To the Sea and From the North

Kenna Wood stumbles through the merciless forest for days. As she journeys, she thinks that oh, this must be what it would have been like, before! This babbling creek, these swaying trees... that's what it was like before. This water that she gulps down... it's precious. Men have fought wars for this water and yet... it's all hers.

The world is at her disposal.

She ventures away from the North, away from her life, in search of the world in the meadows. From the meadows, she will learn and grow and live and from there--from the meadows... she'll leave for the Sea.


2. 2

"And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know"
-Awake my Soul, Mumford and Sons

The morning she arrived was a cloudless one. The birds sang their happy songs atop tree branches that swayed gently in the sweet breeze. It was one of those mornings where last night's moon was still visible over the horizon; this moon was just barely a sliver. Only a glimpse of it could have been seen last night, even when the midnight sky was darkest. Jonathan was not the first to see the girl; his eyes were not as trained as Dan's. His old mentor had been doing it all much longer than he. Some things came naturally to the boy. Observation was not one of those things. Dan had had to mutter a low what the hell? and point his binoculars in her direction before Jonathan even noticed her. She walked towards the pair with steps so careful she appeared to not be walking at all; really, she was gliding. She blended in with the slow sway of the trees. Her feet, on dry, brittle ground, made no sound. The most interesting thing, however, was not the girl who moved like the wind, nor that she had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. No... the most intriguing thing, the most out of the ordinary; the bow slung over her shoulder. Now, it was the boy's turn to wonder aloud: 

"What the hell?" 

Jonathan Barry looked to his mentor. He'd never seen a bow in person; merely pictures in books from many dozens of years ago. He hadn't even known people still used them. Guns and explosives... the occasional knife, even... those were the only weapons he thought people still knew how to sue. But then again... He did not know much, especially compared to the seemingly endless knowledge people like Dan were thought to have. And people like Dan-- there weren't many, but several were all they needed. 

As she neared the Box, two armed guards ran out to meet her, guns loaded and raised. She continued her graceful waltz, showing no signs of either raising her bow in defense or stopping. Jonathan found it strange that she wouldn't falter with two fully loaded assault rifles aimed at her head; he knew he would, if he were to find himself in her position. It was not until she stood a mere yard from the two men that she finally halted. Jonathan watched through his binoculars as her lips moved; she spoke to the two men, presumably introducing herself. He could not hear her words. She engaged in what could be assumed to be a diplomatic conversation with the two, given the lack of firing. She maintained her calm demeanor all the while, ignoring the two guns at her head. After a couple of seemingly eventless minutes of conversing, the guards lowered their guns. After another few minutes, she handed her bow, quiver, and a knife she produced out of nowhere to one of the men. Another several minutes following that, another man walked out of the Box and joined the three. Jonathan quickly identified the man as Jim Binder, the self-elected leader of the fortress. After what must have been a half-hour of civil conversation, the four walked inside. 

Jonathan turned to Dan. 

"Who was that?" He finally asked, after thirty minutes of self-restraint. His curiosity had been building since he first saw the strange girl. 

"The girl? I couldn't say," the wise man confessed. "But her people? The Northern Clan." Jonathan's brow furrowed. He racked his brain; The south Clan, the Mountain, and the Seaside Clans... He'd never heard of any Northern Clan. Surely, the people of the Meadow couldn't have any relationship with them... it would never go undetected. 

"Northern Clan?" 

"You could tell by the bow on her shoulder. They're the only clan on this coast that still use those." 

"Who is the Northern Clan?" Jonathan asked. 

"What is the Northern clan," he corrected me. "They're violent. Terribly, terribly violent. Rather than work together and share their resources as the rest of us do, they wish to control it all."

"Control it all?" 

Dan was the type who enjoyed giving vague answers, so Jonathan could ask questions and keep him talking. 

"The water," Dan said. "The land. The trees. The animals. In our case, I'd imagine they want the Box." 

Jonathan nodded his head in understanding. "But... The bow? Why use a bow? That can't be practical. Are they unable to make guns?" He wondered aloud. 

Dan shook his old head. "Did you see the way the girl approached us? How careful her steps were? And the way she blended effortlessly into her environment, even sub-consciously? The Northerners value stealth as their most important combat skill. The last time they attacked in the Mountains... they did not know of their presence until the first arrow flew.

"You've never been in the Mountains, Jonathan. Their village is small and rickety, surrounded on all sides by trees. There is a river near the village, which roars loudly and provides them with water. Because the children are raised their by the retired, there are little people there capable of combat. Of course, there are always a few combat soldiers guarding them, but there was not nearly enough manpower the day the Northerners attacked to take on a full army. By the time soldiers had arrived from the Meadows, all those who had not gone into hiding had been killed or injured badly. The few soldiers that had been stationed there as guards were killed. It took another two days after the arrival of the reinforcements to force the Northerners out, even with the advantage of gunpowder. That's how strong and skilled they are. That's how ruthless they are. There were only children there, and the retired. They killed hundreds."

Jonathan gulped. "And... She's from there?" 

The old man nodded. 

"So guns are... too loud for them?" 

"Guns are too loud," Dan said. His repetition of Jonathan's question affirmed the statement. Dan turned back and kept a keen eye on the woods, surely waiting in anticipation for any more warriors from the North to arrive. Jonathan kept an eye out as well; he knew Dan's trained eyes were more useful than his by a tenfold, but he scrutinized every branch and bush nevertheless. And he kept a close watch on the woods for the rest of his shift, not allowing the curiosity of the Northern girl and her violent people and her careful composure distract him from his immediate duties. Job, for the time. Curiosity could come later. At lunch, when Freddie relieved him for lunch, Jonathan had not seen one bit of abnormal movement in the woods. More importantly than Jonathan's lack of seeing anything, Dan had seen nothing. 

Although Jonathan and Dan were both relieved for lunch, Dan, being the selfless old man he was, and wise, made the decision to lend his keen eyes to the woods for several hours past his shift as an added safety precaution. 

Jonathan made his way from the Dome, where he was stationed for his post, to the ground floor where the kitchen cube held lunch trays piled high with food and his friends. Rather than sit at his regular table in the corner with Dan, Jonathan joined his friends at the table across the room where the trainees would sit. There was Louis, with his keen eyes, Michael, with his blunt, straightforward attitude, Dennis with the trick in his smile, and Rich with his quiet mind and loud, red hair.

"Hey, man," Louis greeted him. He was the observant one, out of the five boys. He always saw people first. He was always the one to pick up on when something was strange, and he was the best at discerning whether or not a rumor had any validity behind it. He and Jonathan, considering the knowledge and the curiosity, could often be found discussing current topics with each other late at night. 

"Hey, guys," Jonathan said, setting down his tray. He looked at the boys expectantly, meeting each of their eyes individually. 

"So?" He urged them to spill whatever gossip they'd heard throughout the day. 

Michael gave him a pointed look. "What do you mean, 'so'? You're the one who was in the Dome!" 

Jonathan shrugged. "I only got to see her go in," he explained. "I haven't heard anything about her. What have you guys heard?" 

Four pairs of eager eyes turned to Louis. 

"Well," he began. "Some people think she's from this group of people from the North, who apparently are these weird, crazy old-fashioned warrior-type people who we don't like very much." Jonathan nodded; nothing he hadn't heard from Dan. 

"Has anyone seen her since she got here?" Jonathan asked. 

Rich shook his head. "She's been in my Dad's room the whole time." 

Rich Binder was the son of Jim, the self-proclaimed (yet still unifying) leader. Being the leader, it's difficult to be liked by everyone, and Jim certainly fell into that category. Jonathan had no negative opinions about his leadership styles. Rich, however, was the absolute opposite of his father. Quiet, reserved, and humble, Rich fit in well with the group of friends. There was him, the quiet and always calm one; Louis, being the observant one, was naturally the eyes and ears of the group. Michael was blunt and straightforward; many people disliked him for his brutal honesty, but Jonathan found it refreshing. There weren't many people like him who wouldn't be afraid to tell someone what they needed to hear. 

Dennis was a socialite; with his beautiful, devilish face and suave persona, was easily pegged as the player of the group. Even with a relatively limited selection of girls in the fortress, he always managed to have some girl who appeared interested in him. He was the most amiable out of the five, and the easiest for others to talk to, and, when need be, he could be the most manipulative. There was always a sly twinkle in his eye, his smile was rarely a smile but a smirk. 

Jonathan was unsure of his role in the ragtag group of boys. He was the only one in the mentorship program, though Louis with his skeptical mind could surely be useful. Jonathan was all right in terms of athleticism, good with weapons, but not the best. Far from it, in fact; he was mediocre when it came to strategy and wits, though he'd grown since Dan had taken him under his wing. 

Jonathan finished his lunch with the boys quickly, stayed and chatted for a while, and then retreated to his room after an exhausting first half of the day. 

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...