Chapter 3: --

She awoke after what seemed like a few moments. She squinted in the dim light and took in her surroundings. There was a small beaten dresser next to the cot that she sat on, and a mirror across from the dresser. She looked into the mirror at her pale bruised face. She rubbed her arms trying to get rid of her goosebumps. She didn't know where she was, she didn't know how she had gotten there. She didn't even remember her own name. Her once torn and dirty clothes, were replaced with a soft dress. Her hair was washed and clean. She felt good. She was covered by a soft wool blanket and dry socks. She was quite comfortable. But that didn't make her feel any more safe.

From a small door in front of her, entered a man. Tall young and carrying a cape and a bow and arrows. She scooted back against the wall behind her and hugged her knees. She was a terrified, helpless, little eight year old. She remembered her older brother and how he could face danger so fearlessly and so strong. Like when she was afriad of the spider in her room when she was five. She decided to lose her fears. She wanted to be just like her big brother. She wanted to figure out who this man was and where she was. More importantly, where Mathew was. She threw the covers off of her tiny legs and glared at him.

"Easy, easy sweetheart. I'm not going to hurt you." he didn't laugh or chuckle. He was very grim and soft spoken. "I'm just here to take your temperature and give you some medication."

She didn't budge. She didn't want to. She felt good, standing up for herself. She decided to approach him. She stood,her legs buckled beneath her, and she fell straight to the floor.

"Hey! Whoa!" he caught her by her ill, skinny stomach and set her back on the bed. "You haven't walked in several days. Take it easy."

She looked at him in horror. Several days! What had happened to her?!

"What's your name little one?" he asked coldly.

She opened her mouth to yell at him, but nothing came out. Just a small squeek. She lowered her head in shame and cried.

Then entered a tiny woman. Her face was soft and kind. Unlike the man. Her eyes where a deep blue and her hair was white, as was her skin. She looked to be about sixty or so. She wore a white dress, too big to fit, but it was good enough for her. "How are you? My name is Ellen." she greeted them with a baby tone.

The man shook his head as if disappointed.

"Oh," her smile faded. "Would you like to see your friend?"

She smiled at Ellen. She lit the whole room. That was exactly what she wanted to hear. She nodded franticly and tried to stand again. Remembering what happened last time, her cheeks flushed and she frowned.

"Come," said Ellen. "I'll carry you."

Riding on the woman's back, she left the small candle lit room and entered an even darker tunnel that looked like an ancient castle hallway like out of fairy tales that her parents used to read to her. The walls were covered in mold and leaked water into metal buckets set up all along the hallway. People passed them, but no one said a word. No one even made eye contact. It was like they avoided eachother. It was just like being in a vampire castle.

Following closely behind was the strange man. He appeared calm and comfortalbe. She wished she could feel the same way. His long coat flapped behind him and the knives around his waist frightened her.

They rounded a corner and came to doorway covered by a torn blanket. The room smelled of decay and death, and for a good reason. Upon their entering, they found many pale, unmoving bodies. In the back corner laid a familiar face. Her older brother, Mathew, lay rested on a bloody cot. The arrow had been removed from his back and lay next to his arm on the cot. It was a horrific sight.

Once set down on the cot with her brother, she sobbed into his stomach. Her heart ached and her throat tightened. She couldn't even remember to breathe for a moment. She laid her head on his chest and wiped her tears onto his dirty shirt. His flesh was cold. She hated the man who killed him. She wanted to find him and rip his heart out, but she didn't even realize he was standing right next to her.

Her boney fingers traced the point on the arrow as she sobbed. She gripped it with all her strength and pulled it from the rest of the arrow. Unlike the rest of the arrows that were made with metal, this one was a genuine arrow head. She cut a section of her dress with it and tied it around the arrowhead. She wrapped in around her neck and laid back onto her brothers chest. Her nightdress was getting drenched in blood and her tears were washing it away. She stayed that way for what seemed like hours. Neither the old woman nor the man wanted to separate them. They thought it best to let her have the last few hours of her brother's existance be a long caring time.

Soon, other kids entered the small room to say good bye to their family and friends. She felt clausterphobic. So gave her brother a kiss on the cheek before returning to her room. What was to become of her. Her past remained a mystery except for memories with her brother. She didn't know her name or her parents' names. Just that she wasn't supposed to be alive, and her brother let her.