Authors Note: CHAPTER 5! So, i have literally taken months and months to upload this...

i guess that's what heaps of work and writers block can do to you :(

but i've uploaded now!

It's kind of short, but it does have significance!

Please read it and send me a little review telling me what you like/dislike or you know, how to improve :)

I value each of your opinions and will try to improve when i edit through the chapters later on :D

"I stand alone, a half blood amidst a war"

I Stand Alone

Chapter 5 - The Clearing

Five minutes later I arrived at Granddad's house. Sighing, I made my way through the thorns, cringing slightly, as a few stray thorns dug into the cuts on my palms.

I scaled the wall in record time and leapt into my bedroom. When I saw the time on my bedside clock I cursed, 6.25am. School started at 8am. That meant I either had fifteen minutes to sleep before my morning training, or I had that time to clean myself up. Guess which one it was?

Fifteen minutes later, I was dressed in my sweat pants and tank top, ready for training. I'd cleaned up my palms - there were just a few scratches and I had to dig a bit of gravel out – and had a look at my knee; it wasn't cut, but there were a few scratches and it had swollen up slightly meaning there would be a massive bruise later.

I'd tried to apply some make up under my eyes so it didn't look like I hadn't had any sleep and I tried to run a comb through my hair. After the third twig, second leaf and second comb, I decided it wasn't worth it and just gave up; I'd have a super quick shower after training. That should do the trick.

I made my way downstairs, determined to do some kick ass lying of the century to my Granddad. I didn't like lying, but you know, sometimes it was necessary. This was one of those necessary times.

"Good morning Riley, sleep well?" I winced,

"Not really. I feel like I didn't get any sleep."

Granddad just smiled, "Well, you'll be plenty awake after our training." I frowned. Why was he acting like nothing had happened? I decided to just go with it; I didn't have the energy to argue with him, not again. Granddad was one of my two friends, I couldn't stand losing him as well; after all I'd basically lost Jae to Miles already.

Those thoughts put me in a bad mood and I ate my breakfast muffin in silence. Granddad kept looking at me, with a curious expression, probably wondering what I was thinking about, but I ignored him.

"Well, are you going to tell me what's bothering you?"

I sighed and placed my hand-carved wooden mug of water back on the table. "What makes you think something is wrong?" I asked, looking him directly in the eye.

"Come on Riley, I've lived with you since you were a 'wee little muffin'," I smiled at that; he always used to call me his 'wee little muffin' and it used to make me laugh when I was feeling down. "You think I can't tell when something's bothering you?"

"Alright then" I placed my hands on the table and leaned forward, "It's you; First of all, training. It's getting ridiculous. I've never once asked what it's all for; why you train me. I guess I just thought it was because your daddy taught you and you liked it and because I enjoyed it, you taught me. But lately you've just been shouting at me. I'm trying my hardest Granddad, but there's only so much I can do and I can't help but think that you aren't just training me for fun."

Granddad had a pained expression on his face and he broke eye contact. I raised an eyebrow, suddenly intrigued, "So there is a reason for it all."

He looked me in the eyes once more, the pained expression still etched clearly onto his features "Look I-"

I sensed what was coming; an excuse. "No. I want the truth. I'm sixteen now granddad, not four. I need answers." He winced and I mentally braced myself for what was to come next. I needed to ask him something that I'd suspected for a while, "And to start with, you can tell me how my dad really died."

He looked shocked. Genuinely shocked, and that at least gave me some satisfaction.

When I was four, my dad dropped me off at my granddad's house. He never came back.

When I was eight, the police told my granddad that he had committed suicide, only I'd never accepted that, my dad would never commit suicide, he wouldn't do that to me.

Granddad met my eyes then, and it was my turn to be shocked; there were tears in his eyes.

"Well?" I asked, drawing back my hands from the table top.

Granddad stood up and took my mug. He began to wash up in the old sink; the taps groaning as water pumped through the old pipes and he wouldn't meet my eyes. I knew then that he wasn't going to answer my questions.

I felt the anger resurfacing. In the 12 years that I'd lived with my Granddad, I'd hardly ever beenangry with him, but I was beginning to feel that way more and more. Instead of shouting like I was seriously considering, I simply said, "Why?"

In that one word I tried to convey all my feelings; hurt at being left alone, sad at not knowing my parents, but most of all a consuming confusion of wondering why. My whole life I'd wondered why I'd been left by my dad, why me, Why?

"You're going to be late for school."

So that's how it was going to be. "We haven't even had training yet." I said stiffly, trying hard to contain my anger.

"You can have a day off."

Never in my life did I ever expect to hear granddad to say those words. I'd imagined him saying them before and every single time he said those words in my imagination, I'd be happy with relief. Only now that he'd actually said them I felt sick; he was deliberately keeping secrets from me. About my family. About how they died, and about me.

I stood up in a rush, my stool clattering to the ground and ran up the stairs two at a time. I grabbed my backpack from the floor and quickly located my DC's in the mess before running from the house; down the stairs and slamming the front door behind me.

It was barely 6.45am and yet I was already out the house and on my way to school; it was too early for my brain to comprehend the mess that my life had become.

I started to jog, no clear intentions of where I wanted to go but just wanting to get as far away from Granddad as possible.

My speed gradually slowed until I stopped at the edge of the woods.

I peered into the shadows of the woods, looking for signs of the yellow eyed creature from earlier.

"Come on," I shook myself off and took a step forward, gradually increasing my pace until I was walking again at a steady rate.

In no time at all I'd arrived at the small clearing in the trees that I liked to think of as my secret clearing.

(When I was younger, I used to run away from home to try and find my father. One day I'd ended up in a small clearing amidst the trees. The clearing was peaceful and there was a small waterfall gradually trickling down the rocks and into a tiny stream that ran further into the forest. I'd felt safe there and so I'd stayed.

Ever since I'd found the clearing I'd always go there when I needed to think.)

I threw my backpack, containing all of my school equipment, onto the floor and sank to the floor next to it.

I placed my head in my hands and gently massaged my temples where a headache was beginning to form.

"What secrets are you keeping Granddad?" I mumbled the question out loud before releasing my pounding head and lying down on the damp grass.

I realised then that I was still wearing my sweat pants and tank top. "Ugh. This day just keeps getting better." I grumbled. Having left the house in such a hurry I'd forgotten to get changed into my jeans for school; I'd have to go to school dressed how I was.

I ran a hand through my hair in frustration and it stuck. "Great." I'd forgotten about my shower as well.

Cursing, I detangled my hand from my hair and just lay there, staring up at the tall pine trees that shrouded what little sunlight there was, from getting through.

I could feel the dampness of the grass seeping into my clothes but I had more pressing issues that a wet back.

I lay there for what felt like hours, but for what could only have been minutes, just thinking. My thoughts kept coming back to the same thing: "What could be so bad that he wouldn't tell me?"

Mt headache had gradually worsened and I could barely blink without a searing pain behind my eyes so I decided to give up thinking and shut my eyes, instead focusing on listening to the sound of running water from the stream which I found oddly comforting.


My eyes snapped open.

I was still lying on the grass, but my clothes were soaked through and I found myself shivering.

I sat up slowly, wincing at my aching back and surveyed the clearing. I quickly located the large, black raven that had woken me. It was perched low down on a branch across the clearing, but it seemed to be watching me; its beady little black eyes not once blinking.

I found myself staring at the raven, at a small patch on its wing that caught my eye and seemed to be scratched and free of feathers. The patch was small, but looked liked a pattern.

I blinked and rubbed my eyes, an attempt to clear away sleep so that I could clearly see what was etched into the raven's wing, however when I lowered my hands, the raven was gone.

I shook my head. "Jesus Riley, first giant yellow eyes and now raven's with tattoos." I was seriously starting to consider a trip to the doctors.

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