The Twilight Saga

       

                     Ch. 1-14

                      Ch. 15-37

                 Ch.38- 46, epilogue

 

 

Part 1:

 

 

Chapter 1: Uncovered

Natalie

 

A breeze blew past me while I ran. My feet ached and my throat felt thick. I would need to rest soon. But I had to run. I sighed. That’s all I was good for these days…running…running away from monsters who tried to suck out my mind…trying to run from friends who had theirs sucked out before me…It was a hard life. But I’d risk it for everyone. I looked behind me and saw and heard nothing. Slowly, I leaned against a tree. I was very exhausted these days. I wanted to cry. To push the world away, to fall on my knees and cry. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t cry. All my tears had dried up. I sighed and laid down. Exhaustion was usual. I was beyond hoping this was all a dream and I would wake to hear my mother humming over breakfast and my brother with his Ipod speakers too loud. But I didn’t. I never did. Never. I remembered the day they came for us…the four parasites. The creatures who had taken my mother, father, brother, and now Uncle Lebo away from me. Was I not allowed to be happy for once? Did my life have to be such a constant misery? I knew the answer: yes. I felt as if I’d been punched. I had two choices: turn myself in and lose my mind or stay on the run for the rest of my life, never to see happiness in the face. I let myself wander back to that last day… I had been thirteen years old. I was tall for my age, I looked fifteen at most. I was alone since my parents had taken Miquiel to his basketball game. I was sick of basketball. This whole house lived on it. Well, I didn’t I wouldn’t. I‘d been reading a book when the bell sounded. I didn’t move toward the door; I wasn’t to open the door to anyone except my parents, but they’d have the key and let themselves in. The bell kept ringing for a full fifteen minutes; it was starting to worry me. Then, I couldn’t hear it anymore. If they wanted to see my family, they’d have to come back another time. I gasped. I should’ve known it was the disgusting parasites. No one else would ring for so long. But I was young, innocent, and unaware of the war until I had been pulled into it. I’d awoken that night to the sound of our doorbell. It was 3:12 in the morning. Who would come at this hour? I pushed myself out of bed, slipped my thin pink-with-stars robe on and slipped outside into the hall. My dad was walking down the stairs. Mom looked at me and cautioned me with her eyes. She looked worried. I wonder why? Nothing ever worried mom. Worried…everything is so past tense even though her body lives on. I walked quietly down the stairs. How did Miquiel not get up at the noise of the bell? He must be a heavy sleeper. My father hesitated at the door. Through the glass I could see blurred shapes. Three, maybe four people were standing outside. It would be rude not to let them in. Or so I thought. If I had known who they were, what they were, I would’ve secured the house until not even a fly could enter. Too late now; I was too innocent to understand back then. My dad finally took a deep breath and opened the door…and gasped. All color had drained from his face. Every handsome line on his face had gone from worried to downright horror. He stood frozen for the longest time. Whoever was there got impatient. They crossed the threshold and into the front room. My mom screamed when she saw them, She sunk to her knees and started praying. I stared at her. Mother never did this. Never. Not when Maquiel almost died a few years ago when cliff climbing or when the oven exploded, ruining her kitchen. So what made her face paler than dad’s. I looked back at the people who had caused this. There were four figures-I had been right- in the room, three men and a woman. The first man was tall and lean with sandy hair that was shaved to a buzz. He didn’t make a sound. He just stood there waiting for orders. So, he definitely didn’t lead this group. The second man was short and stocky; I could see his muscles banding on his arms under the shirt. He had blond hair and a beard. He would have been handsome except for the nasty scowl on his face. I wished I’d scowled back. I wanted to let him know that I knew the truth and I would hunt him down. But I didn’t. I didn’t know than of course. I looked then at the third man. Or should I say boy. He looked like he could be sixteen. He was tall too, but had more muscle than the first one. His brownish-red hair was brilliant. Just then he turned and looked at me. I felt his gaze on me and I flushed-how embarrassing. I turned away but he still looked at me. I wondered how he saw me. Did he see me as a little girl with frizzy hair, a stretched out body, long arms and legs, and way too big eyes. Or did he see me as a strong young lady with tastefully long limbs, beautiful brown eyes, and luscious black curly hair. Shut up, I screamed at myself. He’s sixteen. Get a hold of yourself! Before I could think any further, my big blundering eighteen year old brother basically jumped down the stairs. “Did someone scream,” he asked groggily. I growled and he shook himself awake. I knew what he saw. Four strangers dressed in black with sunglasses on in the middle of the night. “What the…” Before he could go further he was pinned by the stocky man. There was shock on his face but the man held his mouth. At almost the same time, I felt myself slammed into the wall. Someone caught my hands with an iron grasp. I tried to pull myself free but to no avail. I looked around me. My mother was on the floor; the only woman agent holding her. The woman was short, with pixie-like black hair. She had a pale face and a pointy nose. My mom didn’t struggle; I couldn’t believe it. My mom always put up a fight. The lanky man held my dad against a corner and sneered. My dad looked panicked but calmed when he saw my space. He spoke, his voice even. “Take me and my wife if you want, but let our children be.” His voice wavered at children. You’ve already taken them once before. The woman looked up. “Sorry,” she said, sounding not sorry at all. “We have rules. Either these babies get inserted or they can walk the ship walk.” What was a ship walk? And what the hell was an insertion? I grimaced. If I had known what an insertion was then, I would’ve screamed till they killed me. But of course, the word “insertion” had never been in my vocabulary at that time. As I struggled internally, I didn’t notice my capture pull me around to study me. I didn’t even know who it was; I had my eyes closed. I opened them slowly and looked into black. Of course, his sunglasses were still on. He analyzed my face. Then, he pushed me away and analyzed my body. “Pretty,” he finally said between his teeth. His voice was wonderful, a dream. It swerved in just the right places. I couldn’t place the pitch. Time to take music lessons. “Do you want her?” asked the woman. “We can put any soul you want in her body. She’ll be yours until you both die.” She seemed impatient to me. I was still trying to understand. They were going to put a soul in me? What was this soul? Weren’t all humans born with one? What did she mean ‘until I die’? Was she going to kill me? “I don’t know.” At the sound of his voice I stopped and listened. “She’s a pretty thing” – I flushed with pride- “but she’s…different. It’s like she’s in her own frequency. She didn’t freak out like her parents. I wonder why?” He looked me over, a slight frown on his face. “We have to go; knock ‘em out.” The lean man said. He leaned over dad but before I could see anymore, something hit me in the back of the head and everything went black. I was pulled out by my despair. Everything had been smooth until that day. That day had been my last normal one. What got me was how my parents hid me, Miquiel, and themselves for forty years (only eighteen in Miquiel’s case). They had been able to stay in one place for so long. Faking helped. Most of the bodies used by parasites had scars at the neck where the “soul” had been inserted. I had used a knife to create my own and some smooth to make it fade a little. My parents had done the same. The only problem was the eyes. The eyes of bodies with parasites reflected more than human ones. If my eye hit the light and someone was looking, I’d be dead. That’s why I went raiding on cloudy days where there would be no sun, yet there wouldn’t be any light in the stores. The closest I’d come to failing was this morning. Suddenly, I heard a rustling. I was up on my feet in a second. I slung my light pack onto my shoulder and waited. Had this been my imagination or was someone really sneaking up on me? I thought about how good it was that I could hear the motion. It wasn’t luck that I still survived in this world. It was me. I had been born with an athlete’s body, not stolen like the parasites. I had very good peripheral vision and pretty good hand-eye-coordination. Had I been born back in the normal time, I would be very popular; athletic, cute, and smart (I have an IQ of 173…that’s high), I would have had all the attention. But here, I was an outcast. I didn’t want attention. Not that kind. I snaked toward the cluster of trees to my left. I would be protected most there while still being able to view my attacker. I walked slowly. There was no sound as I walked and I heard no other sounds in the forest. Suddenly, I heard a snap. I didn’t even think about it. I just started running. No one could beat me when I ran. I was all for speed. My record was a mile in 5 minutes 38 seconds. Very good timing, if I do say so my self. I didn’t even look back to see who it was as I snaked the jungle floor. I could feel some of the sticks under my feet as I ran. Ugh! I definitely needed new shoes, but instead, my chasers were planning on giving me a new life. Finally, when I thought I was far enough ahead, I looked back. There were five of them. Three males and two females by the looks of it. The Two of the seekers looked familiar, but they were too far away for me to put the stamp on it. Instead of speeding up, I stayed my speed. Who were these seekers? I looked again and gasped. They were much closer now. I could make out the man in the lead. His face brought back memories, none of them good. Cold grey eyes…reflecting irises… cruel smiles…tears…I knew who it was. I’d met him a little more than three years ago at my house. He had said that I was pretty. It was that teenager who had captured me. Fury coursed through me. How dare he come after me? I wanted to go back, but my instinct of self preservation was stronger. I sped up. Suddenly, I heard water. And lots of it. Oh No! I’d totally forgotten that the forest lead to the waterfalls. They were falling behind again, but if I kept going, I’d fall over the edge. That was better than having a parasite in you, I told myself. The forest thinned out, and to my great displeasure, I saw the edge. If I jumped it, I would have a 5% chance of survival. Today was better though; the weather was good; the current wasn’t as strong. Maybe there was a 10% chance this time. I leaped onto the rock farthest away from the forest. It was also the most out above the sea. A few steps back, and it would be a straight drop to the water. In about five seconds, the seekers came into view…well the first one did. I gave him a cold glare when he stopped and looked up. The rest arrived. Now I recognized the small woman, she had taken my mother to be inserted. Hate filled me and I hissed. She raised her eyebrows mockingly. She thought my self preservation would get the better of me and I would come. She didn’t know that I lost too much to care any more. Uncle Ledo had been the last straw. I crouched down and growled. The three newcomers entered the clearing and formed a semi-circle around my rock. I didn’t move; I squared me jaw. People were scared when they saw me do that because I looked downright dangerous. That was the plan. The guy who first captured me came forward and knelt at their end of the rock. “My name is Jake and I want to ask you questions, that’s all.” I wondered how I looked to him after three years in the wild. I was taller, a full 5’8”, and I was slimmer too; all that running and rations made me strong and muscular. I definitely had more muscles than the average sixteen year old. I still had longer legs than torso though. I was proud of the fact that I was faster than him. But He saw other things to. My skin was grimy with dirt, I was really thin, and everything I was wearing was torn. My eyes were the only thing that was the same, a deep brown color in patterns that seemed to reach into my entire being. Yet, these days I had a cold glare in my eye. I growled again and shook my head. I wouldn’t be used. He looked up at me with a look I didn’t recognize. “Nothing too personal, don’t worry. You look horrible. How did you survive here like this so long?” I stared at him. I hadn’t talked to anyone all day, so talking felt weird. “I don’t like parasites. I wouldn’t tell you even if you killed me.” He stared at me blankly. “Of course you wouldn’t tell us if we were going to kill you,” he said. He just didn’t get it. I wanted to die more than I wanted to be wiped out from my body. I knew mine would be wanted. All those years of hard work would make a parasite feel good. “Pschh” I said in a blow off manner. “You parasites don’t get it, do you? I rather die than turn into one of you. You disgust the whole human race.” I looked at him in awe. I hadn’t meant to say do much in such a hateful voice. They all looked at me as if I were crazy. “Humans already have short life spans. Why make them any shorter?” He was surprised. How could he be? Parasites. They really were pathetic. Then, I saw wordless communication pass between them and the moved in. “We don’t want to hurt you,” The woman said. “Your body is exactly what we need. Thin, strong, tall, and beautiful. You will make a wonderful host. I looked at her in disgust. I saw that Jake had a pained expression on his face. What’s his problem? They were closing in faster. They could almost touch me. I looked behind me at the water churning below. I would risk it, I trold myself. I prepared myself. Jake saw what I was going to do a second before I did. I took a deep breath and walked a few steps back. Right over the edge of the waterfall. I hear Jake scream, “NO!” And I saw him try to catch me. Too late, I thought smugly. But then, Jake slipped and he was falling too, beside me. Oh boy. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to deal with him. I loved The falling feeling. It felt like I was flying. I closed my eyes and stretched out my habds. If I was dying, might as well enjoy it. Then, all too soon, something connected with the back of my head and the world explodes before me. So this was how it felt to die. I liked it. But it hurts. My head. Soon, I feel myself slipping…no place to hold on to…black.

 

Chapter 2: Confused

Natalie

 

I hurt. My whole body burned. Especially my head. I couldn’t ell where I was, but it felt nice. My back was cool, but the front of my body was hot. I was confused. Wasn’t death equal to all parts. Then, my memory came flooding back to me; running…resting…chase…stuck… jumping. I bolted up almost immediately. I was on a beach. There was a burning smell but no one in sight. The air was slightly breezy and it felt good on my shoulders. It absorbed the pain a bit. My legs and arms looked unarmed. I touched the back of my head. There was a bandage on it. Someone was here. I jumped to my feet and looked around carefully. I saw smoke from the trees. I followed silently, hoping it wasn’t fire. What I saw startled me. There was a clearing with fire in the middle. Of to the side, a make-shift tent lay open. It was empty. My pack lay on the ground, closed. Whose sight was this? Then I heard a rustling sound. I turned in time to see a man come into view. I didn’t even need to know who it was before I saw the reflective flash in his eyes from the sun. Jake. I gasped and turned, determined to make a run for it. I ached everywhere, but I might still be able to. “Wait!” He’d seen me. Damn it. Everything just had to get harder. He set down his load, which happened to be branches, and turned to me. “I just want to talk. You should eat something, and I’ll change your bandages again.” I stared at him. He’d bandaged my head. I saw the tear in his shirt and the place where some cloth was missing. I was thoroughly disgusted. I started ripping the bandage off of my head. “Don’t,” he said, coming to my sighed. “You’re hurt and it’ll get worse.” “Why do I care? Your seekers are probably going to patch me right up when your turn me in.” I tried to take the bandage off, but his hand was pretty strong. “I’m not turning you in.” I stared at him blankly. Was this a joke because it sure as hell wasn’t funny. “Of course your not. You just patched me up because of the goodness in your heart,” I said sarcastically. “Actually, I did just heal you up because of the goodness of my heart. Now why don’t you eat something? You must be hungry as hell.” He took out some bread, corn-on-the-cobs, and two bottles of water. I was suspicious. The food and water could be poisoned. “I didn’t know parasites cussed; I always thought you were too polite for that, I said scathingly. Jake looked amused. I turned away. I would refuse to eat anything that he had touched. “Aren’t you hungry?” “No.” But my traitor stomach growled just then. He smiled widely and broke the bread in half. He handed me half. I still refused to take the food. He seemed nice, but wasn’t manipulation how the souls got into power in the first place? “I haven’t poisoned it, you know,” he said politely. He left the food at my side and went back to sit in the tent. I looked at his face and then at the food. He had an amused look on his face, yet it didn’t seem scheming. I sighed and took the corn. I bit into it. Damn! It was delicious. I basically ate the whole thing in ten bites. He started laughing. “Slow down there. You’re going to get stomach pains at this rate.” Well, I was hungry. Jake got up, then. I froze. Was he planning something? When, he touched my head, I jerked. He froze too. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to fix your bandages.” I still didn’t move. My head started to spin, and I realized I wasn’t breathing. I took in a breath and prepared to scream. But I didn’t need to. He sighed and sat back down. I relaxed a little. To my surprise, Jake started ripping the hem of his shirt. He looked up and smiled at my surprise. Without a word he handed it to me. “Take the old bandage off your head and put this one on.” I knew he wasn’t going to help me. Not after my reaction last time. I sighed and fixed the bandages. After I finished eating, I decided to bathe. I was a mess. I looked at my clothes. My supposed-to-be-adorable dark wash jeans were more hole than jean, my green long-sleeved top with tight material over my chest was way too worn and thin for my liking, and my sneakers looked like they would drop off in any moment. But I didn’t have anything else to wear at the moment. I sighed. Jake was still watching me. He saw me analyze my clothes and grimaced. “I don’t have clothes in your size but I have extras,” he offered. I knew I didn’t have a choice so I accepted. He handed me an overlarge red T-shirt and a pair of yellow Capri-sweats. I sighed. These clothes would definitely make me stand out in the forest. I didn’t have much of a choice though. I went to the river and stripped. I made sure he wasn’t watching. The water looked cold, so I closed my eyes and jumped. Dang! It was freezing. It was like a thousand knives stabbing into my back, stomach, face, and limbs. I felt like screaming, but there really was no point. I slowly rose to the surface and exhaled. Now, to wash myself without soap. Uncle Ledo had always gotten soap on the raids, but I didn’t have any. The whole point of the raid this morning was to get soap and hygiene materials. So much for that. I tried to get rid of the dirt as best as I could. When I was done, I climbed out and used my worn shirt as a towel. Sigh. I put the colorful outfit he gave me, on, and went back to the campsite. Jake looked up when he heard me. It took him a while to hear me. I totally forgot that my hearing was way better. He was lying on a mat and reading a book. I couldn’t tell which one it was. Would I know of it, or was it a parasite’s make? I sat myself on the opposite side of the clearing and looked at the ground. I heard a shift and my head bolted up. He had moved infinitesimally and I could see the book’s title: Nightmare and Death: The Horror Within. I gasped. That had been my favorite book as a child. To my sadness, the author had been inserted and now wrote non-violent books about the See Weeds and The Origin and whatnot. He looked up and followed my eyes to the book. “Have you read it,” he asked. Of course I’ve read it. It was my favorite book as a child though I haven’t read it in three years. I had to leave it behind after…after…” I didn’t continue. He should understand. He did. He looked away. I feared I said too much anyway. “I’m sorry,” he said. He really did look sorry. “Anyway, what was your favorite part? Mine was when I found out that Death gave Nightmare those secret pills that made her die.” I smiled. “I loved it when they said Death was actually sixteen year old girl with black hair, coal eyes, tall frame, and a pale face who could kill people in the blink of an eye if they had no mystic powers. He shook his head. “I prefer Nightmare. She had to face so much horror from Death; it’s cruel.” “Well, she is Nightmare,” I countered. “Besides, her being able to transform into scary things just creeps me out, and I would prefer to die instantly than have Nightmare torture you.” Eron looked at me silently. Then, I understood what he must’ve heard in my words on Nightmare Es Devil, the blond haired, red eyed, sharp-toothed, sixteen year old who is always half asleep. Her being able to transform into scary things. Ugh, I groaned. He thought I was thinking about the disgusting parasites entering someone’s body. It was creepy though. Nightmare and Death. It was a perfect description of what the parasites did. First, they’d torture you by inserting their parents and letting them come after you. Then, they’d kill you. Well not kill you, but erase you. Same thing in my opinion. Nightmare was horrible, but Death was gentle; merciful, even though she threatened to kill a lot. Everyone thought of death as being violent, but really, it was just a permanent easer of pain. I wondered why I hadn’t killed myself already. The Resistance. They could do with my knowledge. “I thought the parasites didn’t read violent books,” said. “This is the only one left in existence,” he answered. “And we’re not parasites; we’re souls.” I snorted. “Oh yes, how could I have so rude to a soul?” We sat in silence for a while. I sighed and stood up. “I’m sorry, but I have to go.” I got up. He raised an eyebrow. “You humans are rude,” he commented. I whirled around and growled. “You think we’d be rude if we were free?” “Well, I’m just saying that I gave you food, clothes and bandages. I didn’t get a thank you- “Thank you” -and you didn’t even invite me along. I’m disappointed.” I stared at him. He couldn’t come. He might’ve been nice. But he was still a seeker. The Resistance would squash him if he came within ten miles of their home. Home. The word sounded so good. I had to leave now. And besides, he’s a seeker. He could give everything away. “You can’t come. Thanks, but I’m on a tight schedule. He tightened his eyes. “Oh I’m coming. You owe me.” “I owe you nothing. You turned me in, remember. This was the least you could do, so get over it.” I turned around, picked up my pack and started walking toward the forest. Jake grabbed my arm. I tried to free myself, but he had a hard grip. And my arm was narrow enough that he could get his hands completely around.. “I can still call the seekers. It’s the least you could do for me,” he countered. I narrowed my eyes. He looked uncomfortable. Had he just threatened me? No one threatened me and EVER looked the same again. “How dare you,” I asked, slow and dangerous, “threaten me. Leave. Me. Alone.” He let me go. Instead, he asked, “when you need food, you won’t be able to walk in. They’re more careful there since the disappearances in the south.” I stared…he had me there. What disappearances? Had the Resistance been experimenting on taking the souls out? Probably. “OK, fine,” I said. “But you’re to leave after a while. My destination is a secret. He grinned. “You’re going to the Resistance, aren’t you? Can I come? I’m sick of being a seeker.” I stared. He was sick of being a seeker. Lies, I told myself. He wouldn’t follow me after Phoenix. “You can come with me until I hit Phoenix. They’d chop our heads off if you showed up.” He looked away. “Deal,” he finally said. He started packing up the camp. I was so impatient that I got down and helped. Wow. That’s a first. When we were done, I started walking. I couldn’t take it any longer. Jake looked like he was going to protest, but he didn’t. Good. I didn’t feel like arguing. We climbed to the top of the nearest hill and looked down. It was so beautiful. And I would cross the vast plains and mountains in a week. That was my goal. The thought of home couldn’t have sounded sweeter.

 

hey guys, for those of u who liked this and want to read the sequel, here's the link:

http://www.thetwilightsaga.com/group/theofficialthehostbookdiscussion/forum/topics/the-final-deatha-host-fanfic

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thanks! i heard...she'll be working on the squel once she's done with midnight sun...
hopefully she will finish it !!!! I'm praying everyday hahahaha LOL
me too! i read the online copy!! brilliant....she says its 400 pages long so far and she's not even half way done!
Chapter 4: Least to Despise
Natalie

I was lying on my face again. What was with these near death experiences near water? And to think we humans live on it.
I was lying on a bunch of dirt. I could feel someone pressed up against me; unfortunately, that someone happened to be Jake. I flinched away from him. I sat up. My legs were completely submerged in water. I sighed. I didn’t have any other clothes on me. I looked at Jake and I felt a little pang in my chest. He looked so peaceful, asleep, and unconscious like that. I knew, in that instant, were he human, I would have loved him. But he wasn’t. And I didn’t.
I stood up and decided to make a fire. I could be nice to a parasite that saved my life, right? Once the fire was blazing, he stirred. I looked around for my pack. It had had all the food and supplies we needed.
Damn it, I thought. I guess we were on our own now. I dragged the bugger by the fire and went hunting for berries and maybe a rabbit or two. It would be interesting to try. By the time I got back, Jake was couched by the fire, drying off. That wouldn’t have bothered me except for that fact that he’d taken his shirt off to do so.
Damn it. I tried keeping my eyes away, I really did. But I couldn’t stop myself. His chest looked like it was totally sculpted. He was totally muscled. He looked up.
I looked away, my face pink. I thought I saw him smile out of the corner of my eye. That infuriated me. He did this on purpose! I put my sack down. It was filled with some wild berries and a squirrel. It didn’t look appetizing. I ate it anyway.
Afterword, I decided to sleep. I was thoroughly exhausted. I saw Jake yawn. I stretched myself out by the fire. I was freezing though. There had been blankets in the pack we’d carried, but it was gone now. I faced the sky and just stared. It was so beautiful. It was the only thing that hadn’t changed after the parasites came. I sighed. I was looked up so intently that I dint notice Jake lie down right beside me.
His breathing alerted me to his presence. I flinched away from him. He sighed.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
I didn’t respond. I did move until I was at least a foot away from him. A part of me wanted to be close to him though. He was very warm and I was freezing. I told myself to snap out of it. I guess it was my hormones that made me hungry. How many years had it been since I had been around a guy my age? Was it three years?
Was I started to like him. I shuddered at the thought. I fell asleep thinking about life and the stars.
Chapter 4: Least to Despise
Natalie


I was lying on my face again. What was with these near death experiences near water? And to think we humans live on it.
I was lying on a bunch of dirt. I could feel someone pressed up against me; unfortunately, that someone happened to be Jake. I flinched away from him. I sat up. My legs were completely submerged in water. I sighed. I didn’t have any other clothes on me. I looked at Jake and I felt a little pang in my chest. He looked so peaceful, asleep, and unconscious like that. I knew, in that instant, were he human, I would have loved him. But he wasn’t. And I didn’t.
I stood up and decided to make a fire. I could be nice to a parasite that saved my life, right? Once the fire was blazing, he stirred. I looked around for my pack. It had had all the food and supplies we needed.
Damn it, I thought. I guess we were on our own now. I dragged the bugger by the fire and went hunting for berries and maybe a rabbit or two. It would be interesting to try. By the time I got back, Jake was couched by the fire, drying off. That wouldn’t have bothered me except for that fact that he’d taken his shirt off to do so.
Damn it. I tried keeping my eyes away, I really did. But I couldn’t stop myself. His chest looked like it was totally sculpted. He was totally muscled. He looked up.
I looked away, my face pink. I thought I saw him smile out of the corner of my eye. That infuriated me. He did this on purpose! I put my sack down. It was filled with some wild berries and a squirrel. It didn’t look appetizing. I ate it anyway.
Afterword, I decided to sleep. I was thoroughly exhausted. I saw Jake yawn. I stretched myself out by the fire. I was freezing though. There had been blankets in the pack we’d carried, but it was gone now. I faced the sky and just stared. It was so beautiful. It was the only thing that hadn’t changed after the parasites came. I sighed. I was looked up so intently that I dint notice Jake lie down right beside me.
His breathing alerted me to his presence. I flinched away from him. He sighed.
“Sorry,” he whispered.
I didn’t respond. I did move until I was at least a foot away from him. A part of me wanted to be close to him though. He was very warm and I was freezing. I told myself to snap out of it. I guess it was my hormones that made me hungry. How many years had it been since I had been around a guy my age? Was it three years?
Was I started to like him. I shuddered at the thought. I fell asleep thinking about life and the stars.
Chapter 5: Too Close
Natalie


My eyelids were red in the sunlight. I felt so well rested now. The sun was up and I opened my eyes. I gasped.
Jake was sleeping right up against me, his arms encircling me, with one hand under my head as a pillow. I liked it. He was so warm against me. I sighed.
Suddenly I remembered who he was and why we were here. I gasped and flinched away from him. I stood up and went to the other side of the clearing. I saw him get up and notice me. I saw something pass in his eyes. I looked away. What had I been thinking?
We packed up and started walking. We were sadly out of supplies and I was desperate for a shower. I would never say that out loud though. Suddenly, I heard a noise.
I turned suddenly. Jake had looked back too. Between the trees, I could make out people. We stayed perfectly still, watching them. Suddenly, light flashed, as something reflected across metal. Not just something: eyes. Too late, they noticed us.
“Run!” Jake yelled, pushing me along. We sprinted as fast as we could. There were hollers behind us as the Parasites figured out that there were humans ahead. We couldn’t stop. I ran as fast as I could. I felt myself leave Jake behind. It didn’t matter. He was one of them.
I didn’t know how long it had been until I stopped. My legs hurt and I was exhausted. I had no food and I was exhausted. I didn’t even have water.


The next time I woke up, the sun was high in the sky. I cursed myself and moved forward. I was tired still and hungry. I jumped at every noise.
On the third day, I just lay down. I was pretty athletic, but I couldn’t move. I closed my eyes, accepting defeat, just as I saw someone behind the trees. I didn’t care. I fell asleep.

Chapter 6: Desire
JAKE


I followed behind Natalie for about three days. She was a fast runner. The minute I thought I’d caught her, she’d escape. The girl had been in hiding much too long.
Those souls had just been tourists. After a while, he realized they hadn’t followed. By that time, Nat was gone. I was tracking her now. I saw clearings wear she’d lain down to sleep, the grass being crushed into her shape. It wasn’t until past nightfall on the third day that I found her.
She’d seen me; I saw her looking straight at me from through the trees. But she was exhausted. She didn’t even make a move to stand up. I knew she was dying. She’d been running top speed for three days without food and water. That wasn’t going to help matters. I didn’t have anything with me. How could I help her? Suddenly it struck me.
Natalie would kill me for this but I would take her to a hotel. As long as she stayed asleep, no one would question. He could say they’d been hiking and were too exhausted to make the trip home. I could pretend she was my girlfriend. She really would kill me if she heard that. I didn’t care.
I carried her toward lights. It was a small town called Datil in New Mexico. I walked with her leaning on my shoulder the minute we reached town. It would look weird to be carrying someone; we probably looked like we were whispering, what with her head leaning in my way. I liked the feeling, though I knew I shouldn’t.
I saw a sign in the distance: The Davy Day Inns. I started carrying her from there and walked in. The hotel was almost empty. The clerk looked up and smiled. “Hiking,” I told him. “Too tired. Can we have a room?” He nodded and led us. We were given room 111. There was one huge bed. Uh oh. This was bad. I wished I asked for a two bed room. Too late. I set her down on one side and went to wash up.
By the time I showered and came back, Nat had adjusted herself. She was asleep sideways, hugging herself. She looked so innocent, sleeping. The fire in her subdued until it was just a gentle flame. I wanted it. The desire was unbelievable. I wanted to explode. I sighed and lay down on my side of the bed. Wouldn’t it be something if humans and souls could live together in harmony? Then, he wouldn’t try so hard for Nat.
He looked over at Nat. She looked cold. I covered her in the blanket. I thought I saw a smile on her face. Unconsciously, her hand found mine. She held it. I took that as a bit of acceptance. She couldn’t change me, but she could enjoy it. Some part of me felt pity. She needed a comforting hand after three years of bitter living. Would I be the one to give it to her? I fell asleep, her hand in mine.

Chapter 7: Distance
Natalie


I woke up in a warm comfy bed. I was content. Then, it hit me. I shouldn’t be in a bed. I sat up really fast. Jake was up, staring at me. My cheeks burned. We’d slept in the same bed. How embarrassing. I thought I saw him smile. I got up and turned on him.
“What the hell? Why did you bring me here?” I glared at him.
He frowned. “You were exhausted. We can get food here and-”
“So you brought me to a hotel! Is that you plan, to turn me into a little bugger!”
Please! You being very loud,” he said, looking at the door.
I couldn’t believe my ears. I was furious. As I calmed down, I realized the logic in his words. This was a great place to get food, bedding, and a shower. I sighed. “I’m going to take a shower.” I walked into the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror.
It had been ages since I’d seen my face in a mirror. All signs of childishness was gone, replaced by hard muscle and bone. I had a tan and my hair was way longer now. It might be a good time to shear it off. My eyes were still a deep brown, and my hair the same black. My first thought was, I’m pretty. How immodest of me. But I was. I remember envying those girls in school, what with braces, frizz, and acne, I was a mess. Now, all that had disappeared. My hair looked dried out but I could look for some hair conditioner.
I showered, but I couldn’t bring myself to wear my dirty clothes again. My pack was outside. I sighed and put a robe on. I walked into the room and looked for my spare change in my pack. They weren’t there. What the hell? Then I saw a slip of paper by my pack.

Look in the closet for clothes. Join me downstairs for breakfast after.

I looked in the closet. There were three pairs of clothes to choose from. I pulled on the first things I saw. I went into the bathroom and did my hair to perfection. Besides the eyes, I could probably pass for a parasite.
I walked down to the hotel restaurant afterword in my white v-neck tee and dark blue jeans. I was wearing several bracelets, including some pretty metal one. I had on a thin silver chain and hoop earrings to complete the look. My black hair contrasted the white. When Jake saw me, his eyes widened, and he turned pink. I think he chose these clothes on purpose. I sat down and smiled.
“What’s the story,” I asked.
“I’m a seeker and you’re my girlfriend. We went hiking but were too exhausted to make the trip home.” His girlfriend huh? He would totally die later. Now, time to shoe off my superb acting skills. I put on pair of chick black sunglasses, and approached the counter. I felt stared as I passed. I wonder how I looked. I ordered a full meal: fruit bowl, cheeseburger, soda, and a breakfast doughnut. No one had to know I had a sweet tooth.
I sat down and started whispering. “Did you pack anything for our trip?” he nodded. “You’re an idiot, you know that? I could’ve been caught! It wouldn’t have bothered you I’m sure. Aiming for it are you?” I kept my face expressionless, so anyone watching wouldn’t suspect anything. I did realize I’d leaned in to whisper-yell at Jake, and I was sure people thought us a couple now. Yah right!
After eating we left. I packed spare clothes with me, including a sweater. I kept my shades. Who knew when I’d need them? I grabbed a map on the way out. I turned against the sun and started walking. Jake was behind me. I was in New Mexico. I’d reach Arizona soon and I needed to get rid of Jake. I grimaced. I thought up a plan to get rid of him. Meanwhile, a train roared about a mile south of us.
this is really good!
Chapter 8: Gone…
Jake


I felt Natalie give off strangely hostile vibes. Well, technically, most of her vibes were hostile, these were just unusually so. She’d be glancing over her shoulder at me every few seconds. She was very jittery. We continued to go southwest. I’d have thought Nat would turn when we got near the rails, but she kept going. What did she think? That we could ride the rails?
When we stopped for the night, Nat just slunk into a corner. She looked depressed. I wanted to comfort her but I knew she wouldn’t want my comfort. It was quieter tonight than ever. We would usually find something to talk about but not tonight. It was very quiet.
As I went to sleep, I thought I saw a tear fall from her face as she looked at the stars.

***

We continued. Natalie walked fast, not even trying to let me catch up. At one point, we even ran. She stopped just short of the tracks. They were empty, thank goodness. She seemed to wait for something. Sighing, she stopped and sat down. When she thought I was sleeping, I studied her. She kept staring into the distance hard. As I drifted into sleep, I thought I saw her packing things up.
When I woke up, everything was gone. Nat had taken everything except a granola bar which she had placed near where I slept. I crushing sensation fell on. I realized what she was up to. She was trying to escape me. She was nearing the Resistance. I knew I shouldn’t feel this way but I felt my heart break. I’d been hoping so hard that she would accept her destiny. I wish I could tell her everything, but I couldn’t. It broke me apart.
I cried for a few minutes. Then, I realized I had to find her. I set off in a sprint. I saw a train in the distance. It was coming this way. Perhaps I’d make it. I ran as fast as I could.
I saw her faintly in the distance. She was perilously close to the tracks, like she was going to throw herself off. She wouldn’t dream of trying to jump on the train. The train grew closer.
“NO!” I screamed. She turned to look at me briefly. I couldn’t make out her face. I saw her turn around just as fast. As the train moved past her, she jumped…
…and missed. This would haunt my memory forever. All I heard was one long drawn out scream of pain. And then all was silent.

Chapter 9: Or so I Thought
Jake


That nightmare I had envisioned left me shaken. Was she suicidal? She wouldn’t kill herself, would she? But I watched her. She continued to stare at me. Then she turned around.
“No!” I screamed. What was her problem? Why would she do this to me? I loved her too much: me the little thing in the back of a human’s head. Human emotions were so overwhelming.
I already knew she’d break my heart. I was a fool. I had believed I could change her. I should’ve known nothing could. In all my time as a human, I never cried. But now, I could feel the tears leaking onto my face. Didn’t humans consider tears a sign of weakness? I did feel weak. I felt weak because I knew I couldn’t stop her. If I attempted to stop her, she would jump too early and the horrible ending I had imagined would really happen. She had me backed in a corner.
I don’t know what got me, but I charged after her. The human’s instinct of self preservation was strong. She wasn’t a soul to sacrifice herself. She wasn’t watching me anymore. The train was within reach. She was readying herself to jump. I grabbed her arm. Without even looking, she twisted, let go, and roundhouse kicked me. I gasped and fell, clutching my stomach. Without even looking back, she jumped. She barely made it but she managed to latch around a handlebar. She pulled herself up and looked back at me. There were tears on her face.
Then, I knew. I knew she had always known that I loved her, suspicious of me as I slept. She had always known that I wouldn’t let her leave me without a fight. She’d known. She’d known enough to hit me where it hurt: my heart.
When I had first been placed in this body, my healer had told me, “Humans have to rough emotions. You become sympathetic. Then, they wipe you out.” He’d forgotten the most crucial part. We souls, like humans, could love. And I had loved her. My mind just couldn’t grope around it. I knew that if I were human, she might have given me a chance. I sat down, defeated. I looked at the train as it left. Nat looked like she was reaching out to me.
I staggered up and reached my arm out for. She shook her head and looked into the sky. She climbed to the roof in a matter of seconds. As she stared at the sky, she opened her arms wide and smiled. Her hair flew in the breeze. She looked like a spirit. The tears in her eyes were like crystals. She had the beauty of a soul in the body of a human. And that was the last time I saw her. Or so I thought…

Chapter 10: Escapee
Natalie


I can’t believe I was crying, especially over a parasite. I sighed.
I sat down on the middle of the roof. I hoped there weren’t any mirrors up here because I didn’t need a mob chase by a bunch of cargo train parasites. They probably had a shovel. I may be mean, but even I get hurt by shovels.
I felt kind of guilty for walking out on Jake like that. He had helped me through so many tough spots. Well, I guess that’s payment for turning my parents in.
The train moved pretty fast. It was freezing and I hadn’t even bothered to bring a jacket. So much for being smart. I knew this was a cargo train because the parasites preferred to travel by rocket. The few that liked train s wanted immense luxury. The metal on this box was rusty a nasty shade of green. No parasite would ride in this.
I looked through the map I’d gotten back at the hotel. I was traveling southwest so according to the map, I’d be in Arizona within a few hours. I went back to the memory of how I’d known where to go.

I woke up in a room full of white. There were a bunch of people bustling in and out. My dad was laid out beside me, and my brother on the other side. My mom was nowhere in sight. Dad and Miquel were both unconscious. Suddenly, my dad stirred. His eyes focused and he looked at me urgently. He looked at the doctors, and after making sure they weren’t in earshot, took out a slip of paper from his shirt pocket.
“Do not let anyone see this but yourself. Read it and then get rid of it.”
I took the paper and opened it. It was a map. I memorized the details. Something about a peak. Under it was a message.
“Don: if you ever need to hide, follow the map. Don’t let anyone else see it. This place is near Phoenix in Arizona.”
Your Friend
Jeb

The doctors had knocked me and dad out at that point, but not before I chewed up the paper. I swallowed a good bit to. It was disgusting.
I fell asleep thinking about those last few days.

****

I woke up to the brightest sun I’d ever seen. The sun never did get like this near Chicago. The air was dry, making my lips cracked. My hair was messed up and my whole body ached. Jumping on that train had made me sore all over.
I saw a station up ahead. When the train hit a bend, I jumped off and into a small pond by the tracks. The water was very warm. I washed myself and climbed out. I walked until I reached the nearest town. I was in a town called Clifton. According to the map, Tucson should be south of here.
I got some bread from a local bakery, wearing sunglasses of course. It was so sunny out that I could wear sunglasses without looking conspicuous. I got a backpack and started filling it up with food and hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. I packed a change of clothes and bought myself a pair of sneakers. I was sad to see my old pair go, but they were worn to the heel. Then, I walked about five miles south of town to sleep. I lie under the tree and watch the stars again. It was becoming a habit. What would happen when I couldn’t see that stars anymore?

Chapter 11: Road to The Resistance
Jake


I felt awful. It was a horrible feeling when you loved the person who used to. This really sucked. The emotion I was feeling had never been felt by this body. It was new for me to be rejected. I just sat there for a few minutes, or hours, or days. I just couldn’t get myself stand up. We may have taken over the world but I couldn’t even get a girl I’d spent weeks with to like me. I was an utter failure. Yet something in me saw this as a challenge. I had to find her. I had too.
The fact that the girl didn’t even fall for this body was amazing. I had come to her for a purpose: remind her of her memories. Silly humans with their fabricated science. They believed so thoroughly in what their scientists said that they couldn’t even see in front of them. She was the same. She would feel differently about me if she knew. I had to find her first, though. Where was it she had wanted to go? Somewhere near Phoenix, if she had taken that cargo train.
I waited until morning before I went to the store. The clerk stared at me as I entered. My shirt was in a mess and I looked haphazard. I hadn’t shaven since our hotel visit. “Hiking,” I said ruefully. She looked away and started helping her customers.
I got a rucksack with dehydrated food and some clothes. I purchased a train ticket from a booth outside and began the mile long trek to the station. I would travel in comfort. Halfway there, I stopped. Why should I travel in comfort when Nat couldn’t just because of who she was? I sighed and turned south. I would rent the dingiest car in town instead. Why did souls have to be so altruistic?

***
It had been about four hours since I’d rented this car, and I hated every minute of it. I realized I’d never reach her in this old thing because trains go about 300mph while I was going about 60mph. That was way over the limit and it made me nervous but I had to find her.
I’d probably reach Phoenix in another hour. After that, I’d be stuck? Nat had never told me where she was going. She was smart that way but I hated her for it. She’d always meant to leave me. I slumped down in my seat and started eating dehydrated garlic chicken. Honestly, I wasn’t fond of garlic chicken and this dehydrated stuff was disgusting. I ate it anyway. It wouldn’t do to have me week and underfed. I wondered what Nat was eating. The only food that she’d packed had gotten lost somewhere during her struggle to get away from me.
I felt stupid. She never liked me, so why did I care what happened to her. He was only a human. I thought about how we could finally be together of she ever got inserted. I shivered. Natalie would make a horrible soul. She’d probably drive it insane. I tried not to think about that.
I looked at my map. I would have to figure out which major city to go to after this. I knew a Resistance couldn’t possibly be in Phoenix. There weren’t any places to hide. The two closest major cities were Tucson and Mesa. I’d have to talk around.

***
I went into a store the nest day. I just walked around until it was near closing time before I went to the counter carrying a box of ice cream. The soul behind the counter smiled at me and scanned it. This place was on the outskirts of Phoenix, so the clerk would probably know more.
“Have you heard rumors about humans near Mesa or Tuscon?”
The clerk looked up and laughed. “Yes, there was a horrid rumor ‘bout that near six months ago. We had a girl disappear ‘bout a year and a half ago and a seeker ‘bout six months but they found it to be wolves.”
I considered that. “Where did they say the humans were?”
She looked up. She looked at me as if I was weird. “Near Tucson they said. But I assure you, if there were humans there, the seekers would’ve found them by now. Say, what’s your name?”
That question caught me by surprise. “I’m…Reaching Higher to the Flames. I go by Rich though.”
The clerk had a look in her eye. “I’m Sandy. I’m from the fire world too. I didn’t like it there. Say, what’s your calling?”
I told her the truth then, to scare her.
“I’m a seeker.”
She looked surprised, then suspicious. “The seekers already looked through Tucson, though.”
“I came for my own purposes. I hear humans were either in Mesa or Tucson and I like hiking over by Tucson, so I came to check.” I dared her to comment. She looked like she believed me though. She put my ice-cream in a bag, and I left. Next stop: Tucson.






Chapter 12: Not Again
Natalie

Damn it! I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been. That train I’d been riding was reading for Phoenix! Now, it was gone and the next train to Phoenix was in four days. I knew Jake was on my trail. He’d catch me by then. I swore and kicked up a cloud of sand. This was ridiculous.
I opened my map. One of my checkpoints had been Phoenix. The next checkpoint was a city a hundred miles south of it. I checked my map. Oh! I breathed. The nearest city a hundred miles south of Phoenix was Tucson. And the best part was, Clifton was closer to Tucson than Phoenix was. It would still take at least three days. I better start now, I thought.

***
Two days later and I was not psyched. This place was so hot and dry that I felt my whole life had cracked. Well, it already had; I guess the horrible weather had reminded me.
I would give anything for it to rain. It didn’t though. My mouth was so dry that I’d gone through four days worth of water in two days. I had to stop somewhere soon. Today was not my day.
I stopped by a small town that night. According to the map, I’d only traveled halfway to Tucson. I was behind by a day. Today was really not my day. I was in am pretty bad moon when I started walking again. It felt too alone. I’d been so used to Jake walking behind me that this sudden emptiness made very paranoid. That thought made me heart hurt. I was mad at myself for ever thinking a parasite could be a friend. He was a seeker. Seekers were supposed to be good at manipulation.
I hiked up to the nearest hill and looked out. I gasped. The world was so beautiful. It was heartbreaking to think we had lost it. We humans never really appreciated what we had until we lost it. I just stared into the sunset like that. My parents had always said I had something for the stars. I used to look at them a lot when I was a kid. It was weird to think that the stars and sky I so admired had brought about the near extinction of the human race.
I thought about how Jake was so nonviolent even though he was a seeker. I laughed at how upside down that was. One of the humans’ famous stereotypes was that men were more violent than women. I hated to think it, but I could be very violent, especially when I was around Jake.
Morning came too soon. I was drowsy and my start got delayed by an hour. This was so stupid.
I wondered what Jake was doing now that I was gone. He was probably living in a luxurious apartment with as much food and comfort as he wanted. Though it was stupid, I was kind of jealous.
I was thirsty, hungry, and totally dishelved when I sat down to rest. It was past midnight and I was exhausted. I fell asleep right there, something I usually wouldn’t have dare to do. I was too tired.
***
To days later and Tucson was in sight. The air was dry and my lips were cracked open. I probably looked like I’d hidden in the jungle for a month. I dare not go into Tucson; for fear that a soul might notice me. I stopped on the outskirts to snitch food and clothing.
There were whispers in this town, whispers of humans and soul-snatchers. That was a good sign for me: there were humans here. I wondered why they would’ve been so clumsy as to get publically noticed. I honestly wondered why anyone put the person they did in charge.
As I walked out of a vitamin shop wearing some cute sunglasses and some supplements, I looked down. It was to show off my pink scar without drawing attention to myself. But before I could, I saw a face I never thought to see again. A face that was so beautiful yet so repellent that I wanted to kiss it and throw something at it at the same time. After just one look, I ran. I knew he saw me though. I didn’t hesitate. I ran as fast as I could, dodging left and right. I knew I was making quite a scene.
After about a mile, I slowed down. It didn’t seem like he was following me. I sighed. I never wanted to see that face again. Yet, as I stood under a lone tree by my bag, I saw a lone figure approaching. A figure with broad shoulders of a man and muscled arms of an athlete. A body I never wanted to see again: Jake.
Chapter 13: She Hates Me
Jake


I saw her in the crowd. I wasn’t even looking her way exactly, but I remembered her black hair and slim frame as clearly as if she were standing right beside me. She saw me. I thought maybe she’d at least say hi. I was stupid to expect that; the minute she saw, she turned and ran. I tried calling to her but I was sure she hadn’t heard. I ran after her. To avoid a scene, I ran along the sidewalk, to make it look like I was going on an extremely fast jog.
I followed her for about a minute before she disappeared from view. Damn! She was fast! I slowed to a jog as she disappeared out of sight. I thought of where she would hide. Knowing her, she’d probably stop right out of town. I followed in her general direction for a few minutes. The air was dry and sticky at the same time. I could see heat waves in front of me. I was sweating by the time I saw the lone tree in the distance. As I neared, I saw her under it. I breathed a sigh of relief.
I tried to keep a casual walk to avoid frightening her. She was suspicious of everything these days. I didn’t want her to run off again because I knew I’d never be able to catch up to her.
As I got closer, she jumped up. I willed myself not to run towards because then, she’d bolt. I walked a hair faster, and within minutes, I was standing before her.
The expression on her face wasn’t friendly. She glared with her eyes as she crossed her arms and stared at me. It made me feel self-conscious. She didn’t run, rather, she stayed perfectly still. We just stared at each other’s for a few minutes…or hours…or days. I couldn’t tell. Her eyes seemed to envelop me. I tried to imagine them with a silver glint shining in the back and couldn’t. She would not be who she was if she had silver eyes.
In that moment, I knew I was in love with her. Sure, I was told I must love, yet I thought it was stupid for it to be chosen. Now I realized why: because we were perfect for each other. Even as she stared at me with hate all over her face, I felt love blossoming in my chest.
I wanted to tell her so bad, tell her what I had been told to keep a secret from everyone since the day I’d been inserted. Even though the mind of whose body I wore was gone, I still loved her. Even though I’d never met her before this, I loved her.
Yet, as I stared at her, I knew she did not love me back. The world in which our love could’ve stood a chance was gone. It had been replaced by a harsh world where one had trust another implicitly before loving. I was not doing that.
I wish she would say something. I needed something to distract me. I realized that ever since I, the soul in this body had been with her, she had never cried. She had suffered in silence for so long, I didn’t believe she had room for love, only suffering. And for that, I pity her. I would never say that to her face, for she’ through me against the wall and eat me alive, but I wanted her to see it with my eyes. I wanted her to be the Natalie I’d grown up loving. The Natalie I’d lost to the invasion. I dreamed of a day when souls and humans alike could walk the earth, hand in hand, in peace.
It was like America back in the 1860s: blacks against whites, now souls against humans. We souls were at an advantage, and because of that hate. I couldn’t distract myself. I just needed her to say something…anything.
Then, she sighed and sat down. She put her head in her hands; she didn’t cry though. Her breathing came oout evenly. Then she lifted her head and said in the meanest voice I’d ever heard, “why the hell did you follow me? I. never. Want. To. See. You. Again!”
There was so much venom in that voice the at my blood went cold. She hated me. How could she hate me? Was I that bad? I was honestly dying inside. She hated me…something groaned weakly in my head…or should I say someone. I gasped and shoved away. The groan disappeared. There was nothing there. Nothing.
Nat was looking at me now. She was staring at me with a wary and angry expression. I wished she would cry. Then, I’d know she had some compassion, and I would have an excuse to comfort her. Why would she let me comfort her though? She hates me. A little part of me died knowing that. I tried to be tough though, like her.
I stared past her as I answered, “No. I’m following you.” She made a sudden movement. I froze an instinct. All she did was lifting up her middle finger from her wrist. A memory told that meant that she was flicking me off. How rude.
She smiled a wicked smile then, probably had something to do with my confused expression. “Then, you’ll just have to catch me.” And she took off running. I felt stupid. The whole time I’d been staring at her, she’d been slowly packing her things, so she could run in an instant. I wanted to run after her, but I’d never be able to catch her. Besides, she hated me. That sounded so wrong in my head. She hates me. She hates me. She hates me. It wouldn’t sink in. I had to try. I wouldn’t be stupid though. I’d go back into town for a car. Then, I’d reach the Resistance before her.
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