Lost: Rose

Atwood Forest is untouched by the human world surrounding it. All they know is whoever enters, never returns...

Inside Atwood Forest there are one type of prey and one type of predator. The Vampire Hunter's are a race of magically blessed men and women who hunt and kill those who stray from the vampire fortress in the west of the forest. It is known that occasionally humans venture in the forest but not once has a Hunter ever been able to successfully save a human without losing their life.

A young girl is one day found on the boarder line of the Hunter and Vampire territory. She is without food, clothes, and shelter. When she is picked up by a group of Hunter's she is given the name Rose, due to a cryptic tattoo of roses embedding the skin of her back. She is without memory of who she is and where she'd come from. Trapped in a forest where a century-long war still rages on, she struggles to find the truth behind her existence in a world where everything is not as it seems...

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11. Escape

The next few days went by in a blur. I had locked myself up in the tower I'd formerly been held captive and wished for my memories to disappear. The deaths I'd caused not knowing what I was doing to others, my existence once more unbalancing the war that continued to wage on between the Hunters and vampires. It was too much. I sat tiredly staring outside the window unable to sleep for the third night in a row. The turn of events that had unmasked what I truly was had slapped me back into reality. I was going to be human. Which I guess wasn't too bad since vampires were much worse, but I knew I didn't deserve this... Life. A second chance. My stomach growled as I tried not to feel sick over my need for food. I'd unknowingly taken the lives of two innocent people to be where I was. I didn't deserve to eat. To sleep. To be free...

 

Laylan knocked for the third time on the door, as he had been the last few days. I wasn't sure what time because when he did I kept my eyes shut and focused on blocking out every possible noise there was. His voice pleading for me to open up the door. The screams from the forest as the horn blew for another round of senseless murder from both kinds of those who inhabited the forest. I opened my eyes slowly to peer outside my lids drooping as I watched the people my parent's had once ruled come back from their fights. Some with blood smeared across their perfectly healthy bodies, some with wounds that could have killed them... And some carrying others of their kind that had been killed by them. I watched unfazed. Uncaring. These people... The vampires and even the Hunters had brought it upon themselves what was being done to them. Possibly my being in existence may have contributed to the dramatic rise of violence but they had a choice. They all had a choice.

 

The sound of screams pierced my hearing as I shut my eyes and took deep breaths as I focused on not feeling. Not pitying. Not caring. That was until I heard a loud slice through the air along with a roar. A Hunters roar. Loud voices from the castle began shouting as the vampires began to hurriedly prepare to take on the Hunter who had dared to near the vampire village.

"His alone!" voices shouted.

"Archers prepare!" I could hear Laylan's voice from above somewhere. He moved fast. Looking down I squinted unable to see as I struggled to hold myself up near the ledge... That was until I realized who it was.

"Callum!?" I asked aloud. Suddenly losing my grip, I fell forward and out the window a scream escaping my lungs as I looked up in panic to see Laylan and the archers looking down in shock.

"Lower the weapons, catch the princess!" he demanded disappearing suddenly. Where he had gone I didn't know. I shut my eyes tight and tried to relax, a technique my father used to tell me. The way to lessen the hurt and damage was to relax even if you might die... Might die. So what I didn't deserve to live, that didn't mean I wanted to die!

 

The grunt and then thud shocked me back to my senses as I opened my eyes to see Laylan had pushed Callum out of the way before catching me.

"Caught you" he grinned relief spread across his face. I suddenly had an urge to do something crazy... So I did. Jabbing him in the ribs I shocked him into letting me go before I ran for Callum who was scrambling to get up. Grabbing his hand I looked over my shoulder before seeing Laylan watch me in complete and utter shock.

"You promise...!" he called suddenly eyes widening as we disappeared into the thick, density of the forest.

"I can't believe you're alive" Callum gasped as we ran further and further into the thick of the forest. From behind us I could hear shouts and Laylan ordering the other vampires, his voice booming through the forest his anger seeming to rise as each word was bellowed. I pulled Callum along faster as I ran blindly.

"We need to hurry Callum. Take us back to the Hunter village" I told him to which he nodded before taking off before me taking off through the forest, soon enough it was I who was following his lead, and even though I could hear Laylan frustratedly calling my name as the rustling of leaves in the forest began I knew he would search for me. But he didn't need to. I was going to where I belonged. I was going back to Heath.

 

*          *          *          *          *

Crossing the border I fell to my knees panting as Callum began snapping orders for the border to be reinforced. Hands grabbed my arms and hauled me up, carrying me to the buildings as I struggled to see before me the effects of running without food and sleep for three days seeming to finally be catching up with me.

"What's wrong with her? Why is she closing her eyes?" a familiar yet worried voice asked, I tried to keep them open to see who it was but they shut themselves anyways.

"I... Hurt..." I choked out before I began to cry the sobs that rose in my chest unable to fall as they filled up my stomach with pain. I choked on the nothingness that was inside of me as I gasped for air reaching out for something, someone who could save me until the darkness took over and it was all to late...

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