“Come on already, Raven.” called one of my best friends, Clove. “It's been like 35 million years and the constable will kill you if he finds you here!”
“I'm coming! Ok?” I yelled back “I'm only trying to get enough food for the week!”
Me, Clove, and Amir were scavenging for food in one of the rich merchants' garbage bins. Like Clove said, the constable would kill us if he found us here, we caused enough trouble already.
You might not understand why we were digging through garbage. And for that, there is a simple explanation.
We lived on the streets.
My parents had abandoned me as a baby at the weapons arena in the capital, Adarlan, of our Queendom, Ularya. I had lived there until I was ten when the weapons arena shut down and I was kicked out. Here I am, 4 years later, digging through trash. What has my life become?
Amir and Clove have similar stories, but I don't know them. Even if we became friends 3 years ago, they still don’t trust me enough to tell me.
“Someone is coming!” cried Amir, who was on lookout duty “You have to leave NOW!! I mean it this time, Ray!”
I got up and reached Clove just as someone turned around the corner.
“Run!” yelled Clove urgently.
“Faster!” I called back.
When we got far enough away, we turned around and the person was gone.
“Well that's strange” commented Amir.
“You bet it is” I replied.
The next 2 weeks were what we would call normal.
We would wake up in our makeshift tent inside an abandoned building, we would eat what little we had, we would go scavenging and then I would teach them what little writing and reading skills that I had picked up at the weapons arena.
A few times over the next few days, one of us would spot a person that immediately disappeared when we looked back at them.
Day after day, we became more suspicious until finally, the strangest thing happened.
Amir, Clove, and I had gone our separate ways for scavenging and going on the more busy streets to see if anyone would spare us any money, food, or clothing. I was sitting on the gravel by the edge of the street when someone walked by and dropped their wallet. I waited to see if they would turn back but they had kept walking as nothing had happened.
Ok? I thought, confused.
Most people here in Adarlan were extremely careful with their belongings because of the number of homeless people. Of course, the queens did do things to help us. They set up shelters for pregnant and sick women. One for sick men. There was also one for children but it was too full and there were stories about how children always came out strange so we had decided not to stay there.
I decided that I would give the wallet back, it was theirs to keep, even if I was pretty sure I needed it more.
“Um...Excuse me?” I asked tentatively, after finally catching up with them, they had been a good block away.
“Yes?” the stranger said, without turning around.
“Y-you dropped this.” I said nervously.
The strangers gloved hand whipped around and grabbed the wallet.
“Thank you.” they said, and walked away.
Later that day, when we all returned to our hideout, we shared what we had gotten and what had happened during our day out.
“Guess what I got!” exclaimed Clove, and she pulled out a wallet “This person just dropped it in front of me! I haven't opened it yet, I was waiting.”
“Me too!” cried Amir “ It was so weird.”
“Did you find anything?” asked Clove with a questioning glance.
“Nope. Nothing good, only a loaf of bread” I said anxiously, something weird was going on.
I didn't want to reveal that I had given the wallet back. I knew they would just scold me. Ever since the two had started dating a few months ago, it wasn't even a question that they would side together for anything and everything.
Everything went on being “normal” until a week after the strange wallet incident.
Again, we had gone our separate ways and were out on the streets. Today, I was in the market. It had been a long day when finally I decided to go home. I was about to leave when-
“Ahhh!” someone screamed behind me.
I turned around and it seemed like no one had heard it. Everyone was just going about their day.
“Ahh!” the person screamed again and this time I was able to identify where it was coming from.
There on the street, lay an old woman, it looked like she couldn't get up.
“Help!” she cried.
I was about to go when I saw the carriage that was coming straight for her. I had no idea what to do. Should I go get her and have the possibility of getting hurt? Or should I just leave even though the old women might perish in the crash?
In the split second after I made my decision, I ran out onto the street.
“I’m coming!” I called out.
I grabbed the old woman just in time. She got out fine. But I wasn't as lucky. When the carriage passed by, my hand was out behind me and I screamed as it cracked against the force of the carriage. I held my wrist. It hurt so much, like someone had hit it with a hammer. I cringed. That just had to happen, didn't it?
“Are you ok?” I asked the elder cautiously.
Rule number one while living on the streets was simple.
Don’t talk to anyone.
First, there was just the fact that no one liked beggars, but there were also slavers. When our most recent queens had risen to power, they had tried their best to eliminate them but there were still some hiding out and capturing stray kids.
Author Notes: This is the first part of chapter one of one of the books that I am presently writing