• [Jen]

    I’m laughing with the girls as we put the woods in place but it soon dies out as Roger and Trek walk out from the dark shadows. I glance over to Mika, she was getting jittery.
    “Hi you guys!” Trek waves crazily. ”Here he is!” he raises Rogers arm and waved for him.
    Roger spotted Mika and quickly looked away, staring at the ground. I can tell he’s forgiven her partway but is too…well nervous to apologize. Once they arrived, they helped set up the woods with us. Roger and Mika were silently working. It felt really awkward now that he came. When we were done, as if on cue, Kert shot a fire ball out of the cottage window into the woods, bursting it into flames. The girls shrieked at the suddenness.
    We all sat around the campfire. The silence was still unbroken. Then, finally, Roger spoke.
    “Sorry…” he said quietly. All attention was on him and Mika.
    “No…you acted naturally. I was the one being a big a**. You were just defending your friends” Mika hugged her knees tighter to her chest.
    And with just that, they both acted as if nothing bad ever happened. Trek was singing horribly, so was I. Mika and Netti sang along with us. I was having a blast! I kept pressuring Roger to sing along but he wouldn’t agree to it, said it was useless, but I could tell that he was just too embarrassed to. I glance over at Phili, she was staring at Roger the whole time and blushing. I have to say it was a bit strange.
    We settled down later on. Now we were lying on our backs, staring at the stars, hearing the flames flicker and crackle. It was really peaceful and relaxing. Too bad Kert didn’t want to join us. He refused to, said all he wanted to do was to research.
    “Say…” Netti says. “Why do you guys train?”
    “To…to get in shape, that’s why” I replied, not wanting them to know the truth.
    “But if you were to get in shape, why use real swords?” Mika asks.
    Curses, what do I say to that? What would we need swords for? Oh man…
    “For battle” Roger answers.
    The shock made me sit up quickly. “Roger, are you nuts?!” I growled.
    “…why not tell them? We’re already kicked out of the village. It’s just us four anyway…we aren’t going to stay here much longer” he says, gazing up at the sky.
    Me and Trek exchange confused glances. I sighed, “If that’s your wish, then please continue” I say to Roger as I lay back down. The girls didn’t say a word. They know something serious was going to be said because of the tension in the air.
    He told them about how the villagers talked about Anysa then about his attempt to meet her. Everything was in the greatest detail, it felt like we were actually there to witness it. Then came the things we did for the past years, all the cherished moments. Me and Trek interrupted a few times. Finally came the part, the New Year’s party, Anysa’s birthday… “Four years ago, when the raid started…Anysa got taken away by a dark knight. I was too useless to help her...” he paused. “When it was all over…when they all left, I didn’t even bother to do anything. After Boa’s funeral, we came back here and all our gifts to her were gone. They took it, that’s what I think. Trek has a tracking device so we can locate her”
    Mika gaped, hesitated for a moment, and then said, “You’re planning to rescue her?”
    We all grinned and said at the same time, “Yeah!”
    There was an explosion behind us. It threw us forward into the air, over the lake, and into a tree. We all clung onto the tree branch. Something hit my head; I caught it before it fell.
    “No way…” I mutter to myself. A piece of the roof, the cottage exploded! I looked ahead but the area was engulfed with dust and smoke. I can hear the others shouting and coughing but I couldn’t see them, either! I wiped dirt off me chin with my sleeve then jumped off the tree into the smoke. I call out Kerts name but there was no answer. What if he was…? No, that can’t be it. I ran forward. I don’t even know where I was going, whether I was getting closer or farther away. Then I fell into the lake. Great, that sure proves that I’m going the right way. I surfaced, gasping for air. Right when I got out of the water, something heavy landed on my back, pushing me down on the ground.
    “Ah, found you”
    I looked up to see Roger. “Get off me, you dope” I growled.
    “Oh…sorry bout that!” he got up and took a step forward.
    “What do you think?” I ask as I get up.
    “Nnn…not sure but hurry up and let’s go!” he ran ahead, not waiting for me.
    “Hey, Ro—“ I was cut off as I heard him scream. It echoed, slowly fading as if he was getting farther and farther away.

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