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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11. The Necklace

 

Morning dawned and I was awake. Hope was up, Lloyd had fashioned her walking stick. I always knew he was good with wood. She was now up and hobbling around. Lloyd lay in her sleeping bag, un-sleeping. I assumed Hope had sent him to rest, clearly he hadn’t argued. I felt ill, my stomach ached and my head was ringing and annoying me. I sighed and turned onto my side as I watched Hope work. She cleared the fire and rummaged through her bag, finding two slices of bread and a small amount of water and filled out flasks. With the bread she added a small carrot. Great, I thought to myself and then eventually pulled myself out of the warm sleeping bag and pulled off my ripped tights and pulled on my clean damp jeans and hoodie. I washed my tights and wrapped Lloyd’s jacket tightly around my shoulders as Lloyd woke and began rolling up the sleeping bag and clearing away the ashes from the fire that had warmed us the following night.

 

We were packing away and moving. Hope had wet hair and was now plaiting it, Lloyd was watching her but I could see he wasn’t really focusing. So I grabbed my satchel and Hope’s rucksack.

 

We walked for the whole morning, we exchanged a few comments on the weather but that was it. We finally came across the smell of burning, but it was a damp smell. It was coming from the east direction, blowing towards us.

“Over there” I said, Lloyd looked at me but didn’t complain. Hope decided she would stay hidden in the depths of the tree’s where nobody would spot her, unless they came looking. So we entered the gloomy forestry, picking a comfy shaded spot under a large oak tree, it had waist high roots that covered Hope completely, and under the roots was small tucked up caves. With our help we positioned her inside, deciding not to start a fire she rested her head on the roots tucked under the sleeping bag she shut her eyes and began drifting asleep.

 

I didn’t want her to come, to get her self hurt even more. Leaving her rucksack with her and my satchel, I left her with my bow and arrow

“Use this, okay?” I said, she nodded and bit her lip worriedly. Lloyd passed me a knife and a small pocket gun. I blinked but didn’t ask. I hated the thought of using a gun, a violent disgrace. But I didn’t argue, I needed defence.

 

We set out in the direction of the smoke. It took some time, after about an hour I began to start a conversation,

“We might have to fight. Your going to side with me. right?” I asked, although I already knew the answer.

“Yes.” Lloyd said without hesitation. I nodded and then bit my lip as Hope had done not to long ago. I didn’t bother saying anything else, I just took in my surroundings. The grass was turning slightly yellow, so I assumed it had been warm here, but yet the sky looked dull and dreary. There forest was a while back now and something flipped in my stomach, so we paused. I felt like we should go back and make sure Hope was doing okay. Then I gulped. It was all okay. I told myself, but I didn’t know who I was kidding.

 

We where approaching the camp, we heard no voices. The smell was now begging to fill our lungs as well with the tampered smoke filled air. I restrained a cough, there was nothing in the camp. It was set up very like Lloyds old camp site. There was a barrier of logs around it with small tents and a dying fire. I wondered where the people where, I blinked and then I noticed the food. It had been left out, like it was about to be cooked. I had a bad feeling about this. Then from behind the tents I noticed something, tugging Lloyds sleeve I peeked around the corner. It was a pile of bodies, the corpses of young girls. I gasped my lips frozen, then I moved. By each girl there was a bullet, my fingers wove over there cold white faces, the pain in their eyes still clung to their lifeless faces. I realised how beautiful they each looked, I moved them away from each other

“Collect a candle and a match and find some lavender.” I said to Lloyd, “Now.” I whispered. He nodded and darted off, he came back quickly. I held the candle up and then lit it, the golden flame flickered I placed the lavender above it soon the smell of burning lavender spread across the campsite.

“I want to bury them.” I decided, Lloyd looked at me confused

“What?” he asked, but I didn’t answer, propping up the candle with two logs, I began to work. I worked well into the darkness with the candle flickering away and then I was done. I had braided their hair and clensed their cheeks sprinkling lavender over them. Placing them in neat lines and cleaning there hands. I turned to Lloyd

“We need to return to Hope.” I said and then swallowed, pushing the tears down my throat. He nodded and wrapped his warm fingers around my cold fingers and squeezed them and smiled at my

“Your going to be okay, Lie.” He whispered and kissed me quickly on the cheek as we headed back to Hope.

 

 

Hope had made a small fire, and was cooking cheese with bread when we returned. It was clear she had been worrying. Hobbling up on her small neat walking stick she looked at me

“What was it?” she asked, I shook my head and sat down in the curve of a long winding root.

“Dead. Five girls.” I said, she nodded solemnly,

“You gave them a memorable service.” She said quickly. I didn’t answer, something in her voice sounded mockingful. So I curled up with my jacket and tried to get to sleep. It didn’t really take long, the cold wind whipped around, and as I had suspected it began to rain. I woke up with Lloyds sleeping back around me. Quickly I pulled off my boots and stuck my cold feet inside and wriggled under the warm cover.

 

I thought of Cloven and Harmony, I wanted them to be safe. I thought of three days ago when we had promised not to be long and then disappear. Did they think we where dead? Where they dead? I lay in the sleeping bag worrying unable to drift off back to sleep.  Dopily I crawled out of my warm sleeping back and began chopping a few of the apples. I could see Hope was in a worse state, she looked in pain. I had forgotten to ask her yesterday how she was. She struggled in her sleep, hitting her hurt leg against the roof of the root. I decided I would wake her and make sure she was okay, she was sweating horribly. Pulling her out, I sat her down and pulled off her jumper and jeans and examined her wound. It was worse, it was red and the cut looked sore and ruined.

“I need to clean your wound.” I decided, and grabbed some cloth, ribbing some of my t-shirt again and then placing it around her thy as she winced in pain. I knew this was going to be a slow day, but we where up soon and began to travel. Hope was tiered and didn’t look like she was up for much more moving, so we stopped once more and set up camp. I knew it was risky, but I could see she wasn’t up for moving much more.

 

 

I decided I should go looking for fire wood. I hadn’t departed them long, I was brave enough to leave them with my satchel as I had decided I wouldn’t go far. I felt like being alone, I knew they would understand that. Plus I had a feeling Lloyd badly needed to talk to Hope.

 

I climbed an old oak tree perching the thickest branch I watched the animals scamper across burying in the undergrowth. Then I heard an ear piercing scream, I recognised that scream from when Harmony had been cut. I jumped down and broke into a run, I still had my arrow. The scene was bloody and horribly cruel. I reached the bloodthirsty scene over twenty bodies where laying the floor. Both boys and girls, but Harmony stood her hand on something. I looked down it was a knife

“Harmony.” I shouted, I realised Hunter lay under the knife and a tall boy with gangly legs and green eyes held her by the neck a knife lying on her throat, I pulled an arrow into my bow

“Kill her and I’ll kill you.” I said, the boy Hunter looked at the boy

“Kill her, Solomon.” He whispered, so I released my arrow. The movement was swift, his hand protecting grabbing Harmony across him it struck her in the arm, blood poured out of the wound cutting her arm. I gasped and began to run, someone sprung at me. I managed to knock them off with the quick movement of my elbow. Suddenly the boy Solomon was holding a gun, pressing it in my direction. I took my head and titled my chin upwards

“Pull that trigger and you’ll never get it.” I whispered, he hesitated but didn’t lower the horrible gun.

“What?” he hissed, I smiled and bit my tongue

“The necklace.” I whispered, he lowered the gun slightly

“What necklace?” I pretended to gasp

“You didn’t know, what the item was?” I hissed, he turned to the other boys still alive and simply shrugged

“Where is it?” he asked, I turned around. My necklace that Lloyd gave me hung around my neck and it seemed to way not much more.

“Let the girl go. Now!” I hissed, he released her but two of the other boys caught her as she stumbled forwards, I assumed that she was going to live but that didn’t stop my stomach from turning.

“Well, hand it over.” He asked. I hesitated, but only quickly. I wasn’t even sure he saw.  I smiled and curled my lip

“Its hidden. I couldn’t have anyone taking it.” I said smartly

“Take me to it.” he said, two other bulky boys flocked him instantly, there eyes goggling furiously, I shook my head

“Only him. Or no necklace.” I said, Solomon turned around unsure

“Stay watch the girl, if I don’t come back before midnight, kill her.” he nodded, my stomach squirmed, I felt ill, but they nodded and disappeared. Solomon grabbed my by the wrist, but I simply hesitated

“Treat me like that and I wont show you.” I said turning to him, he smiled cruelly

“Don’t show me and your little friend dies.” I nodded and smiled sweetly at him and lead my way into the forest, I decided I would lead him of course. We walked for about two hours, the sun was begging to set, my feet where becoming tired as I kicked the sand hopelessly and I knew that Hope and Lloyd would becoming worried. I only hoped they wouldn’t come after me, I though of this and then I stopped as we came across a small cave. I grinned to myself and turned to him

“You first.” I said politely, he hesitated. Then ducked under through the cave, I released my necklace and slipped it into a small rocky circle.

“Look, I need you to promise me something.” he said, and then his gun was out again, I cocked my eyebrow

“Okay, so now your threatening me. not a wise move.” I said shaking my head, he smiled and shook his head but didn’t speak. My fingers began to strum on the string; it gave the tension of time. And I was short of it.

“Trust me.” I whisper, I realise we are closer in the enclosed cave. The cold air seemed to stop, as we where sheltered but the floor was damp and my fingers where sore and my clothes felt heavy on my shoulders. He nodded, I picked up the small chain in my finger, and dropped it in his hand. I didn’t expect anything to happen, his eyes where closed, I pulled my arrow and struck it at his hand, he gasped and then clutched it. The gunshot made me gasp, aiming at the ceiling it collapsed around us. Seperarting us from each other. 

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