The truck moves along the bumpy road, clattering each time it goes over. A girl watches me carefully.
“Who are you?” She asks with narrowed eyes.
“Bekka.” I reply.
“Which side?” She asks in response.
“Leah.” I reply and she nods, her expression relaxing.
“I’m Chloe.” She says. She looks to her pocket and pulls out a little furry creature.
“Who’s that?” I say and she smiles, stroking the small head of her fluffy white mouse.
“Her name is Luna. Like the moon.” Chloe says. As the truck suddenly rises and clatters, Chloe’s platinum blonde hair flies into my face and I catch a sudden waft of strawberry.
“Strawberry? Where did you manage to get strawberries? They’re really rare.” I say suddenly, and Chloe’s cheeks grow paler than they already are.
“Umm... Well... I...”
“Did you find it outside? What a lucky find, they never sell strawberries for us.” Chloe nods in agreement.
“Yep. I found it in the, uh... rubbish.” She says hesitantly. I smile and stroke Luna’s head. It’s so silky and clean...
“How’d you get the mouse so clean?” I ask and Chloe blinks.
“I don’t know, I used the same shampoo.” She replies. I tilt my head in confusion and Chloe’s cheeks grow paler somehow.
“Shampoo?” I ask her and Chloe turns her head to the rest of the empty truck.
“Yeah, the stuff that cleans your hair.” She mumbles.
“I know what it is. Shampoo is the luxurious stuff. You found actual shampoo?” I ask her in suspicion. Silvers have never thrown out shampoo. Never. I don’t know who she is, but I don’t think she bleeds Red. Suddenly the truck slows to a stop. The back doors are flung open and a boy, who looks fifteen or sixteen, comes in.
“My name’s Elliot. Who’re you?” He says, plopping himself down opposite Chloe and I. Chloe quickly buries Luna in her pocket before replying, “Chloe.” He raises his eyebrow in surprise and opens his mouth to speak before I say,
“I’m Bekka.” Elliot grins at me, but his eyes immediately swivel to the girl who sits beside me.
“An odd name. Chloe.” He says carefully and Chloe blinks. She flicks her hair over her shoulder and both Elliot and I notice the flair. Reds have never flicked their hair. They push it back. They find some elastic band to tie it back. She’s no Red. She’s a Silver. I immediately stand and back away from Chloe, and sit beside Elliot as the truck’s engine starts up again.
“You aren’t a Red. Your hair, shampoo, your clean mouse. You don’t know a thing about Reds. Who are you?” I snarl and Chloe presses her back against the truck’s metal wall and winces as she feels the cold metal.
“I’m Chloe.” She mutters. Elliot narrows his eyes.
“Yeah, you’re Chloe all right. Lady Isabella’s daughter.” He finally says. I open my mouth to ask “What are you doing here?” And Chloe replies,
“I wanted to learn about Reds. How they live.” Elliot spits on the floor, only inches away from her feet and she squeals as it lands, dragging her feet back.
“Add that to your precious journal with your finely cut paper.” He snarls, “Reds spit to those who disrespect us.” I turn away from both of them. I’m not cruel. As we draw to another stop, Chloe attempts to speak,
“Bekka, I...” But Elliot snaps at her in response,
“You don’t speak. Not to us. Your stupid family put our lives at risk.” He snarls, spitting again and she squeals again.
“I can’t control my brother! I’m forever loyal to Queen Leah!” She says, whimpering in her little corner.
“Warrick is risking lives to take something that isn’t his.” Elliot yells.
“I know! You think I’m stupid? You think I’m a perfect little Lady? I came down here to find out...” She snaps, standing up in frustration. That’s when she realized what she said and claps her hand over her mouth.
“What?” Elliot asks, “You’ve got yourself into this, now get yourself out of it. Or do you leave that to your mummy and maid?” He taunts. She sighs quietly.
“Fine. Queen Leah is worrying that she’ll lose. She doesn’t think the public will stay loyal to her because she doesn’t know what it’s like to live as a Red. She tries, but she thinks that the Reds and Silvers will turn on her to support a new leader. But I know better. Warrick is a tyrant. He’ll destroy everything. He...” She trails off as Luna squeaks in her pocket and the truck’s door is thrown open. “Oi! You little warriors, get out. Welcome to the war...” The Silver officer snaps. Elliot climbs out and elbows Chloe, who’s hand immediately flies to her ribs.
“Good luck, princess.” He spits and Chloe flinches at the sight of the war-torn land.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for.” I say before following Elliot to the war...