Lin kicked a rock as she walked along the abandoned strip of dirt road. The sun boiled the ground beneath her. She looked up, using a hand to shield her eyes, and tried to find the end of the road, sighing when it just kept going on. She grabbed the straps on her pack and adjusted them, trying to find a more comfortable spot for it on her back. Her legs ached from her walk. She had run away from home eleven hours ago, and hadn't stopped walking since then. At the beginning she had run, trying to gain as much distance as she could before someone went searching for her, but had soon tired.

'Why did I do this again?' she thought to herself. 'Oh yeah, I remember, because of my family.' She tore her thoughts away from the subject as she heard a sound. A car.

Lin ran to the side of the road and joked over the barbed wire fence located there, diving into some bushes. It was a good thing that she had much better hearing than most people, otherwise she would have been caught. She peered through the bushes, careful not to be seen. Just as she thought, a cop car.

They had sent somebody looking for her. This sucked. Now she would have to take much more rough terrain, through the bushes where there could be poisonous snakes, coyotes, or some random rabid cow that may appear. She wasn't sure where she was exactly. Her parents had just moved to this god awful state a few months ago, and she still hadn't memorized the terrain.

'New Mexico, what a hell hole,' she thought. She waited until the car passed and was far down the road before she began to crawl across the ground, if she were to stand up now she would be seen, but she had to cover more ground. She left late last night, right after her parents had gone to bed.

Last night had been the last straw. She reached her hand tenderly up to the bruise on her back, wincing as she touched it. She couldn't take it any more. That's why she had left. Things would be different now that she was on her own. At the age of seventeen she was on her own. She sneered at that thought.

What would her friends think now? The ones that had never believed her? What would they think now that she was gone. Oh well, there was no turning back now. It seemed that her parents had finally figured out that she wasn't on a "walk", as she had said in her note. What would they do if they got her back?

She shuddered at the thought and continued on, unwilling to be caught. Lin cried out as her leg landed upon something sharp. She immediately took pressure off the leg and sat down, examining what had happened. Today was not her day. She winced as she pulled the large shard of glass from her knee, tossing the bloody thing aside. She should've waited one more day, just one more day and she would bet that all of this wouldn't be happening.

But she couldn't wait one more day, she had planned this for weeks, last night had been it. She'd made sure that she slept a lot more than she needed to for a few days before she had left, that way she wouldn't have to sleep all night or day, giving her ample time to get far away. She wondered where she would go.

It was a good thing that she had been studying languages since she was small. She could now speak Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and German. She could go nearly anywhere she wanted to and would be fine. The only thing she would have to worry about would be food. She had packed quite a bit with her, but no so much as to hinder her. She had her cheap sword from Korea, a small dagger, a cloak (so that she could hide in the dark if the need arose), food, some clothes, a couple books, her cd player, batteries, and a lot of water. It was a last minute decision to bring the cheap sword with her. She had merely remembered that there were wild animals out here.

Not that she thought the thing would do her much good against anything really strong, the thing was so cheap that it was barely sharp, and if she hit anything really hard, it might break. She was unable to really slash anything, but she could impale it on the end, and if she hit someone with the dull blade hard enough, it would leave quite the bruise.

She climbed to her feet, guessing that the cop was far enough away by now, and began to trudge through the seven foot tall bushes. She had just barely begun to walk when she heard someone call her name. Her head snapped around, searching for the owner of the voice.

There stood three cops. "Lin! Come with us! Everything will be fine! We can talk this out!" The cops stood there frozen, waiting for her to react, acting as though she was some dangerous animal that might be set off at any moment.

She barely hesitated before turning around and sprinting away.

"STOP!" some of the cops called. Lin could hear them running after her. She wondered how they thought that they even had a chance at catching up with her, their big bellies rolling over their trousers, while she was in track. She turned her head and looked at them, seeing exactly how close they were, and tried not to laugh.

The poor guys looked like they were about to have a heart attack after only twenty feet of running. Lin continued to look at them, letting her feet guide her instead of her eyes, careful not to trip. She looked more closely at their faces as their eyes widened into one of fear. What were they looking at?

"LIN STOP!!!!" one of them called. Lin turned around to look in front of her, wanting to know what had them so scared. She barely had time to take in a sharp breath as her feet continued to guide her straight towards the edge of a cliff. Could she stop in time? She was just about to slow down when something in her mind snapped.

'Go.' It told her. It was like a voice in her mind. A voice similar to her, but different. 'What?!' she answered. 'I'll die!'

She felt something urging her on. 'Go.' The voice said again. The voice was smooth sounding, and calm. Lin suddenly felt the urge to keep going. She had to keep going, she didn't know why, but she just had to. 'Go.' It said again.

That was all she needed. She put more of her energy into her legs and ran faster, getting closer to the edge. As she came to the ledge she used all of her leg power and shot off, flying through the air. A calm seemed to envelop her as she plunged through the air, straight towards the bottom, which was hundreds of feet below her. This was it.

At least she got away from her parents, from her old life. This would be the end of it all. She closed her eyes in acceptance, waiting for the painful end to come, not sure why she had jumped. It was the voice. The voice told her to, and she felt that it was the right thing to do. It just seemed right.

The cops ran to the edge of the cliff, looking over the ledge, searching for the form of the falling girl. "Why did she jump?" one of them asked no one in particular. It was then that they noticed it. The girl hadn't screamed, she had sprinted towards the edge, now they didn't even see her falling form. She couldn't have hit bottom already. Where was she?

Lin groaned in pain, afraid to open her eyes. What happened? She tried to reach her arm up to her head, but froze when it hurt too much for her to do so. Was she in a car accident? Everything came back to her in a flash. She jumped off a cliff. Why did she jump off a cliff? 'Go.' She remembered the voice. The beautiful, clear voice that sounded like a different version of her own.

Her eyes shot open when it finally dawned on her that she was alive after a fall like that. She closed her eyes again when dots and flashes of bright colors invaded them. There was no way she could've survived. She opened her eyes again, slowly this time. Forest. There was forest all around her. Not the type of forest that she was used to. It seemed so..........oriental. Where the hell was she?

Gathering her strength, she slowly sat up, wincing in pain. Her entire body hurt. She looked around her, trying to gain her bearings, but failing miserably. Her eyes fell upon her pack. At least she had that. She reached her arm out tenderly, grabbing the strap of her pack and pulling towards her. She needed to find out where she was, and she was never going to find out by just sitting there.

She got to her feet, shaking on unsteady legs. They hurt so very badly. She looked up, half expecting to see the sides of a cliff. Nothing but bamboo and sky. Bamboo, that was what it was called. Lin reached down and dusted the dirt from her pants, reaching up to her hair and pulling leaves out.

She was utterly confused about what was going on. Too many questions flooded her mind, questions that she hadn't any answers to. She took a step forward, nearly crying out in the pain that it caused her. What was wrong with her leg? She looked down at the offending limb, her eyes widening when she saw it. It seemed that the cut from the glass had been ripped further open, creating a six inch long gash down her shin. A lot of blood was dried on her leg. This made her wonder how long she had been out.

The wound didn't seem entirely fresh. It was then that she noticed she wasn't wearing any clothes. She gasped and looked around quickly, wondering if anyone had seen. She reached into her pack and pulled out the first thing she could, which happened to be her long, hooded cloak. She didn't have the energy to fully dress herself at the moment, so she just threw they cloth around her, securing it in the front.

She prayed that she wouldn't run into anything in the woods because she wouldn't have the energy to fight it. She sat back down as another wave of exhaustion swept over her. She reached back into her pack and pulled out a sandwich she had fixed for herself earlier. She ate it with desperation, seemingly becoming hungrier the more she ate.

After she had finished she wiped the crumbs from her mouth, standing once again on legs that seemed rejuvenated. She took a step forward, once again reminded of her injured leg. There was nothing she could do for it now, so she simply ignored the pain and continued on.

Lin stopped next to a river. She'd been walking for hours once again, and needed to rest her feet. It was a killer having no shoes, they were becoming torn from roots that she'd tripped over, and any other thing that she'd had the misfortune of encountering. She dangled them in the cool water, looking up at the night sky. It was becoming increasingly chilly out. She opened her pack, pulling out some clothes and setting them on the ground next to her. When she saw a black shirt it reminded her of something.

She remembered that there was a way to protect your feet even if you had no shoes. You simply had to tear some cloth into a long strip and wrap it around the arc of your foot. You didn't need to cover your heel or the front of your foot because they were tough enough that they didn't need it. She grabbed the shirt and began ripping it into a long strip, wrapping it around the middle of her foot and up her calf where she tied it securely.

She smiled proudly at her work and turned to her clothes now that she had enough energy to dress. Her eyes met a small raccoons. A raccoon that was messing with her clothes. She smiled at the cute animal. It picked something up and crawled into, reminding Lin of the way a cat plays in a paper sack.

Lin laughed as it got caught in the fabric, trying to find a way out. It finally got out with a final shove. A shove that sent all of her clothes into the quickly flowing stream. Lin's eyes widened as her clothes were swept far away. She stood, cried out, and reached her hand out, as though the action would bring them back.

She sighed and dropped her arm down to her side as they were swept out of sight. This was not her day. She dropped heavily to the ground. At least the cloak covered her. She decided to give up for the night. She looked down at the ground with trepidation, her eyes meeting those of the raccoon's. It looked slightly afraid of her. She smiled at the creature, reaching her hand out to it.

"It's okay. I won't hurt you, despite you losing my clothing." The raccoon took her hand and examined it, turning it every which way. Lin laughed at the creature and laid down on the ground, making a pillow out of leaves and quickly falling asleep.