Exotic

Ariana, Will, Albus, and Celestine have been kicked out of the only place they've ever called home, the ancient city of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire. The band together and travel to exotic places. What do they have to lose?

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6. How We Met

Ariana's P.O.V.:

Flashback

The warm morning sun beat down on the city, but I was cold. I sat huddled, in an alleyway, terrified. Shadows started to close in around me. "There she is," said a malicious voice. "Your father owed us money, didn't he? Well he's gone now, so give it to us. Or we'll spill your filthy blood." I ran.

I ran and ran until I came to my old house. It was so sad and empty. The men lost me, and stormed away

"You live here?" asked a voice. I whirled around. A boy around my age standing there. "I could fix up that front door. I can fix stuff like that for a low price! And did you see those guys? They seemed angry!"

I couldn't contain the pain any longer. I burst into tears.

"Ummm… okay then. Shhh, it's alright ummm…"

"Ariana," I sniffled.

"Uh huh. Well Ariana, may I ask what's wrong?"

Through tears I manage to say, "I'm pretty sure those men killed my father. He thought everyone should be equal. But I'm not sure about the owing money thing."

"Geez, you're a wreck! Here, please come by my place, my friend could make you feel better."

Do I have anything else to lose? Nothing but myself.

"I'll go with you, but how can I be sure this isn't a trap?"

He looked solemn. "Because I've been treated like that too. They hate me, because of my dark skin."

For some reason, I went with him. It was the best decision I've ever made.

"So, how do you survive?" I asked Will.

"I try to do odd jobs. There's stuff in the forest, food, of course, and a river. I've stolen before, I actually do pretty often. Clothes and things from rich folks, who have so much they won't notice something's missing," he said.

"Oh gosh, are you wanted?" I gasped

"Nope! They can never catch me!" he bragged. "Well, let's go then!"

"Alright," I say. I still wasn't one hundred percent sure about him, but I'm a pretty fast runner, too.

We walked far to a creek. Where it got narrow, we jumped over and headed into a forest.

He told me about his "house" while we were walking. "I live with a friend I found on the street. Her name is Cel. No, we aren't 'together'. She likes girls actually."

"Another outsider," I mutter. Minorities seem to get kicked to the side and band together. Maybe someday we'll overthrow the greedy aristocrats.

Finally, we came to a clearing. There was a crude shack. And by shack I mean sticks and branches, with some leaves on top too.

"Hey Cel, I brought a friend!" Will called. "Come in!" said a female voice, with a thick accent. We ducked inside the "shack". A girl around twelve stood there. She had deep brown eyes and hair that almost looked pink.

"My name is Celestine." She looked me over. "You don't look so good, lass. Aye, I'll make you better. Found some berries by the river, been eating them and I'm not dead yet!" she laughed "Here, I'll give you some. What's your name?"

"Ariana."

"How old are you?"

"Thirteen."

"I'm twelve. But Will's thirteen too!" She smiled.

"You, well, don't really sound like you're from here," I said. I hoped I hadn't offended her.

"Nay, I'm not. From Éire. Celtic blood. My family's dead prob'ly. Haven't seen them since that awful fire. We were hated because we were outsiders."

Outsiders. Minority.

"I'm alright now I guess," she sighs.

Suddenly, a boy entered the cabin. Will, Cel, and I stared.

"Look, I followed you guys here. Hoping for some food. Got any?" the boy said.

He had bronze skin, dark hair, and bright blue eyes. Something about him was eerily familiar, and I could tell he was thinking the same about me. He shook his head.

"Look, I'm pretty hungry." he grumbled.

And that's how the four of us met. Unusual friends, but always there for each other.

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