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Why do these things happen? Is it destiny or fate? Like it was my destiny to find these kids as helpless as I am and take care of them. I can't even take care of myself. What happened to there parents anyway? Where's my dad and whats going to happen to us? We're alone and helpless running in the rain to one of my friend Danielle's refugee camps, who may or may not be there to help us. Who may or may not have
been captured like a lot of other kids. A shattering crash of thunder interrupted my thoughts and I was focused back on what was going on.
"Just keep running; we're almost there! Please, we have to make it!" I scream on the top of my lungs.
I turn around to check if everyone is there, thankfully they all are, but the sight I see is horrible. Three little kids dirty, scared, and starving are running for their lives with me. It doesn't help that alarms are blaring and the thunder is booming, so we have to scream to hear each other, but in this world nothing is ever easy. The guards are getting closer and closer, screaming at us to stop. Lighting is flashing across the sky, it would've been cool if I wasn't scared to death and the rain was pelting down hard in our eyes making us blinded.
" I-can't-Ash!" Little Lily gasps out. She is choking on all the debris and rain water, her legs can't carry her any longer.
"Come here." As I pick her up I don't stop running, but Brianna and Nick stop and catch their breathe. " Keep going! There is no time to waste. Everyone be quiet so we can sneak to Danielle's."
It looked like we were about to make it into the neighborhood next to Danielle's house when a soldier comes out of the blue and lifts Brianna up by her hair. She's screaming and trying to kick at him, but it's only hurting her more.
"Ow! Let me go! Help!" Brianna manages to say through all the agony.
"No! Leave her alone." I scream over the thunder's roar. I put Lily down and she instinctively goes into Nicks arms.
"Who's going to stop me? Look around your surrounded." He says and laughs mercilessly, "Your going back one way or the other." I run straight for him with a dead branch I found in the grass. Weeks and weeks of anger, pain, and frustration are taken out on him. With revenge on our sides Brianna and I take him down. He didn’t have a chance anyway.
"Um, Ashton? They're all around us!" Nick tells me with pure terror in his voice. I turn around and see more and more guards circling around us.
I wasn't going to let anything happen to them. No, not after everything we went through to get out of that cruel place. I throw Lily back into my arms and grab Nick by the hand. I throw the branch and hit a guard right in the face. It only stopped him for a little, but it was just enough for us to get past him. We take off running again. Police dogs are biting at our legs, leaving even more cuts and blood stains. Guards are shooting and throwing things to slow us down. I have no idea how we are going to loose them, then as we were stumbling along into an abandoned neighborhood I got an idea.
"Stay close to me and if you see anything that you can throw at them, throw it." I tell them.
We turn onto a different street that, apparently before all the adults disappeared the garbage was put out. It smelled awful, but it was a great distraction. Brianna and Nick looked at me with the same idea in mind. Every time we passed a garbage can, we'd roll it towards the guards knocking at least two of them down every time. Sadly, it
only took them three trash cans to figure out what we were doing and then they avoided them.
"I'm out of ideas anyone have a good one?" I scream. Everyone shakes there heads sadly.
"Well, we only have half of them to get rid of." Nick tries to boost our spirits. I don't know how he does it, always finds something positive out of any situation. We turned onto a different street. We crawl under an old fence in front of a forest to hide and catch our breathe, when I get an idea.
"Nick do you still have that flashlight" I ask.
"Yes, Do you really need it right this second? I'm kinda busy sleeping." Nick replies rudely. That’s really annoying. Who am I trying to save? Him. How does he repay me? I just need to shrug and off; everyone’s tired.
"Yes, hand it over now." He fumbles through his ripped pockets until he finds it and then he hurriedly hands the flashlight to me. It won't even start, "Why won't it work?" I impatiently question. I mean come on everyones exhausted and one problem after another keeps appearing.
"I'm sorry, but it's broken. The batteries aren’t the problem, I changed them three different times" Nick apologizes.
"Ugh." I don't have time for this. Well, as I'm thinking about it no one does, "Let's pray this works. Brianna do you still have the rusty screwdriver? If you do I need it now!" I say the last part out in between gasps for air, even I'm struggling to stay awake now.
"Here." She hands it over.
"Ok, Brianna hold Lily she fell asleep. Just while I try to fix this." I give her Lily and focus back on the flashlight. I pause for a while hoping and praying this'll work. I unscrew the flashlight as fast as I could and check out all the wiring between the pitch black midnight sky and when the lighting lights up the sky. It looks rusty and I'm sure the rain wasn't helping much. I could see one of the wires wasn't combined to the other end. The stupid wire wouldn't stay attached. I gave up and I just shoved it into the other end, if it doesn't work well either way we're stuck. I screwed the cover back on and plot our next move.
"Ok guys I have a plan. We need to go deep into the forest and we can hide in there until they leave. If we can loose them even for a second we can sneak back out and make it to Danielle's."
"How are we going to find our way back out?"
"That's were the flashlight comes in and if it doesn't work we will have to find our way out in the dark."
With a little rest, a little burst of energy came with it. I woke up Lily and told her to run on her own. We ran straight into the forest without looking back. We almost made without being seen, but Lily tripped and the guards saw her and ran after us. It was dark and we were soaked to the bone. The rain helped conceal the noises of our feet hitting sticks and who knows what else.
"We have to split up!" I announce.
"What?" everyone says at the same time.
"Yeah it'll confuse them. It'll give us more of a chance to escape. I'll go with Lily and you two go together. Meet up here again as soon as you know for sure you aren’t being followed." I explain.They looked upset, but they nodded anyway. We hug goodbye and turn our separate ways.
"Separating was a bad idea. What if something happens to them."
"Nothing will happen. They will be fine." Lily says trying to comfort me.
"It took us hours to loose the soldiers. What if Nick and Brianna got caught? They don't even know these woods." I protest. If something happens to them I’ll never forgive myself. I’m the leader, the oldest, the protecter. I’m suppose to make sure they will never get hurt. Yeah, but you still just a kid. The thought popped in as quickly as I pushed it out. I’ve known them for maybe two months, but we are family now and that won’t change.
“We need to start heading back. I have a bad feeling about this. It was too easy to loose them.” I told Lily.
We turn around and stealthily make it to our first landmark that signified we were on the right path. It was a pretty little stream that had lilly pads floating in it. We stopped and I tried to clean up most of the mud off of Lily. Wait what? I can actually deal with hygiene and nothing happened. No one found us yet and tried to kill us in the last fifteen minutes and usually people come when we are dealing with things like food, water, and hygiene.
“We have a definite problem, Lily. I think they all went after Brianna and Nick.”
“Remember what Ashton said, just keep going, memorize landmarks, and don’t ever let them know you give up.” I explained to Nick again.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah Brianna I get it.” Nick replied, “Just keep joggi- Did you hear that?”
“No, but just to be safe run!” I say and we both shoot off. I doesn’t take long for us to be hunted down. I chance it and turn my neck to do a head count. Every single one of the guards are chasing us, dogs and all. Okay, so Ashton gets the easy part of the plan and we get this.
“Okay heres the plan lets just make a circle and head back to where Ashton said to meet us.” I gasp out.
“ She told us not to go there unless we weren’t being followed.”
“I know, but it’ll work... just trust me.” I know it’s not much of a plan, but right now it’s all we have. We continue to run straight for the meet up place. I pray to whoever is listening that Ashton is there waiting to help.
“We are almost there!” Nick exclaims.
“Um, how do you know that?” I ask. We just started heading back like five minutes ago.
“Cause there’s Ashton!” I look where he is pointing and he’s right there she is and her facial expression tells me the guards are going to regret ever being born.
I am so sick and tired of these people, not they aren’t even people, these devils won’t just give up. We are just four kids. What difference do we make when there are thousands more of us hiding out.
I grab everyone and we take off yet again. One problem with the soldiers they don’t have stamina like we do. So if we can out run them we’ll me fine. The dogs are another story. Well first of all they aren’t actually dogs. They just reminded Lily of dogs so that’s what we call them now. The “dogs” are actually robots built to kill. You can run faster than them, but if they catch you. Right then we past the stream Lily and I found and an experiment popped into my head.
“Follow me. We are going to the other side of the stream.” I demanded, “If we get the dogs in the water then they should short out.” I finished in a whisper. The water only went up to Lily’s butt, so it was very shallow. Then as planned the dogs followed into the water. Not as planned they jumped out and continued their pursuit.
“What do we do now?” Brianna questioned. As I was about to answer we heard a big clank behind us. I whipped my head around and saw all of the dogs legs dismembered. Apparently they won’t short out, but they’ll fall apart. Weird. Either way it gave us just enough time for us to slip away, because the soldiers ran smack into the dogs. Every single one of them fell to the ground, breaking the dogs even more in the process.
It took a lot longer for me to finally think we were far enough away from all the soldiers. I thought it was safe enough to hide in a bush and explain the next part of the plan.
"I don't know if they could see the light if I turn on the flashlight, but I'm not chancing it, because they might be closer than I think. Please just hide in the bush."
"But, something might bite us. It's dark and scary. Don't make me!" Lily shrieked.
"Shhh. Be quiet! It'll be fine, please get in." She stood still, as persistent as ever. I didn't want to force her into it, but if I had to I would. I grabbed her by the arm and pushed them in the bush. It seemed like hours later, but truly only minutes when soldiers came jogging by. If Lily wouldn’t have gotten in we would have been toast.
"Find them and kill them! No one gets away." The leader barked with pure hatred. Lily almost gave us away by whimpering, but then a bear out and distracted the guards. Every one of the guards pulled out their guns and got ready to fire.
"No!" Their leader's shouted, "It'll just make the bear even madder."
"Either way it's going to kill us, but not if I kill him first." One of the guards said back.
"Stop him!" The leader shouted right as the the shot rang out and the bear's claws hit the shooter and split him in two.
"Ahhh!" Lily and Nick screamed when they saw the whole thing happen. Thankfully, the guards were to busy running away scared to notice. The bear roared and ran after them when his first chew toy was useless.
"Oh my gosh, Ashton did you see that?" Nick whispered.
"Yeah, I'm sorry you guys had to see that. It's okay you'll be fine." I said trying to calm them down and not show my own fear.
"What...If...The...Bear...Finds...Us!" Brianna hyperventilates.
"He won't I promise. We'll be fine, but we have to move some place better, so we won't be found."
Everyone got up slowly, to shaken to go any faster. We walk around not knowing which way to go. I'm too cold and scared to care. We catch our breathe right when we hear ear shattering roar. We take of running and don't stop until we see the guards again. They look as terrified and dirty as we are. We duck into a big enough long just before they see us.
"Find them! This is ridiculous, stupid kids. Hurry up before that bear comes back!" The leader barks. They run of in the opposite direction.
I shush them and wait around thirty minutes until I say, "Come on guys we need to get out of here. It's finally safe. I think they're gone. If we make it out of here before sunlight, we can sneak into Danielle's." I pick up Lily and take off yet again.
"Nick, hold the flashlight. Don't loose it I might be able to fix it completely later," I hand him the flashlight and stay on the look out for the way out, "If we ever make it out of here." I mutter.
It's almost dawn, when we finally make our way out of the forest.
"Ashton let me go first to see if anyone is around." Nick pleaded.
"Yeah, Yeah, sure." I yawn tiredly. Nick takes off before I can even finish. I pass out while waiting and Brianna and Nick have to pull me up to get me to stay awake.
"Its all clear on this street and the next three." Nick says looking proud.
"Ok let's go. We should be close, but I don't know how farther away the trip in the forest took us." I took a deep breathe, picked up Lily, and announced, "Lets go."
Only two minutes later I'm out of oxygen and need to pass out, so I have to put Lily down. My legs feel like jello, my lungs are burning, and my mouth is so dry, we need to get there fast. Lily's on the verge of tears and, like she's reading my mind and wants to irritate me, she is running slower than ever.
"Come on Lily, Danielle's house is just around the corner." Note to self if we ever make it through this get a stroller. I glance around my shoulder, "And it looks like we'll have no trouble at all to get there, we really did lose them in the forest!" Everyone looks as relieved as they can be in this situation.
"So, the mean doggies are gone? They won't be able to bite us anymore?" Lily asks.
"Yes! Finally, we're out of jail! We are free!" cheers Nick. I see the house and I try to cry, but I'm so dehydrated that there are no tears to flood out. For the first time, we have hope. We barge into the house and everyone runs after me into the basement. I
show then where to change and lay down.
"Come on guys! We need to eat and drink up!" I say cheerily.
"FOOD!" everyone scream and runs towards me. After everybody's bellies are full we black out into a deep, comfortable sleep for what seems like the first time in ages.