Nellie--The Adventure Begins

I lay in my makeshift bed of straw, my stomach content with even the cold stew we'd been served. Resting my hands behind my head, I looked up at the stars that shown through the holes in the weathered ceiling feeling a pinch of homesickness already. But I fought it down. The group couldn't afford to have anyone down yet, not even emotionally.

So, I changed how I looked at the stars and the stars seemed to change. No longer did they prove just how small and lost I was in this monsterous world, but they provided dazzling light and hope in my darkness. Smiling to myself, weariness overcame me and my eyelids slowly shut.

***

"Nellie!" I was rattled from sleep, "Get up! The stables are on fire!"

I sat upright and let Katrina pull me to my feet, "This way," she said, dragging me through the maze of straw and wood towards the nearest exit. Her foot caught on something and she stumbled to the musty floor. I quickly helped her back up when we both spotted the little girl we'd seen when we'd first arrived yesturday morning, her bob of curly hair bouncing desperatly as she tried to pull something out from udnerneath a fallen beam.

Though the heat lapped at our skin, we both raced to her side.

"My doll!" she cried, tugging at a cloth boot. Katrina scooped her up and I was about to follow but something, probably my concious, nagged at me to save the toy also. Adrenalin beginning to rush, I crouched down and hurriedly heaved the beam off the dust-covered doll before clutching it to my body and sprinting after Katrina.

The stench of smoke filled the air as we and 'the others' stood helplessly watching the fiery fingers tear our shelter to the ground. Katrina set the girl down and I handed her her doll, almost not even noticing the warm embrace she gave the both of us in return in shock.

Someone knew we were here.

The End

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