Wake Up Call

 When Callie opened her eyes, she had a feeling that something wasn't quite right. First of all, if memory serves correct, there should have been an arrow sticking out of her chest, not a bandage wrapped around her torso. Secondly, she should have been outside, not in a tent. And lastly, she was pretty sure she was supposed to be dead.

 Since Callie was obviously not outside or dead, and bandaged up, she figured someone must have found her. How she managed to  survive in the first place though, well, she couldn't really come up with an explanation for that. Must have been an impossibly good stroke of luck.

 There was muffled volices outside the tent. It sounded like two people were in a heated arguement. Probably over her. She got up to listen to what they were saying, but stopped when the sudden movement caused her heart to contract painfully. With a whimper she fell back down to the make-shift bed.

 The talking stopped outside. The was a short pause before someone opened the tent flab. She quickly shut her eyes and evened out her breath, pretending to be in a deep sleep.

 Their was the crunch of footsteps, and shadows loomed over, blocking the light from seeping through her eyelids.

 "Are you sure the arrow was poisoned?" A voice asked. It was a deep and tired. Male. Probably middle-aged.

 "Yes. It was practically seeping out of the wound." The other voice said. It was much older and cracked. It was also female. An old lady, perhaps?

 "But that's impossible. With that much poison, she shouldn't even be alive," the first voice said, shocked.

 "A most curious case. I've seen men five times her size felled by smaller doses. It's a wonder that such a small thing could fight it off. But it seems that's just what she's doing."

 There was another silence. It lasted too long. Callie almost decided to 'wake up' just to get them to say something. She was glad she didn't.

 "What do we do with her?" the first voice asked.

 "We must treat her wound to the best of our abilities. After she has gained some strength, we can decide what to do with her then."

 "But what if she's one of... them?"

 "No," the old voice said sternly, "If she were one of them, then the poison wouldn't have affected her. It's safe to say that she's one of us, or at the very least, not an enemy."

 More uncomfortable silence.

 "Have the children told you were they found her?" this time the old voice asked the question.

 "Yes," said the male voice. Callie could imagine a burly man nodding his head, "They said she was lying near the bank of the river. There were no signs of struggle, and there was no other wounds, except for the one in her chest. Whoever did this made quick work of the girl. They most likely shot her from a distance, and she didn't have a chance to see her attacker. We're questioning the kids, but they say that they didn't see anyone else in the forest."

 "And the clothes? Do you know where they're from?"

 "Sadly, no. She was wearing battle armour, but there was no insignia to identify which land they came from. None of the craftsmen could identify it either."

  "Hmm," said the old voice, "a girl in the alone in the forest wearing strange battle armour with a poisonous arrow in her chest. This is truly a mystery."

 "Can you think of  anyone who would want the girl dead?" the male voice asked. Callie could think of a bunch of people who wanted her dead, every shadow in the world being at the top of the list. Not that she was about to tell them that.

 "Who knows? But someone must have. Most people, not even they go around wasting their precious poison on just anybody. This girl must of done something to get somebody really angry."

 There was a slight pause, then the male voice said, "I have to go check up on the children. Tell me if there is any change."

 "I will," said the old voice. One of the figures moved away. There was sound of footsteps and rustling canvas, then the man was gone.

 "You know, it's rude to listen in on other's conversations," said the old voice.

 Callie's eyes opened up in a flash to see an old lady smirking at her.

 "How-how did you know?" she stammered.

 The old lady grinned. "When you've lived as long as I have, you pick up on certain things. And though I commend your acting, try not to groan next time before pretending to sleep."

 Callie blushed. So the old lady had heard her cry of pain. Shoot.

 "I wasn't lying, you know."

 "Huh?" asked Callie.

 "I have seen men much bigger than you killed by less poison, and not even close to their hearts. You were shot with an immediately fatal dose, and so close to a vital organ. The arrow alone should have killed you, let alone the poison, yet here you are, staring at me with those questioning blue eyes."

 Callie didn't know what to say. This old woman, who looked so frail and breakable, was also wise and knowing. She and uncovered so much without Callie needing to utter a word.

 "Oh, I'm so sorry. I forget to introduce myself. My name is Melissa, but I'm known as Sparrow. An alias, I'm sure you know. So much easier when dealing with unpredictable strangers. I would appreciate if you call me Sparrow, though, for safety's sake. Now that I have told you my name, would you be so kind as to tell me yours?"

 Callie couldn't exlpain why, but she felt that she could trust the old woman.

 "My name's Callie," she said.

 "Is that your true name, or one you made up on the spot?"

 Callie laughed. "No, it's my true name."

 Sparrow adopted an odd look. She looked over Callie's bright red hair, ocean blue eyes, the shape of her lips and nose, the way her eyebrows arched. Sparrow's mouth momentarily gaped open in surprise, then she grinned like their was something Callie didn't know about.

 "It's a pleasure to meet you Callie," she said, all smiles.

 The smile was slightly unnerving. Callie looked around the tent awkwardly, trying to avoid Sparrow's eerily cheerful expression.

 "I guess I will leave you alone for now. You need to rest to gain your strength."

 Sparrow got up to leave.

 "Wait!" Callie shouted, "is that it? Where am I? What's happening? Who was that man you were talking to?"

 Sparrow turned to her. "In good time, dear. But for now, rest. Questions can wait till morning."

 Sparrow walked out of the tent, leaving Callie alone to think about what just happened. Somehow, someway, she had survived the great fall, as well as an arrow to the heart and a lethal amount of poison. Now she was stuck in a place she didn't know where, with people she'd never met before. And that old woman, Sparrow, knew something about Callie that she didn't know herself.




The End

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