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May 15



Please excuse the poor form; I was a bit rushed when I wrote this.



The wind howled over the rock I huddled under. Mother and Jakey hunched further behind me. My short hair scratched at my face in an attempt to conceal the scene before me. I wished I could let it. Let it hide these horrors from my memory. But I had to see; I had to watch to make sure they weren’t coming back. The murderers. I ran my fingers through my hair and adjusted my feet. My weight shifted forward until I could peer around the edge of the rock. A low rumble flowed over the top of the boulder, growing lower by the second. I retracted my head and brushed my fingers across the wood on Mother’s leg. The wood, she told me, had been replaced every seven years since she was seven years old. She called it her lucky number.

Fourteen feet joined the seven voices in a low chant, surrounding our rock in a bubble of static. The crunching leaves flowed into my ears, causing the hairs on my arms to stand at attention. Jake moaned under his breath, but I didn’t dare look back to correct him. I couldn’t bear to see his pale face or the spider webs of indigo that crawled away from his gash. I shivered, fire racing from my clenching heart to my numb toes. They did this – all of them.

Voices rose behind us; another group of savages had arrived.

3…” It was barely louder than a breath, so I tapped Mother’s braces three times.

2…” I shifted again, this time onto my toes. I heaved Mother’s arm onto my shoulders. Jake shuffled closer.

Run. The command wasn’t shouted. The word didn’t even leave my mouth.

Jake was the first on his feet, kicking dirt into the angry wind. Then I followed, dragging Mother’s limping body across the clearing. The howls of fury attack me from all sides. My hair stabbed at my eyes in fury. The enraged cries of our old company came at us from behind, their sporadic torches stretching the shadows of the night. Once again, I felt the pure ice curling over my pounding heart. It was all his fault.

The forest welcomed us with open arms, inviting us further in while preventing the mob from going further. The new sound was isolated, coming from the left. It’s echoes were lost in the deep growth.

The packed leaves muffled the thud. The sound of Jake hitting the ground. I whipped around, dropping Mother in my haste to identify the new, leftward threat. I stepped, one foot at a time, toward Jake’s body and the potential danger.

“Stay back.” It was a man’s voice, deep and low. I stopped. I could barely see the outline of his form; it was a mere lump against the growing light. He lifted Jake in his arms, jerked his head in the direction from which he came, and set off. I picked Mother up and glanced back. The pack was closing in.



The camp was quiet when we entered, not a soul to be seen. Stale campfire smoke was jostled in the wind. It hissed at us from between the squat cabins. We walked along the main path toward a building on the right. The man’s brown cloak swished softly around his ankles; his feet thudded against the tamped dirt. He opened the door with his shoulder, revealing rows of white-sheet beds. There was only one person in the room, sitting at a desk and shuffling papers.

“Tristan!” The first man shouted, catching the doctor’s attention. The chair shrieked against the wood floor as Tristan shoved it back, moving to help our rescuer. As soon as Jake was safe on the bed, the man in the brown cloak turned to me.

“Where is the group responsible?”

“Still in the forest.” I gasped.

“What did this?” He gestured to Jake’s unconscious form. "What monster?"

“My father.”

I need the rest of this story!!! I was captured right from the very beginning.

Excellent writing! I definitely enjoyed reading this I loved the way it was written, with the build up to the last line "My Father" I need the rest!! Great job!

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  • Warning, this is a crazy long chapter. This is what I wrote for the class anthology and it has more than a thousand words. From the Ashes They came with fire. I ran out of my tent and stood shocked. Red was all I could see. I ran around, looking for a safe place and found a stone store house. I hid in a corner and tried to block out the screams of pain and terror. I watched in horror as tents burst into flames and people lay motionless on the ground. Hiding, I covered my face and just sobbed, wanting my mama to hug me and save me from this, thing.   “Hello?” I tucked by head further behind my knees, hoping the person would leave. “Little girl? Are you OK?” I ignored her still and tried to quiet my tears. The woman was silent, and I thought she had left. I let out a shriek went she picked me up and started caring me out. Screaming, I thrashed in her arms, trying to get out of her clutches. I cried and struggled, not wanting to leave my home. She gave some soft shushes but I continued wiggling, reaching out for my mama.  She put me on a horse and we rode away. I watched with tears streaming down my face as my home burned to the ground.  They took me to a strange place. The tents were square and looked like trees. People had gathered and were staring at us with weird faces. One even had something wrapped around his head.  “Welcome Green Cloaks, what have you brought for us?” The one with the wrapping said. But he sounded weird, like he had something in his mouth. “Took care of a camp full of violent men and woman. There was one child, seems to be about 8 which we determined is still young enough to learn our laws. There must be a family that can take care of her.” The woman behind me said. “We will find someone Jane, go back to Camp and we will take care of her.”  One woman came up to us and Jane set me in her arms. This time I stiffened up as much as I could, feeling scared. She gave me a smile, but I wiggled until she put me down. I kept my head down as the others talked, waiting for them to decide.  “Come on dear, we found you a home.” This woman tried to put her hand on my back, but I flinched. Instead I just followed her into one of the tents. Inside there was another woman sitting in an old rocking chair.  “This is Ara, she is willing to take care of you and will be your new mother. Ara just, take care of her,” Jane then left the room and slammed the door.  Ara took my hands and held them tightly, so tight I couldn’t pull away when I tried. “Don’t worry child, you will forget what happened and you will live a wonderful life here in Sanctum. You will rise and be stronger than before.” I never forgot. Each night I had terrible nightmares of the fire reaching me and burning me like my family. Each day I saw the looks people sent my way that had me ducking my head. Ara even named me Phoenix, which reminded me daily that I was here because of fire. Instead I let these nightmares and looks burn inside me until someday I could let them out. Even now at thirteen, I still had this anger. Ara would remind me whenever I got angry to not be violent. Such hypocrites. Because of their violence I lost my family and my home. Because they were violent, I don’t remember my old name or the faces of my family. And they expected me to just forget and to peaceful. How stupid do they think I am?  “Hi Phoeb!”  I jumped up and let out a shriek at someone yelling. Turning around I glared at my best friend that had a smile on her face. “Come on, it’s not my fault. You didn’t respond when I was calling your name.” I didn’t respond and she took that as a cue to sit next to me. “Hey, isn't your birthday coming up? You excited?”  Not at all. They decided to make my ‘rescue day’ my birthday. The whole day is terrible, and I hate every second of it and every celebration Ara gives me.  “Yeah! It’s actually today. I’m turning fourteen and I’ll finally be able to know where the other kids go.” At Emma’s silence, I looked up at her. She was staring at me with wide eyes and her mouth open. “You forgot, didn’t you.” “It’s not my fault it only happens once a year! Don’t worry, I’ll come over tonight.” I let out a sigh and she just laughed at me. Everyone would come and I would have to act happy all night long. How tiring. Deciding to deal with a crazy Ara now instead of later I said good bye to Emma and trudged to the house.  As soon as I entered, I regretted it. Ara was madly sweeping the clean ground while muttering something under her breath. Tip toeing past the kitchen door way I winced at every wood creaking.  “Phoenix!”  I was not quite enough it seems. Knowing there is no escape, I went into the kitchen wearing a smile.  “My baby girl!” Ara dropped the broom and killed me in a hug. “I can’t believe you are already fourteen!” I didn’t respond and she decided to keep talking.  “People will be arriving in about two hours so we need to get to work so the house will be clean. This is a day for celebrations, and we need to be looking out best!”  I let out a groan and Ara gave me a frown. Not my fault I don’t want to clean for hours. But that’s exactly what I had to do. Only a couple people came. Some of Ara’s friends and the woman who ‘saved’ me. Thankfully Emma did come, and she was my company all night. Before everyone left, they all gave me letters, even Ara. Then they left and I was sent to bed, knowing my life was about to change. Finding out that Sanctum had a camp of warriors was the highlight of my life. Now I had a place where I could train, and no one would suspect anything. I loved strength, where most didn’t suspect much from an average girl, small and thin. Strategy was fun and entertaining; I was the boss at chess. Survival wasn’t my best sport, but there was this one boy who for some reason was crazy good at living in the forest no matter the season. I thrived at Camp, and for some reason I was actually happy. For a while I thought I could stay at camp and find the happiness I haven’t had since I was a child. I even made friends with a girl named Scarlet, she was friends with the survival boy.  Having survived Camp and being a good fighter, I was selected as a Green Cloak. This meant I could go outside the boundaries and see new world. It was great getting more intense training and doing small patrols. But that all changed when I went on my first expidition. I knew the Pure One Law and what I was promising to do. But to see people like Captain Jessie turn away people like me because they were different lit a fire within me. I saw people suffering even dying, yet we did nothing. We traded and explored but no one was allowed into the precious gates of Sanctum.  I died a little on the inside when we attacked our first ‘enemy’. I was sitting by the fire when she announced the scouts found a people that seemed violent. We would go closer and decide if they were a threat. I prayed they weren’t, I couldn’t kill another little girl’s family like they did to me. “Captain, can I talk to you.” She nodded and I followed her into her tent. “We can’t kill these people. They live a nice life and we shouldn’t destroy what they have. “  She turned around with a frown on her face. “You don’t know these people. They are savage and unforgiving. They kill and hurt for pleasure. If we don’t take care of them now, they will grow like a weed and suffocate Sanctum. We promise to protect Sanctum.” Captain gives me a fierce glare. “No matter what it takes.” Knowing she wouldn’t give up; I turn away and storm out. I promise to protect people like me. No matter what it takes. I grabbed my cloak and bow before stalking off towards the camp they call dangerous.  How can people just assume the people living in the wilderness are savages? From what I remember life was hard but not violent like Jessie says. I’ll save these people and prove that these people are fine just the way they are. I could see the fire of the camp and everyone was circling it. Totally normal people. As I came closer, I stepped on a branch and the snap rang out like lightning. “Don’t worry!” I put my hands up and shouted as men stood up and reached for weapons. “I am a friend and I promise these arrows are not for you.” One of the men stepped closer and let out a growl. “We do not need peoples like you, get!” To send a message, he raised a club high above his head. “I’m here to protect, people are coming to hurt you and I want you to leave.”  The people near the fire started murmuring and I smiled. If I could get them to leave the area, Jessie would never find them. Supplies wouldn’t last a whole mission to find us. “I promise upon my life! If you stay you will die. I will lead you to a safe place and you can even leave a scout here. Please just leave.” There was a pause before they turned to each other and talked. I waited out in the bushes with my arms still up.  Once they finished the man from earlier turned back to me. “Lead us stranger.”  I rushed forward to help them back up. Jessie and the others would come soon, and we had to get out before then.  Once everything was packed into bags and onto horses, I started leading people away. They decided to leave two men to watch the camp over the hill. To deceive Jessie, we left some old tents. We continued East until people started getting tired. Then we set up camp and waited for the scouts. It was almost an hour later when the two men ran into camp. Both were out of breath but had smiles on their faces. “Stranger was right! They came with arrows of fire and burnt the tents down. Then this lady sent people out and when she found out the tents were empty; she was steaming herself!”  I let out a small laugh as others chuckled. I wish I could have seen her surprised face. “Now that you trust me, I’ve got things to teach you. With laws we can be a peaceful people and with training we can fight back from those using violence to kill us. We will not be bullied anymore!” The people gave out a cheer and I smirked. The man from before stepped forward with a smile. “Thank you, Salvador. Because of you we are still here. And I still have my family.”  He puts his arm around the woman next to him and they share a look. “Thank you.”  I guess I did rise from my ashes. But I will not help them hurt other people. We will simply defend ourselves and become like Sanctum. Like a Phoenix we will grow from our losses until we can strike back. I smiled at the happy people around me that I had saved, ready for the future.
  • The streets of North Valley were narrow and littered in garbage. A haze hung over the small town, floating in the shadows as the residents went about their work. The fog trailed after Yvette as she shuffled toward the pharmacy. Her sneakers left ribbons of cleanliness behind her as they slid across the dusty street. She shoved her mouth into her elbow and proceeded to cough her lungs out through her throat. The few people walking by kept their distance, trying not to catch the virus she carried. She moved on, feeling the rough, stinging sensation against the back of her throat. The slump of her shoulders deepened as she approached the drugstore. The hostile gate guarded the front door and partially obscured the angry red “Closed” sign hanging diagonally across the glass entrance. A line appeared in her dirty face. Faces danced through her head. Myra, her best friend, hair splayed across the black satin of her coffin; not even her family wanted to attend the funeral. Thomas, the next-door neighbor, tumbling from the uppermost window of his house; as soon as the emergency responders had seen the red boils on his face and hands, they’d raced away in their whining ambulance. Mother, her tongue swollen like a million blueberries, swaying whenever she sat up. Herman, only four years old, unable to sleep from the heat in his head. She paced around the perimeter, examining windows and inspecting the few doors. Nothing was weak enough to break, or else it was barred off. The owner was long gone, taking with him the only cure for the Sickness. Yvette felt like a thousand bricks had been stacked on her heart. The family, or what was left of them, waited at home for their relief. Yvette straightened her spine and clenched her fists. She would return home with the Elixir. She threaded her thumbs through the straps of her backpack and set off at a brisk pace, toward the burning sun. Someone must have seen the pharmacist. The desert, once an open map, was now filled with waves of sandy rock. The shallow holes peered at Yvette from every level. She scanned the cavities for signs of life, but there wasn’t even a spark of fire. Occasionally, a gaping mouth would become a tunnel, and she would creep in with bated breath. She neared the end of the hills, hunched toward the ground. The man was long gone. Yvette shuffled into the last tunnel, barely casting her eyes around. It was a flicker, like a firefly, that caught her eye. It flung shadows on the rust-red rocks in a daring glow. She crept closer, rounding the corner. The little white-haired man sat in front of a fire, clutching a bag sewn of midnight sky. He had his chin tilted upward, gazing at the smoke that escaped through the ceiling. “Mr. Pickett!” Yvette exclaimed. “Thank God I found you! You have to help me.” He looked at her as if he was staring at the spider that caught him in a web. “I need you to cure my family. Please.” Her plead was cut short by a hacking cough that broke through her lips. She tried to take a step forward, and Pickett shot to his feet. “Not any closer!” He squeaked in a voice that reminded Yvette of the piglet in her favorite childhood movies. “Please, Mr. Pickett; they’re dy—” Once again, she was overtaken with coughing. She bent over to further clear her lungs, and Pickett dashed past her, still grasping the medicine tightly to his chest. “Mr. Pickett!” Yvette tried to call after him thought coughs, but he just kept running. Dots like flies buzzed in her vision as she curled up and fell to the floor. Her tongue stung with pins and needles; with each inhale, it filled with fluids and became a jellyfish-like cloud.
  • -------5 days later I stare at the dirt covered with a pool of red. Tears run down my face my eyes swollen and my cheeks puffy. My breathing was weak and my movements were stiff. I was fading, and the plague within me wasn’t taking it’s time anymore to take over what I have built for 27 years. I lay on padding that laid in our shelter we mad 2 days ago. The last spot started to flood so we had to move. I’ve only grown weaker by the days. Peter gets upset at me occasionally because I wouldn’t let him kiss my wound better. He thinks that because he didn’t kiss it I got worse. I’ve tried telling him it’s not his fault but he just won’t go for it. I rest my head back on the makeshift pillow at look up at the trees that I can see through a small crack in the ceiling. The sky is blue today and the animals are singing their beautiful songs again, springing life back into the forest.  Peter and Noah gather around me feeling my life draining and near its end. “Momma?” Peter wipes a tear from his face. “Yes?” I give him a soft smile. “I love you.” She gives me a hug and I hold him as best I can. Noah joins in on the hug. He pulls back at looks at me. “What will I do without you?” He gives me a strong face trying not to let the strain creep through his voice. “You will take care of our boy and teach him everything we’ve learned. You can do it Noah.” He puts his forehead on mine. “I love you.” His voice cracks. “I’ll always be with you.” I place my hand on his chest over his heart. “Right here.” I feel a gentle kiss on my arm. I look over and see Peter sit up quickly pretending he didn’t do anything. I’ve lost my voice at this point and can’t say anything. One tear runs down my face know his fate hoping it won’t affect him. I pull him into a hug with what little strength I have and hold him to my chest. I rest my head against his and look up to the light peeking through the roof. It slowly gets brighter. I close my eyes feeling the breeze kiss my cheeks, and the soft touch of the world around me slowly fading away. The last breath escapes from my lips and collides with the air taking it away for a short time. The End... The leaves blow around in the forest and the animal stay in their homes. Everything silent as the night grows nearer.  Almost faded footprints left by a known stranger. The sun beams down on a pile of roses that were carefully placed in an oval like pattern. Their petals only beginning to wilt. They still lie there beautiful after a week from being trimmed from the ground. The slight breeze hits them softly. The grass stirs and everything rumble only slightly around the flowers. *Gasp!* A deep breath taken in the Fayeless world.