“Xueying! ” a voice cried into the darkness as a small figure made his way through the dark forest. Nonstop tears were streaming down his cheeks. He’s been stumbling around for days, searching aimlessly for his sister. “Lin Xueying!”
There was no response, as to be expected. Rain started to fall and a cold breeze set in, causing the boy to shiver and wrap his arms around himself. He glanced around, only seeing an endless amount of trees. There was no shelter for him to take refuge in for the night. At least none in the vicinity.
The boy dropped to his knees, his head bowed as he cried into his hands. His whole body was shaking, and he had nothing to warm him up. Yet the rain didn’t lighten up. The boy was getting more and more drenched the longer he stayed on his knees.
The only thing that made the boy move was the sudden sound of a branch snapping. His head shot up and he looked around, wiping his tears hastily. It sounded like a crowd of people were making their way through the forest. The boy jumped up in shock, moving to hide behind a tree.
“We found him!” a voice shouted into the darkness, causing the boy to make a sound of fright and turn to run. “He’s making a run for it! Grab him!”
“N-no!” the boy squeaked out as he felt a hand grasp onto the collar of his shirt.
“You’ve been quite difficult to find, Lin Xuesong,” the voice of a man said, pulling the boy into his arms. “You’re quite sneaky. Smart for a six year old.”
“Leave me alone!” Xuesong cried out, struggling to get away.
“Now come on, boy,” the man said, carrying towards the group he had come with. Xueyang screamed and thrashed about in his hold. “Weren’t you needing help finding your sister?”
“I can find her myself!” he said stubbornly, hitting the man with his fists as he struggled to get out of his arms.
“You and I both know that isn’t true,” the man said, having someone else take a hold of the six year old. “Come on, let’s go.”
“Where are you taking me?!” Xuesong cried out. “Give me my sister!”
“We don’t have your sister, boy,” the man said, gruffly. “We’re going to help you find her. Just stick with us and we’ll get her!”
“You’re bad men! You’ll hurt her!” Xuesong cried, spitting at them. “Let me go!”
The men didn’t say anything else as they dragged the young boy out of the forest. The boy kept thrashing about, but they paid no attention to his objections. It didn’t take long for the small boy to pass out from exhaustion, too weak to continue on. The night fell eerily quiet once his screams stopped. The men continued into the darkness, the small boy thrown over their shoulders.