By Erynn A. Louviaite
(Unfinished after chapter 11)Chapter 1
I urged my body to run faster, but my legs refused to speed up. Branches clawedat my face and bare limbs. They tore at my clothing. My sandaled feet were wet andslippery with blood, sweat, and dirt. My long hair flew behind me in a mass of tangles.The light from the full moon filtered through the dense trees just barely enough for me tosee where I was going. I couldn’t slow down though. I had to find it, whatever it was, before time expired yet again. Each time I knew I was getting closer. Closer to what, Iwasn’t sure. I
sure however, that I’d know when I saw it: this thing that was drivingme to madness.“Ash, wake up. You have to get ready. The others will be over immediately after breakfast.” I rolled over, still breathless from my dream. “Were you dreaming again?” Inodded. The images were in the front of my mind. I hoped maybe I’d see something besides the trees, the something I’ve been searching for for three months now. “The samedream?” I nodded again. “Maybe you should talk to father or one of the elders. It’sstrange, Ash, and definitely not good for you. Look at the circles beneath your eyes!”I ignored her. I shouldn’t have been surprised that she was more worried aboutmy appearance than about my mental state of health. Adisa is my older sister…my older, prettier, more outgoing sister. Though we share a similar deep mocha skin tone and jet black hair, her skin and hair are simply better than mine. Her skin is more even, moresmooth, and her hair is shinier, less frizzy. Of course, she spends much more time on her appearance than I do, and she cares much more than I do. We’re both quite tall. She’sextremely thin, which I don’t find attractive. She looks sickly to me, but I would never say that aloud to anyone. I enjoy exercising… and eating. I have just as little fat as Adisa, but I’m much healthier and stronger.I finished dressing and began to braid my hair. “What are you doing?” Adisaasked, appalled.“I’m not going hiking with this mess hanging around my head.”“We’re just taking a walk and having a picnic. Your hair will not be a bother, besides, Kitane said he likes your hair down.” I gave her a dirty look and continued braiding. “Elan likes my hair whatever way I wear it,” I thought to myself.