The War

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Looking out over the lay of the village one could tell that it was once a beautiful place to live, the town was set beside a great lake that ran from the giant mountains in the West and into the ocean about ten leagues to the East. The village was at the centre of the valley that once held fields of green and yellow that, as the sun rose over the rolling hills were set on fire.

But nowadays the fields burned even without the rising sun, the war had brought bombs that destroyed the fields and turned them into no more than dust and soot, the river too, ran muddy, a terrible sight, that seemed to sum up the condition of the valley and its people.

One person, a child really stood on one of the hills and looked over at her home. This death and decay that shadowed the valley was all that this child had ever known, her parents used too tell her stories about a time before war when one need not look to the skies in fear but in wonder, that where now hung clouds of black was nothing but an ocean of blue with fleeting wisps of white. White was a rarity nowadays, replaced with various shades of gray. That was Emily's whole world, death, sickness, starvation and all smothered in a blanket of darkness. Yet this child, this... Emily... was not a shell like the adults, as a child she chose to see the best of things. Emily did not live in a world of fear but one of adventure. Every destroyed building was a secret base, filled with hidden treasure just waiting to be discovered.

That is where her life of adventure truly began.

Emily was standing on the hill for a very specific reason. Just over its crest was a little cabin, abandoned years ago, if its run down condition was any indication. She had found it as she was exploring the hills. Emily walked around it from the back, looking for the entrance. The old door was in unexpectedly good condition, made of sturdy wood but covered in pealing paint of an indistinguishable colour, raising a hand to the door she brushed over the paint and watching as it fell to the ground in flakes. Taking unexplainable joy in this menial task she continued to do this until no more flakes would fall, finished with her self imposed job she pushed open the door to look for more fun inside.

Spider webs took up most of the ceiling space, clinging to the exposed beams. Emily loved spiders, with their black, jewel like eyes and delicate, graceful legs. The spiders could make truly beautiful creations, blankets of interlocking threads that sparkled with a million diamonds when they captured raindrops. Oh how Emily loved them. The floor of the cabin was bereft of spiders as well of any kind of dust or dirt and this surprised Emily. Emily was sure that this cabin was completely deserted, why then was it in such good condition? The furniture was clean, the bed made and the dishes all sparkled in the cupboards above the sink. The only thing left undisturbed were the spiders and their webs. Who lived here?

"Get out!" Emily spun around to face the door, there stood a boy about her age wearing black jeans, torn and stained, and a hooded jumper, that hid his face in shadow. "Leave. Your not welcome here." He continued, his voice firm.

"Do you live here?" Emily replied, not scared or guilty at entering another's house without permission.

"That's none of your business." He folded his hands over his chest

"It's a very pretty house."

The boy said nothing.

"Do your parents live here?"

"No" he replied snarling then he seemed to deflate just a little "I don't have any parents."

"Me neither" Emily smiled up at this stranger; happy to find they had something in common, no matter what it was. "Do you want to play with me?" Her eyes sparkled.

"I'm too busy to play" he said in a grown up way.

"Aww, please?" she moved towards him with beseeching eyes "just one game?"

"I can't" he looked away before her eyes could sway him.

Not one to give up, Emily went up to him and placed her hands on his arms and looked at him with puppy dog eyes. He glanced at her before lifting his head to the ceiling trying to avoid looking at her, however, this caused his hood to fall down revealing cat like ears and slanted eyes with diamond shaped pupils.

Emily gasped, "You're an Alien" she clamed, not intending to be offensive or hostile however the boy reacted swiftly and angrily. He lifted his hood back over his head before shoving her out the door.

"Get out!" he cried "and don't ever come back!"

Emily lay sprawled on the ground as the door slammed shut behind her. She didn't cry, she was a big girl. No, instead, she got up and knocked on the door lightly.

He didn't answer. She knocked again. Still no answer. She was just about to knock a third time when his voice came through the door. "What do you want?"

"A friend."

He opened the door.

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