Peeking round a corner, I checked to see if it was deserted.
After I'd made sure it was safe, I crept through the abandoned streets.
A chill ran through my spine as I realized that, with all these buildings to hide behind, there could be anyone, anywhere watching me.
I was constantly checking around me, due the sound of approaching footsteps, but I could see no one.
From this morning's catch, I had gathered enough food to last me for a while. Now I just needed to find a safe place to make a permanent base. I was exploring, I suppose.
A memory came through my barrier that I had in my head, catching me unaware. Me and my sister, chasing leaves from the autumn trees. We wandered further and further into the forest. Then my sister looks at me worriedly.
"Aren't we getting too far from home. We said we would stay within yelling distance, what if we can't find our way back?" she asked.
I didn't want to go back yet. I could feel the Sun's rays from between the trees dancing on my skin.
"We will be going on our way back eventually, but why don't we just enjoy this moment? Let's go and and see what's around the next bend," I said dramatically to get her into it. She looked confused.
"Why?" she asked curiously.
I suddenly grinned at her. "It's called exploring."
Her face lit up with wonder and she didn't talk anymore about getting home.
I pushed the memory away. There was a wad in my throat. I pushed that away as well. I tried to regain my concentration.
Suddenly, I tensed up. I thought I'd heard closer noise. I listened and checked that I was safe.
Closer then I ever would have let them be if I was concentrating.
But I couldn't let them get too close. I hadn't eaten in half of a week. I was going to starve if I didn't get this food.
Adrenaline took hold of me and I started to run.
I knew that my running was alarming everyone near where I was, but I couldn't stop.
Soon I hit forest, but I still couldn't stop.
My flight was finally stopped when I bumped into someone. I gasped, startled by the girl who didn't see me coming.
The girl had dirty blond hair which comes down to her collar bone and eyes the color of pine cones. She was tall and skinny, but her stance looked solid. The girl had scars all over her face, which gave her a not-to-be-messed-with look. She was wearing a old, black, silk jumpsuit that looked out of place in the forest. She was wearing a necklace with a single red bead on, which she was fiddling with. She looked about two years older than me. Her eyes were staring into space as if looking into another world-- at least, she did this before had bumped into her.
The shock of the impact made us both fly into the mossy undergrowth.
"What was that for?!" she demanded.
"I'm sorry," I stuttered. "I heard...."
Her eyes softened, though she looks at me still a little fiercely.
"You need to get out of here," she told me urgently. "Unless you want to sacrifice yourself. The Few are here. They're coming. You need to go back to your hiding place."
I looked at her, alarmed.
I didn't have a hiding place.
I also had no idea who the Few were. They sound bad, though.
She looked nice, so I was sure she was telling the truth.
Lizzie, I scolded myself, stop letting you optimism get in the way of your judgments. For all you know she could want to kill you. There's no one who wouldn't these days, I'm sure.
"Who are The Few?" I asked.
She looked me up and down, then she sighed, as if she had made a long and hard decision, though I didn't know what it was about.
"You must not be from around here if you haven't heard about the Few. You'd better come with me. I have a place where you can hide for a bit. First, though, before I'm sure about whether to trust you, you'd better give me all your things."
I stared at her in dismay.
All my things?
I'd worked so hard to get them-- well, steal them.
Though if I stay out here, I might get caught by the Few, who ever they are. Shelter is better then no shelter.
I handed over my things. Whilst doing so, I took the book out of my bag and tried to hide it in my clothes. I still hadn't had a chance to read it.
She caught me in the act.
"What's this?" she asked.
She grabbed the book and stuffed it into one of her own bags.
She checked I had nothing left in my hands and then started striding away.
Once she has gone about ten paces, she stopped and turned around.
"Coming?" she asked.
I followed as fast as I can.
"What's your name?" I said to her.
"Blaise," she replied. "Yours?"