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Collision of Fates (Updated)

By @CollisionOfFates

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

♋Aliya♋

A boy, about her own age. Fairly tall, with blond hair. Casually dressed, wearing jeans, a grey t-shirt, and a concerned expression. When he saw them, he looked startled at first, but then his frown shifted to a grin. Whether it was fake or not, she couldn’t tell. 

“Who are you?” Michael inquired.

“I think the question is, who are you, and what are you doing in my woods?” the newcomer said, crossing his arms. Then he laughed. “Only kidding. I’m Hawk. And you are?”

Michael hesitated, but Aliya could already tell this person was no threat. “I’m Aliya, and this is Michael. How’d you get this far into the woods?”

“I could ask you the same question,” he said, nodding at them. 

“Well… honestly, our reasons for being here a little extreme,” Aliya admitted. “We both lost our families, so we decided to head here. Neither of us know why,” she added. She noticed that Michael had closed his eyes and let out a quick breath at the words ‘lost our families.’ Aliya chewed her lip. She’d have to be more careful about using certain phrases around him.

Hawk whistled. “Kind of crazy, considering that’s almost exactly what happened to me.” He cleared his throat. “Lightning storm. Bit hardcore.”

Aliya offered him a sympathetic look. “Sounds like we’ve all had our share of struggles.”

“Yeah. Yeah, we all have them.” He ran a hand through his hair, staring at the ground. “So. What do we do now?”

Aliya had been wondering the same thing. “I guess we start building a shelter. I mean, if we really want to stay here.” She glanced from Michael to Hawk, wondering if they’d object, but they both seemed like that was what they wanted to do. “Alright then. We’re doing this.” 

She had never built a shelter by herself before, but her father and twin brother had been into wilderness survival skills, so she’d learned a few tips. Aliya decided to use the two trees where she and Michael had sat only a few minutes before as the bases for the structure. “Start gathering sticks, logs, moss, leaves- anything we can use for cover.” She began to gather several long branches, breaking them off of nearby trees and laying them in a pile by the bases. 

“Will this work for the top pole?” Hawk asked, pointing at a long, fairly thick log. Aliya was relieved that he seemed to know what he was doing. She felt uncomfortable trying to lead a group by herself. “Yes, that should work. We can place it between the top branches of the bases and lean the other sticks against it.” Michael and Hawk lifted the log, grunting at the effort. They managed to slide it horizontally so that it was parallel to the ground. The structure formed a rectangle. Thankfully, the top pole wasn’t too high above the ground, so they’d have space to move around underneath but would still be able to find other branches that were long enough to reach. 

After about an hour- seeing as the group wasn’t formally educated in creating a shelter- they finally finished. The rectangular shelter now had branches leaning against the top pole on both sides, which were covered in a layer of moss and leaves. Rain could still seep through the moss once it was soaked, but at least it would protect against the wind.

Aliya wiped her forehead, exhausted. She really wanted to curl up with her jacket as a pillow and fall asleep, letting the cool breeze give her energy, but she knew they still had to find water and build a fire. She brought this to Michael and Hawk’s attention.

“It’s getting late, and we have to finish soon,” she pointed out. “Hawk, can you search for water? We’ll have to boil it so it’s safe to drink, but maybe we can carve a bowl or something out of wood.”

“I have a pocket knife,” he offered. “The bowl will have to be small, but at least we won’t die of thirst. Probably.” 

“Thank you, Captain Positive,” Michael said sarcastically.

“Hey, you haven’t exactly been a ray of happy sunshine this whole time. Aliya’s helping us stick through this and you haven’t said one word to her, so lay off.” 

“Guys, please,” Aliya interrupted, “arguing will only delay our progress. Michael, will you work on starting a fire with the extra sticks? There should also be some stones around here that we can use for the edges…” she trailed off, seeing the look of terror that had come over Michael’s face.

“Or,” Michael said, shooting her a glare, “I can search for the rocks while you and Hawk make the fire.” 

“Right. Just… be careful.” 

Michael turned and stalked away.

Hawk whistled again. “Seriously, what is the deal with that guy?” 

Aliya just shook her head. “That’s his story to tell, not mine.” 

She bent over the pile of sticks they had gathered previously, arranging them on a patch of dirt so that they formed a teepee. A few handfuls of dried pine needles and tree bark were placed under it. That would have to do until Michael brought back the stones so that the fire wouldn’t spread.

“Oh, no,” Aliya said.

“What’s wrong? Did we miss something?” Hawk asked. Then realization dawned on his face. “Oh man, we have nothing to light this thing with, do we? Major plan fail.” 

“Yeah.”

Aliya paused, thinking for a moment. She knew that flint and steel could be used in place of matches, but where would she find those? 

“Aliya?” 

She turned. “What is it?”

“I’m guessing we don’t know her,” he said, pointing to their left.

Aliya squinted, trying to see through the darkness.

It looked like they would be adding another person to their group.

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