The Prophecy-First Chapter of the Novel I'm Writing!

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The sun barley peers through the window in the kitchen but I'm already up. I soak the cloth I'm holding with cold water and squeeze it until it is almost dry but still cold. Placing it on Aunt Mazie's head makes her shiver a bit but then she just pulls the blankets over her even more. She has been sick for months but is my only family left and she must stay alive for me to stay here in Frenez.

I was only 4 when my parents died. Aunt Mazie was the only person left to care for me and had raised me and cared for me for 13 years so in return I find it in myself to care for her for these hard months.

The market will be open in an hour so I grab my coat and pull on my hunting boots my father left and make the long walk. It's a straight shot to the market from my home and always try my best to avoid people. I have never been the most talkative person since my parents died but I try to be friendly if I have to be.

As I pass the small blue house on the corner between streets Neil Tavern runs over beside me, "Hey Bri. Heading to the market?" Neil is one of the few people in this town that I talk to and who actual knows me.

I've known him since I was born practically his parents and mine had been very good friends and up until they died, according to aunt Mazie, we would spend every holiday together. My long blond hair, that I get from my mother, was always a topic between our parents since they thought we would get married and either have children with my blond hair and his blue eyes or his light brown hair and my light green eyes.

"Yeah. Aunt Mazie needed some more cough syrup. She is still sick," I can't bring myself to tell him that she has gotten worse and we can't afford a doctor to help her because I know he would offer to pay for it.

"Britten," his voice is soft and smooth, as usual he knows I'm not telling him everything and is trying to coax it out of me. I simple turn to look at all the beaten down houses and then look down at the dirt road. "It's nothing, honest."

We reach the market and I wins up staying with him to help him pick out apples and pears. "Britten, I know you don't want to, but tell me. What going on?" His last words echo in my head. What's going on is my aunt is dying and I can't do anything about it! I shout in my head but don't say it. I nod towards the woods and then start walking and he follows. We are silent as we cross the forest easily avoiding any animals and following the clear path we have made from walking this path so often. I sit down at the edge of the lake, our lake. We had come here almost daily since my parents death and just talk for hours but lately we have only gotten to talk when we walk to the market because of Aunt Mazie.

"She's gotten worse," I say in a voice so quiet he has to sit down next to me to be able to hear me. "I don't know how but she has. I think she's given up on trying to get better since she gave me her locket. Keep trying to give it back to her but she keeps giving it back." the last words barley make it out of my mouth before I break down into tears. Neil lets me lay my head on his shoulder and puts an arm around me rubbing my arm.

When I stop crying we sit there for what feels like hours before he finally says something, "It'll be alright. I know it will." His voice always seems to be the perfect tone and volume to make me do what he wants; it's smooth but reassuring forcing me to believe him although I know it's hopeless to and will lead to disappointment. I'm still laying on him as we sit there with the world seemingly at a standstill as I turn towards him. He is looking over at the lake but catches my gaze and our eyes lock. He leans down and kisses my forehead then rubs my arm again before forcing me to get up.

We walk silently back to our homes. He walks me to the front door and then starts to walk away before I have a chance to stop him, to thank him, or to even say goodbye because I know I may never see him again if I think what's going to happen does. I open the door and find my aunt Mazie on the couch sitting up staring into the locket I sat beside her bed.

"I only ask that you keep this. It will help you achieve great things one day. You and I both know what you're going to do and I'm asking you tell me goodbye and leave before I die." I know she is telling the truth. I hate it, too. I don't want to run but I know that if I stay I may never have my freedom. I have been researching anywhere possible and have decided to run north and see if Tamen exists. Tamen is a supposed secret country full of luxury and is practically a utopia.

It is supposedly destroyed by the Frenez government but there is no facts to prove it. I know it's stupid thought but I feel as though it does exist even though there is nothing to prove that either.

I pack my backpack with some dried fruit and vegetable, am extra pair of socks and clothes, and a light jacket. I put on my father's hunting belt that carries his knife and a box of dry matches. I slowly walk over to

Aunt Mazie and hug her. We sit for a few minutes just hugging each other and aunt Mazie kissing my cheeks. Finally I tell her I love her and she places the locket around my neck and gives me my old watch to keep track of time.

I walk out the front door with a note in my hand meant for Neil that I wrote a few weeks ago anticipating my running away. It explains almost everything or at least enough to find me if he wants. In a way I almost want to knock on the door and give it to him myself but can only leave it in the porch, knock, and run towards the forest. I look back through the trees and see his face drop as he reads the words I've written. Before he is done I start to run not wanting see what he does when he reads the last words and my signature.

Unlike our path to the lake this part of the woods is scattered with roots, leaves, and broken branches on the floor and I try to avoid them as best as possible because right now I don't want Neil to follow me. I want him to stay with his family because that's who needs him, not me. I know that he would probably find a way to reason with me to stay or for me to let him come with me, probably say how his older brother could care for the family with out or something like that. But I figured that this is something that at the moment I need to do on my own.

I hear footsteps behind me and I know it's Neil. I run faster then throw myself behind a larger tree and try to slow my breathing and keep myself from running to him. "Britten! Come on Bri! This isn't what you want!" He is shouting, not his usual tone when he is shouting this is filled with desperation.

I can tell he is tired by the time he stops and just sits by the tree next to me. I freeze instantly when he lies down and his head leans again the tree I'm hiding behind. You know he is right, I tell myself, you know you want him to come. I pull myself together finally when I hear him get up and walk the other way. I wait a few moments and then get up as well and walk a while.

I walk almost six more miles past our lake, where I stopped to get water and fill a container I found, past the whole town and now all I can hear is small animals scurrying away towards their homes as dusk approaches. When I stop it's gotten dark out. I gather wood for a fire and set it how I think it's supposed to go. Because Its nice and dry and I'm not overly tired I attempt to light the fire without matches. It takes a lot longer than I thought it would before a spark ignites the wood. I eat some of the dried fruit and then doze off into the night.

I hear the sound of birds chirping. I open my eyes slightly and see it's a bit before dawn which makes no sense that birds would be chirping. I sit up and see my fire has died and I'm left it the cold dark. I stand up and put my bag back together and start to walk. I take only two steps before I turn to realize it's no longer dark but there is a muffled light coming from the woods behind me. The sun still hasn't risen yet but the light is still there. It's only seconds before I realize what's going on. I run as fast as I can forwards hoping for a lake or stream to be in my path.

Neil and I have experienced this before. For some reason our government thinks that they should burn the woods every few month for an hour or two to keep it from over growing or something. Neil was the first to notice the light when we were sitting at the lake. I turned around to see what he was looking at and saw the light peeking through the trees. We wound up jumping into the water when it started to become too hot. We had to stay in the water for an hour before we had the opportunity to go back to the market. We had quite a bit of explaining to do when we got back home and weren't allowed to go back to our lake for a few weeks.

I keep running but there is no sight or water let alone wild life. Over my shoulder the fire blazes on and I can smell the scorched trees and the heat on my back. I find my feet running faster and me still searching everywhere for water or a cave or anything.
All of a sudden there are more branches and roots and trees. I start tripping over everything practically losing control of my limb, I fall down but quickly pull myself off the ground and keep running. I fall again and again getting back to my feet each time.

I can smell the smoke pervading the forest and my gradually my lungs. I fall again but this time I can't get myself to stand up. The smoke is making it seem like the world is spinning and my head starts to hurt. I try my best to scream for help but no one comes. The last word I manage to croak out lingers in my mind as I drift off into darkness, Neil.

I'm encased in smoke and I can see Neil far away. I start to run towards him but he disappears, I'm running in circles looking for him. He is nowhere to be found and I hear my name being said over and over again. I try to wake from this darkness but there seems to be no hope. I feel like I'm trying to run out of my slumber but it's not working. The voice stops calling my name and the next thing I know I am staring into the eyes of a stranger. My next thought is to run but they are carrying me so I can't, instead I grab the man's hands and tug them until he lets go and sets me down but still hold my arm so I can't run away.

"We are trying to help you, dear," the women who was next to the man holding me speaks up. She is younger that aunt but not by much, her hair is a red-brown color but is slowly graying. Her skin is the slightest bit wrinkled and the man has black hair and looks to be the same age as her. I don't know what to do whether to run or to fight them off or just to listen to them. "Well, thank you but that's no use to me I'm fine," I say quietly as they eye me suspiciously. They don't believe me. I know I'm not fine and so do they. My lungs hurt and there is a sharp stabbing pain on the back of my left calf.

I wind up letting them help me after sitting down for a few minutes talking to them. They want me to go to the hospital, but I know it will only lead to people find me so we settle on wrapping my left calf and the women, who's name I have learned is Marcie, makes me a herbal tea and boils water for me to breath in the steam.

At first the steam hurt to breath in but she doesn't let me stop and forces tea down my throat every few minutes. Charlie, the man with her, tends to the fire and hunts for some food to eat. I talk to Marcie while he's gone. We mostly talk about family and where we were from.

I learn that she and Charlie are married and have two children who are both grow up and live in some country I have never heard of. She was from Hather, a small country outside my own. I tell her about my parents, Aunt Marcie, and Neil. He wind up in the conversation a lot but I try my best to quickly pull him out of it. She also learns my one true passion, dance. Neil was possibly the only person who knew that I had loved dance, my only freedom in the world. I remember I used to twirl around and dance around the lake as Neil sat on the edge humming something he'd heard somewhere.

It seems Neil is everywhere since I have run, in my dreams, conversations, and mostly in my thoughts. It makes me realize how much he was part of my life and how much I really want him to be sitting next to me, comforting me, making all the pain go away. But unfortunately the note was the thing that most likely drove him away and he will never want to speak to me again.





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