The sun had gone down, kicking in the automatic street lamps. Everyone was inside doors from the cold. People were starting to tuck in for the night, and the streets were nearly empty. One family couple, however, was still wide awake and running frantically around the house trying to get a fire started. It was in the coldest part of winter and electricity was scarce in this part of the city. Most electricity came from personal generators, and only the fortunate could get a hold of one. The man of the house knelt down to light the fire. "How much longer do we have to keep this up..." he mumbled under his breath, attempting to light the wood.
There was a knock at the front door.
"Honey! Can you go get the door?" The wife asked. The husband got up from trying to start the fire and walked to the door. When he opened it, he instinctively took a step back and got ready for a fight. There was just one cloaked figure standing there, and they didn't look week.
The stranger spoke in a rather youthful voice. "Sorry to bother you at this time, but if you could let me in to warm up a little, I'd be out of your house in a few." The hooded stranger explained. He seemed to have been in the cold for quite a while. The husband realized that the stranger seemed to be no threat and stepped aside. They helped out whenever they could.
"Why on earth are you out at night like this? Please, come in and sit down." He gestured to a seat for the guest. "I apologize, we do not have much food, and the fire is out. But we will gladly share with anyone-."
"Who is it honey?" The wife asks as she walks into the room. When she realized he was just a kid, the wife acted like a mother to him. The stranger was slighty wary. Perhaps a bit to motherly... the stranger thought. The wife came up to him and led him to another room further back.
"My goodness you must be cold! Please child, take whatever food and drink is left on the table. I apologize, our fire is out and-."
"The fire?" the stranger asked, "What's wrong?"
"Mm. Well you see, we ran out of wood this morning. And the cold has been so bad my husband couldn't find any dry wood. We've been hoping the wood we have will dry soon..." The stranger started to get up from the seat he had just sat down in.
"Maybe I can help with-." the wife interupted him and put a hand on his shoulder, making him sit back down.
"Oh no child, please, you need to eat and rest. You look like you've been out there all day!" She said, afterwards tilting her head to the side. "Say... what's your name? I don't recall you ever being around here."
"Thank you ma'am...and its Al-." he pauses for slight moment. "I-I mean, Leo. My name is Leo." Good grief...he thought to himself. Leo? You can do better that! The husband knelt down and tried to start the fire. "Well, my name is London. And this is my wife, Lydia. You just sit there a while and rest. I'll see if I can get this blasted thing to start..."
Leo smiled slightly. "Thank you both. I appreciate you letting me take just a slight rest." He said as he leaned back and took a long sigh. Leo glanced at the hearth, and realized that the wood was sopping wet.
"Wow...you weren't kidding. Did the wood take a swim?"
The woman took a seat next to him, chuckling. "Well...actually yes...all we could find was some drift wood from broken crates. Now... Leo. Tell me, why are you out in the cold and wind?" Leo stiffened up and the question. Was he going to have to lie? Should he tell them? He was about to make something up, when a sound came from outside. Heavy footsteps, more than ten sets by the sound, and a few barks mixed in with the ruckus. It was a patrol, and by the sound of the shouting and the dogs, they were hunting someone. They were hunting Leo.
They were hunting me.
Yes, I've been talking about my past. Bum bum buummm! Aren't I just so sneaky? Now...let's get back to the story.
"Well! That was an amazing meal! Thank you! But I must be on my way now. And quickly, I'm afraid." I said as I got up and reached my hand out towards London
London took my hand with a firm grip. "it was our pleasure! You sure you can't stay? We would be glad to let you stay-."
I stopped him before he can continue. "I'm sorry, but I need to go right now. Tell your wife I said thank you." The man was about to nod and see me out the doors when he frowned and looked at my left shoulder, where the tip of a marking can be seen under wrappings. "What is-."
"It's just a scar" I quickly say and pull up the wrappings, hoping to avoid anything else.
The mans' face gets stern and he looks into my eyes "that patrol...they're after you aren't they?" I begin to get really nervous. It's a matter of minutes before the guard starts to search houses. "Sir... please...I can't put you in harm's way. I have to leave now." London was about to argue more when there is a loud banging on the door.
"Open up!" It's the patrol! I thought. They went quicker than I expected. "Back door?" I asked with urgency.
Lydia grabs my hand and starts pulling me. "Follow me! London, open the door and stall them."
I followed Lydia to the back door and, right before I went I turned around to the fire, raised my hand and concentrated. The water in the wood seeped out and onto the ground in a puddle. Her eyes opened wide. "you're an E-."
I stopped her before she could continue, and then hugged her. "It's the least I can do. Thank you so much! I hope to repay you one day!" I let go of her and ran out the door into the cold.
I burst into a run down to the almost frozen river. Thankfully it wasn't too wide of a jump, but even then, my right foot slipped into the cold water, soaking my shoe almost right away. I hoped that the dogs didn't hear the splash, but in since when do I get a break? I heard barks and shouts. Hunters were about to turn the corner and reveal themselves. I scrambled to my feet and started running, turning into an alley. Familiar streets, most of them turn into dead ends. I can hear them only about fifteen feet behind me, and they're closing in.
I turned the corner, only to find more people that seemed to be waiting for me. Freaking peachy... I thought. Too late to turn back. I can see two other men closing off my exit. Silence followed. There are no more barking or shouting from the patrol. There seems to be no more pursuit. "Well this stinks..." I said. I raised my arms, about to do the only thing left to do. Somewhere to left I see another stranger emerge from the shadows at lightning speed. Only one thing can make a move like that...too late. That's all my mind has to register before I get hit in the head and fall to the ground. Unconsciousness was almost upon me. "Get him inside, quick!" I hear one of the men say. Two of the strangers start coming towards me, but that's all I see or hear before I black out completely.