• “Jay! Come here!” My mother screamed from the inside of our wood home. Her face was dirty and she was sweating. She usually tried not to show emotions but she didn’t seem to care. I ran up to her and I could tell she looked worried.
    “Yes, ma?”
    “I need you.” Her eyes were getting red and were starting to water. “I need you to go into the woods, deep into the woods. Don’t come back till I say so, understand? Do not come back till I say so, no matter what.” I just stood there looking at her. What had happened when I went outside? “Go! Go now!” I sprinted toward the door, and turned around to look at her. She looked at me with fear, not afraid of me, but for me.
    When I got outside it was different than when I was just there. Mothers were standing handing things to worried children, and they were hugging them as if for the last time. I hadn’t noticed before, but I saw no men. Just confused children, and worried mothers. The sun was going down, and the sky was a dark blue. I saw groups of children running into the woods, and that reminded me of what I should be doing. I ran. My bare feet usually weren’t bothered by the sticks and pine needles, but today was something else. I could feel every jab in my feet, and I just keep thinking “deep into the woods”.
    I looked to my sides and children of every age were, or should I say trying to run. Several feel constantly, and began to cry sitting on the ground. Those from the same mothers helped the little ones up, but others were ignored and ran past by. With only a glance their way. Suddenly I saw a large group of children standing and sitting. It was a strange sort of clearing. Over seventy-five children waited there, for anything that made sense.
    I looked and saw the children. They were about my age, many younger. The oldest was Dun. He was twelve. A small group of children sat around him, as if for guidance or protection. He was talking as if telling a story. Maybe he knew what was going on. I walked over, and past me children my age were screaming names, as if they lost their siblings. I kept thinking about the small kids, about from age three to five sitting on the ground in the woods, left there by everyone. I was able to hear Dun now. He definitely knew what was going on.
    “I knew it would happen.” He said with his arms crossed on his chest. The other’s listened intently. “We aren’t the first neither.” He said looking deeply into scared children’s eyes. I could tell he was enjoying this. “You see, they knew it would happen. It was just a matter of time.” I could tell he would go on and on about how was right, so decided to just ask my questions.
    “What is going on?”
    “Weren’t you listening? I already said it.” The other children bobbed theirs heads.
    “I wasn’t here.”
    “Fine, you see all the villages on the border are being attacked.” My eyes went wide. That has never happened. The border is always respected. Personally we thought it would be safer than in the center. That’s where most of the robbers live. There could only be one reason for the border being attacked it has to be-
    “It’s a war.” He whispered. His dirty face crumbled into the form of a smile.
    “Then, why are we in the woods?”
    “Our village is being attacked. So every village is doing the same thing. They are sending their children away while the men prepare to fight.”
    “Has any village survived?” I desperately asked.
    “How should I know? But I know that we will win. My daddy is fighting, and he always wins.” He said with a smug grin. That poor stupid boy. His dad will not live. Not against these people. I walked away from the group. I am the only one who has seen them and lived. Our people lived in alliance with their people, but if anyone crossed the border they were instantly killed.
    They wore helmets of shinny stone. And they had long beautiful swords. They could slice your arm off in one good swipe, instead of having to hack at the people like we did. They looked bloodthirsty, and smelled horrible. We went too far when we moved down here. We thought we were going the right way, but we skimmed the border. Worst of all they saw us.
    “Hey! Jay, over here.” Leah screamed at me. She flailed her arm to flag me down. She lives next to me, or I guess used to. Her father is fighting in the battle. She had short curly blond hair, that seemed to be all one bright shade. It used to be long, but too long to handle. So her mother cut it to about her lower neck. Her hair shined as brightly as her skin, which was a fair white. She was smaller than me, about up to my shoulders, and she is one year younger than me. She was wearing her favorite white dress. She only wore it on special occasions, but I don’t remember today being anything special.
    “Yah, hey leah.” I said to her.
    “Hey, do you know what is going on?” She asked quietly. Even though she is younger than me is amazingly smart.
    “Yah, I do.” I said looking away. I hate being the bearer of bad news.
    “Well…” she impatiently asked walking closer to me. “Come on!” she added quickly.
    “It is a war. They are attacking the villages along the border.” I whispered to her so I wouldn’t scare the other children she is standing around. She backed up, as if the information I gave to her gave her an actual blow. Her eyes had widened and made her deep blue eyes even more bright.
    “What?” she asked terrified and shocked.
    “Yah, I know.” I said looking down at the ground. I didn’t want to make eye contact.
    “But that means my parents will die, and so will your mom. We will never see them again.” I hadn’t thought about that. I never actually said goodbye. “Where will the children go? No one can take care of them. They will starve to death.” I hadn’t thought of that either. I looked around, there were several fires made by the older kids.
    “It will be easy for them to find us, because of the fires.” I said to her.
    “What are we going to do?” she looked at me like I had all the answers, but I couldn’t think of any. “One of us has to go back to see what is going on, and one of us has to put the fires out.”
    “Okay, I’ll put the fires out.” She said to me.
    “Um… you are faster than me, so you could go back faster.” I said pathetically. Leaf rolled her eyes.
    “Fine, I’ll go back. I’ll be back soon. If I’m not it’s your fault.” She smiled and ran back into the dark woods. Everywhere I looked there were fires. This would take a while.
    After a long hour every fire was put out, but Leaf wasn’t back yet. I was hoping to put off looking for her, but now it was unavoidable. Everyone was smashed into one clump of frightened children, because with no light their level of fear skyrocketed. They felt safer together, but really it did nothing. If there was danger they all would be easily killed, but I couldn’t let them know that.
    I felt like telling someone I going back for Leah, so if I didn’t come back they could look for me, but there wasn’t really anyone who would care if I died. Besides leaf and my mother I had no one. I took a look into the woods. It had gotten severely darker. Honestly I couldn’t see my hand a foot from my face. I could tell by a little that there was something there, but it wasn’t clear. Moving my feet to take that first step back towards the village was a hard thing, but it had to be done.