Year 2085 a.C.
Run! I have to keep on running, I can't stop. Not now. Come on, one last effort and I'll be in safety. No! No! I feel my legs tiring, darkness creeping in at the edge of my vision, threatening to take over, if only I had been able to afford food today... I can still hear their heavy footsteps behind me, three pairs I think, three royal guards all to me; it would be funny if I wasn't running for my life.
Kris's face flashes in my mind, how scared he'd looked when the guards had come looking for him and took him away even though he'd tried putting on a brave face to keep up with his sixteen years of age. I'd followed them and my tiny figure had allowed me to hide behind a few woven baskets; a bulky man wearing the red and black guard uniform had made him kneel on the floor, backhanded his face hard enough that blood flew out of his nose. The another one had lifted his sword and cut Kris's hands, a clean cut, so clean and swift that Kris had stared blankly at his wrists, rope still around them, and then at his joined hands that laid a few metres away before opening his mouth in a blood-curling scream.
A shiver starts at the base of my neck and runs down the whole length of my body as I hear howling, yelping and grunting only a few metres behind. Dogs. They've let the dogs out. Of course they have, and in their defence, if a poor kid isn't fast enough and gets eaten or torn into pieces, it's past curfew so no one should be out of their home. People who have no shelter? I've lost count of how many have died on the nights they let the dogs out.
My knees are getting tired; my breathing is coming out in heavy puffs and when it meets the chilly night air it forms white smoke that quickly disappears as I rush through it. I have to keep on running. I can't stop. I'm too young to die! I try to clear my head from all the fear that is making it impossible to think, I've lived here all my life, I know every single street and corner. But yet, as the growling comes near I'm unable to remember where to go anymore, where it's safe.
Helene's body sprawled on the floor and lifeless, that's the only image that seems to have taken place in my mind. I remember it at clearly as if it was yesterday, I was making my way back to the shelter, worn out and dirty after a day of work when I'd spotted a lump of white skin near the river banks. Cautious, I'd made my way over until I realized it was Helene, dead and whiter than she had ever been. Her clothes had been torn away, her tights still opened, bruises forming on them from where someone had applied too much force in keeping her still. It could have been anyone really, anyone who had enough force and was in possession of a knife that was later used in slitting her throat open. But it wasn't anyone; the cut was too sharp, only a thin blade could have done that; a thin blade and someone who was used to killing: the guards.
But that won't be my fate, I can't decide if having my limbs torn apart and eaten by dogs is worse than being raped and later killed. There! Come on, a couple of metre and I'll be able to reach the ladder that leads to a roof. Once on the roofs they'll never be able to catch me, I've spent my childhood up there, observing the city without being seen. I jump on the wooden ladder and wonder how many more will be able to do this before it gives away under their weight and collapses on the floor. I can only hope it won't be me. A yell comes out as sharp teeth bite down on my calf, tearing the thick material of my trousers. I manage to turn and kick the dog, catching him in the eye so he lets go of my leg, his teeth scraping the skin as he does whilst another one comes to help him, but he arrives a couple of seconds too late, a couple of seconds in which I've climbed the ladder high enough they won't be able to reach me.
I nearly collapse on the wooden surface of the roof before running away again, around chimneys and from roof to roof until I don't hear the guards' heavy footsteps pursuing me. Risking it, I take a look behind and let a relieved sight when I see no one there before collapsing on the roof, exhaustion so high that I know I won't be able to stand up again, even if I'm in danger. No, danger is gone. At least for tonight, tomorrow is another day. I take a look at my leg, wincing when I pull the fabric away from the bite mark, blood oozing out, it looks bad but I'm sure it's not mortal, I will survive with this one. Sweat is dripping down my forehead and into my eyes so I quickly brush my curls away from my face and clean the excess liquid with my sleeve which is now a brownish colour that contrasts with the light green of the rest of the shirt. I nearly jolt up when my back leans against the chimney top that is burning hot, effectively as I look around I'm able to see the smoke, and smell it. A safe rooftop and a hot tube, this is better than I could hope. With a yawn I lie down, my back nearly touching the burning metal as I curl into a ball and pray that tonight I'll be able to sleep without any more interruptions.
Okay, so I'm trying some different stuff, I don't really know how this is going to go, just a dream i had some nights ago that made me want to write the prologue, I've already got chapter one written, I'll post it around this week. yay or nay? Tell me what you think of this short bit:)
Oh yeah and something else I had to precise, english is my third language so yeah, there may be some grammar errors or something xD
YOU ARE READING
Anastasia, 'Tasha' for everyone, is a suburb teenager at the City, worn clothes, matted hair and skinny she can easily pass unseen by the City guards and most of the population. Plan a future? No, she doesn't know what future is, her only preoccupat...