Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chapter Two

  Everything froze and I caught my breath. "Mother?" I whispered. Lilith nodded, tears streaming down her face. "What happened? Where is she?"
  "The Knights took her," she cried. "I'm so sorry, Ari, we tried to keep them out!" My heart felt like it was breaking into a million pieces as I jumped back on King. "Ari, please don't be mad. We tried, I swear we did. Your father and brother, they weren't here and-" she broke off pointed towards the center of the village, her shoulders shaking.
  "It's okay, Lil. And I'm glad they weren't here because if they were than they probably would have been killed," I took a deep breath, "I'm just gonna have to find her."
  "But Ari! The Kingdom is days away, and even if you made it there, you wouldn't get past the Kingdom wall!" Her eyebrows merged and she shook her head wildly. "You can't go. Either way you're sure to die." 
   I shrugged and nudged King forward. "Then I'll die, but not before getting my mother back." she yelled something after me, but I ignored her, noting how the village was too quiet. Too empty. I had just assumed the coldness I was feeling was left over from winter, but now I saw that it was the feeling of utter loneliness from the Knight's visit. 
  When I got to the heart of the village, I saw why no one was in the streets; they were all gathered here. My father looked up, pain on his face, and met my eyes. "Ariana," he started, but I shook my head.
  "I know, Father, Lilith told me at the gate. How did they get in?" I was surprised and thankful that my voice didn't waver as I spoke.
  "They knocked out the Watcher on duty. We assume that they knew that most of the men were hunting, because they came right after we left and left right before we came back. There's a spy among us." His voice was gruff and I saw my brother standing with his back turned, fists clenched. 
  "Gabriel?" I said. His shoulders shuddered.
  "I saw them in the woods," he began. "I saw them, and I didn't even think to tell anyone. If I'd just said something, them maybe so many of our people wouldn't have been taken. Maybe Mother would still be here." He turned to look at me. "It's all my fault."
  "Wait, I thought only Mother was taken. Who else?" Panic made my voice raise an octave. "Did they hurt anyone?"
  "They took Anne-Marie, Fiona, Lucy, Roxanne, Jessica, Yvonne and Riley as well. And it seems they only hurt the Watcher and the two Warriors that we left here. Nothing fatal," Father said. "But I fear they were taking them to sell to men in the Kingdom. I'm just glad you weren't here, they would have taken you for sure." 
  I looked down, wondering how I was going to tell him that I pretty much wanted to walk straight into their hands. "Well, that's the thing. I want to save Mother." I looked him in the eye.
  He shook his head. "You can't! You're only seventeen, and a girl no less." I narrowed my eyes and glared at him, catching his gaze.
  "But you know I'm the only one who could. You know I could find her and get us both back alive. I know you know it, Father. Why do you doubt me all of a sudden?" He sighed and waved his hand.
  "I don't doubt you, I just don't know if I can watch you leave and not know when you might be back." He smiled. "But I guess if you're positive, I can try." I grinned and jumped off King to hug him.
  "Don't worry, I wont let you down, I promise. And I'll try to get everyone else back too."
  "I know you will, Ariana. I know you will."

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