Briar and the Rose

Fourteen year old Briar Mitchell''s life is just getting started when it is the only one left in the world. Stolen away by a mysterious girl from another land, she must recreate her life amongst people she does not understand - but why?

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1. Prologue

It started like any normal day. I woke up, got washed, changed, dressed, had breakfast, met my friends at the end of the road, and walked to school just like I would have any other day. Except this wasn’t any other day. This was the day that I met Rosalind Carson, and the world conveniently ended.

I sat in registration, doodling in my homework diary as I pretended to jot down the notices on the board, glancing up every so often to see ‘Trip to Paris – Textiles’ or ‘Writing Workshop – All Years and Ages’ or ‘Join the programming club – S2s’. Boring, boring, boring. “Bry, pay attention!” my friend, Ellie, had hissed to me, pointing at a girl who stood at the front of room three hundred and two, shaking slightly even though she tried to hide it.

“Everybody, this is Rosalind, and she will be joining your class. I hope you will all be very kind and welcoming to her,” the teacher, Miss Harrison said, smile forced. Everyone in the room knew that would never happen. Most likely, she’d be abandoned by the poor unfortunate soul who had to buddy her, and arrive at all the wrong classes at all the wrong times, until someone stepped in and helped her.

Maybe it was the thought of me being in that position that took a hold of me, as I raised my hand and volunteered to show her around, much to Ellie’s embarrassment. “Thank you, Briar,” Miss Harrison beamed, before shuffling her plump body back to behind her desk.

The next five or so minutes consisted of Ellie and I examining Rose, who had brown hair like mine and green eyes like Ellie’s. She was fairly tall, like me, and her tan was only slightly lighter than mine, far away from Ellie’s ghost-like complexion.

“So, how do you like the town?” Ellie questioned as we left the room, leading her to somewhere which was definitely our History classroom, which would probably annoy a few of the boys, who liked a laugh, but I didn’t care. Let them have their fun in other ways, like setting cans of Irn Bru on fire in the skate park or something.

“It’s alright,” Rose replied.

“And is your house nice?” I asked.

“It’s alright,” came the same response.

“What about where you used to live?”

“It was alright.”

I could see we weren’t really getting anywhere, and so tried a different approach. “So, why did you move here?”


“My dad got a new job. This is nearer.”

“Cool. What does he work as?”

“He’s a chef, and there’s a restaurant opening up near here that wanted him.”

“Is it that new Italian place, Artelli’s?”

“Yeah.”

“That is so cool. Do you get free food?”

That last question was me, and I think I confused Rosalind a little bit, as she stared at me for a few moments, before answering, “No. I don’t like it anyway.”

“You don’t like Italian food? Like, pizza and stuff? God, you’re weird!” Ellie laughed, swinging around on the stairs.

“El!” I hissed, rolling my eyes. Then, to Rosalind, “Don’t mind her. The addiction to pizza is worse than an addiction to, like, alcohol and cigarettes combined.”

Rosalind didn’t even laugh. We asked her a few more questions on the way to History, but she didn’t reply, and remained silent even when I explained to her what we were studying during the lesson, only nodding at a few things here and there in a robotic fashion, like she’d been programmed to do it.

I suppose I should have seen it coming, when I walked in the room to see Gary Watson flicking her ponytail during Art with paint and she all of a sudden hit him over the head with a (full) tub of water, before kicking the computer and shouting at me to get outside, which I, understandably, did.

 

Five minutes later, she walked out the school's glass double doors, sat down next to me on the wooden and cackled as the world began to burn.

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