Chapter 45~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

Ok guys, I’ve been writing this story for a veryyyyyy long time… Emphasis on Very. So I’m trying to finish it up for y’all… I’m pretty close. Only one or two more parts. Maybe. We’ll see. Then we can move on to a another, hopefully shorter story. Thank you for your patience! I hope you like this next part! New? Click here.

“So what happened with you and Jethen?” I ask quietly. Remi bites her lower lip. I’m just trying to get my mind off Koda. And the war. And all the stuff.

“Nothing. It wasn’t anything in the first place. I mean-” She thought about her words. “I mean, I really liked him. But he’s occupied. Which I get, Solstice is like a goddess. She’s insanely pretty and like a super amazing fighter… Also, she has this awesome personality so you know. I’m no competition with that.”

“Aww, it’s ok.” I wrap my arm around her shoulder. “You’ll find someone amazing. Trust me.”

“So, what exactly is wrong with Koda?” She asked. In about half a second I feel like crying.

“I dunno.” I mumble. “Something happened in the battlefield and it seriously messed with his brain. It’s almost like his brain is stuck on one memory or something.”

“And we can’t help him?” She says.

“The nurse says there’s a slight chance his brain will get off the loop but it’s small and- and.” My bottom lip starts to tremble so I clamp my teeth down on it to make it stop. I make my voice stronger. “It’ll all work out… I think.”

At that very moment Jethen came in Solstice woke up and Koda said something. It wasn’t the fact that Koda said anything, he did that all the time. It was what he said. His words were strange. But totally relevant to what was going on. The sentence he had mumbled was: Don’t worry Flower, I won’t rip your petals. I swallowed hard.

“Koda?” I said, half of me hoping, the other half trying to kill the hope.

“Don’t worry Flower.” He said, making eye contact with me. Staring into my eyes. Something he hasn’t done since I found him here. “I’m right here.”

“You sure?” I asked, my voice breathy. “You’ve been gone for a while.”

“Flower…” He whispered. He was off still but maybe not as off. He reached up a hand and touched my hair. It was just a poof of orange, a wild nest. His was touch so soft that I barely felt it. But he gaze I felt. It was intense. Something else.

“Koda,” I said, suddenly wary. “What’s my name?”

“Flower.” He said. I bit my lip.

“No. No, it’s Poppy. Can you call me that?” I asked. But the second the words came out of my mouth. Koda’s mind had moved far away from here. He was back in his own world. I had lost him. I walked out of the room. I kicked myself. I shouldn’t have reprimanded him. I should’ve just went with it. I wanted to scream but I was already getting weird looks from the nurses. I half smiled at them then walked quickly outside. People watched me as I fumed outside so I decided to go somewhere else. I ran into the forest. I found a study tree and I starting punching the trunk. I threw all my anger at it. Screaming at it, telling it that it was unfair and unkind. I yelled until I started crying. I broke down and soon I was sitting in the roots of the tree, begging it for comfort. My knuckles were bloody and my hands hurt like heck. But I welcomed the pain. I deserved it. I hadn’t stopped Koda from going to war and now he was- He was so broken. Remi came up and sat with me. She did’t say anything. She just sat. Solstice came too. And finally Jethen. And we just sat. And the silence was welcomed.

 

Chapter 44~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

Hey guys, next part! Yay! New? ClicHere

Koda, has changed. Something’s off about him. Every time he wakes up, he wakes up screaming. Then he becomes distant, asking me not to talk, asking me to leave the room. I always obey, hoping it’ll help. I just don’t know how to deal with this. I send a message to Jethen. Maybe he’ll know how to fix this. I get a reply a couple days later, he’s going to come over. When Koda sleeps, it’s restless. He tosses and turns. Then he’ll yell out warnings to people. People I can’t see. He’s been able to get up and walk around, if he uses crutches, but he often stops and stares off into space and doesn’t realize I’m still there until hours later. I try to help him but everything has fallen apart. I’m starting to fall apart too.

***

“Hello? Flower?” Jethen walks in, I smile when I see him. It’s good to see a similar face. “I’m here.”

“Thank you.” I walk up to him and he wraps me in a hug.

“No problem. Just hang in there, ok?” He pats me on the shoulder. I’m honestly surprised with Jethen, he’s taking something seriously. “Oh, and I brought you some presents.”

“Really?” I ask, doubtful. Two people walk in the room. Remi and Solstice. They wave. I smile. Solstice looks over at Koda, her face falls.

“What happened?” She asks, voice a whisper.

“I don’t know. But it was something bad. He’s a different person.” I rub my arms, trying to create some warmth in them. Koda’s asleep right now, I’m not sure when he’ll awake, probably soon though. This is the longest he’s slept peacefully. Remi walks up and gives my hand a squeeze. She gives me a sad smile. “He doesn’t even talk to me anymore.”

“Oh. Well. We’ll figure how to fix him.” Solstice’s bottom lip quivers, I walk up to her. She grabs my hand. She squeezes it, not a comforting squeeze but a ‘help me’ strangle. She’s trying not to cry. “I just got him back.”

Her words are raw, her voice cracking, she’s breaking on the inside. On the outside, her face doesn’t show any emotion, only the smallest quiver of her bottom lip. I look at Jethen, he’s in pain to. Remi hangs in the back, she never got to know Koda very well. Jethen wraps Solstice up in a hug, his strong arms covering her.

This is going to be hard on us. We’re going to suffer together.

Chapter 43~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

OK guys, I wrote a part for you! Enjoy! 

 

Koda wakes  a few hours after I came. He wakes up screaming. His eyes are wide and scared. I do my best to comfort him. I hold his hand tightly as he tries to get up. The nurse hurry in and starts to insert a needle in his hand but I stop her.

“Don’t drug him. I’ll quiet him.” I say, my voice weak. I used to think I was a strong independent female but after everything that keeps happening, I’m still just a scared  little girl. The nurse nods and I smile weakly. Once she leaves I whisper gentle words into his ear, I tell him it’ll be fine. I tell him he should’ve listen to me. I tell him I need him. I tell him I’m sorry. Sorry for being stubborn. Sorry for everything.

Soon, he starts to calm down. He looks into my eyes.

“Poppy. You came,” He smiles and I grin back.

“Good thing too. You should’ve listened to be you big stupid.” Suddenly we’re kissing again but he pulls away suddenly. His eyes are big and fearful again. “What? What is it?”

“Sorry. Nothing.” He shakes his head. I grab his hand again.

“It’ll be ok. We’ll get your knee fixed up and then you can go back to fighting. You knows, maybe I’ll join you?” That last part surprises me, but maybe I will join him. I’m not sure yet.

“No.” He suddenly stiffens.

“No?”

“You can’t go. I can’t go.” He whispers. I frown.

“How about we talk about this later, hm?” I smile. “Let’s get all this blood of you?”

“Ok. Sure.” He nods slowly, his mind on something else. I find a cleaner rag and dip it in some water. I wipe the blood off him and look at the back of his head. There’s a cut there that’s loosely bandaged. I think it’s where all the blood came from. I call the nurse in and she tells me to wait a few minutes. She finishes up her patient and comes into the room. She puts a cast on his knee and asks Koda a few questions. But he doesn’t really answer, he’s so distant, why?

“Koda? What’s wrong?” I whisper.

“Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.” He shakes his head, like he’s trying to get rid of the memory. “It’s just- just.”

“What?e

“Stop talking. I need you to stop talking.” He words aren’t harsh, but they still hurt. I nod and sit back in the chair next to the bed. I just need to help him through this. Then we can figure out what to do next.

“Baby steps.” I say under my breath, “Baby steps.”

Chapter 42~As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

Hey, have we missed this story? I sure have! Anyway, enjoy! New? Click Here

 

I gallop with Champ, following the tracks left by the truck. I need to get him back. I need him to love me again, if he ever stopped. Champ starts to tire but I push him on. I can’t be caught by anyone, foxes or dogs. I need Koda to forgive me. Pictures of my first friend appear in my brain. Zellie, dead, hit with a flying piece of debris. I shake it out of my mind. Koda will still be alive, I’m going to save him. Or at least try to. I almost fall off so many times. For some reason I can’t flow with his pace. I try to calm my mind but it continues to race. Like my heart. I just have to follow these tracks.

I’m at the camp. I’m here. I find the man in charge and ask him where Koda is. He says the hospital. I almost start crying again. I run to the tent where the hold the injured, sick and dying. I find Koda there, lying on one of the beds. I inhale. Is he ok? Please let him be ok. My throat clenches and my lips tremble. Blood is everywhere. Why didn’t they clean it off him? I walk closer. Begging, praying, pleading. When I get to the bed, he’s not dead, but he’s not alive either. It was like when we were in that cell together. When he was so drugged he was in that in between state. I grab his hand, his bloody hand. I massage it, like I did in that cell. All we need is a miracle like Jethen to help us.

A nurse appears, a smile on her face, a stain on her dress. Blood everywhere.

“Can I help you?” She asks.

“Um. What happened?” My voice is hoarse, “To him I mean.”

“Ah, got caught in the cross fire. Bullet to the knee cap. And he hit his head, he hasn’t woken up yet so we’re not sure how bad the brain damage. And he won’t walk again. Not with his leg like that.” My eyes fill with tears, yet again. This isn’t fair! I just wanted one bit of happiness. Just a little bit. Why can’t I have that? “Did you know him?”

“Yea. Yea, I knew him.” I mutter, wishing those brown eyes of his would open. Wishing those lips would part and call me Flower once last time. Wishing his rough calloused hand would hold mine back. “Come back Koda. I love you, I’m here. I still love you. Please come back.”

Koda~ Part Three~

Hey guys, story finale! I hoped you enjoyed it, even with all the delays… :\ Anyways, I hope you like it and I made it extra long for y’all. 

I find Jethen that night. Shuffling cards and sorting them in certain groups, besides him and I, no one else is in the room.

“Ok man, what you’re going to do, is cheat.” I keep myself alert, after curfew is not the best time to be out of your room. “It’s pretty simple. You’re going to just give me a discreet sign if the cards are good or bad and then I’ll use it to my advantage. A ton of others guys are going to come line up and play with me so you can look like part of the crowd. Got it?”

“Yeah, sure. One question, why does everyone want to play with you?”

“Because no one ever sees me cheat.” Jethen smirks and fans out the cards with expertise. I nod. “Therefore I’m the reigning champion.”

“I’ll be right back.” He starts to protest but shrugs and lets me go. I jog towards the higher-ranking bunks. There I find children sitting in their bunks, even in the evening, they look stiff and dangerous. Most of them are still up, sharpening weapons, reading books with horrid titles (How to Impale People Correctly, In the Trench, etc.) or brawling with each other. (Practicing complicated maneuvers that I’m not even close to learning.) I know I don’t belong here but I keep walking. There are kids of all ages, all glaring at me as I pass. When I get to the end of the long room, I find Solstice. She’s sharpening a long ugly knife. She glances up and scowls. Her small lips twisted in annoyance, blue eyes flashing.

“Can I help you 202?” That hurts, when she doesn’t use my real name, when she uses a number instead. She blows on the knife and tests it on a wall; a scratch joins the hundreds of others. To her, I’m just another one of those scratches. I don’t matter. She looks so strong, so smart, and so cold. Like a monster. But she’s my sister, she’s not a monster, I know inside her somewhere, she cares what happens to me. She’ll care if I live or die. Then I’m reminded of my mother, how I always thought she’d care. How I was so wrong.

“Just wanted to see how you’re doing.” She sits on a top bunk and I have to look up to her, it feels appropriate.

“Why would you care? Why do I have to tell you?” She continues to slice the knife on the sharpener, over and over again.

“Solstice,” I moan, sadness overwhelming me.

“That’s not my name.” She snaps, pain filling her face. “That’s never going to be my name. My name’s now 203.”

“Do you really want me to call you that?” I shake my head. “I can’t call you that.”

“What. Do. You. Want?” She grits her teeth and slides the knife quicker. Back and forth, back and forth.

“I have something for you.” I hand her the blue pencil. It’s dull now, I used it once. To write her name on the wall, it was washed away the next day. By the unknown cleaning unit that takes care of the place.  I set it on her bed and turn away, I feel like I’m walking away from her. I feel like I’m giving up on her. But maybe that’s what she needs to realize she’s alone, then she’ll realize I’m family. She’ll realize I love her. I walk back to the dining hall where the poker games have already started. Jethen’s already doing well. He gives me an annoyed look and I mouth an apology. For the next couple of hours I send Jethen the signals that he needs. For the next couple hours I feel the pain as if I lost a family member.

***

If training was hard when I first helped Jethen cheat, it’s gruesome now. And now that I’m up late every night, I can barely stay awake in class. Everything speeds up; we fly through books and most training exercises we spend five minutes on. I know why, they’re preparing for war, for us to go fight. They tell us that it’s an honor, to go out and be killed. That it’s better to die than to be a coward. Most of the others agree, I do not.  I do not agree with their methods,  some things I would die for. Not this.

They will send us off in a week, even if we’re not ready. The ones who are in the lower classes will have more dangerous jobs since we are expendable. It feels weird to not matter to anyone, I don’t matter to this war, to my sister, there’s only one person that cares if I live or die. Jethen. And that’s only because he wouldn’t win as much money without me. He gives me a lot of information about Solstice. She seems to be struggling a little now; she acts like she’s starting to care. At first,I’m happy about this, my sister isn’t a monster. But Jethen explains that she’ll die if she cares. If she goes into battle and starts to care about people, she won’t be able to fend for herself. It troubles me, that you either have to listen to the government or die; there is no other option.

In two days, they start to  send out half of the group. The lower half. Me. They give us three things, a new uniform, a gun, and a canteen. This is all. We load onto pickup trucks, cramming in best we can. I sit with my feet dangling off the end. People say their farewells, not many goodbyes happen. We are trained to be cold and uncaring, the full effect is in play now. I don’t expect anyone to say goodbye but someone does.

“Hey man. I’ll watch her.” Jethen says holding out his hand. “I’ll make sure she doesn’t die, ok?”

“Thanks. Maybe I’ll see you later, maybe not.” I shrug and shake his hand.

“You’re so depressing. You should use me as a role model sometime, it would do you some good.” He smirks that smirks of his. The car starts to move and he waves goodbye.

“Wait!” A voice screams out. I recognize it, Solstice. She sprints after the driving car, we’re going slowly and she catches up quickly. “I’m sorry Koda. I really am, I didn’t realize how much I cared. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

“I do, Solstice. I always will.” I feel tears well up in my eyes. Solstice is already sobbing, tears sticking to her long lashes. “You’re family, I’ll always forgive you.”

“I have something for you. Here,” She hands me the pencil, that blue pencil that connects her to home. That connects me to her. “Keep it. And don’t die ok?”

“I won’t. You don’t die either and we’ll figure out how to make it out, promise?” The cars speeds up.

“Yes, I promise,” She screams after the car. The last I see of her is Jethen hugging her as she sobs into his shirt. I grip the pencil so tightly that it starts to snap. Why does war ruin everything? Why can’t we just be a family, why do we have to keep getting ripped apart? I loosen my grip. I need to get out of this alive; I need to get back to her.

***

I run away. Away from the war, away from the government. The voices of my tutors tell me I’m a coward, how I should die. I run away form the blood and the terror; I’m done with it all. I find a runaway group. A group against the war. I join it and realize that I can be a leader, that I am a leader. They put me in charge at age 14. They all respect me; it’s so different from what I’m used to.

***

“Koda.” Solstice says my name with such joy that I break into a smile. A big dopey smile. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too.” This is all I can come up with. I finally get my sister back and the only thing I can say is ‘I missed you.’ I wrap her in a hug, squeezing her tight. It’s been five years since I’ve seen her. Five years since I was able to see her blue eyes. She steps back, eyes shining and lips smiling.

“You remember Jethen right?” Jethen steps forward, his smirk ever present. He looks older, so does Solstice. But something’s off with her face, I can’t place it.

“Yes. How could I forget?” I shake Jethen’s hand and hug him too. Solstice, Jethen and I start to walk away when I jerk awake.

It was all a dream, Solstice is still gone and I’m still alone. The war is still going on. But I’m on the right side now; I’m fighting for freedom, for justice. I’m fighting for something I wouldn’t mind dying for.

Chapter 40~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees

Hello my faithful readers, I know, I know it’s an early post but I just am afraid I’ll forget…. I hope you enjoy! I’m sorry for doing this to you guys! New? Click HERE!

“What?” I lick my lips, “What’s so amazing?”

“They need me on the front!” He grins and I sit back down with a thud.

“They need you… They need you one the front?” I feel despair trying to push me under. “They need you to fight? I thought I thought you hated fighting?”

“No, I’m fighting for the right cause now, we’re the good guys, we’re going to bring justice to the land and peace to the people.”

“Wow man, did you get that from a poster?” Jethen smirks and I try not to let anyone to see my fear. My fear of losing Koda. “Good job man, for getting back in the whole fighting thing. I really don’t feel like doing that.”

“Really you seem like such a war guy to me… And no I got it from the little brochure they pass out at training.” He smiles a little and I snap.

“No. No. NO! You’re not leaving, you can’t leave me. You just can’t!” I jump up from my seat and yell, making the whole room stare. “We just got here and if you leave I’m going to be alone and- and.”

And I make a total fool of my self by breaking in tears. I sit back down, trying to control myself.

“Poppy, I have to do this.” He says, sitting next to me, “You don’t know what it means to me.”

“I thought I meant something to you.” I whisper. “I need you to stay. You’re all I have left.”

“I’m going to come back. You know that, we just have to win and then I can come back.”

“You know what? Whatever. Have fun. Make sure you don’t forget about me, I’ll be here. Probably making bandages just in case you blow off your leg or something! See ya later! Go be a super hero!” Bitterness surges through me, anger follows and soon I’m shaking with rage.

“No. Poppy, it’s not like that.” He looks hurt. Good. I want him to know that he’s making me bleed inside, that while he’s gone I will probably die without him. “I need to do this. You wouldn’t get it, you’re a girl.”

This is where he makes his fatal mistake.

“Right. Just a girl…Just a girl.”  I muter. I walk away, my whole world has fallen apart in the course of five minutes, I just lost the most important person in the world to me. I storm into the room that me and Koda were sharing I grab all his stuff and throw it into a back. By the time I’m done someone’s at the door. “Come in.”

“Hey. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. I swear.” Koda stands in the door, an apology on his face.

“Sure you did. I’m just a girl, it was dumb to think I meant anything else to you.” I hand him the overstuffed bag. “Here’s all your stuff, have fun. Goodbye.”

Then I close the door in his face. Tears spilling down my face, I still love him, I don’t want him to go. I sit with my back against the door, sobbing. Remi was right, I suck with this whole relationship thing.

***

It’s late in the afternoon, Koda’s leaving. I walk outside, pretending that I’m going for a walk, that I don’t care. But I really do, I really care quite a lot. Maybe I’m being selfish? But I something’s holding me back from saying sorry. I don’t know what though. So I act like I don’t care, I’ll get over it soon. Koda runs up to me before I can get to the tree line. We’re at a different doorway than the one we found when we first got here.

“Look I already said I’m sorry. And I still love you. And you’re not just some girl. And I’m sorry I hurt you. But if you can’t forgive me, then fine. I can’t ask that of you. I just want to give you this.” He hands me an old blue pencil, it’s dented and dull and really small. “I gave it to my sister to remind her of me. Just don’t forget me. That’s all I ask. And your still my flower, and you were right. You look a lot prettier when you don’t look like an animal.” 

Before I have time answer, he runs off and hops into the truck with the buddies he’s going to war with, I clutch the pencil with my hands. I had bathed after getting to camp and I guess he did notice. I feel tears coming again so I walk into the tree line, where I watch the truck leave with the soldiers. I watch the truck leave with my world. pretty-girl-with-very-sad-facial-expression-wide

Chapter 41~ As the Sun Peeks Through the Trees~

Sorry I have o post early, again. But I’m going to be hanging out with friends all day so I wanted to make sure. NEW? CLICK HERE.

I help Remi with her job, guarding the door, to get my mind off Koda. Not that it works or anything. He’s still on my mind every second that I’m awake and while I’m asleep. If I do sleep, usually I’m up all night thinking about how stupid I am. I stop coming out of my room. I don’t eat, I just think about how I could’ve just said sorry and he would’ve forgiven me in less than two seconds.
“Hey. Poppy?” It’s Remi, “I have food for you. You’ve been in here a while, you coming out any time soon?”

“No.” I say, my voice hoarse from not using it,

“Gosh, I’m never going to fall in love. It seems way too risky. Good thing I took your advice.” I hear the relief in her voice, “Oh. I mean, anything I can do to help?”

“No.” I answer.

“Is that all your saying now?” She sighs.

“No.” I reply.

“Can you at least let me in?” She sounds exasperated so I open the door. “Thanks. Here’s your dinner. So, you at least want to try to be helpful around here. You could help with cooking, it would make these mashed potatoes way better. Why is it always mashed potatoes? That’s what we have every meal!”

“I’m no good at cooking.” I say sitting on my bed, playing with the blue pencil in my hand. Rubbing the dented spots, trying to wish a genie out of it.

“And she can talk!” Remi sits next to me, “Sorry, I kinda suck at this friend thing.”

“Nah, you just picked the wrong person to be friends with. And the wrong time.” I sigh.

“Well, tell me if I can help. I’ll still bring you food, whether you like it or not.” She walks out and I half heartedly say goodbye.

***

I sit up in my bed with an idea. I need to go to the front. I fling open the door and run down the hall, my boot clamping on the floor. I know exactly where I’m going. I walk down the halls until I find the Captain’s quarters, at least that’s what they’re called. Of course it’s not an actual captain, I guess you could call her the President of the Revolution but I dunno. I rap on the door quickly. I hear rustling then the door opens, here stand Miss Lilling, the person who basically runs the revolution. She looks at me with interest, not annoyance like I expected.

“Can I help you Poppy?” Her voice is smooth and her words carefully chosen.

“Send me to the front. Where Koda is.” My voice is firm and my words stern.

“No.” She says.

“Why not? I’ll fight. I just need to make up with Koda, it’s important.” Her mouth is in a thin line.

“Poppy, you’re going to die out there. You’re not built for war, you’ll be of more use here. Good night.” She closes the door before I can protest. I lick my lips and start to knock again but I pause. I know something better I can do. I go to that room Koda showed me, the armory. I grab a dart gun and a bunch of knives, avoiding the gaurds. Then I grab my clothes and shove them in a bag. Then I steal some food from the kitchen, then I creep into the stables. I sigh, the stable is one of the most guarded areas because it has a escape route. I grab the dart gun and blow it at the two front guards before they see me. They crumle to the floor and I smile in victory. The darts only knock them out for a few minutes. I need to move. I take out a few more as I go, never missing, never stopping. I work my way to Champ’s stall. He perks his ears when he sees me. I kiss him on the nose then we escape through the small tunnel that leads outwards. The truck that Koda was on left tracks in the snow and they are still there. I make The Champion of Troy goes his fastest and he does. We cover ground quickly. I’m getting closer to getting my world back.

 

Ok, a like gets you a poppy flower, a comment gets you a blue pencil… I’m running out of things… SO I attempted at making a collage, it’s kinda boring mostly because I still have to figure out some stuff but it’s a start.