Tuesday, 10 February 2009
01:06:29 AM (GMT)
When I woke up, I was tied up in a tent, where a young man of about my age, 19, was
watching me curiously. When he saw I was awake, he waved his hand. I recognized this
action: it meant "hello." I glared at him. He obviously couldn't speak my tongue, but
I wanted to get out of here right away. I thrashed around, but the ropes started
digging into my wrists and ankles. I stopped and let my body go limp. The man I had
seen in the forest that looked like the leader came into the tent. Now that I had a
closer look at him, he had a red beard and a hard face. I spat onto the ground. He
noticed this and bent down to look at me. He grabbed my hair and pulled my face up to
level with his. Red-beard searched my face, and then dropped me onto the ground. He
said something to the lad that had been watching me, then let out a cold laugh. The
young lad, who had shaggy brown hair and muscular arms, came and untied me. He picked
me up and carried me to what seemed to be his tent. It was small, but no one else
lived there I noticed. There was only one cot with a scratchy, wool blanket and a
pillow. In the corner of the tent sat a crate with a journal and ink pen.
Shaggy hair sat down next to me and stared intently into my gray eyes.
"Ryann," he said slowly, pointing at himself.
"Aala," I replied, pointing at myself. He nodded and smiled, then lifted up the lid
of the crate and took out a few berries. He handed one to me, then motioned towards
the cot. I chewed the berries slowly; savoring the taste, then crawled onto the cot
and slept for what seemed like days.
It was morning when I woke up. It was dawn, and the sun was just peeking out behind
the mountains. I yawned and stretched, then hopped out of bed. I was about to saunter
out of the tent and say hello to Balaji when I froze. This wasn't the village. I
looked around frantically, and remembered what happened. I peeked my head out of the
tent-it was clear. I could make a run for it! I sprinted out of the camp as fast as
my bare feet could take me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a few men getting out
of their tents. I put on a boost of speed, pushing my legs harder and harder. The men
that were awake shouted to each other and grabbed their guns. They started shooting
at me, and I ducked my head.
"I'm free!" I yelled happily as I reached the forest. I heard the men's boots
pounding onto the ground, getting closer by the second. I climbed up a nearby tree,
grabbing a few pinecones as I did. When I saw the men look around and search for me,
I dropped a pine cone onto one of their heads. When the man looked up, I ducked
behind a leafy branch. He didn't see me and continued his search. I dropped another
pine cone onto another man's head. He looked up and scratched his head, then like the
other man, continued his search. I dropped pine cones on all of the men's heads and
hid each time one man looked up. I giggled and felt happy and free. When the men
left, I climbed down the tree and traveled to our village where I hoped the other