Chapter 24: Zoey
We all ran back to wher eEthan and I had put our stuff - in a hollow tree about a mile awway from the swamp. Before we left, Ethan had me climb the tree nearby to remove the map hidden in the branches, just in case someone stole out suff, they wouldn't have the map.
The town was southeast from us, about a ten to fifteen mile walk. I knew if we went at the pace we had been going, it'd take a couple of days at the mst. "Come on," I suggseted, "let's get as much distance as we can between us and the swamp - people may come to check it out, and we shoudn't be anywhere near this place when they come."
Elidi, not wanted to be a burden, offered to help carry the extra bag o food, leaving each of us with a pack to carry.
"So what's wish us going to the town anyway Elidi? Why there?" Ethan asked, clmbing over a fallen tree that was in the way of the path.
"As I was saying before, there had been another rebllion before this. That one, however, was not as bad as the present one. All Gaurdians were still together - the mater was under and yet out of control; but you Creators were never notified of it, it wasn't that urgent. But this rebelion is small than the previous one - the one before this had some townsfolk in it. Thought it many more people, we believe that was their downfall; the situation had too many people in it to manage. Thus this one is smaller, and a lot more controlled (on their part) and more severe.
"once the previous rebellion wwas ruled over, the law tok in those who had played major parts in the rebellion. They went to court and were given a choice, to go to jail for their wrongdoing or continue life in town under probation for however many years, depnding on how big of a role in the rebellion they had played.
"Most were smart and chose life on probation; only a handful chose to go to prison, but those were the ones that had positively nothing left to live for.
"Some are still on probation because their daiy jobs linked to the rebellion and what they di d for it, whatever their sentence from court. They could switch jobs, only they know nothing else and won't even both er to train for a different profession even if that means getting off of probation. But some did choose different occupations, and soon everyone else had already probably forgotten what they had previously done. Those are that no one watched for anymore, despite what's going on now.
"Those are the ones we've got to look for as well.
"By now there should only be a handful, but a handful in the entire town - and then there's the fact that only one will be keeping the Gaurdian, if I'm thinking alright. That one shuld be living in town, and we should be able to find them."
"What if it turns out this guy is still on probation and we're lokoing for him in the wrong places?" Ava asked, trying to put together pieces of the puzzle now.
"Well, I'm pretty sure that the most likely person the so called Mr. D would have hidden the Gaurdian with is the one that was a baker. Don't laugh, Ethan, you now how strong bakers are? He would've tried to hide the next Gaurdian with him, since he'd be able to punch anyone's lights out if they came looking."
"And the others?"
Elidid shrugged. "That's all I remember right now. But for now we should really focus on getting to town and a place to his the sack, that'd certianly be nice.."
We all agreed silently as we kept walking. An hour later, I guessed we had walked about four miles at least - Ethan notified us it was about 3 o' clock in the morning, and as soon as the time hit us we all crashed against the nearest tree, treasuing the next three house in which we would e able to sleep though, of course with a weapon withing arm's reach.
I thought I'd be able to sleep through the entire three house.
Of course, I should really lower my expectations.
Ava was shaking me soon enough, wishpering my name and if I was up.
"What's going on? Are we in troule?" I yawned, yet not opening my eyes.
"No. Are you awake?" Ava asked again.
"I don't get why people ask that. They whisper your name and if you're awak or not until you make the lisghtest acknowledgment, and when you do they ask ifyou're awake again. 'No, I"m not awake, I'm happening to sleep talk in words that match your questions and reply to your converstaion perfectly. Totally not awake.'"
I opened my eyes. "Whatever. I'm up now, what. Why didn't you wake anyone else?"
"They wouldn't wake up."
More like were smart enough not to make the slightest movement so you'd go and leave them in peace, I thought, but yawned again instead. "Whatever. So what?"
"It got lower."
"The sun, smartie. It got lower again."
"Well how much time do you think we have left?"
"I have no idea. They've stopped pulling it down again I think, but there's not really any telling when it'll start to be pulled down again."
I nodded. "Okay, okay chll. They probably just.. Myabe they found out we're here. Maybe Red changed his mind again and told Mr. D or something of the sort. I don't think we have anything to worry about - yet. Can I go back to sleep now?" I flopped back in the sleeping bag waiting far the expected yes.
I got up again and realized everyone was awake now. No one wa speaking. Ava had her finger on her lips, signaling me to shush. I looked over to where everyone else seemed to be looking and saw yellow flickering lights, like fire, but more in control. I grabbed the knife that was lying underneath the sleeping bag (probably not the safest method, but whatever) and got ready to defend myself. The others did the same, except for Elidi, who didn't move, as if she knew what was coming.
It all made sense when the people came into view.
There were about five people, all holding lantuerns. Two were a little elderly; a man and a woman, probably married. THen there were two other younger guys and a girl about Ava's age. You couldn't see what they loooked like that well, only the man used a huge stick as a walking stick and the woman and two guys held lanterns.
The old woman spoke first. "There's not a time when young ones like yourselves should be sleeping in the forest alone at night. Come, we will lead yu to the town - you can stay at the inn my husband and I care for."