I fall onto the ground. Hard. My bones feel as though they are splintered into a million pieces. Slowly I open my eyes, taking in the scene around me. I am in a forest, the tree’s towering above me, aka The middle of nowhere.
“Hello?” I say, knowing it is very likely that no one will answer. And no one does. I attempt to stand up and fail miserably. Pain jolts up my leg like a lightning bolt, and I fall back to the ground again. Great. I place my hand over my leg slowly, and eventually, the pain disappears, leaving me with a perfectly mended leg. Sort of. I stand up and wobble a bit before being able to walk. Overhead, a bird soars, harping out a sweet melody. I glare at it. How come it still gets to be free? My progress is slow but steady, and eventually, I make it to the edge of a city. The lights shine across my face, and I realize it is almost Midnight. I glance around, before darting into an alleyway. It is mostly empty, save for a few haggard cats and a garbage bin. I wrinkle my nose. Humans are so disgusting. One of the cats, a toffee-coloured one with a few white spots, rubs against my legs.
“Hey there. You an outcast too?” I ask it. It meows in response, and I rub it’s thin back. It purrs loudly, encouraging the other cats to come closer. One it pure black, with emerald green eyes. The other is pale gray, with white stripes on its chest. I roll my eyes at them. Cat’s are always so trusting. I give the toffee one another pat and leaned against the wall. That was when I remembered the note Alis had given me. I reached into the pocket of my jeans eagerly. Maybe there will be an explanation on the note. I pull out the slip of paper and read it, my face falling at the shortness of it. Alis’s writing looked messy as if she was in a hurry…
There are others
The note doesn’t tell me anything. I crumble it into a ball and throw it across the alley. Topaz, the name I chose for the toffee cat, runs after it and pounces on it. I grin at the cats attempt to rip it up. Topaz plays with it for a while before jumping onto my lap. I stroke her back and find myself falling asleep…
When I wake up, the cat is still sleeping at my side. I feel a bit bad about leaving it behind, but I couldn’t take it with me. I stood up and dusted the dirt off my jacket. The sun has barely rose and yet hundreds of people are awake and getting ready for there day. I pick up my bag and look through it. An apple, a bracelet, a small dagger and a copy of Roses Of Blood made up its contents. I pick up Rose’s Of Blood. It had been the only thing my mother had left behind. A spellbook. Its blood red cover is worn, and the gold writing is faint. I flip it open and stare at the familiar writing. I had spent hours pouring over this book, looking for some clue as to where my mother had gone.
A girls voice cuts me out of my thoughts “What are you doing here?” She says. I grab my dagger and hold it in front of me. The girl has warm brown skin and wavy black hair. She is exactly my brothers type, I think. But then again, all pretty girls are.
“I asked you a question” She reminds me.
“And I don’t need to answer it.” I retort. She eyes my dagger warily.
“Fine, don’t answer it. But you’ll regret it.” She holds out her hand to me. I ignore it and stand up.
“What’s your name?” I ask, glancing at the street. I could make a run for it, if I was fast enough to get past her.
“I don’t need to answer that.” She says, using my own words against me. She waits a moment before adding on “But I will. My name is Karma.”
I glare “Well, then Karma, get out of my way. I have better things to do than talk to you.” Karma hesitates a moment before saying
“I can nearly guarantee that you don’t have anywhere else to be, or anyone else to talk to. You look like you slept in a ditch all night.” She smirked “Or, an alleyway”
I struggle to respond. “I just..I did..Fine. You win. What do you want?”
Karma grinned “I want to know your name. Oh, and also why you were sleeping..” She glanced at the cats and garbage can. “Here.”
I think about running now, but decide if it went wrong, Karma would get back at me. “I’m Amelia. And I’m sleeping here because my family..” I consider the lie before continuing “Because my family is dead. I have no one to take care of me, not that I mind, and I ran away from the orphanage that I had been sent to”
The lie was believable enough, but Karma looked sceptical.
“Can I go now?” I ask.
“Where are you going to go?” Karma asked. Her face looks curious, but there is a twinge of…envy? I blink and the look is gone.
“I don’t know. Somewhere.” I ask, trying to keep all hints of emotion from my voice.
Karma finally relents “Go, then. I won’t stop you.”
I pick up my bag and Topaz. I can’t leave her alone with that girl. I brush past Karma and feel her gaze on my back. I glance towards a tall building in the distance. The situation I’m in finally dawns upon me. I’m all alone. I’m never going back. I decide to take it one day at a time. And right now, I’m hungry. I follow the smell of fresh bread all the way to a bakery. A plump lady stands behind the counter. I contemplate stealing, but then remember the bracelet. I pull it out. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a shadow. I blink and it’s gone.
“What would you like Ma’am?” The lady asks. Her name tag reads Lei. I smile at Lei and respond.
“You wouldn’t mind taking this” I hold up the bracelet ” For a loaf of bread.
Lei takes the bracelet and examines it. “This is real gold. And Diamonds.” she says in awe.
“Yeah.” I respond.
“I would say that you can get a lot more than a loaf of bread with this.” She explains.
“Well…I’ll take 2 loafs of bread and a couple buns then.”
She smiles gratefully and hands me the bread and points to the fresh fruit stall next door. She hands me a bag of coins.
“Here, I exchanged the bracelet for the money it was worth.” The bag is pretty heavy. I probably will be able to live off it for a month or so.
“Thank you.” I say, placing the bag of money in my satchel. I see the shadow again and, once again, blink. It disappears. I shake my head and thank Lei once again, before heading to the fresh fruit stall. I buy a couple oranges and, first checking to see if anybody would notice, climb up a metal ladder leading to the roof of a building.
When I reach the roof I take off my jacket, spread it out, and sit on it. In a few moments, the clanking of boots on metal confirm my suspicions.
Someone is following me.