Xperia 2.5

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Her body plummeted to the floor, her eyes shut for impact. When the pain, and snap of bone didn’t come she felt a cold shiver wrap around her body. Then the floor under her back. Arellia opened her eyes, looked about her, and noticed that she was no longer within Alasdair’s vicinity.

How had that girl known who she was? Or better question why did they hate her for it? Then another came to mind… Why were they here?

They didn’t send children out here, they sent adults, criminals. To fight an ongoing raging war. Well… There was no war, there was only that thing.

So many riddles in her head, they rattled around. They made her emotionally conflicted, but also distrustful… With brows furrowed, she look to the sun which now bowed into its decent. Arellia followed the sun into the forest.

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To be continued… 

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Xperia 2.4

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“We’re not all children…” Alasdair sounded pout, it put a small smile on Arellia’s face. “Some of us are older than we look”. He rushed toward a small boy that had waved to him. It left her to think about her next move. When a small girl squealed from behind her. Her tiny dirty finger was pointed stoic still at Arellia. Every eye pinned towards her. Some confused, others surprised, but not as curious.

“It’s fine Kimi! She’s not an intruder…” Alasdair came running. The girl screamed again. Her glare unflinching as she stared Arellia down. The girl was thin, where baby fat should coat a layer under her skin was bone, and scars. Her eyes were a deep brown, and they were imprisoning Arellia. Alasdair turned her body to him, but her eyes remained in the conflict. “I brought her here, would you look at me?”. A whimper bubbled from her throat. “Look at me, please”. She snapped, screamed in his face, and pointed at the backwall beside the tree ladder entrance.

That was when Arellia noticed the depiction carved into it. Her heart sank, her blood froze in her veins. The whole world fell away at that moment. It was the royal emblem. Her emblem. Scratched out. Viciously. Then the world returned with the heavy weight of malice burning in her direction. Alasdair looked to the wall, then stood up. His back was to her, but even still she could hear the ticking in his brain, the click at what Kimi meant, and the roll of shoulders back in decision.

“Are you…?” Before he could finish his question. Arellia ran, she didn’t bother turning to climb down the ladder. She jumped. “Wait!” She heard Alasdair call. It was too late. Her body was plummeting down.

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To be continued… 

Xperia 2.3

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When she reached the top there was a whole village of people living up in the trees. They were mostly children, with a few teens wondering around doing little jobs.

“What is this?” Arellia couldn’t believe her eyes. The structure was designed as a huge bungalow styled tree house. It was supported by at least ten trees. It was all made from wood. “How did you do this?”.

“What?” Alasdair asked as he clambered up after her. “This?” He gestured to the wooden structure with one finger circling in the air. “We found out a material in the dirt when in contact with air solidifies like concrete” he started, he tapped his foot to show her that it was solid underneath. “But once wet returns to its sticky liquid ways… Is that right liquid? It basically softens. So we had to find a way to keep it dry, which is why you couldn’t see it, the ivy plants we wrapped around it absorbs the moisture in the air” he smiled. He was clearly proud of there work. She couldn’t blame them, they were children how’d they survive?

“Are you all children?” She twirled around, and noticed a large population of children with a older teen looking boy teaching them to read, and write.

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To be continued…

Xperia 2.2

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“Let go of me!” Arellia snapped, she scratched at his hand but he still didn’t release her. He walked with her dragged at his heels for a couple of minutes. He moved smoothly between the trees even though the leaves of the trees above blocked out all the light. Another screech sounded closer now. No human cry followed just a crunch, and splash mingled together. She didn’t dare imagine what that meant.

“OK, climb the tree” he stopped beside a large thick trunk. It had ridges cut out of it in equal gaps clearly designed to be something of a ladder.

“No” she stomped her foot. Arellia wanted to go home, and go home she will.

“If you don’t you’ll die, is that what you want?” he said it passively as if death didn’t matter. It shocked her to not hear the typical viper tone designed to make you feel small. “Climb up, and tomorrow I’ll take you home deal?” he held out his hand. She looked down at it his hands were scarred with calluses, and nails chipped black. It was damaged but she found it a pleasant sight. She took the hand shaking it weakly before letting go. The heat from his hand was too comforting to be normal.

At first it was awkward to climb, she didn’t want to ruin her nails like he had, but in the end she forgot all about them. She concentrated on the burn in her thighs, and biceps. Her forearms cramped, and carves stiffened.

“Is there a house up here?” she panted.

“Sort of, you’ll see it soon enough” His reply was unbroken. He wasn’t even straining to get up here. How long had he been out here? He didn’t look that much older than herself.

“Can I ask your name?” she asked. She heard a slight chuckle which was close to a low rumble. She wanted to hear it again.

“You can ask anything you want” Arellia could hear the smile. She rolled her eyes, and clicked her tongue to her teeth to tut.

“What is your name?” She asked.

“Alasdair” his reply cut off.

“Alasdair?”.

“Just Alasdair”.

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To be continued… 

Xperia 2.1

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Behind Arellia was a young man, roughly the same age or so he looked, approached her. His hands held up as if that was to calm her. He was tall, skinny from the way his clothes hung loose from his shoulders, and skin was kissed golden by the sun. His face was chiseled with dark stubble to match his dark hair and eyes.

“Stay there” Arellia warned him. He paused in his tracks. She felt attracted to this man, his face had an appeal that drew her eyes in, but she wasn’t about to trust him. She should have picked a stupid guardian.

“I’m here to help” He was the first to say it. Though not that it mattered now, how could he help her?

“No you can’t” she shook her head. A screeched echoed in the distance. It was followed by another human cry. “I don’t think anyone can”.

“There are worse things here, I will take you back to the castle in the morning” His tone had picked up a slight urgency. It sent Arellia’s heart pounding.

“What could be worse than that?” she didn’t know what it was. It had killed, and continued to kill so many people that had been left out here.

“Let’s go” she had been so distracted by the noises that came from the forest, that she had not noticed him step close enough to touch her. He caught her wrist, and pulled her into the brush.

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To be continued… 

Xperia 2.0

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Her eyes squeezed shut while the cold that had touched her cheek seemed to sweep underneath her, and carry her somewhere. If she was to die shouldn’t she be brave, face it head on? It wasn’t like she was never going to die. This was a concept she shouldn’t be frightened of anymore.

Yet she was.

The chill placed her back in the ground. Then nothing. All was gone except for the sound of her own breathing. Her body relaxed, and her eyes unpinched.

Arellia was deep in the forest. She couldn’t even see the city wall over the trees from where she was. A soft crunch of grass made her gasp, and twist to face her back.

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To be continued… 

Xperia 1.9

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Arellia stepped out of the box room, and her ears were greeted with the soft crunch of grass. Her nose could smell damp dirt. The little hairs on her arms began to prickles, and her eyes widened when she saw the forest that lay beyond her walls.

The door slammed shut behind her, then a mini fake wall swap d over the top preventing her return. Her heart beat loud in her ears, and sweat glazed her palms. This was what she had done to the criminals of the city. No room for them in the city walls to lock them up so she sent them out as soldiers.

A cry of what sounded like a small group of men erupted the forest peace a little way ahead of her. Then she noticed other doors opening, more people came out. They wore the same horrendously uncomfortable garment that she did, but they didn’t hesitate to walk on. Arellia approached one of the men that had come out.

“Excuse me” that sounded far too meek for where she was.

“What?” he was a gruff man, beard, dirty skin, and maybe even just a touch of pink eye. Arellia stepped back when he turned. He was much taller than her, and bulkier too.

“Nevermind” Arellia back tracked from her plan of asking what to do. She tried to remember what she had signed for them to do. She attempt to turn back towards the wall, and slip back in when another person comes out.

“Come on, this way” The man snapped up her wrist, and dragged her into the shadows of the forest. The sudden wariness dawned on her that she had no idea what crime he had been sentenced. Then again he didn’t know about her either. “If you stay by the wall you’ll die, they always die”. He started rambling. She heard screams, and a crunch in the distance. “It’s already started”. No one really knew what was out here, they had been sealed in by the wall for centuries. All knowledge of it lost. Arellia really wished she had spent more resources into their ancestral artifacts, and documents. Another scream, followed by a higher pitched scream. “It’s coming, we have to move quicker, only got one chance” Arellia looked back at the man. One chance? He whipped her around and pressed her front to a tree. His dirty body sweated onto her, as he started ripping her clothes.

“Are you a fool!?” she started screaming, but he covered her mouth with a grungy hand making her cringe. His breath was just as foul as the rest of him.

“Shush, one last go before I die, yeah?” she didn’t get the chance to mumble through his hand. A high pitched whispering passed over him, and all she saw was shadow. His weight was removed from her body, and she slumped to the ground. The forest was eerie quiet. Did she dare turn around? Her heart was beating hard against her chest, and her skin felt contaminated. Something cold touched her cheek, and she couldn’t stop the flinch that followed.

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To be continued…