrapped the parcel again and lay it out on the floor. Hope’s eyes widened in amazement, but Lloyd looked worried and picked up the note.

“This was the person that saved Gracea.” He said, I looked at him confused

“What?” I asked shocked and extended my hand hoping to find an initial I missed or something. But he turned away. I looked at him confused

“You left. That could have been a trap, Lilac.” He whispered. I sighed and nodded

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to.” I replied and turned to Hope. But the anger in his voice shocked me that I didn’t open my mouth

“No, Lilac you where going off on a suicide mission.” He yelled back

“Why do you care so much?” I yelled confused,

“Because I love you.” He replied loudly

“Well maybe that’s the problem.” I replied and dropped my bow and broke off into a run. I didn’t know where I was going, but I stopped when I came to a small spring and curled up and started to cry.

 

Hope found me and wrapped a soft gentle blanket around me. She didn’t bother making me move; I just lay there and covered my face with the blanket. I lay on the leaves wondering what it would be like if my parents cared about me. I wondered how I was picked to be the ‘prize’ or how I was still alive. No answers came because the answers didn’t exist.

“Here.” Hope said, passing me a small roll covered with the sauce. I shook my head

“I’m not hungry.” I lied. Truthfully I am starving but I had a feeling if I aint anything it would come back up.

“Well can I check your wound?” She asked setting the food aside and got down on her knees. I nodded and pulled up my top, her reaction didn’t shock me. it was a muffled gasp

“its worse, isn’t it?” I asked, she shook her head,

“No. Its not. But it’s a symbol.” She replied, I looked at her as I turned around

“What?” I asked confused

“It’s an apple laced with blood.” She whispered. I gasped, the symbol of the fight “Does it hurt?” she asked, I shook my head.

“Good.” She said unsure and clearly disbelieving me. I almost considered asking to see Lloyd then opened my mouth and closed it. Would good would it make? I shut my eyes and rembered an argument we had had about two years ago. 

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