Lonely roads of dusty cobbles lead the way into the ruined distance. The craving fiery ball of sun is the only thing beating the rhythm of life in this place. A slow thirsty rhythm. Thirsty for water, for life and for blood.
But deep in the non existence of this place, there lies a void. A deep black hole, blackness within black. It has no bottom, and anyone unfortunate enough to venture near is devoured, and in turn they become the devourers.
This place is Katie's mind.
She sits on the bank, eyes alert. Staring. Reaching, into the night. Frail white arms cling tightly around her. Desperately trying to comfort the bruised body they belong to.
A whispered breeze lingers around this place. And on the water below a faint mist pulls longingly, its fingers grasping almost affectionately at the green bank above. Behind, there is a forest. It is from there Katie came. It is a place of secrets.
A snap. The crunch as a twig is broken underneath unwilling feet. Katie's arms swing around wildly, wary eyes searching and feeling out into the night, scanning the black for unseeable shapes; possible dangers. She is not alone.
She frowns. A smiling boyish face hovers above her.
"Aren't you pleased to see me?" Will says. The boy has tawny auburn hair, and innocent blue eyes which do not reflect his actual age of 15.
Katie looks him up and down, taking in his ruffled adidas shirt. It troubles her that he has come. She knows it is not safe for him here.
Will's face crumples, as he sees the displeasure in her eyes. She sighs, then smiles wanely, slipping scratched hands into the pockets of her nightgown as he flops down on the bank next to her.
They just sit for a few minutes. Listening to the silence of the night, in harmony with each others thoughts.
Will was Katie's best friend. Strange. They were an unlikely pair. Will's easygoing bubbly mannerism contrasting with Katie's silent and unearthly guestures. Most people immediately disliked Katie, they thought her odd, and cold, they shied away from her long blonde hair and grey eyes. But then, Will wasn't like most people. Will understood.
Will turns to look at Katie. He takes in her blonde hair and grey eyes, and frowns. Sometimes it felt like the two of them were slipping apart.
But as Katie's face turned towards him, tears streaming down. He reached for her hand and knew that they would always be one whole. Because Will understood.
But although Will understood the most part, he did not know the real reason why she cried.
Katie knew though, and she cried because of what and whom she must leave behind, and of what was to come.
And even though Will's tanned hand lay entwined with Katie's small transparent white one and a blonde head rested against a tawny auburn. Katie was going somewhere where Will couldn't follow.
That very night.
Andy frowned. All around him was a seething mass of brown. He was surrounded by an army. An army of acquaintances who under tenuous circumstances had become one whole.
Together they marched up the rolling hills, sloping into unknown places, each one as repetitive as the one before.
Together they marched, to the rhythm of the beating sun, an unceasing swell of men marching for something they shared a belief in. It was this belief that made the unlimited number of hills to conquer an absolute necessary.
It was this belief that Andy had given his old life away for, his dreams, his hopes, and his family. Lost.
And together they all marched, and Andy knew then, that he was surrounded by not just acquaintances, but friends.