The young woman galloped across grassy hills with boundless energy, paying little heed to her companion. She smiled as a faint gust of wind cooled her face , sending scarlet locks flying. She had never before felt so alive in her life. So free.
"Artemis stop. Please."
The breathless plea came from far behind her. Containing her impatient sigh, Artemis turned. Lydia was struggling to keep up. Her long caramel hair covered her delicate face in untidy wisps. Beads of sweat were starting to form on her forehead.
"Can we go home now? We need to help mum and dad unpack."
Artemis looked at her sister as if she were mentally deranged. How on earth did we manage to spring from the same family tree? "You want to go home and… unpack?" She spoke the last word like it wasn't meant to be said in polite company.
Lydia nodded in confirmation. "We need to get back. If we are gone too long they will be worried about us."
"Nonsense! Besides I am eighteen- I can do what I like." Artemis flashed a superior grin. "So as your big sister I have temporary guardianship over you. Which means you must do as I say. And I say get your skanky butt up here."
Seeing her hesitation Artemis reached across and offered Lydia her hand.
"If I get up there can I rest?"
"You come up here and I swear we will sit down for a while and then go straight home," she solemnly promised.
The hope was too much to resist and within minutes she took Artemis's hand and joined her atop the hill. Lydia sunk on her back as Artemis admired the view.
All around her were clear turfs, plains and stretches of green. Little sparrows chirped cheerfully overhead. While mid afternoon sun bore heavily down on everything in sight- creating a pleasant warm glow. The smell of fresh country air invaded her nostrils. It really was heaven.
She joined her sister on the ground. "Isn't it invigorating?"
Lydia yawned pressing a hand to her mouth. "I'm sleepy. Can we stay here awhile?" Her eyes which usually resembled warm pools of honey were dim.
"I thought you wanted to go home?" She sprung to her feet, roughly pulling Lydia with her.
Lydia groaned. Flopping back down. "Don't. Tired."
"Well, of course you're tired," she crossly remarked. "You are lying in the sun. You need to stay active." When she still ceased to respond Artemis switched tactics. She glanced at her watch. "Crap! We've been gone over three hours. We need to get home. Lydia! Did you hear me? Mum and dad are gonna go skits."
Lydia closed her eyes. "I thought you did not care."
"Well I didn't realise how long we had been gone. I mean they said we could go out, but they only meant for an hour or so. They may think we have been murdered. Imagine it. We've gone missing. All alone in a new place…"
Lydia's eyes snapped open. "Oh my god. You are right." She struggled to her feet. "We need to get home."
"That's what I've been saying."
When they reached the bottom of the hill Artemis suddenly came to a halt causing Lydia to crash into her back.
"Do you see that?"
"What?" Lydia squeaked.
"That cliff." A bit ahead sat the rather steep object of her attention. "I bet I can climb it."
No sooner had the words left her mouth than she was already racing off, leaving Lydia to gape in her wake.
"You have not even been rock climbing before. Do not be stupid. I thought you said we could go home?"
At this she stopped. When she faced Lydia her black eyes were sparkling mischievously. "I lied. Don't worry we'll only be a little late."
"You said we were hours late. Or," Lydia suddenly grew hopeful, "was that a lie too?"
"Oh no," she grinned. "That was the truth." Seeing her sisters rapid loss of colour she laughed. "See, this is why they should have given us money to buy mobile phones. If they are upset cause they don't know where we are- it's all their fault. Now are you going to climb it with me?"
If it was possible Lydia turned even whiter. "A-am I…"
"Oh, come on," she teased. "Don't be a spoilsport!"
When she received no answer except a sheer look of disbelief Artemis shrugged. "Never mind. I'll see you when I get back down." She paused. "Providing I don't fall to my tragic painful and untimely death of course."
"What? No. Do not say that. Artemis!"
"Bye," she nonchalantly called, Skipping to the cliff.
Now she was closer she could see it was even more steep than she had originally thought. She shot Lydia a thumbs up sign. Noting she was nothing more than a short figure in the distance. If she fell- nobody was close enough to help her.
I am not a wimp! I live for adventure. She eyed her challenge again. I might die from it, but I live for it too. Anyway, there was no way she'd meekly scuttle back to Lydia. I never let fear allow me to fail. Nobody can call me a coward or a quitter. I can do this.
With no more thought she placed her right leg on the rock and seized it with her hands, hoisting herself up. Her trainers gripped, searching for footholds. She had made it half way up when she found trouble. Her feet scrambled but there was nothing for her trainers to latch on to. She froze. Do not look down. Breathe. Think. Her fingers started to slip. The journey up to this point had been a tiring one, and her body was beginning to feel it. A old wind seemed to find it's way deep inside her. She lost her head. Her feet frantically searched for support in sheer desperation. She slid further down the cliff. From behind her she thought she heard a scream. Lydia? She didn't know. Squeezing her eyes shut she prepared to meet crushing earth. Instead something grabbed her arm.
Since a virus preventing me accessing the internet for about a week I wrote this because I was bored and fancied a break from my other stories. I don't think it is my best work but I will probably be continuing. What do you think?
Thanks to Laura I have reedited and tried to make this a little better. Thanks for the review.