Children of the Desert.

All Anuru had ever known was a strict, regimented life, obeying the harsh rules of Aronath. Trapped by the high walls of the citadel, her life was ruled by exams and regulations. That was until she met Lalia.

New to the city, Lalia befriends shy Anuru and opens her eyes to life beyond the strict laws of Aronath. With Anuru's quiet logic and Lalia's free spirit can they escape to the freedom of the desert beyond.

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6. Mundo's tale.

Anuru made her way home, her shoulders heavy from the days work. She was amazed she made it out of the gas laden, pitch black mines. Her face was almost unrecognizable beneath the dust. She hadn't had a chance to speak to Lalia and Naveed and she was concerned for them, but she pushed that to the back of her mind as she struggled through the streets of Aronath.

When she finally reached her block of flats a strong sense of relief rushed over her. Her dusty footprints stood out against the pristine grey floor. She sat on a nearby bench, building herself up for the climb to her apartment. As she did a small shape emerged from the shadows and scuttled out into the light. The small, hunched figure didn't show it's face as it shuffled towards Anuru's footsteps. It took a large object off it's back and sucked up the dust from the floor. Anuru felt ashamed to watch as it went up and down the streets, vaccuming as he went, but her curiosity got the better of her.

"Hello?" Anuru said as the figure came back towards her, preparing to remerge into the shadows. The figure froze and lifted his head, timidly. "Mundo!" exclaimed Anuru in suprise. Mundo quickly hid his face and scuttled away. "Mundo, wait! What happened?"

"First day, innit? You been down the mines, right?"

"Yeah, sorry about the dust."

"That's okay. I'm so glad to see you. I been scared this whole time."

"Why, what's happened."

"It's the overseers. This is the only work I could get, and there's no pay or nothing! But they're still just as harsh, there's beatings an' all!" exclaimed Mundo, his face lighting up a little. Slowly he started to relax, and as he did Anuru learnt more and more about what had happened that day. She started to feel lucky, and a little ashamed. She felt helpless, her family couldn't afford to give away any of their food, but Mundo was desperately hungry, he hadn't eaten sice the Ranking.

Anuru was fuming with anger after listening to Mundo's tale. She walked up to her apartment seething with contempt against Aronath and the Chancellor. She needed to tell her Father, he would know what to do, but at the same time she didn't want to put her family under extra pressure, there was only just enough food to go round. She reached her door and wiped her face, maybe Father would be home today, she didn't see him in the mines.

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