Awake and See.Mature

   My name is Emma Crawford. According to prophecy, I'm supposed to be some kind of hero. I think it's a load of shit if you ask me. I tend to think of myself as a bit of a nomad, especially since my childhood home and town was turned to nothing more than ash; reeking of decay. The summary of that infamous day is nothing more than a lie. The king of Tromperie decided to cover his own tracks by blaming it on the only survivor, which with just my luck, happened to be me. He figured, especially since Les Collines Noires was part of the main trading route, that if the rest of the country believed it was someone else, they would take revenge on that person, rather than himself.

   I live alone now. Every day is an attempt to stay hidden, stick to the undiscovered path, and find my own way to survive. A couple of times I took on other nomads like myself, but all they did was slow me down. Traveling fast is how I survive. There is no other pace that works for my situation. When three quarters of the country want you dead, your way of life will change fast. There are no quarrels, or second chances. I live by my own rules, and it works for me. However, I do make only one exception to my rules. About once or twice a month I will find the closest town and check out what's going on with the situation, and listen to the news.

   Today was my day for the exception so I decided to find the closest road. I pulled my hood low over my face as I found an old, beaten down path. Commotion could be heard up ahead, and I wasn't taking any chances. Not today.

   Sora and I traveled down the path, trotting slowly so as not to create too much attention to ourselves. It was still rather early in the morning, so the fog the night created still hadn't lifted completely yet. I could barely make out in the distance what appeared to be a wagon, a few people, and items strewn out everywhere on the ground. I was getting overly cautions now. I didn't want any trouble from a situation that didn't concern me.

   As I got closer, I could begin to make out the people. Two guards, probably stationed at the closest town, a man, perhaps his wife, and three children all different of age. One of the guards was taunting the man, as the woman cowered behind, holding all three children against the wagon. The other guard was helping himself to the family's food supply as he scavenged through all their other belongings.

   "Please! Please just let us be!" The woman's protests were to no avail. The guards simply just looked at her and laughed.

   The guard eating the stolen food spoke to his friend with bits of an apple falling into his facial hair. "They're quite pathetic aren't they? Shaking in fear of us! Begging for freedom!" Then he turns to the woman, "Are you afraid of us darling?"

  By now I was only about fifty yards away; however the fog had given me something to hide behind.

   The woman began to quiver with fear as the guard spoke to her directly. "Please..." She began again.

  "Shut it lady!" The first guard shouted at her.

  "Please, leave my family alone. Let them go. Whatever the issue is, you can discuss it with me." The guard holding the man gave him a disgusted look, and then spit in his face. His wife began to let her fear show too much and take over, causing small tears to stream out.

  "Would you like to teach them a lesson?" said the first guard.

  "Why yes I would...very...very much so..." replied the second guard.

   They loomed over the family menacingly with no hint of mercy behind their movements. By now, I could almost hear them breathing; hear the youngest of the children whimper with fright. I knew I had to step in now, or else be haunted by this for awhile.

   The first guard grabbed a hold of the man and dragged him over to a tree where he proceeded to tie him there. Once he finished, he spit in the man's face and kicked him in the gut.

   "Stupid peasant!" The guard growled.

   "No! Please! Stop!" The woman was a downright mess now; tears streaming down her face. The children were acting more anxious now as well. The second guard tore the children away from the mother and handed them to the other guard. He placed his hand on the woman's waist and began to whisper in her ear. I had seen enough. I threw myself against Sora and whipped her reins. I was up to the situation in matter of seconds.

   "Leave them alone! This family has done nothing to deserve this."

The End

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