60 Seconds of Fate

If you live in this world, you follow his rules, or treason will take over.
If you don't live in this world, good for you! You can live a happily ever after life where everything is sunshine and rainbows!
If you are me, and you must pick between everything peachy or warlords watching your every step, making sure you do what's told. You mind as well think, "Oh! This is easy! I'll go live on unicorn and daisy street!"
W.R.O.N.G

Basically, my name is Cassie Roseburn, I was born on December 4, 2025, I'm 18, my life feels like a hopeless wreck and blah blah, yada yada you get the point. Remember that message about 3-4 lines above this one? Bet you do! You're thinking, "Why don't you want a happy life?" Well smile-a-lot it's because I would be leaving my family to fend for themselves in the shadow district, A.K.A the Kingdom of Living Hell, and I would be eating cotton candy and singing, "Over the rainbow!" for the rest of my life. But, I really wouldn't want to live in the "Welcome to deat

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3. Fire Ablaze

I hear the loud clicks of the king hobbling over towards me. He forces a smile and gives me a pat on the back.

"So where you going today? Here or there?" He says there with more hint of disgust. I blink and place the small locket into his hand. He squeezes the small gadget until the lid pops open, and he reals the thin needle to the twelve. "Good choice," he beams. With a quick click, he flicks his finger off of the needle and without hesitating I dash through the gates.

"A minute... I can have a conversation for a minute... stupid rule," I mutter through light pants. I grab two of my arrows and stab them into crumbling dirt and climb up a steep cliff. 

Maybe if I can get far away enough he'll give me more time. 

"Time's up!" I hear his voice boom. Already?! I feel his hand latch to my collar and drag me out of the town. "So.... how'd you like it?" he asks, raising a brow. I scoff.

"Really?" I scowl, hearing him cackle under his robes. My face sours into a strange expression and I leave him standing there giggling. I spot Colin drooped on top of the fence, purring softly in his sleep. As if on cue, he peeks open an eye and beams.

"Hey Cass," he purrs, stretching out his small legs and opening his jaw to release a scrawny yawn.

"Hey Scruff," I reply, slumping against the fence, not even bothering to see him snarl at the cat name.

He shakes it off of his mind. "What's up?" he asks, picking at his claws.

"Waiting for that dumb head to stop giggling and take me to the other side."

"Seems pleasant."

"For you I suppose." I stare back over at the king and see him sharpen up, looking back over to us. Colin quickly curls back up and acts like he's asleep.

"That was a nice laugh," the king says, seeming to speak rather dull. "Well, time for me to escort you to Enatophi."

"To... where?"

"Oh right... you refer 'other side'. Well, truth be told, the other side's name is Enatophi."

"Annapoti?"

"En-ah-toe-fy."

"Oh."

He ushers me forward and I hop the fence, seeing Colin wink at me as I slip over him. The king rolls over, his thick robes spilling over the grass in a heap before he does. I cautiously walk around until the grey sky turns a bright blue, blinding my eyes. Clouds peek over every corner, the sun somehow perfectly in the center of the sky. "This is-"

"Ugly... I know," the king spits, furrowing his brow at the view. He pulls the timer back out and spins the dial. "Time starts... now!"

I sprint through the crowded streets, bumping an occasional tray of dishes or spilling a cart of fruit. Horse wagons yank and prance over top of me when I wiz underneath them. I climb up a staggered cliff and finally reach the top.

"Time's up Ms. R- wait... Roseburn?" the king seems confused, not seeing my ominous form in the bright splash of rainbow (a.k.a, the other people). I dart out of his view.

"This should buy me some time," I mutter, shuffling over to a cave. Light pebbles roll out from under my feet, and a slight dribble of water tends to splash on my forehead. I look around for anything, but only find a large heap of animal remains. I begin to walk away but stop.

The animal scraps are fresh kill.

Chills sweeping down my spine, I feel the meat and bone. It is fresh. I reach for my bow and aim into the darkness.

"Come out... coward!" I stammer, walking in a circle. A small glint catches my eye and I fire at the roof of the cavern, the graceful thump! echoing for a few minutes. The glint gets bigger until a bright gold eye snaps open.

"Cassie!" Colin shrieks, the king at his paws. They both skid to a halt and glance upwards towards the eyes. I hear one of them gulp, then Colin morphs in front of me to a human, his arm outstretched. "Cassie," he whispers in my ear, "On my count, you run."

"Are you crazy?!" I bark into his ear. "Leave you with that?!" He shrugs, acting as if nothing will happen. I pinch his elbow and he squeals. "Can I actually trust you?"

"Well, of course fli-"

"Don't call me 'flirt-a-lot' or I'm calling you 'bastard' Colin!"

"Fine! But yes trust me on this! So run on my count okay?"

I hesitate and peer over his shoulder at the beast. With a worried sigh I whisper the word, "Okay."

"One..." He puts his open arm on his hip and grips a knife.

"Two..." I feel his arm press against my shoulders, ready to release.

"Three!" I push off of him and hustle out of the cave. I hear a fearsome scream followed by a booming roar. Then I hear the sound of metal-to-skin (or scales in this case) that sends a shudder down my spine. A ball of fire bursts from the entrance of the cave and I see Colin tumble out, the fire practically chasing him. Before I can scream or stop him, he jumps off the side of the cliff. I lose my breath and cover my mouth. But then I hear a splash and a flush of relief comes over me. Thank god for lakes. The beast crashes through the stone to reveal itself as a dragon, its cold, gold eyes still filled with bewilderment. Blood drips off of its hind leg, and it looks for a new target.

And that target is me.

A strange noise grows from the back of the dragon's throat and it shoots burning flames in my direction. I jump out of the way, then see that it caught the tip of one of my arrows. I snatch it from the ground and shoot the flaming tip into it's throat. The dragon recoils and thrashes its head side to side, trying to remove the weapon from its neck. With the distraction, I race to the opposite side of the cliff and dive.

*     *     *

The impact of the water knocks the air out of my lungs, and I choke under the surface. A hand wraps around my waist and throws me to shore. I cough out the water and look up to see Colin and a dazed king.

"Are you okay? You basically blew up the lake with that splash," Colin snickers, brushing off grains of sand stuck to his skin.

"Fine," I choke, spitting a mouthful of water onto the sand. I wring out my hair, finding bright seashells knotted into the thick, black wads. I hear a distant splash of the arrow hitting the water, turning some of it red from blood. The dragon's head peeks over the cliff edge and it checks for us. Luckily, it overlooks us and grunting, returns to its crumbled dome.

"This may be a bad time to ask," the king says, "But how was the place?"

Colin and I turn our heads to him and just give him a 'are you kidding me' look.

"Noted," he mumbles, frowning.

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