“ Wheres the map?” I asked after looking at our new home.
“ I’m not sure,” was all Willow could say. I tore my eyes from the scenery and looked around the changing rooms. Nothing. Where could it be? As I asked myself that question, I felt something in my pocket. I took it out, and it was a slip of paper. I unfolded it, and saw it was the map.
“ Here it is!” I yelled out to them. Leo ran over and looked at the map. Everything was green, except in the middle, where there was a structure. It was bigger than a shack, but smaller than a normal sized home.
“ We have to go there,” the little girl said. I was a little surprised that she spoke, but smiled at her.
“ Yeah. I guess we should start our journey to the middle of the map,” I said. Everyone nodded. We all looked back to the opening in the wall where our new world was. I was scared, but I chose to think I wasn’t. It works. Sometimes. Luckily it was working now. I walked over to the opening, and took the first step into the forest. The air was warm, but nicer than I expected. Then again, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I turned and motioned for them to follow. Everyone was hesitant, but they all entered the opening.
“ What is this place?” Willow asked.
“ Our new home,” I responded. Ian ran over to me and I picked him up, holding him tight. I grabbed the map and looked it over. There was the changing room at the edge of the map and the shelter in the middle.
“ Lets go,” the little girl said. She walked into the forest, no fear was shown. Not the littlest bit. I followed her into the forest and we made our way to the shelter. Leo stayed right behind me and Ian, and Willow was right behind him. As we were walking, I looked around, wanting to explore our new world. I could hear birds chirping, I could see and smell the flowers, and so far I don’t think this world is that bad.
“ Which direction are we going?” the little girl asked.
“ Um, we need to keep going forward, then after a bit of walking, we should hit a river I think,” I said. She just nodded and kept going. She is such a strong kid. I do feel bad for her. I also feel bad for Ian, and Leo, and Willow, but what can we do? We may have a choice in what we do, but what are the consequences? There is always a consequence. We just kept walking, making our way through the forest.
*An hour later*
It has been an hour or so. I was getting tired and I know everyone else was to. It was getting a bit dark, but we were almost to the river. And after the river, we would make it to the shelter.
“ Lets take a five minute brake,” I said. Everyone sat down on the ground or on a rock and relaxed for a few seconds. I moved over and sat beside the little girl.
“ Hello,” I said calmly. She turned and stared at me, expressionless.
“ My name is Indie. Whats yours?” I asked. She stared at me for a minute until she decided she would answer.
“ Penelope,” she responded. “ I’m known as Penny,” she said. I smiled.
“ What a pretty name,” I said and gave her a smile. For a second, I thought I saw a hint of one. A hint of a smile, but it disappeared quickly. She had sweat dripping off her small face, her feet were covered in dirt, because we weren’t provided with shoes, and her stomach was small. She was very skinny. But I kept smiling at her, hoping that she would forget her worries.
“ We better get going. Its getting late,” Leo said. I nodded and got up.
“ I’m tired,” Penny said. I smiled and picked her up. She was surprised, but she let me hold her and carry her. We continued to walk for a while until we finally reached the river. Luckily, the river was calm. Leo, who was carrying Ian, walked quickly across the river and made it safely to the other side. The river was wide and waist deep, but it was calm. For now. Willow made her way next, and was also safely on the other side. Now, it was just me and Penny. I tightened my grip on her, and made my way to the other side. The water was going faster, but i held my ground and kept going. I was now waist deep, half way through the river. Almost there. Just as I was going to get to shore, I was knocked down by the water. I did my best to keep both of our heads above the surface, but it was difficult. Leo got as close to the shore as he dared and held out his hand. I reached and reached, but my arm wasn’t long enough. We were both pulled down again. The river was rapid. I wasn’t sure if I could get my head above again, but I managed to push Penny up. Leo grabbed Penny and pulled her out, but I was caught against something. My leg wouldn’t move. I couldn’t swim up. I couldn’t breath. I reached up, one last time. I stretched my arm as long as I could. I felt someone grab my hand. And pull me up, but I still couldn’t breath. Water was in my lungs. I felt pressure on my chest. My eyes wouldn’t open. Then, just as I thought I was about to die, I was coughing up water, and breathing! My chest hurt badly, but I was alive! I laid back down and felt someone hugging me. My eyes were blurred, but I could tell it was either Ian or Penny. I felt small arms around me. I was expecting Ian, but to my surprise, when I could see a tiny bit, I saw Penny. Or the outline of Penny. I could see Ian too, running over to me. I turned over and tried my best to get up, stumbling, but I managed.
“ Come on. We gotta keep moving,” I said, trying to keep my balance. Leo hugged me. I could’ve sworn he was crying a bit, but my eyesight was still blurred. After a few minutes of silence and more rest, we continued. It was quite dark now. It was hard to see, but not impossible. After another few hours, we were in the middle of the map. Then, we found the shelter. It was bigger than a shack, and a little smaller than a normal sized home. We made it!