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Chapter 4

“Grandma, get up, we need to leave. They are going door to door,” I whisper, slipping my holey boots on my feet and quickly doing the laces. I pull my hair into a ponytail, so it doesn’t get in my face. Slipping my contacts in, I hear more screams coming from outside and people fighting.

“Come on, grandma get up,” I tell her, pulling on her arm. She shakes her head before pulling a small knife from the coffee table drawer into her lap. She looks up at me with a sad look on her face.

“Run, Elora. I won’t allow them to know. I will only slow you down. You need to leave without me,” she whispers. I looked at her, panicked. What is she talking about?

“No grandma, come on. We need to leave now,” I tell her, trying to get her to her feet. She shakes me off and shakes her head.

“I promised to keep you safe. I can’t if you don’t go now.”

“What are you talking about, grandma? Promised who?”

“Remember the stories, Elora. You need to remember the stories. Now run.”

“No, I am not leaving without you.” I tell her, feeling tears running down my face. Before someone bangs on the door so hard, I thought it was going to smash off its hinges.

“Please grandma, we have to go.”

“I love you, Elora,” my grandma whispers before raising the knife and slashing her own throat. I scream and clutch at her neck, trying to stem the bleeding. 

“Run,” she gurgles out. Just as they kicked the door in, my hands coated in her blood. Adrenaline kicks in, and I take off out the back door, through the criss-crossed streets of the city. I start jumping fences and running up alleyways. My body screams at me as I throw myself over another fence to land in another alleyway.

 I can hear the panicked screeches of people in the neighbouring streets. Running behind a dumpster, I quickly squat low, listening intently. I can hear a soft sobbing only to realize it was coming from me as hot tears run down my cheeks at what my grandmother just did. The images forever burnt into my memory.

I clamp my hand over my mouth, trying to stop the noises I am making, my breathing erratic. My heart is pounding so hard I can hear it. Looking over the dumpster, I duck back down behind the dumpster when I hear a man call out, pointing in my direction.

 “You there! Stop!” I don’t listen; instead, I take off running. I run to the end of the alleyway to find it is blocked off by a building and a brick wall making it dead-end. I see a dumpster and climb up on it, trying to reach the fire escape ladder, my fingertips gripping the bottom run and I pull it towards me. Hearing someone crying behind the dumpster, I look down only to notice a little girl dressed in rags. I pull the ladder down and reach my hand down to her.

“Where is your mother?” I ask, peering down at her tear-stained face.

“They took her,” she sobs. 

Without hesitating, I hoist her up so she can climb, and together we race upwards toward the roof. But not fast enough for the vampire chasing us. A strong hand grips my ankle, ripping me back down to the ground. I fall painfully on top of a man, my head smacking the ground with a loud thud as I bite into my tongue. Another man retrieves the girl, and I hear her scream before a loud SMACK comes from him slapping her on the face.

Her dirty matted blonde hair is all I see as her head whips to the side, blood trickling from her lip and the sound of flesh on flesh echoing down the alleyway.

“Leave her, she is just a child!” I scream. The little human girl, who appears to be maybe nine years old, escapes the man and runs behind me, hiding against my back. I hold her there, shielding her from their hostile eyes as more men come down the alleyway. A tall man with black armour walks over his hair down to shoulders and a huge scar across his face, his crimson eyes reflecting oddly as he stares at us. A Vampire.

“Hurry up, bring them to the castle with the rest of them,” he yells to the other men. The man who caught me grabs my hair, the roots painfully tearing from my skull as my head is yanked back.

“Move,” he screams in my face. I obey, following the Vampire man dressed in black armour. The little girl hangs onto the back of my shirt. I can feel her hands trembling when I notice she has no shoes on. 

Bending down, I grab her  under the arms and pick her up. Her feet like ice as her legs wrap around my waist. I try to use my body warmth to warm her freezing body. When we get to the main street, I find a huge line of women being herded to the castle. They shove us in the line behind more women, all sobbing as they had been ripped out of their beds in the middle of the night and torn away from their families. I think of my grandmother and how she killed herself in front of me. I desperately try to make sense of why she did it. I gulp. It seems pointless now that I had been caught, soon to be dead along with her. What would she say if she knew?

I can’t imagine my life without her; she has always been by my side. I can’t help but echo the sadness of the women around me as I feel my tears streaming down my cheeks. We all stand in the cold for what feels like hours, until my entire body goes numb. When we finally walk through the high castle gates, I find the group of women all separated into rows. A man I recognize to be a Dragon standing at the front, watching everyone be dragged in and lined up. I am in one of the middle rows.

 When I see his eyes dart over the crowd, I quickly duck my head down, hoping he didn’t notice me staring. Another man walks along the first line looking at each person and grips their faces looking at their eyes. He then dismisses them, and another man marches them back out the iron gates once they have been cleared and declared not to be whomever they were looking for. 

My feet are numb from the snow sinking into my shoes. The process is long as he eventually dismisses all the rows before ours. I place the little girl on the ground, shoving her behind me, trying to shield her from their watchful eyes. I make sure to keep my head down to avoid making eye contact.

The entire castle ground is dark and eerie. The only light that can be seen is from the moon and the glow of the malevolent predator eyes that surround us. I resisted the urge to shiver when I noticed how many dark creatures were watching us, their eyes searching the crowd, looking for their next victim.

The little girl sobs. The man who brought us in screams at her to shut up, making her sob harder. I try to calm her, but nothing I do reassures her. Becoming fed up with her sobs, the vampire stalks over, his red eyes burn brightly with his anger, his pale skin almost grey looking under the moon’s light. He grabs her by her dirty dress and pulls her out the front in front of everyone.

 I see him raise a whip, intending to strike her with it. I hear the whip swish through the air before I throw myself over her, screaming as I feel the whip bite into the flesh of my back. My shirt splits open before I feel my skin being torn away, the snow underneath my feet sprayed with my blood. I drop over the top of her, trying to protect her when I hear the man scream angrily for me to move.

Comments (11)
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Tonya Horinek
oh my goodness!!!!! This is such a sad story!!!
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Rose SB
Wow, they are cruel. I imagine in years past, the heathens acted the same thinking they were better. ......
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Beverly Martin
you are crafting a world I can actually believe exists. I am Irish and believe in the Little People. I can almost see the people you have crafted. I am so hooked on this story!
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