Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | January 2, 2010

Battle on the Frozen Plain

Hancock, NH. January, 2007.

A shadow falls across the ice. Have they found me? I don’t dare peer out from my hiding place to see the owner of the shadow, but from its tall, thin shape with pointy nubs at the shoulders I know.

The Nobles don’t tolerate disobedience. They protect the statue from rebels like me who dare try to take it back.

The statue’s shape forms in my mind as I unfold the small crossbow on my back and notch an arrow. This weapon is all I have, and it probably won’t be enough. “Protect me, Hallanaway,” I whisper. I will have only a fraction of a second to aim before the Noble unfolds his wings and attacks.

In my mental picture, the statue smiles. That’s quite a feat for a face big enough to house an entire city. Hallanaway looks out over the frozen plains where I now hide with eyes of pure gold, hair of cooled lava, and hands that used to hold tumbling vines and flowers.

Now they hold guns.

Teeth clenched, I burst out of hiding and fire. A cry of rage would help my aim, but I can’t risk it. I duck back down without knowing if I hit or not. The Nobles don’t scream when they die. They collapse, and another is constructed to take its place.

It sure feels like an impossible battle when your enemy can just keep making more of itself. That’s why my eight older brothers and sisters made the long trek across the frozen waste. I don’t know if they made it to safety. All I know is that I couldn’t leave. I wonder when they noticed that the second youngest, the little girl Jia who no one ever noticed, had stayed behind.

Our parents died for the cause, and I wasn’t going to let them die in vain.

I took a deep breath and peered out at my enemy.

Down!

And no more telltale shadows on the ice.

I scampered out of hiding and lifted the nubbed contraption off the Noble’s shoulders. It’s much too big for me, but with some string and stretchy tape from my pack I make it work.

Now, I can fly!

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