The Secret

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Julian and Fiona live in the not too distant future. A world that survived a mysterious cataclysmic event where the populace now live inside walled cities that protect them from the dangers of the outside.

“Well?” Fi looked at me inquisitively.

“Well what?” I replied.

She was NOT blaming this on me and going beyond the safe zone was HER idea. I was just happily lounging around with no plans for the day when she came along carrying that purple glowing flower. “I know where we can get more, I found this just by the northern gates.” She said. Apparently the wind had carried it over. It wasn’t like any flower I had ever seen. It looked like an orchid, but then again I don’t know much about flowers. Botany was Fi’s thing. Well, her mother’s anyway, being the head of the agricultural department of Haven. So I went with her like an idiot, completely ignoring that a 3rd level warning had been implemented the day before. A reconnaissance unit had been attacked just outside the eastern wall two days ago. It had been the first incident in months. Before that things had been quiet for awhile and the command, in all of its wisdom had sent troops outside the city gates to look around. Why is beyond me, I had assumed the idea of putting up 50 foot walls around Haven was a clear indication of everyone’s sentiment, that we should be avoiding them, yet apparently when they don’t come around, which is most certainly a good thing, The Command looks for them. The way I saw it was, if they don’t come around that’s good riddance.

I’ll admit things were getting mundane and routine, which is probably why I went with her, I guess a luminous flower did peek my curiosity. We had just snuck passed the last perimeter outpost when she blurted it out, asking ME what we should do next.

“You said you knew where it was.” I said feeling annoyed.

 If we get found out going beyond the walls I was sure her mother is going to blame this whole thing on me. Nobody ever blames Fi, she’s got everyone convince of here goody-goody I’m just a girl act, though she is just 12 so I guess that sells it more than anything else. More than half the times we got in trouble was because of her ideas and I was just along for the ride, but I’m a year older so the blames’ always on me.

“Look, I said I knew the general direction where these come from, I never said I know exactly where and besides what good is it to bring a “tracker” if he doesn’t track.” She answered.

“Hmph, I’m not a “tracker” yet technically.” I say, her flattering me always gets me to do what she wants, which annoys me.

 “Well the western breeze probably blew it down from these slopes into the north gates, so we should go this way.” I pointed to the rise heading up to the ravine.

“Okay then, LEAD the way.” She said smiling.

We started walking towards the hill, and the path had started to turn grassy, shifting from the rocky, quarry-like earth that usually surrounded Haven, which meant we were getting farther and farther from the nearest outpost. I kept notes of the easiest paths down the hill and the quickest routes back to the wall, one of the first things they teach us in survival training was always planning an escape, in case something unforeseen should happen or some “thing” should find you. When we got up the hill I could see the course we took to avoid that last patrol and we were now about 5 kilometers out, Fi was keeping close and looking ahead, which was good because I didn’t want us splitting up. We were almost at the top of the rise, I took a whiff of the air and I could smell it, that flower, but stronger this time, the smell was coming from that clearing near the edge of the ravine.

“I can smell it, its close by” She said.

“Maybe we should turn back, we only have an hour or less before it gets dark.” I say.

“Nonsense, we’ll be back before it gets dark, it’s just up ahead, c’mon.” Fi yelled as she started for the slope heading towards the clearing, I ran after. “Wait up.” I yelled back.

The flowers were there, on a ledge just below the edge of the cliff. Long grass and moss jutted out of the rocks and were all over the side of the cliff. The plants were giving it a lush color, it was like the green was pushing out the craggy exterior of the cliff and replacing it with a gentler hue. And in what seemed like patches of nests were the purple flowers, snuggled on the grass covered rocks and moving with the breeze, their glow becoming brighter with the waning daylight.

“Let’s hurry and pick them up, my mom will be SO thrilled to see these.” Fi said, as she climbed down the face and leapt to the ledge where the flowers grew.

 “Let’s make this really quick.” I say, the sun had set faster than I expected, I could see the bottom of the cliff was already dark and the shadow of the mountain was starting to cover the valley. We had gathered a dozen of the flowers and decided to start climbing up the rock face, I helped Fi get up first and then I climbed on the opposite side of the ledge that was nearest to the edge of the cliff. The moss had made some of the rocks slippery and I clambered to boost myself over the edge of the cliff and into the clearing.

“You know you could give me a hand.” I say sarcastically.  “Hey!” I yell at her as I lifted myself up.

But she didn’t answer she was just staring down towards the bottom of the hill, as if stunned.

“What is it? I asked.

 She stood motionless, wide eyed and the answer to my question soon became apparent, blocking our path back to the wall were three ominous shadows, slowly moving closer, but were somehow being kept back. It was the sun, it still shone on the clearing, creating an invisible wall between us and them but it was slowly receding and once the sun was gone there would be nothing holding back these beasts. They stood their slowly creeping forward with the increasing darkness, their fangs becoming more visible with each snarl, eyes locked either on or me or Fi. I looked around searching for another path of escape but we were trapped, caught between them and the edge of the cliff and there was no way Fi and I could outrun them. She can’t and I can’t, not in this form anyway, there was no choice, I grabbed her by the arm.

“Jump on my back, hurry!” I say, as soon as she did I ran towards the beasts and as I crossed out of the sunlight into the shadow, I changed into one of them.

I quickly pounced on the nearest one in front of us, catching it by surprise and dug my claws deep into its chest, pushing it down and catapulting myself forward, to the bottom of the hill. My changing had caught them by surprise for a second, but they were onto to us now, and I’ve never fought a full grown beast let alone take on three of them, but maybe I could outrun them, I fell on all fours and sped towards the outpost. I ran as fast as I could, I could hear them running after us, but their sound was also getting fainter, and the nearest outpost was not far ahead. We would make it… I just hope she can keep my secret.

Submitted: December 05, 2013

© Copyright 2021 JJBlue. All rights reserved.

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