Norida~ A Big ProblemMature

   She walked along side me on the way back. Ali. That had to be one of the strangest bally girls I had ever met. But then again, I wasn't what you would call normal, either. I sighed. What was even more odd was the fact that, when I found Griever and Ali (with that foreign-looking girl named Dreda, I might add), it seemed as though she had been. . . crying. Her cheeks were of a scarlet hue and her eyes a bit swollen.

   Still sniffling and rubbing her irritated eyes, she asked, "What're you looking at?" My reply was a mere shrug of shoulders as I tried to compose myself. I was in awe as the realization swept over me― this girl had never cried in front of anyone before, so long as I'd known her.

   I spoke to Griever in a hushed voice. "Am I hallucinating?"

   He glanced down at me. "If you're referring to Ali, then no. You're not. She was twice as worse when I stumbled upon her in a shack with that girl there,"―he nodded towards Dreda―"in the Fae realms." I nodded absently, too lost in my own thoughts. A moment later, I was brought back to the present when he added, "Speaking of hallucinating, I do believe I'm doing just that." I wasn't quite sure what he meant until I noticed the amount of blood dripping from his arm.

   Now, he was in the infirmary of our camp, his arm bandaged in a white gauze-kind of cloth. He was unconscious; he hadn't woken up even once since he fell in a heap earlier― and that had been before the sun descended behind the trees. It was well into the night now, and he lay there still. I sighed. And he was always complaining about how much trouble Ali was? What an odd notion, considering he himself just caused us much hinder; even more than Ali had caused recently. But then again, who am I to talk? It was probably I who was to blame for such a horrendous injury as that.

   Jem went over to a tree stump that was used as a chair in the infirmary and sat down next to Griever's bed. Sighing, she declared, "This has to be the most stubborn man I have ever met." But aside from disapproval, I could tell that there was something else there. Something beneath the surface. . .

   Kiara and another girl came in then, and I left them to tend to Griever's wounds. Stepping out into the almost-harsh sunlight, I shielded my eyes so that I could see clearly. It was then that I noticed a group of a few girls (looking like they were about my age) and one man standing around none other than Dreda. Just the look on the foreign lady's face said it all. The man took a step back in warning to the others, all the girls kept chattering questions, oblivious to the darkening of Dreda's expressions.

   "Where did you come from, foreigner?" one girl spat.

   "Yes, where did you come from? Hell? Is that why your skin has a red tint to it?"

   "You should know, girl, that Kate won't allow such a mutt as you into the Night Hawks."

   They talked and talked. Dreda's hands clenched; her jaw was locked with tension. For some odd reason, I felt the urge to defend her. I knew she could hold her own, but I wondered why she was holding back. Odd, I thought to myself, that she would refuse the right to stand her ground.

   I walked up to the group, mustering a handful of confidence. "Hey!" I called as I got within earshot, "What do you think you're doing?"

   One of the girls turned to me. "Oh, you must be Norida, eh? Where's that little brat that you follow around everywhere?"

   I scowled. "I don't follow. I babysit. And don't call this lady 'foreigner'. Her name is Dreda." I disregarded the look that Dreda shot at me for giving away her name and went on. "As far as I am considered, she is an ally. And I believe Kate agrees with me."

   "Oh? And where is your proof? Where do you get off speaking for our leader?" a woman scoffed.

   "She doesn't speak for anyone," came a voice from behind me. It was Kate. "I speak for myself. And Norida's right. As of right now, this girl is no threat to us. Leave her be."

   The stubborn ladies huffed and walked off. I turned and said, "Thanks. I'm not sure what their intentions were, but they weren't about to give up on the fight."

   Kate nodded. "It's no trouble. So, Dreda, it's time you gave us some explanation about how you made your way to the Faerie world and why you decided not to turn on us for our indiscretion."

   Dreda gave us a somewhat substantial tale about how she'd been hiding out in that cave, hiding from the Sheriff (as she was on his 'wanted' list), when a league of boys ambushed her and took her to their odd realm.

   As she was drawing her story to a close, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye― a small opening, bright indigo in its hue, almost glowing. My eyes widened. Kate noticed my reaction and turned around to see whatever I had saw. "Norida, what. . . ?" Then she saw it too. I got up and hurriedly told her I would inform Jem about it as I ran over to the infirmary.

   "Jem," I huffed when I found her, "The portal is open again!"

The End

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