A Shadow Of The Past
My father leads us outside to the stone monument that towers over us in the centre of the Tribe. Once we get to it, he places his gleaming amulet with its golden stone into the dish that juts out of the monument.
"Now you must both take the oath," my father says to us.
"Why have we got to take an oath if we had a ritual?" he asks my father. I guess I should call him my guardian now. I smile a little at the thought. My guardian...
"No special reason I just want to be sure," my father replies. My father then puts his hands over the dish and starts muttering strange words in a language I don't understand, "Gilia,do you swear to carry out your lifes purpose, no matter what happens?" my father asks me.
I don't really know what he means by my lifes purpose but despite this I reply, "I swear."
My father then turns to him, "Shayne, do you swear to protect Gilia whilst she carries out her lifes purpose, even if this means sacrificing your own?"
Shayne has a determined look in his eyes as he replies, "I swear it. I will always protect her!"
Chapter One- My Story
I move silently over the gritty sand, stalking my prey. The desert sun is unmercifully bearing its scorching heat down on my back, despite the shadows. The scrawny hyena I am stalking suddenly whips around, its eyes wide and alert. I can see the rapid rise and fall of its chest, its prominent ribs sticking out against its flesh. Its glassy, unblinking eyes, are trying to find me in the shadows. My hand flashes to my knife with swift, natural movements. I raise the knife above my head. The hyenas eyes finds me and it turns to run. With a sharp flick of my wrist I send the fatal knife flying through the air. The sun catches off of the silver metal and reflects a blinding light into my eyes. I am momentarily blinded. The knife lodges itself in the hyenas head and it falls to the ground. I run to the felled creature, select a second knife out of my belt full of knives. The animal is kicking its legs hysterically. I slit its throat with my knife and retrieved the first one from its head. The animal became still. I attempt to pick up the beast, and instead of the great weight I am expecting to be laden with, I find it is extremely light in my arms. We will not get much meat out of this kill. It looks as if it has not eaten much in its life, and it is still young. It was a messy kill. I am mostly able to catch my prey in the neck and end its life with one hit. Oh well. Hopefully ill get lucky and find a lone wolf. It is not uncommen to find animals out on their own. Food is mostly so hard to come by that when animals do actually survive birth, the mothers dump their offspring in the barren, empty wilderness as there is not even enough food for themselves. I begin to turn and walk in the other direction, my kill in my arms, through the scorching heat of the sun, when I see a shadow cast above the overhang of rock. It is definatly the outline of a person. It must be someone at the edge of those rocks. I whip around to see who it is, but my eyes find nothing. I turn around and continue in the direction I had started in, and the shadow was gone.
Panic builds up in me, and when I look down at the ground, I realise I am running. The unchanging landscape rushes past me, and I feel a refreshing, cool wind on my face created by my rapid pace. Who was that? I know it wasn't Grey or Finch. They wouldn't even be capable of spying on me withouet running down and laughing about it with me. Grey, Finch and myself live out in the desert alone, always vigilant of danger. I've not been with them for long. Nearly a year now. They found me in a particularly barren, empty part of the desert. I was nearly dead out there on my own. I had been wandering the desert alone, in search of civilisation, or just another person. I was dehydrated and searched day and night for a source of water. I couldn't remember how I got to where I was, just that I had to keep moving to get to... something? Or was it someone? I can't remember anything about my life before I was wandering the desert alone. My age, my parents, where I came from. Nothing. I somehow remembered my name, Gilia, and a strange, fleeting feeling of deep care for someone, but I can't even remember them. Then one day, my third day without water, I saw a sight that made my heart soar. It was an Oasis. I dragged myself over to the Oasis, all the while the sun was quickly sinking in the sky, and yearned for the cool water to go down my throat, and for the shade of the palm tree to protect my body, that cast a shadow down near the Oasis and promised me refuge from the blazing sun. The sun felt like it was causing me to evaporate. When I finally reached the Oasis, I was overwhelmed by the cool water and let out a sigh of relief. I lay on my side in the Oasis's cool water and drank it this way. I drank until I felt like I would burst.
When I was strong enough, I searched the surrounding area for food, and had the extreme luck to find a small orange creature with large ears that I took to be a fox. I killed it with a small knife I had found in my pocket, my only possesion, and then cut some bark off of the palm tree to make a fire with. I struck some stones together until I got the result of a small, spluttering fire. I roasted the fox over the fire and enjoyed quite a big meal for something so small. Days turned into months, and I would not venture far from my Oasis. I always kept it in my sight. I lived mostly off of olives that I found out in the desert, and roasted them over the fire. Sometimes I was lucky and found more stray foxes or an animals abandoned kill. I kept the crushing waves of loneliness at bay by only thinking of getting food for the day. Whenever any wolves came near me I would kick sand over my fire to extinquish it and hope that they would not find me. Then, slowly, I noticed the level of my Oasis decreasing quite rapidly. Probably from the rise in temperature and the amount of water I used from it each day.
Then, after about a month, I noticed my Oasis had completely dried out. I had felt the bottem of the Oasis's bottom, which was hopelessly dry and hard. I dared not move from where I was for fear of running into a pack of Dingoes, Hyena's, Wolves or even mountain lions. After a while, my throat became so dry, it hurt, I found myself gasping all the time and my lips began to crack. I just lay on the ground all day, with sand finding its way between the cracks in my lips. Time passed by me with no meaning. Each minute was torture to me. One day, when I tried to bring life back to my ash filled pit, I caught my hand on the sharp edge of the stone I was using to light my fire, I than fainted. Each night I shook so violently, it would hurt me. I wrapped my arms around myself each night, but all that did was make me feel as if someone was trying to pull my arms from my sockets. Because I was so weak, I could no longer gather food, and soon the rumble of my stomach became more than just a longing. On my fourth night without water, just when I thouught I had seen my final day, a ring of glowing orange eyes encircled me. I heard quite paws approching me quickly, and began to hear a chorus of low growls rising up in the throats of the wolves. At this point I would find death as a relief from the burning pain in my throat, the twisting, stabbing pain in my stomach and the feeling of weakness that made me feel as if I was being stabbed with pins and set on fire at the same time. A great wolf threw its head back and began to howl, calling the other wolves to close in for the kill. I saw the circle of orange eyes slowly close in on me. The wolves were so close I could smell their hot breaths that made me gag, and see drowl dripping from their mouths. I didn't blame these wolves for trying to kill me. If they were half as hungry as I was, they must have been in agony. Even if I wasn't weak, I couldn't fight this pack. All I had to defend myself with was a pocket knife. Suddenly, I heard more footfalls and the wolves growling stopped. I saw their heads flicker to the east, then they ran off to the west, yelping wildly. I looked to the east to see what had scared the wolves, and saw three dead wolves lying on the ground. But behind the dead wolves, two figures were proceeding towards me with bloody swords drawn...
I still don't know what led Grey and Finch to me, but i gratefully thank whatever force it was. The two figures that found me were of course, Grey and Finch. When I first saw them, I was terrified of them. They looked so formidable in the syncronised way they moved together. They both had their swords drawn with their bloody tips pointing at me. Both Finch and Grey had their lips twisted in rage, their eyes narrowed and both their bodies were tensed. Really, you could see they were formidable allies. But something made them stop and put their swords away as they saw me curled up on the ground, looking up at them, my eyes wide with fear. Probably decided that someone so docile looking could bring no harm to them. Suddenly one of them, the slightly smaller one, approched me. As he got closer, his face was illuminated by the torch he was carrying. He had dark, wavy hair that was cut short by a jagged rock, judging by the uneven length. His deep brown eyes were glaring at me, then suddenly his face broke into a huge smile that made him look much less fearsome and more handsome. Looking at him then, I decided he was quite a good looking boy. He then crouched down by my fire, without saying a word to me, and brought life back to the smoking remains of my fire.
"Its a good thing we found you when we did, big wolves like that wouldn't hesitate to eat a sweet little thing like you," he had said, holding out his hand to me. I hesitantly took it, thinking he was meaning for us to shake hands, then felt myself being lifted up into the air as he pulled me to my feet. "My names Grey and that's Finch," he said, indicating somewhere behind him as he introduced the other boy to me, who was sitting down on the sand. Finch rose and then joined us.
He was nearly a head taller then Grey and had curly blonde hair, that was the same colour as the sand, that sat on top of his head in an messy, unmanagable pile like a birds nest. He had piercing green eyes, which reminded me of a cats, which were trained on me, scrutinising me.
"So what about you?" asked Grey.
I'd guessed he meant my name, but my throat hurt so much and I had not talked in so long that it took me several attempts before I finaly croaked out, "Gilia," in a barely audible whisper.
"Pretty. Unique to. I haven't heard that one before," Grey's voice was smooth, gentle and words flowed easily out of his mouth. I could listen to him talk all day.
"You know we should give her something to eat. Shes all skin and bone!"
This new voice had scared me. When I first heard Finch talk his voice was deep and his tone was harsh and angry. He had scared me, causing me to flinch into Grey, and I then flinched away from him when I found myself touching him. Grey found this hilarious, and even Finch had to laugh at this. I stood there feeling foolish as I came to grips of there being two people here, alive, with me. Finch proceeded to one of the dead wolves and began to prepare it for a meal, while Grey went off to find some water. I was left by the fire trying to make sense of what had happened.