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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14. Running is a Hunters Greatest Weapon

 

Lloyd woke ten minutes later, annoyed with me for not waking him at the sound of the whistle. Leaving Hope and Gracea alone we set off to find the Spring that Hope had been talking about. We found our way quick enough, it was about five minutes away, but we decided to fill our buckets and all our flasks. I placed my bucket bravely on my head and managed to balance it all the way back to the camp, as Lloyd carried another smaller bucket and all the flasks. Gracea was dressed in a pair of my ripped jeans which Hope had sewn back up, Hope’s favourite warm t-shirt and Lloyds old jumper and her jacket and boots. I helped clean her wounds, soaking the bandages in the bucket. The bullet had shot her near her kidney, but the healer had done an extremely good job of removing the bullet and keeping Gracea alive whilst we all thought she was dead.

 

I leant Gracea my brush, she plaited her hair and tied it with a red ribbon. She shared with us her food and small amount of supplies. She had been alone for a week, hunting and sleeping alone. Hope insisted that she had her sleeping bag, I couldn’t help feeling Hope felt awful for the trying to keep Gracea alive since she took medical back at the training school. So Lloyd gave up his sleeping bag for Hope. Who was tired from nursing all day and went to sleep instantly. I wasn’t exactly tired, even though I thought I should have been. So I curled up on the floor beside Lloyd as he watched the fire abandoning my sleeping bag as it was a warm night.

“How?” I asked confused, we both knew what I was talking about. Gracea, who kept her alive and how? It’s a miracle.

“I don’t know. I can’t understand it. I am not sure even a doctor could keep her alive that quickly.” He said thoughtfully. I nodded and agreed, resting my head on his broad strong shoulders I thought

“If you died, I would keep you alive.” I whispered into his ear, he hesitated

“You couldn’t.” he replied curiously, I shook my head

“I would always try.” I answered. He nodded and held my hands in his two warm ones. Then I thought about it, Gracea often disappeared before bed in the training schools. But people explained she was always in the Library studying or doing homework. She always received good grades, so nobody over questioned this. But what if she did escape, that was the most dangerous time of the day. That was when the trainers hunted. It sounds deadly and cruel, but every evening from six until eight she trainers would enjoy their free time hunting in the woods. The occasional person died, no big deal. They would go into the village have a drink and a laugh maybe visit a few of the rich houses and ask for donation for the local school. The villagers where scared of the trainers, you wouldn’t want to mess with them. So if they knocked on your door you handed over a few pounds then shut the door and prayed they didn’t ask for more and then continued with your lives in fear. But I wondered if Gracea took this time to escape, meeting up with someone. Maybe a brother or a loved one, but still they cared for each other. Enough to save her life. I tossed and turned never found sleep. So eventually, I began to climb a near by small tree, perching myself in a high enough branch, I smiled. It was sun rise, I often slipped out of the slanted window in the girls dormitory and curled up on the small platform big enough for me and watched the sun rise, it was the happiest time for me yet the worst. Knowing I would face the same old same old was almost comforting but knowing I would be trapped in a never ending loop. But it was different as I sat in the swaying oak, never letting myself think I may survive, allowing myself to think I’d die in this pit of despair, but if I didn’t die people I did would, I should leave go and fight my own battles. I sat in the tree for longer than I expected, I decided I would leave. But knowing there was hope for me made my fingers tingle selfishly, if I lived Hope, Lloyd, and Gracea would all die. Climbing out of the tree, I re-plaited my hair and took of my boots allowing my feet to breathe, and then stuffing the back on. I grabbed my satchel and started packing all my belongings. Filling it to the brim. I grabbed a few rolls and some berries. I looked at the campsite, Hope slept with her cheek pressed inches away from Gracea’s outstretched hand, which slept in a cramped position, but the world was dead to her. My eyes sited to Lloyd. He was so beautiful; I turned and headed into the woods. I hadn’t got far when I turned to see Lloyd, his bow and arrow in position

“Where are you going?” he demanded, I smiled sadly

“Anywhere.” I whispered. He lowered his bow discarding it on a random log as he looked at me

“I’ll come to.” he replied, I shook my head

“No Lloyd. I have to go alone. Find the item and win.” I whispered annoyed with him for stopping me I was doing so well.

“Not on your own.” He said a little aggressively. I hated him telling me what to do, but it made my lips tingle I shook my head

“Yes.” I reply, he caught my arm

“Don’t break my heart again.” he whisper, I nodded and bit back my tears

“I’m sorry, Lloyd.” I whisper, I could see a tear roll down his perfect cheek.

“You love me, Lilac.” He whisper holding me in his arms. I shook my head and stopped myself from shaking

“Loved, Lloyd.” I whisper, I don’t know how the words escaped my mouth. His grip loosened

“Don’t.” He whisper, I could see the pain covering his face. I nodded and kissed him quickly on the cheek

“Look after Hope. Survive and take her to safety, don’t let her get hurt.” I said my voice stern but he looked limp and lifeless. I grabbed his chin in my hands “You will live this; it’s the last thing I want of you, please Lloyd. Rember that much of me.” I said, he nodded and grasped my hand and placed it over his heart

“I love you.” He whispered his cheeks damp. I nodded and released him

“I know.” I say and turned and left so he couldn’t see the silent tears that rolled down my face.  

 

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