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Arid Land

By: Arid Land Kate

Chapter 10,

Chapter Ten- Found

I sit inside our small house, mechanically rubbing a finger up and down the smooth metal surface of my knife, deciding how to leave. I don't want to leave Finch on his own, but he has pushed me to it. As soon as we had got back to camp, Finch had found an excuse to be angry again as he discovered that we had no food left for breakfast. He had started pacing about the camp, cursing under his breath. When I had offered to go out and hunt this caused him to explode and he was shouting things at me, most of which I didn't understand, but I did catch the words "Stupid", "Immature" and "Crazy" leave his mouth which had angered me.

"Why don't you go out to hunt then?" I shouted back at him.

"How could I even trust you to stay here by yourself when I'm gone?" He had shouted at my face, his voice had climbed to an interesting, high-pitched level that made him sound like a mouse that was getting squashed. After that, Finch was silent and would not even look at me unless he wanted me to do something, but even then he was barking out orders at me, apparantly adressing the sky by the way he looked upwards,and his harsh voice cutting through the silence had caused me to jump. I've never seen Finch so mad, actually, I don't think that I have ever seen Finch mad at all. When things were normal, when Grey was around, Finch never really talked at all. He would just sit in the corner and then disappear each day. I had never really paid much attention to this before though, in fact, I found it useful as it allowed me and Grey to get some alone time. It was also very useful the way that Finch ran like clockwork and would always disappear from camp as noon came, but would return with the falling of the dusk, which he did everyday, without fail. I'm surprised as I realise that I actually know very little about Finch. Do I even know how old he is? I don't think I do, I can't believe that never before occured to me. But Finch is never really involved in my daily life. He's just the guy that keeps to himself all day, laughs at some jokes at dinner , and makes the food. The best part of each day would be when Fich was gone so I would be waiting for noon to come all day so me and Grey could talk without having to censor our conversations around Finch, because saying what we wanted to say to each other around him was just a little awkward.

I had tried to leave the camp earlier about an hour after we had arrived back from the strangers camp, but as soon as I had started towards the exit through the cacti, Finch had appeared out of nowhere and blocked my way.

"Where are you going?" He had shouted accusingly at me.

"I'm leaving Finch! I don't think I'll come back." I had said quickly and softly.

"No, you're not leaving. Now just go to bed or something." He had commanded angily to me. I had then walked away from him and into our small house, mumbling angrily under my breath. I had then sat down on my pile of furs and started to polish my knives. I've been doing this for a couple of hours now. I finish polishing my final knife and walk to the doorway and hold it up skywards, catching the metal off of the sinking sun to check for the gleam of cleanness. I let the light reflected off of the knifes metal dance around the room before I put the knife into my belt. I stand in the doorway of the hut for a moment, indecisive as of what to do now, when an arrow lodges itself in the exterior wall of the hut only inches from me, if it had hit me, it's safe to say I wouldn't still be standing here. I look around the camp and see Finch near the patch of cacti holding the bow in his hands with the quiver of arrows on his back.

"Not even nearly high enough." Finch says to himself quite loudly.

"Finch what the hell are you doing!" I shout angrily at him. Finch looks at me and then seems surprised when he sees the arrow lodged in the wall close to me.

"Trying to shoot a bird." He replies gruffly.

"What bird? It's a bit hard to mistake me for one!" I say. Finch then reloads the bow and points it up again. I dive to the ground as he lets go of the arrow. A second later a big, dead bird lands beside me.

"That bird." Finch says simply. I pick myself up, to angry to even say anything, and go down the hill to the stream, just to get away from Finch.

"I'm guessing you don't want dinner then?" Finch calls after me.

"Shut up Finch!" I yell back and resist the urge to throw a knife at him. He's not that stupid to actually ask that question seriously, he just being malicious now. I wish we had a second way out of the camp. The only way out is the row of cacti as the camp is surrounded by a huge rock wall that winds around the whole camp, but finnaly breaks for the clusters of cacti. I want to leave, I don't care about leaving Finch by himself anymore, I'm just scared that one of us will end up killing each other. I sit on the sand bank of the stream with my feet dipped in the shallow waters, deciding what to do. Maybe I could find Grey and apologise, I still don't really know what for but I don't think that even Grey knows, and just have us two stay together. This course of action does sound as if it is the best thing to do, but I think getting away from Finch is the hardest part of it all. I pull myself out of the stream and decide to just be blunt with my leaving. I head, once again, for the patch of cacti, and am surprised when I notice Finch is not there. I exit the camp without being stopped, and proceed in what I think is the way that Grey went when he left.

"Gilia!" I hear Finch's voice shout out from behind me. I knew my escape was to easy. I turn around and see Finch standing next to the entrance to camp.

"So you're leaving to then?" He questions angrily.

"Yes Finch. Did you really expect me to stay?" I retort.

"No. I knew you'd try to find Grey. Gilia, listen to me, you can't go after him! Come back and wait here, he will come back!" Finch says desperatly.

"This isn't just about Grey! I do want to find him but I can't stand being around you!" I throw my words at Finch like stones.

"Gilia don't! It's not safe out there, especially for you." Now Finch is implying I'm dumb or something.

"What kind of danger would I be in that wouldn't possibly happen to me if I stayed with you?" I demand. When Finch does not answer I continue the way I was going, my pace fast so I can get away while Finch is still a bit baffled.

"Gilia you have a Tribe after you!" Finch calls out which causes me to freeze. After a minute or so I am finally able to react to this.

"What do you mean?" I shout without turning around. I hear Finch let out a loud sigh.

"I mean you have a Tribe searching for you who are hell-bent on killing you." Finch says grimly. What is he on about? How would he know? I couldn't even imagine why anyone would want to kill me, never mind a whole Tribe! I turn around quickly, aa knife in my hand, and throw it furiously in Finch's direction. The knife hits the cactus closest to Finch, but it did cause Finch to jump out of the way.

"Why are you telling lies just to keep me here?!" I question angrily.

"Why are you trying to kill me? And I wasn't lying!"

"If I wanted to kill you you'd be dead, and how would you even know if a Tribe was after me?"

"Just forget it Gilia! Go, don't go, I don't care, just stop with all these questions, please!" Finch shouts at me, looking annoyed. I stand where I am for a minute then, once again, continue on my course feeling cold-hearted and cruel for leaving Finch.

I walk until I can no longer see Finch behind me before I allow myself to stop. Where am I going? Well that's easy I want, no need, to find Grey. But where do I go to find him? I stand where I am for a moment, thinking of where Grey would and could go. Then I slap my hand to my head as I realise.

"Of course, the cave!" I say to myself as I finally realise this is where Grey has gone, that's where he always goes. From here, I would say that I'm less then an hours walk away from the cave. I look up at the sky, which is wearing an orange hue. I think I can make it before nightfall. I run as fast as I can the way that I remember Grey taking me before, ecstatic that I know what I'm doing and how to find Grey, but annoyed that I didn't figure it out before. It's not like it was some major puzzle, it just required the faintest bit of common sense to work out where he went. After all, it's Grey I'm looking for and he is extremely predictable, most of the time... I'm running fast, still full of energy even though I've been going for almost half an hour, when I see the rock face of the wall leading up to the cave, only a minute or so away frrom me. I stop wildly as I nearly slam into the wall and notice that a torch has been stuck in the sand just before the wall. I don't know why there's a torch there, it's not that dark. True, the sky is beginning to grow dark, but you can still see. At least I know that someone is here, I'm just hoping that it's Grey. I scramble up the wall frantically, cutting nearly all of my body off the sharp stones covering the walls surface, and pull myself up with the small ledge jutting out before the cave.'

"Grey!" I scream into the cave as I pull myself in, and am horrified by what I see. Inside, slumped against the far wall, is Grey who appears to be unconcious and is bleeding heavily from a wound in his stomach. I look around the cave for signs of an attacker, and see a boy, who looks a bit older then me, with dark black hair, who is just a few metres to my left in the corner of the cave, and he's holding a thin, black sword which appears to be shimmering gold and is covered in blood. I watch, momentarily frozen, as this guy proceeds towards Grey again and raises his sword. Then I pull myself out of my shock and get a knife out of my belt and go into action. I lunge for the boys throat and just barely scrape it with my knife, leaving him with a small cut. At least that turned his attention away from Grey as he turns to me, his sword still raised. His dark blue eyes lock on me and the arm he is holding his sword in drops to his side. Something inside me stirs as I look at him.

"Gilia?" He murmurs softly in a smooth voice as he reaches a hand out to me. I take my chance and go at him again, but he is ready this time and jumps out of the way just as I am about to dig my knife into his stomach. My knife instead clashes off the wall and I turn in fury to look at him, anger hot in my eyes. He just stares back at me, dumbfounded.

"Gilia, please, wait..." He begins but I just charge at him again. He runs to the ledge outside of the cave and almost perfectly jumps down to the ground, rolling as he lands which I guess must make the landing a lot easier. I throw my knife at him in frustration and feel a small satisfaction as I see the knife catch in the boys leg. He pulls it out, throws it to the ground, and begins to limp away. I'm in half a mind to go after him but then I remember Grey. I rush over to where he is and bend over him, trying to see if he;s still breathing. I feel so relieved as I see the rapid rise and fall of his chest but I don't know what to do. I look at his wound, which is not very deep but I know I wouldn't have the first idea on how to treat, and feel so useless. Why am I here, Why can't Finch be here? Finch would know how to help Grey. The only thing I can think of doing is trying to wakr him up. I try saying Greys name to stir him, but that doesn't seem to work so I begin lightly shaking him, which also seems to have no affect. I feel hopelessly desperate now and so I pull out my canteen of water and just throw some of this in Greys face. I have only just begun thinking that was probably the worst thing I could do when Grey is pulled back into consciousness, coughing and spluttering.

"Grey!" I squeal as soon as his eyes open and before I know what I am doing I am kissing him and he is kissing me back. I feel the fire that I felt from kissing Grey before, just that this time it is more furious and determined and way more powerful. I don't know how long we are like this before I decide that maybe it is best if I pull away, but whenever I try Grey just pulls me back into him, not wanting this to end. I feel such a rush as the fire I feel seems to be pumping through my whole body. I feel as if where I am or whats going on or that nothing in the world matters as long as I am with Grey, he just makes me forget everything when I am with him. Grey finally pulls away from me and looks into my eyes.

"I guess I really do need you." Grey says weakly as he idely brushes a piece of hair out of my face. I smile at him faintly and Grey holds me and I am holding him and I know that I never want to let him go again.

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