Lars arrived a few feet away from the Hunters gathering spot. There was always someone there and surely there was. A young girl, with dark red hair, was sitting on a tree stump right in the middle of the circle of trees. Lars looked at her for a few seconds. She seemed familiar, as they had met before, yet Lars could not remember where.
‘Jem?’ Lars called to her
‘Yes my brother? Are you safe?’ she replied.
‘I am safe. Do you recognise this girl?’ Lars sent her an image of what he could see.
‘You must leave there my brother,’ Jem sounded scared.
‘But Stella may be near. I can not leave her,’ Lars was starting to get worried. He then heard Jem sigh. ‘Sister, what is the matter?’
‘It’s the same girl that we saw in the basin. The time has come.’ Jem’s voice was quiet.
‘No, it can’t be now. Not now,’ Lars was sounding desperate. ‘Stella needs her life now. What ever shall I do sister? Shall I get her away?’
‘I’m so sorry Lars.’ Jem paused. She didn’t know how to put it. ‘She must decide today and you must give her the choice. I truly am sorry brother. You know we cant change time.’
Lars was staring at the young girl sitting on the tree stump. Anger filled his heart. He wanted to kill her then and there but he knew he couldn’t, he wished he could but he couldn’t. Jem was right. They couldn’t change when people’s time come. He slowly walked backwards into the trees. There was no way he could look at that person any longer.
He watched the girl closely. She was just sitting there, doing nothing. Just then a poof of hazel smoke appeared next to her. A boy about Stella’s age appeared out of it.
‘It is time,’ he said and then disappeared again.
Lars heard the girl sigh as if she didn’t want to do what she was about to. She got up slowly, still with her back to Lars. ‘I know you’re there, Lars,’ she called out. ‘Why don’t you come and look me in the face before I get her.’
Before he knew it, his legs were taking him toward the girl. ‘Who are you?’ he asked, not knowing what else to say.
‘Oh, you know,’ she replied. ‘Or maybe you don’t. I’ve changed a lot since we last met.’ She turned toward him. ‘Remember me?’
‘Anna? What are you doing here? I thought you were in Croatia.’ Lars was so surprised that he took a step back.
‘I was until around 40 years ago, when you left me on my own with no one. I had only been a Linus for 2 years, yet you convinced me that I knew all there was to know about being a Linus but I didn’t.’ She walked round the tree stump. ‘40 years Lars. 40 years I have been on my own in search of you and your sister but every time I tracked you down, you moved.’
‘Anna,’ Lars began. ‘That wasn’t our fault that you got there too late. We had to move on. Most of those places we were found out anyway. You have to understand that we had no idea that you were trying to track us down. If we had known..’ He was cut off.
‘Oh, your bitch of a sister knew alright,’ Anna was also cut off by Lars jumping on her, ready to hit.
‘Don’t ever talk about my sister like that,’ he snapped. ‘Ever.’
‘Alright, alright,’ Anna smiled. ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to.’ She pushed him off. Lars was thrown across the clearing. ‘I have become stronger everyday with the urge to find you and your pathetic excuse of a sister, but then I found out that you have something that means more to you than her.’ Anna’s smile turned into a grin. ‘A certain young lady, Stella.’
This one word put anger into Lars’ heart once again. How on earth did Anna find out about Stella? What was she going to do to Stella, more importantly? He would do whatever he could to protect her for as long as possible. Nothing would get in his way, especially some other Linus.
‘You heard me, didn’t you Lars?!’ Anna was still grinning. ‘Stella is special to you, isn’t she? As special as that sister of yours.’
All of a sudden a puff of teal smoke appeared a few feet away from Lars. ‘Yeah, Stella is special to him.’ Jemony Whistler stepped forward and stood tall next to her brother. ‘And I am not a bitch!’ Jemony gave Anna an evil look. ‘Surprised? Even though I was in another county, I could hear every word you said. Forgot that, didn’t you? Telepathy. In case you didn’t know what the word was.’
Lars gave a quick smile. It then faded. ‘Who was that boy?’
‘Oh, you saw him? His name was Tony but that doesn’t matter now. All that matters is you and your little excuse of a girlfriend.’
‘Do you mean me?’ a voice came from the bushes.