Chapter Eighteen- Hanging Knife
I can see it all from my perch high in a tall tree. Well, no I can't see it all, but I can see enough. If we weren't on a hill, I would only be able to see the high wooden barrier surrounding the Tribe but due to the hill that the tree stands on, I can see ant sized figures attacking each other viciously.
"How many are in the Tribe?" I ask Grey who has one arm securly wrapped around me, the other wrapped aroumd the centre of the tree.
"A few hundred," Grey replies sadly. We don't talk as we observe the fighting. Already you can see many people have been killed as they lie unmoving.
"Do you think we should join in?" I ask. Grey doesn't even answer my question. The slow spiralling of black smoke from just outside the Tribes walls catches my eye.
"Is that a person?" I ask Grey, shakily unwinding an arm from around his body to point down at the fire. Grey and me look at a small figure that appears to be pacing around the fire.
"Yeah, they seemed to have escaped the fighting."
"Can we go see if they're friendly?" I ask. Grey huffs.
"If need be it's two against one?" I press hopefully.
Grey's silent for a moment, "All right,but if they try to kill us then I'm not going to let them live."
"Ok," I agree. Grey scales down the boughs of the tree and helps me down with him .
"Are you okay with this?" Grey asks as we are on the lowest thick branch. This branch is actually so close to the ground that I take Greys question as an insult. Grey sees the look I'm giving him and he lightly jumps down to the sand. I'm preparing to leap very gracefully off the branch when I feel myself lose my footing and I fall off the branch sideways . I land in the sand quite softly in the sand and Grey rushes over to help me.
"I'm fine!" I snap irritably as I pick myself up. I'm annoyed further when I see that Greys face is red from the laughter he's containing. I push at him playfully, causing him to actually stumble. Grey grabs my arm and pulls me with him as he falls and we fall to the ground, me on top of him, laughing hysterically. I get up off Grey and help him up.
"Sorry," I say.
"I shouldn't have laughed," Grey replies. We go down the side of the steep hill, running so we don't fall, and head towards the fire.
"Grey?" I begin about as soon as we have got to the bottom of the hill.
"Yes?" he replies.
"Do you have any family left?" I ask carefully.
"Yes, my mother and my little sister. My mother hated me and my little sister was to young for me to be partcularly close to. Oh and my dads brother lived with us but I didn't like him. He kept trying to teach me how to fight when I obviously couldn't."
"How do you know how to fight then?" I ask.
Grey takes a minute to reply, "Finch," he says his tone downcast.
"You didn't know," Grey says sounding upset, and I actually didn't. I thought Grey knew how to fight because during our first week together he had begun trying to train me. First with a sword, then with the bow and arrows, then finally with the knives. I wasn't particularly great at knife-throwing either but under Greys guidance I quickly mastered it.
"What happened to your father?" I ask trying to take mine and Greys minds off Finch.
"He deserted, but he came back about a month later. The Tribehead ordered for him to be killed."
"What's your little sister called?" I ask to, once again, take Greys mind off sad thoughts.
"Jewel," he replies.
"Yeah, pretty weird! Honestly my parents couldn't pick names to save their lives. My dad named Jewel, I don't know what he was thinking. My mother named me, coincidently she is the most pessimistic woman you will ever meet. As I got older, I asked my mother why she called me Grey and she said that she thinks my life will be bleak!"
I actually laugh at this. She sounds like a terrible mother, "I don't believe that."
"Honest, she did. When I left to go out foraging each day she told me she wouldn't let me in the house if I didn't have a good dinner for her!"
I laugh again, "Ah Grey, you have to stop!"
"I swear, I'm not lying."
"Of course you are! No mother can possibly treat their children like that."
"Ssh," Grey says to me.
"No I have a good point," I say indignantly.
"Ssh!" Grey repeats tapping my arm and pointing ahead of us. I look ahead and see the black smoke rising from over a small hill. I didn't realise we got here so fast. We pass under the shade of a tall tree that has branches that don't start until quite high up, it would be impossible to climb. I sigh slightly from the relief that the heavily leaved tree gives me from the sun. I hear a srange swooshing noise as I step out of the trees shadow and can no longer feel Grey at my side.
"Grey?" I whisper.
"Gilia don't move!" I hear Greys voice shout from up and behind me. Greys warning came to late as I feel myself walk into a strange metal line that was parallel to the bottom of my rib cage. The line breaks from the tree and the cactus it was attached to and crazily wraps around my body. Because the line was positioned where the middle of my body was, half the line wraps up my body , as far as my neck, and the other half downward, as far as my ankles. At both ends of the line are small hooks, which dig into the back of my neck and at my left heel, not hurting me but only causing a pulling feeling on my flesh which it has caught, as it holds the rest of the wire in place. I am unable to move, my arms are caught at my sides and my legs are as close together as possible. My face is in the sand and I painfully pull it up to see where Grey is, but I can't seem to find him. Then I spot him. He's almost completely hidden by a canopy of leaves. Grey is hanging upside-down by the ankles from high up in the tree and he is leaning up, trying to cut the rope that holds him there with his knife. His sword is on the ground at the foot of the tree. I see the knife fall to the earth and join the sword as Grey loses his hold on it, and Grey relaxes his body in defeat, his arms hanging down towards the ground. I think we've both accepted fate as neither of us makes a fight as we wait for death. The only noise I can hear are the miniture explosions coming from the Tribe. After a few minutes I feel the wire begin to dig into my skin and Grey looks like he'll be sick. I begin to wonder if this just some abandoned trap someone created which has been long forgotten. For some reason, that scares me more then the thought of being killed. I don't want to be left like this until I die from thirst, and I don't even know how Grey must be feeling. He's definatly got the worse end of the stick. I feel terrible. It was my idea to come down here and now me and Grey are, one way or another, going to die here. Just as I'm beginning to truly believe these traps have been abandoned, I hear a thud to my left. I turn my head to the left and see a spear in the sand about an inch from my face.