A world of fear created by someone wanting revenge. Does it sound fair?
Ellie is born into a world separated into three. One, the cursed. Two, the hunted. Three, the safe. Where will she be? Who will she love?
Rebecca is on the run, from what though?


2. Forest of frost

Forests are picturesque, they are marvelled on from all over the world. Some even famous although over time their names have been long forgotten.

 Art was my favourite lesson. The flow off lead on paper, the world an open sketchpad, and the memories made after an artist has finished their famous masterpiece going for hundreds and thousands of pounds. That is where I will end up, or hope to end up after this apocalypse is over. Where I will be a soul sucking demon, great.

If I can remember, my teacher was called Mr Carruther. Eccentric, wild curly raven hair like a Romany gypsy, and a peculiar scar above his left eye that he would never discuss.  

This was the man that would lead me to the Forest of Frost.

A trickle of water from a distant stream echoes through the enclosed area. This is where he left me, well actually abandoned me. He said ‘Think big and the world will come to you.’

A frozen forest was his idea of ‘creativity.’

Gnarled up trees with roots playing pranks on you ‘trip, trip, trip’ they would chant. Birds roosting high in the trees, away from the weird blonde girl down on the handmade (my hands) path. And lastly that sudden chill on the back of my neck, saying- warning me that something is coming, something big.


I shoot around, searching for the source of the sound. My search doesn’t last long.

Ten or more of Them are coming, bounding through the forest as if they knew the area of by heart. Of course they do, this is their land... this is their home. I am an intruder and a human.


Twigs slap against my cheeks, one under my eye, and one on my chin. They are slowing me down, feeding me to the predators. But I will not give up, not now.

Safe haven; a crevice in a rock, a underground tunnel with swerving paths leading Them on a wild goose chase until they give up, that is all I need. But will they give up? The answer will most defiantly be no.

Their breathes are tickling my neck, but when I have a sharp turn to the left they are nowhere near me, maybe twenty feet away. Will that be enough for me to leave the forest?

My smooth breathing soon turns to ragged breaths, each lung gasping, pleading with me to stop. I can’t though; if I stop I will be one of Them.

A river opens up through the oak trees, an archway to heaven. Just a few feet and I will be there.

A hand on mine jolts me back into the darkness, the river is fading in the distance. The ground and my back impact together, in a crippling manner. One, two, three, four of Them stand just above me. Each one with a hint of a smirk on their lips.


Beads of sweat break out on my forehead, my palms are clammy. I can still feel the thrilling cold on the back of my neck, but I am alive. Thankfully.

‘Bad dream?’ Lizzie, my older and dominant sister, is hunched over the little gas oven. We found this in an abandoned school house a few weeks ago.

We had been on the run for a few days; the last shelter we were in was invaded by Them, Lizzie and I luckily escaped but the others had been turned. Truthfully I wanted to give up, we were hungry and cold (winter was drawing in.) Lizzie, though, had hope. She believed something would come for us that God won’t give up on us.

 I remembered at that moment the long Sunday mornings listen to the vicar preach about the Upturning and how God will watch over all of us, the safe ones. Lizzie was always engrossed, after a sermon, she would run home and read from the Bible for an extra hour. I, however, did not care about church. In fact, I hated it I would ball and cry not wanting to go, but my mother always roped me in with a promise of an ice-cream even on rainy days. This worked until I was twelve when I realised I was gaining a bit of weight, I stopped going to church. I think that must have been the biggest fallout Lizzie and I had. Lizzie still carries around her smaller version of the Bible around, at that moment of giving up she held it in her hand, rubbing her thumb along the worn leather.

A day later, we came upon the boarding school.

It was behind a pair of iron gates, which were embellished with the school logo. Vines and thorns were scattered up the gates, when we reached the other side of the gate my hands were covered in scratches and thorns.

The boarding school was huge; it was grey bricked and black slate roof. Now though there weren’t as many slates as there probably use to be and the building was faded like a blurry picture. That is what I found creepy of the school. Though the memories of young children roaming them corridors and then turned spooked me slightly, the thoughts of the faded walls were unimaginable. How can a building be faded?

The door to the school hangs on its hinges, creaking slightly in the cool breeze. When inside the school you are transformed into the years before the Upturning and the cure, even before young Arias Grey was born. Stone walls surrounded the foyer ripped and discoloured flyers stuck to the walls, from maths club to counselling each told some sort of history. A lone wooden desk stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, unscathed and unused.

Leaving the foyer and desk behind, we head into various classrooms and a room we think to be the main hall. We couldn’t find anything useful as everything was destroyed beyond repair. It must have been luck but we found a supply cupboard, stored with dried packet food, blankets and the gas camping oven for emergencies.

Taking the blankets we stayed at the school for two days, using the gas oven to its fullest.

Raising myself from the marked mattress, the smell of powdered egg hit my nose. Inhaling, it gives me the momentum to stand. After a few seconds waiting to let my head stop spinning, I joined Lizzie near the scrambled eggs.

‘Yeah it was another one. Lizzie why is this happening to me?’ Lizzie nodded, understanding the dreams I go through. Every night I have a similar dream running and dying. Running and dying. Lizzie went through the same dreams but hers were a lot worse, she saw other people running then dying. The next day the same people would be on the news ‘Another turned.’ That is the reason why we left; someone close was in her dream. So now we are in ‘No man’s land’ the parts of land between each district. It was called No Man’s Land because after a week here it is more likely you have been killed by Them or starvation. Lizzie and I have been out here for three months now, leaving our loving mother in the Safe Zone, where we were born. Lizzie does not suffer with the dreams now but I do.

‘Ellie,’ she pauses a second, lifting our rationed food onto one of the tin plates and then passing it to me. ‘You have to realise that They are always on our mind so a lot of people will dream about them.’

‘What about your dreams?’ I snapped, this was the same answer she said all the time, she knew something else though I know she did. Her eyes always left mine to wander around; she also fidgeted a lot which she is doing now with the eggs on her plate. When we left our mum, she had giving us some heirlooms from the family and a letter each. My letter told me to keep safe and listen to Lizzie. Whilst Lizzie’s seemed to be a story, there were four pages to her letter (I only had two) and there was a little note wrapped in some string which she never showed me. This note is my answer to the dreams.

Lizzie’s eyes are now hooked to the sloped ceiling. ‘You know I can’t describe my dreams, mum couldn’t either. It just happened and I can’t help you with yours. All I can say is try to overcome them, stop them.’

But how could you stop a dream from happening, when you are not sure how the dream will go.

Suddenly, my appetite has gone. I slide the plate along the ground towards the washing bowl, Lizzie glares at the full plate but I am too annoyed with her to explain. When you are in No Man’s Land, you have a rule (not the obvious one of staying alive) but when you get food do not waste it. It is hard enough to get food here, only from abandoned buildings and shelters. Fortunately, we have come upon both of them but soon our luck would run out.

I walk towards the only window in the hut, away from Lizzie’s glare. Surveying the room it looks empty and old, except for a few off our possessions. Last night, was when we found the shelter. We had just left the abandoned school and it was becoming late, we came upon it. Lizzie reckons it was a groundskeepers hut, the size and its surroundings say there must have been a grand house in the area. Now looking at in the broad daylight, you can see how damaged and battered it is. The lone window is cracked and murky, cobwebs circle each corners of the window some of the meals still dangling from threads. The whole hut is wooden, so from rainfall the floorboards and roof has sloped down from the amount of pressure. Discoloured patches from rain and other substances dot around the ground like a patchwork quilt. When we came into the hut the only objects in there was a marked mattress and a plastic bowl.

The objects we brought are all near the door in case we need to leave suddenly. There are two backpacks full of rationed food, blankets, first aid kits, water bottles, plates and two blue whistles with ribbon tied around the loop. The whistles are used if we lose each other in an invasion. Mobile phones aren’t around anymore, when the district started to ration mobile phones were one of the first things we lost.

Under the washing up bowl, there are a few pieces of paper. It is used for sending messages to the others around No Man’s Land. They tell us if there is any shelters close or if there have been any invasions. We haven’t yet got any messages, Lizzie sent one last night to the others saying we have found a hut. Obviously we can’t stay here forever we will need more food soon.

The only other object in the room was tucked up in one of the t-shirts. Sticking out of my bag, ready to kill...ready to kill for revenge.  The Dagger of Rubies. 

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