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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15. Thirteen - Alec

          The closer we get to Corpe, the more Lakin has to pull on the oars to get us across. It’s all clingy, wet sand here, which sticks and turns everything into a horrid mud. The tide is in, so there is more water than there normally would be, but I can still feel the strain it’s putting Lakin under. Corpe is looming ever nearer and suddenly, I don’t know what to do. No one has told me what to expect, or what is to happen once we pull up on shore. I try and keep this shakiness inside, for Lakin Lukehain is a young man from Corpe, and without a doubt, I can tell that he’s already weighed up my chances. I wonder if there’ll be anyone who I can trust on this island, or if they are all just looking for good gossip. They are decent people, and I know that they will not be rude to me.
          Lukehain is still battling with the oars while Raphie gazes with an open mouth at the shoreline of Corpe. I take it all in, and I cannot help but compare my island and theirs.
          Corpe is full of trees and bushes and grass and fields. The fields here are all sectioned off with either a wooden fence or a hedge. Strange animals dot here and there on the fields and the shore is all pebbly.  Up the assent from the sea, are the first of rather large and stable buildings, sturdy and strong amongst the trees. The street is paved with cobbles and lead up to a wooden platform right at the very top. There is a huge wooden pole standing straight up and going above the chimney tops. I wonder what it’s for, for it is nothing like there would’ve been at home. It seems strange and out of place here.
          Lakin looks behind him also, to see what I’m staring at. He turns back with a smile and answers my silent question, “You wondering what that’s for?” I nod and look again, “It’s for Miss Faith.”
          I look up at him, shocked, “The prize? Why would she need that?”
          He shrugs and keeps heaving, which I’m guessing, means that we’ve hit the shallows. “You saw Katesby’s cheek. I guess they wanted to save your pretty face and to convince you that Miss Rathbone isn’t aggressive.” He shakes his head, “It’ll take far more than a wooden pole for her to convince you that. We’ll see what you think at the end of the Fight Weeks.”
          “Am I to be seeing her often?” That surprises me, for I was only expecting to see her maybe once or twice, and if she is as violent as everyone says she is, maybe I should be worried.
          He tilts his head to the side a little and gives me an odd look. “Of course, she’ll be staying across the hall from you in the Champion Quarters. Over the Fight Weeks, you two will be seeing a lot of each other. So much, I believe, that you’ll be either madly in love with her, or too terrified to fight. She is one hell of a looker.”
          But with his words in my head, it made me more intrigued to see her. Surely not everything said about her can be true.
          It’s only a matter of time before I find out.

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