Grinning faces and hearty laughs warmed the crisp night air. Gryffon placed a steading hand on her shoulder and she was surprised that his thick calloused fingers could be so calming. She leant into him slightly as they weaved through the swarming crowd of jovial villagers. She was amazed at they smiled and joked despite all the pushing and shoving as they lined up for their evening meal.
A blurred image stumbled into her memory; the wafting aroma of baked potatoes, the warmth of a hug, and the contentment of being surrounded by a loving family all accompanied the image. However the faces and names still evaded her. A voice drifted from the scratchy memory, “Feed your brother Wynta.”
“Wynta,” she murmured, rolling the name around her dry mouth.
“What was that, hon?” Gryffon asked leaning in closer, his breath tickling the runaway strand of her hair.
“My name is Wynta,” she faltered. “Well at least I think so.”
He grinned, his green eyes glinting in the fire-light.
“Well hello Maybe Wynta, it’s good to finally put a name to your pretty face.” He added a heavy, fake accent to the drawling words. He bowed deeply and to her dismay climbed up and precariously wobbled on a rickety table.
“Hey, hey, everyone, listen up,” he shouted into the laughing cacophony.
She watched as the quiet swept through the crowd in a silent wave. Conversations halted and joyful faces turned towards him, curiosity glinting in their expectant eyes.
“As you all know, a few days ago some of our best fighters snuck into the traitorous town of Cairnon and rescued a few girls from the clutches of Ordspy minions. The real reason behind this was made secret by our leaders. I know this reason and I believe you have the right to too. Five girls were recovered; all of them were blonde, had blue eyes and were in their late teens. Why? When Josiah and his men last returned they came with the news of a Demic girl who had rebelled and was on her way to recruit villages like us to join her in an upheaval against Ordspy. However she disappeared along with her younger brother. Hope was lost, until recently when a blonde girl and her brother were sighted in Cairnon. Can you believe it?” The crowd chuckled nervously. Gryffon, unaware of the uneasiness that had blanketed the clearing, continued his rant about this lost Demic girl. “We snuck into Cairnon the other night and rescued five girls matching the description we were given, no sight of her brother unfortunately. Two of the girls we released immediately, the other three I have spent some considerable time getting to know; getting them to trust me.”
Wynta’s heart dropped to her stomach and a bitter, viscous slime clogged her throat. She wasn’t special. He didn’t like her at all. He had used her, just as Ron had. The thought startled her but she disregarded it as an irrational thought brought up by Gryffon’s betrayal.
His intense, emerald eyes swept over the crowd and settled on Wynta, his broad smile waned at the sight of her despondent countenance.
“I have found her. But she can’t remember anything because the bloody Cairnon traitors gave her an altered version of the Dosage where memory loss wasn’t a side effect- it was the purpose.
“We’re in luck though, due to the months of her body accustoming to the drugs stealing her memory she was able to fight back. Despite not having fully recovered, with some of our help, Wynta will regain her full memory and lead us and the other rebel villages in an uprising that will heal our damaged world!” He swung his arms up to the deafening roar of the rebels
Wynta felt her mouth drop and cheeks redden as hundreds of hopeful and excited eyes flashed towards her in the flickering darkness.
It was then the first round of gunfire sliced through the night. The ear-piercing gunshots were followed by a deafening chorus of screams and a thudding as bodies slumped to the blood-sodden ground, their glassy eyes reflecting the line of Dense that surrounded the clearing.