I start to pant as I run through the deep forest. My dress bounces around my ankles and my eyes dart left and right for good hiding places. Vines swing into my path and roots twist around me, appearing as if they were trying to trip me in my pursuit away from the authorities.
Well, the problem is that the roots are trying to trip me. The forest fairies help the authorities catch the 'bad guys'.
They call me a 'bad guy ' (even though I'm a girl) because I'm the main suspect for the murder. Murder isn't that bad in our village unless you kill someone under the age of twenty or over the age of thirty-five. After twenty, you have lived a long, long life and are okay to kill. When you are under twenty, you are considered 'too young to die'. When you are over thirty-five, you are considered an elder.
What happened were the murder fairies. I'm the only one who can see them… The authorities think that is 'suspicious'.
I start to climb up a flowering tree (to hide). I look around for a flower fairy that can prove my innocence. I see some little wings flutter from inside a closed bud. I smile and beckon to the little fairy whispering,
"I'm nice, I'm okay, can you prove my innocence? I'm nice, I'm okay, can you prove my innocence?" I keep on saying this until its wings flutter and it approaches from its hiding place. I smile at first, but then realize that it has blood dripping from its tiny little mouth, and razor sharp teeth that could easily rip through flesh and bone. It also has a leg in its mouth, a miniature little fairy leg.
It stares at me for a couple of seconds cocking its head to the side, then it pushes me from the tree. I scramble to grab one of the lowermost branches and cling onto it for dear life. The fairy flutters down from the top and land on my branch (very heavily). This causes my right (and strongest) hand to fall off and leave me hanging by one hand. It then hurries gracefully onto my other hand. I hear it whisper something, then take a big chunk of flesh from my shaky left hand. I let go in pain, and don't remember seeing a thing after that, for a very long time.
~*~ *~* ~*~ *~* ~*~ *~*
I wake up and end up banging my head against a cement floor. My eyes search the room for something to tell me where I am. I stand up and,
"Ooouuuuchhh…" I look at my aching hand and see what is there. Well, there really isn't anything there, just a chunk of my hand missing.
Now I know where I am. A jail cell, it wasn't a dream. I go and sit on a little cement bench on the side of the room and look around. I barred window, and a bucket. Don't ask me what the bucket is for… They gave me about… Nothing. The windows aren't very secure, but the forest fairies guard them with passion on the big oak outside. Every couple of minutes I see a fairy flutter by, but not a lot.
The penalty to child or elder murder is either death or a life sentence. All you have to do to get a life sentence, is convince them very, very good. I don't really know what I'm hoping for. Death is horrible, but jail might even be worse (believe it or not).
But maybe when they bring me to town square to decapitate me, I could escape. I could just run. I'm a great runner since I have been running for months. No one knows my name because I live in the wild, so they just call me 'The Runaway'.
~*~ *~* ~*~ *~* ~*~ *~*
"Runaway, runaway," I hear someone sing from outside the almost impenetrable door, "Come on little runaway. But, can you runaway now?" I almost growl at their snarky comments. Then, I hear the head guard say,
"Stop goofing off!"
"Okay, okay. Time for your persuasion, runaway!" I scowl and walk to the door, " Runaway has a temper! Doesn't she? Oh, and where did you get that fancy white and black dress?"
"I stole it!!!" I scream, so full of rage that I forgot to look innocent. One more reason for decapitation, I think.
He (the guard happens to be a he) unlocks the door and opens it with a smirk.
"Ladies first!" I snarl at him.
We walk down the twisty and turney hallways with one guard in front of me, and one behind me.
"I'm Charles." Says the sarcastic one.
"You know," I say, "I honestly don't care!" I'm going to be decapitated anyways.
We finally get there after a long silent walk and he makes me open the door this time. Disappointed that I turned him down…. Poor little boy… I think. Arghh… What a cry baby.
I find myself in a large court room that seems oddly empty… The only people besides me and Charles are the judge, surround by his advisors.
I go and sit in a single chair in front of them while my guards cuff me and start to surround me. The judge gives me a look like he was waiting, so I start to try to convince him.
"There are these fairies out there, murder fairies. Only I can see them and they are who killed the elder. Please believe me!"
"Continue." The judge orders.
"They are like cannibal fairies; they eat other fairies and kill humans. They have razor sharp teeth and always are surrounded by a puddle of blood."
The judge looks around at his advisors.
"Can we reach our verdict?"
"Yes." They all say in unison. I sigh and almost say goodbye to my head. They all start whispering to each other in very low voices.
"We have reached our verdict. Decapitation."
~*~ *~* ~*~ *~* ~*~ *~*
I lean my head against the cement wall and let my long brown hair almost cover my tear smothered face. I thought death would be better. I was wrong…
I hear something from the window but think that it is just another forest fairy on patrol… Then, something taps me on the shoulder with a lantern. I turn around and see a tree branch and notice what it is trying to tell me. I jump on as it starts to leave. Charles hears the noise and opens the door, but he is too late. I'm already waving from outside the window.
I look around for what fairy (or fairies) saved me. I see a flower fairy who is wearing a pretty pink dress made from tulip petals. I also see a forest fairy dressed in a tree leaf dress that is decorated with seeds. I smile at my new friends and decide to say something.
"I'm Rose." Says the flower fairy.
"I'm Sketch." Says the forest fairy.
They tell me in low voices about how Rose told Sketch that I was innocent while we travel from tree to tree. When we stop because we are deathly tired and far enough away from the jail I realize. I am and always will be The Runaway.