Why Am I Here? ~ Part Four ~


why-did-i-do-this-2

Look! I’m not dead. Funny how that works out isn’t it? Anyway, if you don’t know what this is, read the parts below. If you do know what this is… You should probably still read the parts below because I haven’t posted in so long, you’ve probably forgotten. Enjoy!

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Part One

Part Two

Part Three

 

“So um, how are we doing this?” I ask, I hand my laptop to Ellis and she rubs her finger tips over the keys. Her thin brows twist together and I stare at them for a second. I blink a couple times and rub my hands through my hair. I shouldn’t have called her. I knew I’d get distracted. I knew I’d start missing her all over again. All though… I never really stopped. I take a sip of the coffee that’s been cold for a while now. It makes me frown, I lick my lips.

“I’ll need to hack the cameras first. Usually a place like this is a easier than a government network but it depends on the place.” She shrugs, “I can do it but only hold it for an hour or so. Which should be plenty of time for you guys. At least I hope so.”

“Should be good,” Legend nods, three cups of coffee sit next to her. All triple shot. She shouldn’t be alive right now. I’m jittery and I’ve only had half a cup. “We can’t let this girl see my face. I’ll grab some stuff from the nearest Walmart for all of us. Just make up and what not. I wish Camo was here…”

“Yea right,” Ellis scoffs, “Camo always made us look really bad. Totally different. But really ugly.”

“Ha! Remember that one time she made me look like a girl,” I shake my head, “That girl is crazy.”

“Oh yea, we had to pretend to be besties and we we’re talking about our boyfriends and…” Ellis trails off, then shakes her head, “We should get to work.”

“Yea,” I murmur. I understand why she trials off. That night didn’t end well. A couple laughs sure. But a whole lot more tears. A couple people in jail. And too many risks. “Go out and get your stuff, Legend. I’ll see what I can find out about the basic locks and what not.”

“Alright,” She waves goodbye, “I’ll just get another coffee to go.”

“It stunts your growth you know!” I call after her.

“Yea well then I can be a gymnast or jockey or something,” She laughs, “See you two in an hour. Meet back here?”

“See you,” Ellis waves slightly. Then goes back to the lap top, all her concentration on it. I wonder for a few seconds if I should say something. I play with the cardboard sleeve on my cup. After a couple minutes Ellis glances up at me. “Thought you were going to check on security?”

“Right. Right,” I nod slowly. my brows furrowing ever so slightly. “I guess I’ll go do that.”

“Be careful,” She mumbles and starts typing again. I walk outside and heave an epic sigh.  My hands tie themselves in my hair and I lick my lips again. She’s been able to get over me. Why can’t I get over her? I walk to the hotel. There’s not much I can check on without looking suspicious. I end up just circling the building for an hour. Reconsidering my whole life. I’m 18 and already have no more future ahead of me. I head back to the coffee stop. Saying a prayer of thanks when I see Legend already there. I would probably make a fool of myself if it was just Ellis and I again.

“Get the stuff?” I ask, Legend holds up a giant bag. “How do you have the money for that?”

“My boyfriend was dating a super model and has a Ferrari, ya think he might just be rich?” She takes a sip of what I assume to be her fifth coffee. “Just used his credit card. He most likely won’t mind.”

“Alright. Well. I guess we go into the bath room and become new people?” Ellis says. Legend and I nod. We sneak into the bathroom and Legend starts with me first. She dies my hair black and makes it look like I have sharper cheek bones and longer lashes. She gives me contacts that change my eyes to green. I don’t look bad. But I do look weird. She dies Ellis hair blonde and changes her eyes to blue. She adds a whole ton of freckles to her cheeks and makes her hair into tight curls. It helps a lot. With her looking different, I can almost convince myself that she’s not Ellis. That she’s some other girl. But then she laughs when she sees herself and I can’t ignore that smile or the small snort she always lets out when she giggles. “I look so ridiculous. Thanks Legend.”

“No problem girl. I think you look hot,” She starts to die her own hair.

“You always say that,” She laughs. “Come on Phoenix, let’s wait outside.”

I follow her. She grabs the laptop and starts to put it in her bag. I just watch her.

“You seriously need to stop staring,” She mutters. Giving my a look.

“Why does it make you uncomfortable?” I scoff, a small smirk creeping onto my lips, “And I wasn’t staring, I was admiring.”

“Oh please,” She rolls her eyes. “There’s nothing to admire.”

“Depends on your perspective,” I shrug. I sit down, grabbing all of Legend’s coffee cups. I stack them then throw them away.

“Phoenix,” She sighs, “I’m not doing this again.”

“Doing what?” I ask, although I know exactly what she’s talking about. “What are you doing?”

“We already did the sappy dating thing once…” She picks at the paint on the arm of the chair. “It didn’t work out. I don’t want to do it again.”

“I wasn’t trying to-” She cuts me off.

“You were still doing it. Let’s just get the job done and we’ll part ways, no broken hearts alright?” She licks her lips and gets up.

“Alright,” I murmur. But I know that’s not going to work. I won’t be able to go any other way unless it was hers.

Alright, comment below and I hope you guys liked it!!

Little Friends~

Hey guys! So I have this idea of a short story and figured I would put it in here… It’s kinda weird, just warning you but give it chance? Anyway, I hope you like it. Here goes…

Mr. Washington was old, old to the point where he couldn’t do much. He still lived alone, which he was proud of, and he could take care of himself. But he was lonely. He had never had much of a family and never married. So he had no one to talk to. At least that what everyone thought.

Not very many people saw him so to speak. Of course he still went to the store to get food and what not but no one really paid mind to him there. The only people who really noticed him were his neighbors, who saw him as he got his mail or when he tended to his grass. But no one knew what went in his house. And that was the part worth knowing.

Mr. Washington had a secret. It wasn’t a world-changing secret. But a life changing one. He had little creatures living in his house. They would help him make tea or try to steal his biscuits. They would give him something that people didn’t spend the time to give him. Company.

But there was something curious about these creatures. They were little skeletons, skeletons of humans. But small. It was strange, Mr. Washington never bothered figuring out what they really were so he didn’t know where they came from or what they were going in his house. They never went further than his front door but sometimes they went into his backyard. They would follow him around the house. They were like small dogs but they were smarter in a sense. They knew how to do things or they would learn. They didn’t “serve” the man per say but they loved him. They were probably about ten or so of them.

They all had different personalities. One of them was a fickle creature and often started fights with the others. Another stopped the fights. One liked to hide things then pretend to find them so that Washington would praise him for finding it. Two of them liked to read all day, turning the pages were hard for them but they figured it out. They all were different in some way or another. It’s hard to describe what they were because they were nothing like we have on the world, or at least, nothing we have seen.

Sometimes, a new one would show up and the man would find it a home. He would think of someone who had showed him kindness before, maybe a child or a younger person. And he would send the small creature to them, because he felt maybe it would belong more there. He never sent them to adults though, adults wouldn’t really help them belong, not most of them anyway.

Mr. Washington had a secret. Not a world-changing secret. But maybe a life changing one.

I guess that was more of a character profile than a short story but I hoped you liked it none the less. I know it was strange but I’m a writer, I’m going to be a little strange I guess. I might use these little guys if I write a fantasy but I’m not sure. If you like it I will have a sekleton visit, a comment will get you one to keep. I will see you all later! 

Broken Part 4~

Hello! So I know this a weird ending but I don’t have a lot of time to write. Anyway, I’m sorry it’s short and I hope you like it!

“So Sheild. Didn’t they make a bunch of movies about that a really long time ago? Wasn’t it a good?” I ask, we’re walking in the forest. Cole is being so careful, covering up every single track we make.

“Yea. They were. But the director, um I think he name was started with a P or something. Maybe Phil…? Anyway, he turned everyone and stuff so here we are.” He shrugs.

“How did you get dragged into it?” I ask, it’s strange. I know nothing. He’s practically a stranger. And I’m madly in love with him.

“They kidnapped me. Kay, well not really. I had no family and I was running from the government and they offered me protection. I believed them. Then they made me stay. But I met you and everything changed.” My stomach suddenly growls and he throws me a small package made out of silver plastic.

“What’s this?” I ask, looking at it from all sides.

“Food. But it has no odor or taste so they won’t be able to find us.” I open it and break it in half. We each eat half and I dislike it. A lot. It’s nasty. Like eating chalk or something.

“So where are we going?” I ask. All of a sudden Cole pushes me in a bush and hides behind it with me. He covers my mouth right as I try to ask a question. I hear, very faintly, voices. I pull his hand off my mouth. I look around and suddenly my eyes lock on something that could be my doom. The silver wrapping. On the floor, in the plain sight. I point to it and Cole looks like he’s going to punch something. Now I hear foot steps, dog’s barking and people yelling. They’re getting closer. Cole signals me to stay still and suddenly he’s on the road. He grabs the paper and hides behind the bush. He does it all very quietly and I can breathe again when he grabs it. We sit there and my foot falls asleep as we watch them past. When we finally can’t hear them Cole slowly gets up and I stand up quickly. As he checks to see if it’s clear I shake my foot out, trying to wake it up. He gives me a look and tells me I’m a dork. Then we go, we travel just barely behind the group out to get us.

Eventually they double back and we manage to just avoid them again. Then we practically run.

I’m on my way to find my brother. And then we can live like normal people once more. And we will all feel loved.

Broken~ Part 3

So, I hope you love Marvel, and I hope you don’t hate me after this because… Well. You just might. New? Click here

 

Cole’s eyes are filled with fear as I remember, begging me to keep the secret safe. Except now I know the secret. I remember it.

 

My mind uncovers it, in a memory that is not my own. Cole, standing above me while I sleep, whispering words I don’t know the meaning to. I see the memories through Cole’s eyes, he’s implanting secrets in my mind so the group he talks about won’t find out. I’m in a sleeping bag, in the woods, next to a fire. Weird, I don’t usually like camping. The secrets I remember:

 

  • He’s not apart of this group, he’s just trying to save me.
  • My brother’s not going to die, Cole’s going to save him.
  • In your pocket, there’s a flash drive, it contains where your brother is, only you can open it.
  • The man in the white suit and red is going to hurt me, don’t talk, no matter what.

 

I blink a couple times, relived. Cole’s not apart of this group, but why was he trying to save me? My brother’s not dead, I’ll be able to find him. If I get out. I still might have the flash drive.

 

Now with the current problem, I have to get Cole out of here. And me, it would be nice if I got out of here too. Three incisions have been made in Cole’s skin, three trails of blood drip down his arm. Blood man has only done Cole’s left arm, and he’s starting a forth cut. Cole’s face is starting to show pain; I give him a reassuring look. I’m going to figure this out. I test the chains on more time and find that one of the links on my right wrist is weak. We’re only as strong as our weakest link. I tug on it, trying not to draw to much attention to myself.

 

“Please, please, don’t cut him any more! I don’t know anything!” I say, putting on my best act. I did a theater class once, I use that. “Please. You can hurt me, just don’t hurt him!”

 

“No, that’s not how it works.” He says, making another cut, this time. Cole flinches, he won’t be able to do this for much longer. I continue to beg, making a lot of noise, covering up the noise of the chain shaking.

Oh yes! Yes! It’s broken now! As blood man makes another cut, I loosen my other hand. It’s not very secure, I just need a hand to unlock it. Which I have. Then I go to my feet, unlocking them way quicker than my hands. I pull the clips off my eyes and jump on the man. Grabbing his throat, pushing down as hard as I can, pushing all my hate into him, in seconds. He’s passed out. I move to Cole, unlocking him from the chair. Then I kiss him. Really quick because, you know, we’re in a life or death situation. Then we get up and run. Cole stops and grabs something from Blood man. He shows it to the door and we’re a go. I feel my pockets and find the flash drive. And I break into a smile as we run through the halls. We’re going to be ok. We’re going to get out off this.

 

“Do you trust me, Sloan?” Cole asks, his golden eyes watching me.

 

“Of course.” I say, a hundred percent sure. He nods, then pulls out a gun and shoots me in the neck. It’s an icer, I feel the enterotoxin go into my blood stream and I pass out.

 

 

I wake up with a jolt. We’re outside. I feel a soft breeze flow through my hair and I feel grass under my skin.

 

“You’re really heavy, you know that right?” Cole asks I sit up and frown at him.

 

“I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. And why in the heck did you shoot me!?” My voice rises at that part.

 

“Sorry, I had to get us out of here and you suck at being

quiet. And I pretended I was going out to shoot you. Sometimes they believe that.”

 

“It’s so good to have you back. How’s your arm?” I say,

grabbing his wrist, looking at the cuts, there are five in all. One from the cell, two from interrogation.

 

“It’s fine,” He says yanking it back. “How are you?”

 

“Kinda confused, yet kinda happy that you’re not apart of that group.” I shrug. I watch the clouds float across the blue sky.

 

“Yea, well. I was sent in to kill you and then, I dunno. You saved me like that, even though it was all a set up to earn your trust and stuff. But when you saved me, I guess I fell in love with you.” He lays down on the grass, watching the sky.

 

“That was all a set up! I hate you!” I smile, my mood has changed quite a bit. I went from hating him to loving him, it’s werid how one memory can do that. “Can I ask you a question?”

 

“Sure,” He says.

 

“What is the group called, that your apart of?” I ask.

 

“Shield. It’s called Shield.”

 

Broken~ Part two~

Ok, part two, are you ready? I hope so because then I can write part three, anyway, enjoy! An happy late 4th of July! Happy birthday America!

 

“We have ways of breaking you, you know that right?” The blood man says, out of the corner of his mouth, a drop of blood hangs there. I self consciously wipe my lips, a cut reminds me of it’s presence.

“I’m sure. But I have nothing to offer.”  I try to sound sure of myself. But I know I have everything to hide. I think blood man knows this too.

 

“Oh, I wish that were true.” He says softly. Sitting back in his chair. It’s just a plain metal chair. Nothing special, but something’s off about it. I can’t place it though. “In a minute, the cell will open and you can do anything you want. When that door opens, you will have five minutes to do anything you want.”

 

My mind instantly goes to Cole, check if he’s alright, figure out how to open his cell, run. The cell clicks open. I run to Cole’s side, he sits there. Blood’s everywhere. I grab a tool that I used once to break into a car, yes I know that’s wrong but I only did it once, and apply it to the lock. It clicks open as easily as mine did. I rush to his side, finding the source of blood. His wrist has been bleeding a lot, now it’s just oozing slightly. I rip part of my shirt off and tie it tightly around the wound, hoping that it’ll help. I shake him.

“Cole. Cole. Wake up, I have two minutes. Wake up.” I slap him. His eyes snap open, those golden eyes love so much. His he takes in deep, ragged breaths. “Let’s go, come on Cole.”

 

“I’m sorry Sloan.” He murmurs.

 

“Yea, yea, you said that already.” I mutter, propping him up om my shoulders.

 

“I’m sorry you fell for it.” I drop him, almost on accident. I should’ve known it, gosh darn it, this is all a trick. To see what I cared about most, I should’ve known that they wouldn’t let me walk free. I walk out Cole’s cell and back into mine. I sit down and wait for the minute to be over. The man reappears as soon as my cell clicks closed.

 

“Sorry. I guess that isn’t very nice. But now we know how to get you to talk.” Anger rises is me and I push it down. I won’t talk. No matter what.

 

“Ok, follow me, or something horrible will happen.” He smiles a little and my lip twitches. I suck in a deep breath push open my cell, the same click and yet not as satisfying as last time. I follow him and glare at Cole. “C’mon sweet heart.”

 

We walk down a hall and into a room. A chair and I bunch of medical instruments that look absolutely terrifying. I sit in the chair but he tells me to get out of it. I slowly get out of it, realizing what’s going to happen. He gestures to a place on the wall, two chains for my hands and two chains for my feet. And small silver clips that I can only assume are for my eyes. Blood man quickly claps me in the irons and attaches the clips to my eyelids then pulls them tight, so that I see everything. Already my eyes are watering, tears falling down them. The man walks out of the room and I struggle against the chains, pulling on them, they hold firm. Dang it. My extremely annoying imagination thinks of worse case scenarios. Brainwashing? Or maybe they’ll show my awful horrid things without letting me ever close my eyes, that would suck. I like my sleep. Before I can think of something else, Blood man walks in. With the traitor. With Cole. I know what he’s going to do now. And it’s worse than brainwashing.

 

Cole’s golden eyes stare at me, not even blinking. He’s trying to tell me something. What? What do you want to tell me? He mouths a sentence. Keep it safe. What does that mean? Keep what safe? I scan my memories for anything, secrets that Cole had told me, none come up. I don’t have anything to tell. And if Cole’s apart of this group or whatever, why doesn’t he just tell them everything?

 

“OK Miss Turner, this is how it works; you will tell me everything you know, or I hurt Agent 17, savvy?” The way he says the last word reminds me of Pirate’s of the Caribbean, a movie my dad and I used to watch all the time. I want to cry, thinking of my dad, he died six years ago, shortly after my mom died from having my brother, I was sure the world was out to get me. Now, I’m 100 percent sure that is, but if my brother isn’t dead, then I’ll still have some family. Someone to love. Someone to love me back, that’s family.

 

“Absolutely.” I mutter.

 

“Have anything to say?” He asks. I wish I did. But I don’t have anything to tell. Nothing he would want to know. I shake my head and bite my lip. Wishing I was able to close my eyes as the man walks up to Cole with a slender knife. He makes a small incision in Cole’s tan skin, blood dribbles out. Cole doesn’t even flinch, just stares at me and begs me with his eyes to keep the secret safe. And I guess I will because I don’t know what it is. “You know he’ll eventually die from blood loss right?”

 

I look at the blood that trails down his wrist and think of something the blood man said earlier.

 

“You- You said you wouldn’t kill a good agent.” I say, hopeful.

 

“I said I wouldn’t kill him is he still had purpose. This, this is his purpose now.”

 

“Your lying. You have to be lying.” I whisper.

 

“Try me.” And with that, something unlocks in my brain and I remember.

 

How did you like it? Comment below and we can all have cake!

Broken

Hey, so I got a request to do story story so here it is! I hope you like it!  

“I’m so sorry I let this happen. I promised I would keep you safe and I failed. I’m sorry Sloan.” He whispered. It traveled trough his cell and into mine. I could hear the pain in his voice, the sense of failure. And yes he did fail at protecting me, and yes this is all his fault and yes. I’m pissed off. But.

 

But I still love him. And that’s why I’m pissed. I’m pissed because I loved him in the first place. I don’t get how this all works; why would I love someone who hurt my family?  Someone who help in the murder of my younger brother? If this is love, I don’t want it. Although, I’m afraid I’ve already paid the price to be in it.

 

I sigh and grip the bars tightly, listening to him apologize over and over again. I stop him.

 

“Shut up Cole.” I say. My voice is firm and steady. But I know he can still read my emotions, I’m sure of it. That was one of the things I loved about him. The way that he understood me. I guess I still love it. If I still love him.

 

“Your brother’s not dead.” He says quickly, words almost flying at me. I hear fear in them. Something that doesn’t often happen to Cole. Fear is rare for him while it’s always present for me. Another I love.

 

“What?” I ask, wishing I could see his face, to see if he’s lying or not. I wish I could read him like he could read me. I try to imagine his dusty hair and golden eyes matching expressions but it doesn’t work. I only come up with reactions of past memories, things I don’t want to drag up.

 

“Look, I have something implanted in me and if I say something they don’t want me to say, I get pain. And a scar, for the reminder of the pain. Anyway, your brother’s alive. They didn’t want me to know that. I love you.” All of a sudden there’s a thrashing in the cell next to mine. Cole’s cell. Then a scream. He’s not lying, the pain is real. Therefore, the words are too. I try to see him but the cell blocks my view. What kind of pain is he going through?

 

“Cole? Cole?” I ask, when the screams silent. “Cole? Is it done? Is that all it was?”

 

“Miss Sloan Turner.” A sharp voice makes me turn. A man sits in a chair in front of my cell. When did he get there? Is this another one of their tricks? I can’t tell anymore. I strain my ears for any sign of Cole. Is he still alive? Is that he’s being so quiet? Because he’s dead? Please don’t let him die, I pray to no one in particular. “We have a lot to talk about.”

 

“Is he alive?” I ask urgently. They man can see him. Can tell if he’s alive.

 

“We have a lot to talk about.” He repeats. “That is not one of them.”

 

“Is he alive?” I ask, harsher.

 

“When did you meet Agent 17?” The man wears a white suit and a red tie that has dark red paint splatters. One of the splatters lander on the white suit, marring it. I have a feeling the splatter wasn’t from a bloody nose.

 

“Few weeks ago. And his name is Cole. Is he alive?” I ask, almost crying. I need to know.

 

“Of course he’s alive will you please come down. If you keep you head about you, you will realize that I would not kill a valuable asset unless I have to.” He pauses, “How did you meet him.”

 

“I’m not telling you.” I say, the story is very personal. Nothing this bloody man needs to know. I massage the bars with my scabby fingers, they’re so battered from the last few weeks when all of this happened.

 

Cole showed up at my door, dying. Or so I thought. Apparently a group was after him. They had attacked him and he had barely escaped. I had asked him how he found me and he just smiled a little and told me that he had knocked on a random door. He told me this one felt right. I got him to a hospital and once he was more alive then dead, he told me that I was in danger. That I had been seen with him and the group was going to come after me too. I believed him. Or maybe he wasn’t lying about that part. I don’t know any more. We ran off together. Running from the group. I think at one point we were actually running from the group because there was fear in Cole’s eyes. One of the only emotions that I could read. Anyway, a couple days before we were caught. We both we said we loved each other. And we kissed each other. It was small but it was powerful. And when the group caught us and let Cole go. I felt betrayed. And when they shot my six-year-old brother in front of me. I felt really really really betrayed. I didn’t want to kill him though. I still hung on to the hope that he was being controlled, that when he kissed me that I loved the real him. Not a made up version. Then we were put in this cell together, which means he must have done something wrong, and he started apologizing. And we are all caught up. And I’m not going to tell the blood man my story. Because my first love ended up in a train wreck and he doesn’t need to know that.

 

I don’t know who or what this group is though, I don’t know what they want or what they are looking for. All I know is I don’t have it. I had a normal life until Cole and I plan to go back to it. If I don’t die first. Because if my brother is alive, then I can stop this group from destroying him as they destroyed my heart. So I will get out of here and I will forget about Cole the best I can and I will move on. Because I’m 15, I have a lot more life to live. This is what I keep telling myself anyway.

 

 

So, what do you think, good? Bad? Whatever? Kinda ok but boring? Tell me what you think and I’ll try and improve it. See you later!

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.