Corpe and Bloor

On the rural islands of Corpe and Bloor the annual Fight Week is about to begin in which champions are chosen and lives changed forever. The Fight is between a champion from Corpe and a champion from Bloor. Girls are chosen as prizes for the man who is crowned the winner of the Fight. Faith Rathbone is the unwilling prize of Corpe and the life she had always known is tipped upside down in the form of Alec McFadden, the champion of Bloor. She must decide if she can begin to hope for a life on Bloor but leave her family behind. But her fate is not her own.

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9. Seven - Alec

I haven’t slept a wink, fearing for everything that is to come and everything that is happening right this second. I am not the only one who is restless tonight; I can hear my father’s study door opening and closing every hour, right on the chime. My room is massive and faces the ocean, but the sound of the waves crashing against the rocky shore only makes my sleep more distant and my thoughts louder.
          My sister . . . my little sister, the prize! Why, why her of all the people on this island? She is only thirteen, she doesn’t know any other life other than the one she has had on Bloor. I think if someone else was a champion, I would make sure that they knew that if they didn’t win, they’d have me to answer to. But there isn’t anyone else, not some other boy, not Thomas Lukewaden.
          It’s me.
          I blow out a tired and frustrated breath, rolling onto my side and stare at the light filtering in from around the door frame. This perfect life my parents have created for their three children suddenly seems to be in shatters. Of course, my father is one of the most influential people on the island, but there is absolutely nothing he can do about this. Oh Phoebe.
          I sit up, for I have become too restless to lie down and trying to lull sleep to me with its dreamy and forgiving fingers, but I was only kidding myself trying to think it was going to gift me with its presence tonight. I run a hand roughly through my hair, trying to muster my thoughts and even though I can hear my sister’s soft breathing through the walls, I cannot imagine my life without her. Life without my sister would be like the sea without the horizon.
          These thoughts are not getting me anywhere tonight and I would almost give anything to make the whispers stop.
          I get out of the warmth of my bed and cross the wooden floor, which at this moment, seems far too large for one person. The cold hits my bare chest, pinching my skin and willing me to go back to bed but something keeps tugging me; pulling me towards the large windows. I pull back the light curtain, feeling the slight fabric obligingly move under my exhausted fingertips.
          The very edge of Corpe is just visible by faint lights, some hazy, in the not too distant future. I only have two more days to be home, before I am shipped off to the unknown land. I sigh as I lean on my forearms on the window sill, crossing my ankles and searching for something – anything – on the ocean. I haven’t a clue to what time it is, but the first light of dawn is about to break over the back of the house, casting light over everything. I stare again at Corpe, looking at the flickering lights and wondering what they light, what they enable the inhabitants to see. I think I can just make out the shore, and there is a faint light, moving across the surface, close to the water. It is quite obviously a person, but I wonder what their purpose is, to walk along the beach at this time in the morning. Maybe they were here to see the sun rise, or maybe they thought that the beach would help to clear their head of whatever was troubling them.
          I shake my own head; I have enough on my own plate at the minute, never mind wondering what the people on Corpe are thinking or doing. I sigh again, suddenly feeling very scared, alone and tired, not knowing my fate or my sister’s, or even what is to come.
          I just hope, in the Fight Weeks, I won’t forget where home is.

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