A dark shadow banged on my window. "Melanie! Melanie, let me in,"
I rubbed my eyes tiredly, and pulled myself out of bed. With a sigh, I groggily unlatched my window and slid it open. "Do you know what time it is?"
The bright, sea foam green eyes staring back at me didn't seem to care. "You know what they say--time is just a number."
"I think the saying is 'age is just a number'."
"Close enough," He crawled through my window. "I need to talk to you."
"I figured that one out." I yawned.
"They burned down another town last night."
I returned to my bed. "That's sad and all, but did you really have to wake me up? I'm exhausted,"
Hunter slammed his fist against my desk. "Of course I had to wake you up! We're probably next! They've gone crazy trying to find the kid!"
"They know that whoever it is probably isn't here." I was soothing myself as much as Hunter. "There aren't any kids here that could be it. We'll be safe."
"The army doesn't know that. They just see us as another town on the map where the kid might live. For all we know, they're already dead. Can't they just wait for the kid to grow up and challenge the king?"
"If you don't keep your voice down, my parents are going to know you're here. They're probably not going to be too excited to find out that you're in my room at five in the morning ranting about the army." I said.
Hunter whispered, "This is important. We might be next."
"Hunt, even if we're next, we'll be fine. The guards will see them coming and we'll evacuate."
"What if we're wrong? What if the kid does live here? If they find out the future World Guardian is here, they'll burn us all."
I leaned back against the headboard, and pulled my knees to my chest. "They won't burn us all. They just need to find the kid. Then they'll leave."
"No they won't. They'll kill us too, Mel. They can't ever know for sure if they've got the right kid. For all they know it could be either of us."
"You're implying the only options we have are to wait here and hope we don't die or run away."
Hunter squinted out my window. "I'd say that sums it up pretty well."
"That's the worst plan I've ever heard. We'd be all alone, and we'd starve. Even worse, if we happen to come across the army, we'll be an easy kill."
"They'll never find us. They're not smart enough. We'll just hide in the places they've already destroyed."
"That sounds like a pretty miserable life." I muttered.
"Better than being dead." He disagreed softly. "They'll come for us soon-maybe even today or tomorrow. I can't leave my best friend to die here."
I pointed to my bedroom door. "I don't live alone, Hunter. I don't think I can just leave my parents here."
"Our parents know that if we don't leave we'll die. My parents understand-we can leave and they'll let yours know. We don't have time to mess around telling everyone that we're escaping."
"You have superpowers." I squinted at him.
"You have this magic ability like no one else to convince me of anything."
A smile spread across his face. "And for my next trick, I'll saw you in half."
"You've been thinking about leaving for a long time, haven't you?"
Hunter seemed caught off guard. "Well, it depends on your definition of a long time. For a few years now, I guess."
I meandered toward the window, taking in my village. There weren't many under the age of eighteen in our particular village, so Hunter and I would be prime targets. All the soldiers knew was that the child to become the future World Guardian had to be somewhere between the ages of six and eighteen.
"So you've thought out how we'd get food and everything?" I asked quietly.
He nodded solemnly. "Everything." He pointed past the small village homes and toward the hills in the distance. "They could be over the hills and in the village in a couple of hours, or by tonight if they stop along the way."
It was almost strange how willing I was to give up home-how much I wanted to escape my familiar surroundings and see something new.
"I guess I should start packing."
"Perfect! Let's be on the road in twenty minutes."