Going Home (Going Home#1)

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Adria: The Song

I jerk awake at the sound of that voice. It’s the same voice I’ve heard since I first visited the forest. The voice is hauntingly beautiful, and whoever it belongs to sings the same song every time I get to listen to it. I’m the only one who hears it on every full moon night, but today, it is louder and more beautiful.

I haven’t told anyone about it, not even Jade. I had woken her up when I’d first heard it and asked if she could hear someone sing. She had stared at me with sleepy eyes and had told me to go to sleep. To never revisit the forest. That was when it had hit me that it could be the forest. I was the lone survivor who passed through the forest every few days, so I wasn’t surprised if I was the only one who could hear it.

O flower of our garden,

O star of our sky,

Release us from our shackles,

Set us free,

I slowly get up from my bed, careful enough not to wake up Jade, and stand by the window. It's a full moon, and the night is eerily quiet. I check the time, and it’s three am in the morning. It has been the same every time, but tonight I get to hear two phrases instead of one.

O flower of our garden,

O star of our sky,

Future isn’t a mirage now,

Unbind our manacles,

Set us free,

Tonight the song goes on for about five minutes, repeating the same phrases over and over again, then everything is quiet. I keep standing in the window, looking up at the moon and the forest.

“Adria?” I hear Jade’s sleepy voice.

“Coming!” I respond in a whisper, without turning towards her. I hear her turn sides, and her deep breathing fills the room. I smile to myself and go back to join her. For two days starting tomorrow, I have to work on the cornfield. Storms here are frequent though luckily, no crops get destroyed. People still take precautionary measures, for it is better to be safe than sorry.

♡♡

I wake up to the sound of thunder and look at the empty space beside me. Jade has already left, and the storm is not a good sign. I quickly throw on my work clothes and rush outside. Breakfast can wait. I'm already late, for many people are already on their way towards the fields.

“ADRIA!!” Jade comes rushing after me from the kitchen, “I couldn’t wake you up. You probably had been tired.”
“I'm ok!!” I fix her work shirt, and we run together towards the fields.

“It was clear till four am,” I mutter to myself and join Jade’s parents.

“Oh, good, you are up. Alastair thinks this storm might damage the crops!” Jade’s mother, Orla, says as she hands over the corn zipper. “Get to work, Adria!”
“Doesn’t he always say that every time? And, don’t worry, I’m ready to help!” I shout back at her over the loud thundering of the clouds.

“Also, Adria, how fast can you get these at Trade D Crops?” Orla’s husband, Ben, asks me as he starts piling the neat corns at one side.

“I thought...I wasn’t supposed to go there today!” I add as I stand to look up at him. His face is already contorted in worry and fatigue.
“No dear, we won’t be able to store all the crops here. You'll have to get some of them to A!!” Orla says and starts helping Ben. I can’t say no to them, for if any of the crops are destroyed, we don’t know what Headley will do with our family. I have to go no matter how much I don’t want to see Dan’s face this soon.

I have no choice now, “Okay, no worries!” I force a smile and look up at the sky as thunderstorm rapidly builds up. This is no ordinary Baskerville storm; purple lightning threatens to strike anywhere. B’s people are all in the fields shouting instructions at one another and working without a break. Looking at them, I start helping Jade with more motivation.

“I’m going to get my bike and ready the cart!” Ben pats my shoulder, and I nod.

It takes me an hour to fill up the cart and start for A. I'm scared for the sky is dark now due to the storm, but still, there is no sign of hail or rain. It will take me fifteen minutes to reach A through the forest, and even though nothing has ever happened to me, I'm still scared of that place. I take a deep breath and start peddling fast towards the forest as another thunderbolt threatens to strike nearby.

“ADRIA, CAREFUL! Pleasee!” I hear Jade behind me, and I wave at her without looking back.
Let's do this, I tell myself.

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