The Fence

“Haven’t you ever felt like there has to be more? Like there’s more out there somewhere, just beyond your grasp, if you could only get to it?” - Final Word Count: 3984 - Top ten in the More Than This Competition :D

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4. Holding Back

“And then I ran out into the night. After I opened the back door of course. Ha! Can’t go walking through walls, I can’t. Have any of you guys over here got, like, powers or stuff? I heard stories about that kind of thing over here.”

   “Well, most of the stories you’ve probably heard ever in your life were lies so I think we can safely say that tale is too.” I sighed through my clenched jaw. She hadn’t stopped talking yet. I admire curiosity don’t get me wrong, asking this and asking that, but it’s a pain in the neck when the machine goes on and on non-stop. It was difficult to sort between the truth and exaggeration.

   We’d been walking for about an hour now and the sun was completely over the horizon. Any animals that came out to feast at night had vanished along with most of us beasts. But I walked in broad daylight with my head held high. The Shieldsmen were too far away to ever stop me again and the other beasts don’t dare come this way unless with a catch. We were the only ones around at the moment though. Looks like many had already turned in or the night wasn’t as successful for us as usual.

   “Oh…” I think this was first time she actually took a breath! My snap must have quietened her a little thankfully.

   “So…” It started up again, “Where are we off to?”

   “To get something to eat.” I replied.

   “Cool. What ya got?”

   “Obviously nothing yet.” I rolled my eyes.

   “What? How have you got nowt? Thought you’d said there’s like a huge cave of treasures over here that you can get at once I’m over so you can get everything. ”

   “There is.”

  “So why ain’t we gonna eat there.”

   “I said nothing yet. I’ll get it soon. Just listen to me, yeah?”

   “Well then what do we do ‘til we get there?” she huffed.

   “Walk… in silence.” I added.

   “Oh… right.”

 

Two minutes later and my instructions had already seemed to have slipped out of her mind.

   “So how much treasure you thinks there? Bet there is, like, tonnes and tonnes of it.” she rubs her hands together.

   “Don’t know.”

   “Huh? Why ya going then?”

   “Well, if there’s a chance at a better life, wouldn’t you take it?”

   “Nah… no-one ever expects us lot to be anything special. Nowt for us to do down there and nowt we can do to level up.”

   “Your test is… was tomorrow though, that would have been your chance.”

   “Can’t be bothered with that rubbish. Predicted Failure, that’s me! I don’t want to be treated as scum all my life and I get that wherever I was tossed in the world.”

   Stopping completely still, she took me by surprise as I turned to face her folded arms. “Anyway, thought you wanted to me to come with you, not stay there…” Her eyes narrowed.

   “No, no just seeing whether we were on the same wavelength.” She continued to glare and raise her eyebrows at me. I quickly started up walking again, picking up my speed. I couldn’t risk losing her now. Not at how close I was.

   I shrugged off her fierce look and she began to run after me again like a little lost sheep. “Besides, the Cream’s aren’t all what they seem. Too proper and everything has to be kept that way. Everyone’s up in your business and you have to be up to standards and you have to follow their rules and it’s just plain rubbish.”

   “You seem to know a lot about the top end. You’re not taught anything about any other section except for your own. You didn’t find a way back over the Fence did you to spy on people? How do you know what it’s like there?”

   Oh God… didn’t think about that, I shouted at myself in my head, Idiot, idiot, idiot!

   I paused for a moment.

   “‘Cos I was a Cream.” Ah well, she’s not going to harm anyone with information where she’s going…

   “What? You?” She looked down her nose, the exact thing she didn’t want others to do to her, meeting my raging eyes that made her expression softened, “Then why you out here?”

   “I failed the final test… on purpose.” Still I tried to remain reserved.

   “Wait, but wouldn’t you just move down to our town or something…”

 

In that moment, I decided not to hold back one bit.

   “I was a Minister’s daughter. And Minister’s daughter must set an example.” Trying to appear confident, the words caught in my throat. It was hard to admit even to me, the girl who hated all of the Minister’s guts for what he was going to do, but using the past tense really hit home that he’s gone. I’ve changed.

   “Can’t have a Failure on his side of the Fence as a daughter.” Everything tumbled out, “Might blab to people about how rotten a dad he was and then apparently that will cause a bloody war! Didn’t stop me being able to pay off my teacher for lessons to claim I was still taking ‘em. Oh no! How the hell would that cause a war?”

   Exasperated, my catch had stopped dead. I grabbed her by the arm to pull her along. There’s no time to waste. “The Fence was my only option; my only escape; my only future…”

   “Oh…” was all the girl could muster. One word, and that made me hate her completely even though she'd said it many a time before. No comfort. No sympathy. No expression. But that would be all she’d get from others anyway where she’s heading.

   “We’re here.” I smirked.

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