This is the prologue to my book. It may need some editing, but I am not going to worry about that right now. Enjoy the story! This actually is happening during World War III, a little over 500 years before that actual story. This is how Cam (my character) is alive.
I looked behind me to see if we were being followed.
“Come on Iris, we got to get out of here.” I heard my friend say quickly.
The sun was setting deep into the horizon, revealing that it will be dark at any second. Sweat was dropping down me and my friend Reagan’s faces like heavy raindrops. Our legs were tired and the ground was waiting for us to collapse. Any mistake could lead to our death. I felt something kick my stomach from the inside.
We were being hunted by a group of young men. They weren’t after Reagan, she was only helping me. The men were after me; at least my family’s name. Almost everyone in my family are great warriors. The war is how we became well known. Ever since the blackout, everyone apart of the war had to start using Stone-Aged weapons. Guns weren’t even an option anymore. And since most of my family were soldiers before the blackout, most of them decided to keep on fighting and specialize in certain weapons. My father was one of them.
“I hear footsteps” said Reagan, “c’mon we got to hurry.”
“You reckon that they will catch us?”
“Not if we are quick. And smart if they are really stupid. Cause they have to be stupid to go after us.”
Reagan and I were excellent swordfighters and experienced knife-throwers. We had our weapons out and ready, waiting to plunge them into the flesh of our predators.
There was only one problem. As I stared down at my stomach I could only imagine me fighting the men. I could hurt myself easily if I do end up fighting. Being pregnant made me very vulnerable. The thought of dying with an unborn child inside me was terrifying. If I die, then the Rose family would cease to exist. So I had to stick with knife-throwing.
“If we have to fight, make sure we leave no survivors. Just seeing us is too much information for them.” Reagan was shaking as she said that. We may be skilled-fighters, but what is happening right now is very scary.
We were aiming to get to this forest. It is the safest place to be. If they have dogs – and we were pretty sure they do – the scent of all the forest smells would make it a lot harder to track us. The forest was about a ten minute walk from here; five minutes if we walked quickly. At the other end of the forest was the English Channel, and once we crossed it, they will never be able to catch us.
“I think we lost them for now,” panted Reagan, “let’s hide in this building for a little bit so we can rest. We have protection so I think we will be ok.”
We were in this city once called London. The buildings were tall, although most of them crashed to the ground many years ago, making most of the city ruins. The building we were in right now was small and was mostly rubble, which did not help us at all. It smelt so bad that I thought that somebody killed a bunch of people and left the bodies under the wooden floor to rot. You can tell that the walls of the room used to have a blue color to it, but having never been repainted in years and the lack of it being taken care of it is now turning into a mix of green and yellow. You can only imagine what this place looked like before the war.
“This place must have looked beautiful.”
Apparently Reagan’s mind was thinking something else, “Eh, I’ve seen better.” I probably shouldn’t have said anything. I keep a lot of my thoughts to myself usually just so nobody can ruin what I think about, but lately I have been trying to not do that.
“How could you have seen anything better than this?” is all that I decided to say.
“Anything can be beautiful if you look at it from a different point of view.” Reagan applied.
I decided to be quiet after that. There was nothing more to be said.
After a few minutes Reagan finally spoke, “We should get going now. It is too dangerous for us to stay here for a long time.” Reagan was about to open the door when we heard a sudden movement. Footsteps pounded the streets like wild dogs. We rested for too long.
“There has to be another way out.” I said quietly.
“Someone told me that years ago a lot of people in London dug underground tunnels to escape the group that took over the city. Maybe this house has one of those tunnels.”
“What if the tunnels don’t lead to the forest?”
“Let’s just hope that they do. We will just have to go south anyways, so we will check if the tunnels can actually move that direction. All we need to do is get to the English Channel. C’mon, we need to find an entrance.”
Reagan and I concluded that an entrance to an underground tunnel usually is found on the floor. We moved tables, chairs, couches, and many things that I couldn’t even name. There wasn’t any hole in the ground. All this building had was a plain wooden floor. We heard the footsteps get closer to the house.
“Well, it looks like we are going to have to fight.” I said.
Reagan pushed two chairs against the front door. “I guess so. Get your knifes out and lets go up to the second floor. We would have a better chance there.” Reagan started climbing the stairs when it collapsed beneath her. I heard a bang on the door.
“Reagan, are you alright?”
“Yes I am fine.” I heard another bang on the door. “Well, looks like we will have to fight down here. Hide behind these broken stairs just in case they have bows and arrows.”
Just as I was getting behind the stairs, I heard the chairs move and the door slammed open.
“There are five of them!” Reagan yelled. I turned around quickly and threw a knife at the guy in the front of everyone else. He dodged it but unsuccessfully, as it gashed his scalp and got the guy behind him in the eye. Reagan drew her sword and took out the guy I scraped in the head. The third person who came in slashed a knife at her, but she blocked his hand with her arm and jabbed him in the stomach with her fist. I watched her hand make a karate chop at his neck, making his body drop down the ground as good as dead. Around the same time I felt myself releasing another knife to hit the second guy again. Bulls-eye; literally.
The fourth guy drew his crossbow and aimed it at my head. Time slowed as I watched myself throw another knife at his arm, but instead the knife caught his shirt and he got stuck to the wall. The last guy who came in was large; too big to be taken out by a knife. In his gigantic hands he held a large, double-headed battleaxe. From the looks of him it will take about a dozen knifes to end him. Looking down at the three knifes I have left it would make sense why I mainly used my sword. In the corner of my eye I saw Reagan slash off the fourth guys head.
The big guy lifted his axe above his head, ready to bring me down. It looked like he has been waiting for this moment ever since he started hunting me; you can tell it in his deep blue eyes. But because I am just not ready to die, I had to act to stay alive. Luckily he was slow, which helped me extensively. I felt the small thud that hit the ground when he swung his axe at me. I probably should not do summersaults to dodge his attacks; it made my stomach turn. Dizzy from the first attack, I was too tired to move to dodge the second. Slowly, I watched the man raise his battleaxe for a second time to finally put me out of my misery. I put my arms up to protect myself, but instead of protecting myself from his axe, I was protecting myself from the soulless body falling down helplessly. Reagan, as small as she was, used all of her strength to make sure his body didn’t crush me like a pancake.
“You alright?” Reagan asked heavily. She was almost out of breath.
“I am fine. Did you get the third guy?”
“Yep! Snapped his neck like the twig he was!”
I chuckled. My friend always knew how to make me feel better. No matter how disgusting she was.
“That was close. Are you sure everyone is dead?”
“Reckon so. If that guy who is now completely blind because of you is still alive, I don’t think he saw enough to see everything.” Reagan said as she threw a knife at the guy’s stomach. No sound came from him. “Just to be sure.”
I sat down to take a big breather. I was lucky to have her as my friend. If I didn’t have her, I would be dead by now.
“Those were the slowest ten seconds of my life.” Reagan said wearily. “So I think that meets a new record! It beats our last battle by 4 seconds.”
“Well it beat our last one because this battle had one less man. Plus, the last man who died our last battle was a skilled swordsman. It took three knifes at once to actually get him.”
“Yeah, but one man is not that big of a difference. That big guy almost sliced you in half!” Reagan started walking towards the stairs. “I saw something on the floor when the stairs broke. It looked like some kind of door… maybe it goes to the tunnels.”
“What if it is just a basement?”
“I am pretty sure a basement entrance isn’t hidden under a stairway.”
After looking at the supposed doorway for a few seconds, Reagan grabbed a handle and pulled the trapdoor open. Thankfully, it led to the tunnel.
“Alright then, ready to go tunnel exploring?” Reagan said happily.
“I guess so if it is the only way to go.”
“I think there are more than 5 people hunting us. This actually may be the only way to go. Let’s just pray that it leads to the forest, like most of the tunnels did. Pick up your knifes before we go Iris.”
The ladder was made of metal and was very rusty. Reagan and I had to put on our gloves just to make sure we didn’t catch some kind of disease. The ladder kept going farther, and farther, and farther, until I could barely breathe. The lack of oxygen made me cough like an old man dying in his bed. We got to the bottom when about a minute had gone by. The tunnels were lit with torches against the walls, which was strange. Nobody has used the tunnels in over a decade. There was barely enough oxygen to keep the flames going. After thinking about it for a little bit, I finally came to a conclusion.
“Somebody was just here recently. Who else could have lighted these torches?”
“Probably someone who was running from people as well… You don’t just come down here for fun. I bet he or she was running from who we are running from.”
This made no sense at all. London is one of the Cities of Ruins, which means that nobody lives here and all of the buildings are just ruined. It would only be logical if the person who lighted these torches was running from somebody.
“The way that these torches were set up tells me one thing: the person was struggling as they were running. All of the torches are crooked. Whoever did this had to be running.” Reagan was really concerned about these torches. She was very good at looking at things and then picturing what happened.
I had to stop her thinking so we didn’t get ourselves killed, “Hey we have to get going. Don’t want to get caught, right?”
“I guess so…” Reagan said as if she really wanted to find out what happened here.
The tunnels were dark even though they were lit up with torches. The paths seemed as long as a highway. I just wonder what it was like to make these tunnels and how long it actually took to make them. The tunnels were actually made out of the cave system that sat here way below London. You can hear the bats flying around like a free man who doesn’t have to worry about death. There was a small freshwater creek flowing at the bottom of the cave. The sound made me feel so close to freedom. Another noise ruined the peace in the tunnels. I felt the small thud on the ground; I heard footsteps. We were being followed.
“Did you hear that,” I asked.
“If you heard that small thud on the ground, then yes, yes I did.”
“We need to hurry up then.”
“Don’t worry; we are almost at the end of the tunnel… I hope.” The footsteps got closer.
Fortunately, we were at the end of the tunnel. It was another ladder that led to the surface. The footsteps got closer. We heard an echo in the distance.
“Climb up! Hurry! We need to get out of here, fast!” she made me go first. I wish I could have argued, but our lives were at its climax right now. The ladder was just as old as the last one, and I hoped that it wouldn’t break on me. As we kept going up and up, the oxygen started coming back to me. I heard people start climbing up the ladder.
“There is the exit! Hurry Iris, we need to get out of here!”
I broke free from the tunnels grasp. Fresh air burst into my lungs like the air you blow into balloons. We were in the forest; away from the city. The sun was still setting down into the horizon.
“The sun sets to the west. If we want to go south, we need to head this way.” Reagan said excitedly. I laughed as she got a big stick and threw it down the hole. “Let’s hope that gets them!”
We walked and walked. The forest seemed as if it would never end. The setting sun made it seem like time was slowing down. You could hear the waves from the English Channel get close. The wind was getting stronger by the minute. I heard footsteps and dogs on leashes.
“We’ve got to move quickly, we are almost there. It sounds like there are about twelve people, two dogs.” Reagan said.
By listening to our surroundings, Reagan and I can tell about how many people are near us, if we were alone. In crowded placed we could not tell because it’s just noisy everywhere. When we are alone together, or even if we had a few friends with us, we could almost tell the exact amount of people when we are all quiet. The footsteps got closer and closer…
“Watch out!” was all I heard before an arrow whizzed inches past my head and hit the tree in front of me. I turned around and saw a very small army pursuing us. The guy who had the crossbow aimed it towards my head once again. As he was pulling the trigger my hand was releasing a knife from its grasp. The knife hit him in the belly and he shot the arrow at the ground. As I was doing that, Reagan stabbed one guy in the chest. The men did not move after that. I saw ten people and two dogs.
A man with a sword came from my right. Charging at me, I could see the anger in his face. I drew my sword to block his first blow. He clearly didn’t know how to use a sword, so for the first few attacks I was letting him think he was actually doing well against me. As our swords collided I punched him in the face with my right hand and then kicked him in the stomach. He stumbled back and fell to the ground, falling into a large fire ant pile. And to all of my luck, he was allergic to fire ants. Another man attacked me from my blind side. I rolled in the direction behind me to my right and threw a knife at the back of his head.
Reagan was fighting two swordsmen. One of the men got behind her, and was ready to strike her back. But, as Reagan is a lot smarter than that, she grabbed the person in front of her and threw him behind her so that he was stabbed by his own teammate. Reagan then snapped the other guy’s neck. There were six men and two dogs.
A dog appeared out of nowhere and snapped his jaw at Reagan. She dodged the attack and kicked the dog’s spine. I watched her release a knife from her hand to hit the dog. Hearing it cry out in pain made me sad. I loved animals so much. But not enough to let it kill me is what I thought when the second dog jumped at me. I sliced up and got the dog in the face. It collapsed to the ground as if collapsing in a bed after a tiring day.
A man was coming from my right side as another man was coming from my left. I threw one knife to each side and hit them both in the hearts. Reagan was in a similar situation and threw her last two knifes at two of the guys who were after her. Two men left.
The last two men where going after Reagan. I ran towards my friend and her pursuers. If I didn’t help her she would probably die. These last two guys looked good; very good. Drawing my last knife I threw it at the guy who attacked first. The man got hit square in the eye and fell to the ground dead. The last guy attacked as well, and I blocked his heavy blow against her and punched him in the stomach. Reagan, her fists clenched with vengeance, punched him in the face, and together we stabbed him in the stomach.
We were tired. We were beaten up. We were ready to be away from here. The English Channel was nearby and we were being waited on so we could cross. The first thing on both of our minds was to rest, but we couldn’t stop now. Not at our current state.
“Are you alright?” I asked as we started walking south again.
“Yes I am fine. I am just very tired.”
“I bet. Those guys were tough. Best I have seen all week.”
“You said it.”
Reagan pointed at my stomach, “How is the baby?”
“I’m just glad I’ve only been pregnant for a few weeks. It would have been hard to roll on the ground with a round stomach.”
We were ready to collapse into a bed. Our legs were like noodles that have already been chopped up and eaten. The forest sounds were dying and the sound of the waves got louder and louder. It surprised me that it only took about five minutes to get to the English Channel. I looked to my left and then on my right I saw a boat sitting there. Reagan’s husband, Charles, was standing on the shore, staring at us. Reagan smiled and waved, and she ran into his arms after not seeing him for five months. She was crying. And she never cried.
“Hello Iris,” said Charles, “how are you?”
“I am fine. Thank you.”
“Are you two ready to cross? I have two mattresses below the deck.”
The sound of the word mattress woke us both up. We wanted to sleep on something decent, not on the ground or cold hard floor.
Reagan smiled. “C’mon Reagan, let’s go somewhere safe.”
We boarded the ship wondering what our lives would bring us to.