Here's more of my story!
Moss squishes beneath my hands. My eyes flutter open, and my surrounds slowly come into focus. Sunlight streams through golden aspen leaves, and I can hear the morning birds beginning their song. As I drink in my surroundings, I take in the state of my body. I am filthy, famished, dehydrated, and lightheaded. I might be suffering of internal bleeding, I have at least two broken bones, a much bruised body, a scratched-thin voice, and my lungs are in no good shape what so ever. However, sleep has at least saved me from death and my ball of light has disappeared. I believe it used all its healing powers, I may never know.
The first thing that commands my attention is my thirst. I’m feeling faint, and I can’t remember the last time I had a drink of water. I scrunch up my brow as I concentrated on the location of the stream I heard in the distance, its bubbling cheeriness filled me with warmth and I felt a ghost of a smile etch itself on my lips.
Not bothering to stand up, I used my hands and dragged myself to the sound of the stream, after only two minutes of this ridiculous task, I broke through a clearing and saw a most lovely, pure stream flowing with such a wonderful drink before my very eyes.
My nails are caked with dirt by now. I slowly pull myself to the stream. It burbles and trickles as it flows merrily on its way. How sweet. I manage to sit up, fighting extreme vertigo, and I lean forward, rinse my hands, and bring a handful of water to my mouth. I close my eyes in relief and pleasure as the water slips down my throat. I drink more water and my stamina increases perhaps a snail’s pace. As I bring another handful of water to my mouth, I hear the slightest rustle. My senses snap to attention and the water drips, forgotten, through my fingers.
Through the brush, I see a silhouette approach. My head hurts, my pulse bulges through my brain. I’m frightened, but I can’t move, like a petrified rabbit. All I can think is, They’ve followed me. They’ve found me. I’m hoping with all my aching heart that it’s not Them. And when a boy, a human, I think, appears, and calls to me, I’m so relieved it’s not Them I collapse.
I am not unconscious, but I feel my mind detached from my body, and black spots blur my vision. I hear a voice, “Oh, no! No! Come on! Stay alive! Come on! Oh! Alphiaus! She’s dying! Help!”
My vision is cut off and I realize my eyes have rolled to the back of my head. A moan escapes my lips. Then, I finally lose consciousness, not fifteen minutes after I regained consciousness from my last escape.
My lids don’t feel so heavy now. That’s nice. A luxury that I haven’t experienced for what seems like a long time. Perhaps I have finally died. That is a luxury of its own. I try to move my fingers, and find that I am still alive. Oh, joy. I bring my hands to my face, and my hands feel so much better, and my face feels smoother, and the bruises and cuts, and scabs are gone. I finally puck up the courage to open my eyes, I drank in my surroundings.
I was in a soft little bed, with golden posts and soft, warm blankets. My head is propped up on a pillow and next to me is a little wash stand with a porcelain wash basin and a mirror above it. Next to it is a window and I catch my breath. Outside I catch a small glimpse of the mountains I used to live on. It’s cloudless today, a rarity, and the sun is glistening on the aspen and it gives off a golden light into the room. There are several windows, and I realize I am rather high up, perhaps in a tree. There is a small wardrobe and the doors are open, revealing my old, worn, torn, but clean rags. I see a few garments in there as well, and when I look at my apparel, I find I am wearing a soft blue night dress. I am all clean, I feel completely healed. Whoever saved my life has taken good care of me. There is also a little writing desk with parchment and a pen. There is a screen which one would change behind, and I little plush chair beside it, but otherwise the room is completely bare.
I sit up, and for a while, I just sit, in total shock. That I am still alive, that no one else is, and that nothing was a dream.
Finally, I shake my head and pull my senses together. I get out of bed and cross to my wardrobe. I slip on my skirt. It must have been torn up so much at the hem that it had to have been trimmed by at least six inches, leaving it much higher above my ankles than I like. My shirt is now only short-sleeved, and a bit more threadbare and patched-up, but it will have to do. My belt is still in good condition, and my red string was still in my pocket so I use it to put up my hair, as I always do. However, my supple leather shoes are damaged beyond repair. There are holes in the soles and it gives me a little pang of sadness to have to dispose of them. To procrastinate doing so, I place them back in the wardrobe and grab another pair of shoes that are made out of leather, but are a lot less soft and flexible.
I look in the mirror above my wash stand. I look reassuringly normal. Like a regular day at the tea shop. My parents passed away when I was ten, leaving me and my sister, who was nine years older than me. Dellah, my older sister, worked very hard to take care of a ten year old girl and run a house. She soon married a man named Cazkah, and together we started a tea shop. She was seven months pregnant when she was taken away. Cazkah soon followed her.
My eyes sting and slap my face. I cannot cry. Warriors do not cry. I cannot cry. I am the survivor. I mustn’t cry.
I wipe my eyes and I take one last look in the mirror, I stop short. What I hadn’t noticed before was that my brown eyes are now gold, the exact same color of the little orb that had saved my life. Queer. I’d need to find someone and research more on these orbs. Otherwise I look normal. My pale face with an abundance of freckles, my thin nose, and my chest nut hair. I looked slightly starved but nothing a little food wouldn't cure.
I inhale a deep breath. Time to go meet my fate. I approach a cut out in the floor. I lifted it up, and below reveals a rope ladder. Here goes nothing. I put my foot through the trap door and begin my descent into the unkown.