Chapter 10

We came by my Father, playing it up the best that we could that we were certainly mad for each other, just to throw him off. I can't believe he fell for it, how dumb we were acting.
"Oh, Jowee, you are sooooooooo romantic..." I sighed, trying not to laugh.
"Of course I am" he replied, his face turning red as he held back his giggles.
When we were sure we had gotten him, we went back into the crowd and separated. Here and there we would come back together not to raise suspicion, but spent much of the night apart in our own corners of the area to think.
I was sure he was imagining the fire, but I had much more complicated things to ponder, many of them involving either love or Wilfre, sometimes both.
The evening finished, and everyone went home. I was so tired that I had only just stepped in the door and fell asleep.

The next morning, Father seemed in a good mood, as though his life was good since I was supposedly head-over-heels for Jowee. I actually had begun to think this myself, but wouldn't give in.
"Come on, Mari, I need to go ask the Creator for something."
Together we walked to the Creation Hall, found the Book of Life, and opened it.
"Watch" he said, carefully saying some sort of prayer.
There was a pause as he turned to the middle of the room.
"Isn't something supposed to happen?" I asked.
"Yes..." he turned back to the book and spoke again.
Nothing.
"Why isn't the creator responding?" he asked himself.
"How long ago did you ask her, before now?"
"Just... Before..." his eyes widened. "Before the incident."
I gasped. It couldn't be... The Creator had turned her back on us.
"It's because of him!" Father said angrily, putting the book back. "We can't live without the-"
Outside, the light seemed to fade.
"Father...? What's happening?" I gasped, running out of the building. The sky was blank and empty, dark grey in color.
"This can't be..." he joined by my side to stare at the sky.
"Rapo...do you see that?" I asked, pointing to the darkness beginning to surround the village.
Father said nothing, shaking his head.
This wasn't going to end well.

"Please! You can't leave!" I was crying towards Jowee's family. "We can make this work!"
"It's dark all the time, there's nothing but snow on the ground, and there's barely enough food! Don't even mention the shadows!" Drew cried, throwing some suitcases on a cart.
Jowee was pulling on his arm. "We can't leave, dad!"
"We're going Jowee. Now."
"You can go. I'm not!" Jowee ran off into the woods.
"Fine! But you'll be sorry for staying in this stupid-" Drew continued with language I was sure would have set the snow on fire. He sighed, gathered up Mandy and her mother, then trudged away.
So many villagers had left in the last two months. Without the creator, everything was slowly dying. And the strange black shadow around the village was growing thicker by the day.
I hurried off to find Jowee under a tree, trying to hide.
"Come on, Jowee, who needs them. They obviously don't care if they are going to leave you behind."
"They... They left?" Jowee seemed heart-broken.
I nodded sadly.
"Then that only leaves you, me, your dad, and Isaac's family..."
"And it's getting colder and darker by the day...soon there will be nothing left."
"WERE GONNA DIE OUT HERE!" he started screaming.
"It's going to be ok, Jowee" I cried, throwing my arms around him. It was probably more comforting to me than to him. "I don't care anymore... I don't care. We can't give up hope, not yet, not ever. Did I stop when I saw one of our own turn to shadow? Did I stop when I was called crazy? Did I stop when I was being shoved into an affair? NO. And neither should you! Now stand up!"
"I will... I'm going home though... I want to be by myself for a while..." he walked off.
I couldn't stand it. I knew what I had to do.

"Creator... Please... We need your help... It's getting darker, the villagers are leaving... I don't know how much longer we can last... Please show us some sign that you still exist, that you forgive us..."
I sat on the floor of my room, looking to the sky.
"You never listen!" I cried. "Can't you help us! Please, you're our only hope!"
"I will help you" A voice said, full and pure.
My tears dried. "The Creator" I breathed softly, smiling.

And so ends Mari's Prelife. From here, she went on a wondrous journey, fighting for and against people who she loved most. I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I loved writing it!