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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6. The book

 

 

 

That evening was an important one, there where four years in our training school. Youngest, First years, who shared a dorm with a small gathering space in the centre of the dorm with a fire. Second years, which had six per dorm and a small gathering common room. Third year that had a four per dorm and one large common room, with a fire and small chairs. And finally fourth year, we had a six in a dorm and three small common rooms and one kitchen, although the kitchen we shared was small and rather dirty! The building contained no classrooms just training rooms.

 

I hurried along the corridor, pushing open the hall door and the fourth year was sat assembled. I would normally take my seat at the front and wait for the speech to begin, trying not to feel sick as people’s eyes monitored me and my behaviour. But this time, I made my way to the front, ignoring the alter. No mentors where watching us. I smiled to the girls that sat in front of me, over a hundred eyes glared up at me.  I blinked a few times and then cleared my throat and smiled

“Thank you, I know its short notice and I know we all have training. Because we have to fight,” I paused some of the girls looked pained, so to prevent myself from bawling, I nodded and coughed “Because we have to win.” I whispered into the microphone, my voice is projected in the speakers plugged into the wall. I had caused a small uprising, some of the people where looking bewildered

“I know, it sounds dumb. But I want to prove something, we aren’t owned by this school. But I need your help.” I said my voice hoarse, I felt sick.

“Yes, but by dying what are we going to prove?” a girl with long woven blonde plaits and rosy red cheeks whose name was Cloven demanded, I nodded

“I understand some of us will die. But if we don’t try we will all be dead.” I said my voice shaking. I had never been friends with any of these girls but I seemed to feel bad leading them to their deaths.

“What are the numbers?” A girl with small squinty blue eyes and big glasses demanded her eyes goggling unattractively, Gracea. I nodded

“There are more of them than us, but that means nothing.” I hissed aggressively. Some of the girls responded better to this application of demand other looked rather scared.

“So we just go and get our selves killed? A suicide mission?” A girl with short uneven auburn hair asked brutally, I nodded

“Yes. If you put it like that, then yeah.” I said, and then coughing again I nodded “We don’t have a choice. But who wants to fight and win, or who wants to die an excruciating death.” I said my voice was still ruthless and unkind but I didn’t care. More than half the girls stood and then nodded. I turned to Hope who sat to my left, nodding she stood her eyes red and distended.

“Thank you.” I whispered, Gracea replied

“Its not for you, it’s for everyone.” She said her voice cutting and hard. I realised she was a friend of the girl Hope had killed the other day. I looked at her with sympathy

“I know.”

 

 

The next week passed quickly, most of our days where packed with training and resting. Two girls cleaned up the kitchen and snuck some food out of the main kitchens and managed to make something decent for us to eat, so for one night we all ate nicely. Hope and I spent hours tidying the common rooms with some of the other girls. One day after school, four of the girls met me after school armed with weapons and I guided them out of the grounds and into the forestry. On the tree I drew a circle, we stood back taking turns to fire, nearly every girl hit the centre, Hope being the creative girl she was made a few of them bows with some help from Cloven and Becaly; a small girl with jet black short hair and green callous eyes.

 

I slept uncomfortably tonight, my whole body ached, my fingers where abscess, my eyes where sore and my skin itched. I woke up to early, so instead of going down to the dinning hall. I washed my face and hair in a small dirty white basin.  After drying my hair with a small black towel and cleaning my hands I pulled on my black jeans and tucked my navy shirt in and pulled on my waist coat and jacket. I left my hair down on my back as it gave me more confidence. After I had done all this some of the girls where begging to stir. Luckily I managed to sneak out. I was meeting Hope and Willow; a slender girl with curly blonde hair and glassy brown eyes. 

 

Creeping down the cold crooked staircase that was squeaking constantly, I paused because I could her voices. They where male voices and where travelling through the corridor. Pressing my self up against the cold tough wall, listening for the arrival of the voices. Then there was a whisper

“Up here.” The voice was proverbial; I hesitated but then remained hidden. The footsteps grew louder, the whispers quieter. Then in front of me stood three boys, one with short black hair and brown eyes, one with brown hair and green eyes, and then the third boy was blonde with blue eyes, Lloyd. What was he doing here? Is he was caught he surely would be killed. So I watched them, hidden the alcove of the wall. They walked past my dorm, I stiffened if I hadn’t have woken I wouldn’t have known that Lloyd was walking these hallways. So I followed him. Reminding myself to stay in the shadows I followed them until the library. It was supposed no student had ever entered the library so I doubt they could. But then again they did seem to ace the alarm system. This annoyed me. So grabbing my bow and arrow and aimed for the door. Fortunately it avoided al of them and landed right above there heads.

“Lie...” I heard Lloyd whisper. One of the boys turned to him

“What?” he hissed his voice hostile and harsh? I pressed myself back in the shadows pretty sure they could kill me instantly. But I knew they weren’t dumb, so they didn’t take long to react a knife hurtled through the air, but the throw was weak and missed be by ten centimetres. Keeping my mouth tightly shut and then glanced around. They couldn’t open the door; I smiled smugly to myself in the dark. They gave up after about ten minutes of trying, but I noticed Lloyd slipping off departing the others. He was heading for the girls dormitory. Unable to resist I followed him, across the corridor, retracing my steps and outside the dorm, he revealed something hidden under his big jacket and placed it at the foot of the door, he nodded and then disappeared. Making sure I could no longer hear his footsteps, I kneeled down beside the door and turned the label and read the name printed in his handwriting: Lilac. I blinked back the tears that where forming in my eyes and un-did the string and the packaging and smiled. It was a small necklace with a large L engraved on the front, with golden flowers surrounding it. I gasped and un-did the tight catch and slipped it around my neck, biting back tears and then under it was an old book, the title had faded and on it was ‘Gone with the wind’. Smiling to myself in the darkness of the corridor, I slipped the book inside of my satchel and slipped down stairs to meet Hope. 

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