𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑷𝑶𝑶𝑹 𝑮𝑰𝑹𝑳
ᴀɢᴇ : 9
“GET BACK HERE!”
The wind was fast against her face. Her feet slamming onto the dirt road sending shock waves through her legs with each step. Air coming in and out of her to keep herself energized. Her blue hair was whipping away in the wind behind her while she looked back at the two guards coming after her. A large smile spread across her face. And finally two loaves of bread in her arms.
The village around her was run down and dirty. It was bland and stale like the bread she was holding. Or at least the part she lived in. Her village was broken into two parts. The first part was planted in the middle of the city. That’s where all the people with money live. Haruka hates those people with a passion. Their fancy robes and warm food. They don’t have to worry about getting sick when the only thing you have to eat is covered in mold. They say they care about her side of the village but are doing nothing to help the poverty that they have fallen into. Sooner or later it will come and bite them in the ass. It has to. That’s just karma.
Her village had just gotten out of a war that sucked the lower class dry of their expenses. Haruka’s too young to remember the worst parts of the war. All she knows is that it left her here all alone. Now this is how she has to survive. Take as much as she can and then try again when she runs out.
But some vendors just had to be assholes and send the guards after her. Lucky for her, they must have felt like not chasing her out of the village today because she could no longer hear their heavy footsteps behind her. She ran down the clay steps, almost tripping on the last one, and rounded around the corner. She could see the entrance of her little hideaway from where she was now. Feeling more at ease, she started walking at a slower pace.
Her side of the village was tightly packed with buildings. The whole area was just the color brown pretty much. She lives in a small room that doesn’t even have a door. She doesn’t know how she’s survived most winters. Must be luck.
As she neared her house, one of the guards that she was running from stepped out. She gripped the bread tightly in her arms as a gasp let her body. His eyes met her’s and his lips curved up into a smirk.
“There you are,” His voice was low and husky. It made her terrified.
Haruka said nothing. She turned on her heel and started to run down the other way. She was curious as to why he wasn’t coming right back after her, but soon she knew why. That corner that she was about to turn became occupied by the second guard who had the same smirk.
She had nowhere else to run. She was trapped.
The cold hand of the first guard wrapped around her arm. Her bread fell to the dirty ground. She would have to clean it later if she survives. She turned back to him and made sure to add extra drama to her face. Maybe they would pity her and let her go.
He simply laughed, “Not this time, Haruka. It’s time you learned that your actions have consequences.”
Her face was no longer adding drama. The fear in her eyes was real. More real than it ever had been. They’ve never caught her before. His grip only got harder on her arm. She had to think fast. She’s always thinking fast so it’s never really a problem.
Her small leg launched upward right into his crotch making him loosen his grip on her arm. His face scrunched in pain as his hovered down slightly. She moved fast. Extremely fast. She bent down and grabbed her bread and slipped through the other guard’s legs.
Guess they were going to chase her out of the village today after all.
She was sprinting again while also rubbing any dirt that got onto the bread off. She still had to eat something. Her skinny body needed it. Doesn’t matter what at this point. As sad as it was, she knew she wasn’t going to last long like this. She would just be another sad story of a girl who died young.
The buildings came to an end as she reached the outside of the village. The two guards stopped right before they went past the border as if they would die if they crossed it. They couldn’t leave their village just to chase after some hungry kid.
But she kept running. She ran straight into the woods. She watched where she was going carefully. She made sure to remember each twist and turn she took so she wouldn’t get lost. It used to be a bad problem for her when she was just a tiny kid. She would have panic attacks thinking she would never get out of the forest. But she adapted and survived.
But some things still get in her way.
A root sticking out from the ground got hold of her foot. The mean root caused her to tumble forward. Haruka’s body went through a group of bushes and when she rolled out, her eyes met a nice clear sight. She had never gone this far into the woods before and she was now regretting that she hadn’t.
It was flowing like smooth silk. It seemed inviting, but she was scared she would dirty it with her touch. The water was clear and she could even see the bottom of it. Even the small fish that were going along with the current. It stretched far past where she was and she was confused as to how she’s never seen it before.
She pushed her bread over to the side and kicked her tattered shoes aside. She took careful steps along the bank of the water. She had a feeling that if she wasn’t careful a water god would drown her or something like that. She touched her toe into the water and shivered as it’s cold temperature wrapped around her skin. She then took two steps in. She watched the dirt from the bottom of her feet wash away with the current. She bent down and touched her hands into the water until they were all clean.
It took her only a second to drop to her knees. The water splashed up onto her clothes but she didn’t care. She cupped the water in her hands and drank away. This was the best water she had ever had. It tasted clean. No dirt, no glass, no chemicals. Just water.
The water ran across her chapped lips and cleansed her dry tongue. She kept taking gulps of the water. To some she would look like an animal, but she was so dehydrated. She was thanking whatever god allowed this to happen.
“Disgusting,” A young boy’s voice drew her attention away from the water. She almost choked on it. She didn’t even hear it come out of the bushes. He was standing on the other side of the water. Sweat dripped along his face. He had one eye closed while the other one was struggling to stay open. His shoulders heaved up and down while he tried to catch his breath. A pale hand was attached to his side and blood was seeping out from the cracks of his fingers. His hair was spiky and blonde while his eyes were bright red. His clothes looked much cleaner than hers except for the few patches of dirt and the blood crawling down and staining his clothes. “You look like a slob.”
Haruka would usually say something snarky back at the boy, but he was injured and she assumed he was just in a pissy mood because of it. She only glared at him, but continued to drink the water anyway.
“Do you need help?” She wiped away any water that was slipping out of her mouth.
“I’m fine,” He took a step forward, but his feet betrayed him. His ankle gave out and he collapsed to the ground. She got up from the water and rushed over to him. He held his bloody hand up. She gasped at how red it was. “Don’t touch me.”
If he wasn’t injured, she would kick his ass for being so rude for no reason, “But you’re injured. You’re not going to get better by saying mean things.”
His other hand pushed himself up. He opened his mouth to say more, but Haruka watched as his arm wiggled around before finally he fell to the ground face first. He had passed out from all the blood he had lost and the running he made his body do while bleeding. She stood over him not sure what to do now.
But her answer came when she heard, “Where did that little Senju brat go?”