Chapter Four: Hand Holding and Pee-Pods

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Chapter Four: Hand Holding and Pee-Pods

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I’m dreaming, I must be. Rebel is here. He’s alive when he should be dead, I’d know I was the one who had to kill him. But here he is alive and sitting in front of me.

The German Shepherd sits on his hind legs staring up at me the way he would if he wants food.

“Rebel?” I ask. My voice sounds off, its distant and almost dreamlike.

Rebel’s big pink tongue falls out of his mouth and he tail begins to way against the forest floor. Tall green trees surround us, providing a good source of shade. I find myself falling back into an old habit. I crouch down and scratch his ears. Wind softly blows between the trees and whistles the tune of nature. Everything is at peace, everything is still, everything is perfect.

But nothing says at peace, still, or perfect for ever, especially when it comes to me.

Once I pull my hand back from petting Rebel I freeze.

Blood. Thick red blood covering my hands. Who’s blood? For a stupid second, I look around the forest for another person. Horrid realization washes over me. Its Rebel’s. He lays on his side whimpering and staring up at me.

“Rebel,” I say. My voice is weak and wobbly with each letter spoken. I go to pet his ears again, but he growls at me in warning. His once crystal blue eyes now match the color of his blood. His black and golden fur is matted with blood and dirt from the forest floor. Everything around me is shifting. Red. Blood Red is all I can see. No green of the trees around or soil brown of the forest floor, just blood red. Rebel’s blood? But I know the answer already. There’s a blood-stained knife in my hand now, a knife I didn’t have a second ago. Rebel’s growls and snarled whimpers have stopped. The clearing is now silent. Not even the birds above chirp. The wind doesn’t blow softly anymore. It’s just silent….quiet…..noiseless…..

There’s no color anymore. It’s all slowly faded away along with the body of Rebel.

No blood red….

Just darkness….

Then there’s a whispering voice in my ear.

“NoName…. wake up.”

Wake up?

The task almost seems impossible. The colorless, noiseless, void only seems to hold me in place.

“NoName,” the voice whispers again.

Someone is shaking me. The hands are on my shoulders gently shaking me awake. Slowly the void of the dream fades away as reality comes to focus with every blink of my eyes. Scotty stands in front of me his hands on my shoulders looking at me intently.

“What?” my tired voice asks.

“It’s day break,” he says leaning back and standing to his full height.” We going to get started?”

“You mean to tell me it’s not mid-day yet?” I grumpily ask.


“Then go away till then,” I say closing my eyes once again behind my shades.

It falls quiet for a quick second before he decides to break the peace again.

“You know NoName that if we get started now you could get rid of us sooner,” he says trying to persuade me out of my sleep.

You know he has a point, my voice of common sense reason says to me.

With a tired groan I slowly stand to my feet while opening my eyes. The cabin is dimly lit due to the dying coals in the fire place. A figure I’ve grown to realize is Bunny stands in front of the fire attempting to chase away the early morning’s cold.

They need thicker heavier clothes before we even begin training, I mentally note.

I go to take a step toward the door, but the floor is not the wooden hard plank I expect it to be. Instead I step on the blanket I had placed on Scotty last night.

“I woke up earlier and figured you’d need it more than me,” Scotty says surprising me.

“It’s not hard to read your facial expressions,” says Bunny.

I eye her in dull surprise.

Not going to lie I forgot she even speaks.

“And you read them?” I ask raising a brow at her.

“It’s a good way to know when to talk and when not to,” she says facing me, “unlike me brother I know when I should keep my mouth shut.”

“Maybe he should take a page out of your book,” I say while walking toward the door where my bow and arrow bag lay.

“I’ve offered it to him many times he just refuses to take it.”

“I believe it.”

“Excuse me,” Scotty says with mock annoyance, “you two realize I’m standing right here?”

I snort while Bunny shrugs.

Usually before I leave the cabin I’d put the fire out, throw my bow over my head and across while grabbing my arrow bag and slinging it onto my back. Then I’d shove my journal in my thick winter jacket I’m wearing, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. The two kids currently bickering have ensured that.

“-my fault I’m such a social person unlike a certain someone.”

“Oh, please Scotty,” Bunny says her hands placed firmly on her hips, “at age fourteen you still had mom hold your hand when we crossed the street.”

“It was one time!”

“Is one the new number for a million?”

This little Bunny has some fight in her, highly noted.

“Yeah, well at least I didn’t wet the bed at night up to age ten!”

You’d think Bunny would blush and stutter in embarrassment, but she doesn’t. In fact, she does the opposite. She barks out an amused laugh.

“Hey genius that wasn’t me, it was you!”

Scotty goes quiet in confusion while he thinks it over. Not even a few seconds he goes as red as the dying coals in the fire.

“Was not!” he chokes out. The embarrassment flashing in his cheeks proves it.

The strange urge to laugh with them climbs up my throat.

“I’ll be back,” I say coughing a couple times to get their attention.

And to kill this laugh stuck in my throat.

“Where are you going?” Bunny asks no longer laughing but staring at me in question.

“You two can’t train like that.”

Simultaneously they look down at their dirt stained clothes and frayed hoodies.

“You two will freeze to death out there before you can even say training.”

“You’re leaving us here,” Scotty says uneasily, “by ourselves?”


“You trust us by ourselves?” Bunny asks.

“No, but there’s not really another option.”

They look sort of upset that I don’t trust them. They shouldn’t I don’t trust anyone.

Not even yourself NoName.

“I have three rules.”

They both look at me ready to listen to my every word.

“Rule number one, do not burn the cabin down.”

They nod. Or at least Bunny nods, Scotty snorts in an amused way like he was thinking about it.

“Rule number two, do not ruin my journal while I’m gone or else you can consider yourselves gone.”

Scotty rolls his eyes, but nods. Bunny gulps and nods.

“Rule number three, keep warm. I’ll be back by at least mid-day.”

They don’t speak or nod they just look at the dying fire in a way that says, ‘how do you expect us to do that?’

“There’s fire wood in the back room in the closet.”

Bunny nods and goes off to get it. Scotty stands looking conflicted.

“What?” I ask my hand seeking the door knob of the cabin’s front door.

“Just be careful out there yeah?”

“I’m always careful kid,” I say as my hand twists the knob and a gust of cold air and morning light rushes into the cabin.

“See you soon?” he asks. It’s like he can’t say goodbye.

Maybe this is his way of saying goodbye?

“Yeah see you later.”

As I get ready to leave Bunny saunters back into the room with an arm full of logs.


I give her the nod of my head.

“See you soon?” Bunny asks dropping the wood into the fire place.

Can they really not say goodbye?

“Yeah, I’ll see you guys soon.”

“Be safe,” she says. She leans up onto her tip-toes to reach the fire place’s mantle.

“Aww does tiny Bunny need help?” Scotty says in a taunting baby voice. I turn my back on them and face the cold day out in front of me. As I go to exit the cabin the pained groan of Scotty echoes behind me.

“You know I hate it when you call me that.”

Bunny had kneed him in the stomach I’m guessing. A small smile creeps onto my face as a chuckle escapes my mouth. I close the cabins door with a muted click.

I think you’re in trouble NoName.

I didn’t want to agree with my inner thoughts, but they’re right.

I’m growing attached to them.