Eternal essence

The guards led Saren out of the city quickly. They didn't want the outside gates to stay open any longer than was necessary. Monsters were starting to appear outside the city, and it was no longer safe in the forests. Saren had heard many rumors of the ugly beasts that were killing the innocent people that were led astray from the city. Only too soon would Saren be another victim.

Is this…the…price that I pay from defiance? Saren asked herself, as she tried to keep up with the guard's quick pace. She looked down at her shoes. There were many scratches on her shoes from the times that she had stumbled over loose rocks from the road. Even then, the guards wouldn't help her up. They only continued to pull her towards those gloomy gray gates; the gates that were the only thing that kept her safe. Saren liked to think of them as the Gates of Judgment. The gates made the decision of whether she was worthy of her life, or whether she should die.

The guards came to a sudden halt. Saren stopped as well.

One of the guards turned to her. "You are now hereby exiled by the order of the King," he said pompously. "If you are ever seen here again, we have permission to execute you on site, also by order of his Majesty."

Saren bit her tongue to keep the tears from coming out.

Several guards started to laugh seeing how the sudden realization of what was going to happen to her hit Saren.

"Any last words?" asked a plump guard, as he rang the bell that signaled that the gates be opened. His armor clinked as he raised his arm to pull on the bell.

Saren shook her head fiercely. The guards that were holding on to her released their grips and took several steps backward. Saren took the opportunity to smooth out her green dress, and tie up her long black hair. Just in case she had to run.

"I don't think that where you're going the monsters will care how presentable you look before they eat you," the plump guard taunted while laughing. As he laughed, his belly wobbled up and down. It was wonder of how he was even able to wear his armor.

Saren realized that she had continued to bite her tongue for that whole time. She slowly lifted up her two front teeth, freeing her tongue from its captivity. Upon its release, her tongue started to ache. She had bit it hard.

As if on some silent cue, the gates began to open. The air was silent. The wind carried no trace of noise or celebration. It was almost as if the Earth itself was crying for her.

Saren snorted. The world would never cry for her. She hung her head. Dust flew up into her face; it had been a long time since the gates had been opened. She gagged, and knelt on the ground.

"Get up," a guard spat. He yanked her up roughly.

"Don't touch me," Saren said, pushing him away, still coughing. The guards all drew their swords, ready to attack, but the guards that Saren had pushed waved them away.

"She's not going to be our problem anymore," the guard said.

Saren quickly ran out past the gates. They took no time closing the gates behind her. Saren continued her wild running.

Destination equals nowhere, Saren thought to herself, when she had stopped for breath. Maybe…destination equals death… Saren sat down on the green grass and crossed her legs Indian style. Should I just sit here and wait to be eaten? What a silly thought. Saren looked around the forest. She could still remember some of it faintly from when she was younger. There weren't any monsters when she was younger. The clean air, crystal clear streams, giant-like trees…this was what she loved about living in Fathure. How things used to be…

A bird chirped next to her.

"You're quite bold aren't you?" Saren asked, scooping it up off the ground. She held it in hand petting its blue head softly. The bird chirped happily. Saren had always been able to scoop up birds quickly without them noticing. Some would say, however, that she just had a way with animals. "You just sat next to a human." She smiled. "I think that I have…" With her free hand, Saren dug into her pocket and pulled out a bag of small slices of bread. She liked to snack on bread. She pulled out a slice. "Here," Saren said, crumbling up the bread onto the grass. The bird hopped quickly out of her hand and attacked the crumbles of bread with its yellow beak.

Saren crumbled up pieces of more bread and watched as those quickly disappeared. The bird then kept walking back and forth in front of her. It was as if it was worrying with her.

"The nearest city is miles from here…" Saren said. She didn't know the areas where monsters lurked, so she wasn't going to just run around. She closed her eyes. After a moment, she opened them slowly. The bird was gone. She stood up quickly and looked around. The bird was nowhere in sight.

"Now what?" Saren asked herself as she started walking along the route that the stream was going. "Now that I think about it…what was a bird going to help me with anyway?"

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

"What…?" Saren stopped. What's that sound? Saren thought. She looked around frantically. She couldn't see anything looming behind the trees. She started to walk again.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

Saren stopped. She stared down at her shoes. There were sticks on the ground. Saren laughed. "All of that worrying for nothing," Saren said, while smiling. She started walking again.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Snap. Crunch.

Saren again came to a halt. I could've sworn that I heard a 'snap' sound. She started to walk again.

Crunch. Snap. Crunch. Snap. Snap.

Saren looked around as the sky started to dim. She had only taken two steps that time. Something else was in the area near her. She picked up a broken stick from the ground. It was pretty long and it had a pointy end. Saren gulped and took another step forward.

Crunch. Snapsnapsnapsnapsnapsnap.

Saren saw them. The monsters. They seemed to be coming from everywhere. They stood on four legs with sharp claws. Their red eyes read her every move. Saren looked to the left. Monsters. She looked to the right. Monsters. She turned behind her. Monsters. Even in front of her, there were monsters. She bit on her lip, frantically searching for a way out.

There is no way out.

There has to be.

The only way out is death.

I don't believe you!

No one can hear you scream…

The monsters moved forward, their teeth a deep yellow. Saliva slid over there large mouths and dripped onto the ground.

No…

I told you…your only way out is death.

Saren stumbled backwards and fell on the ground as they formed a circle around her. She was shaking so hard that the stick flew from her hand.

Accept your death!

I won't!

The circle tightened around Saren. Her hands flew to her neck grasping her mother's pendant.

The monsters ran forward faster now, understanding that Saren was accepting defeat. Saren saw them coming closer. She was getting dizzy now. She opened her mouth wanting to scream, but nothing came out. They're coming to get…Saren thought. She couldn't finish because she was already blacking out.

She fainted.

Only the strong can survive…

Saren jumped up flailing her arms wildly. She could see them attacking her. They were trying to bite her precious skin that she worked so hard on keeping soft. She kicked.

Open your eyes!

No! They'll eat them out!

Saren kept her eyes shut as she fought against the monsters.

"Whoa…whoa….whoa! Calm down!" a male's voice said.

Saren couldn't calm down. She was hysterical. She flailed even harder.

All of sudden Saren got very cold. She tried to scream, but she couldn't scream anymore. She opened her eyes. She blinked. Then she blinked again. There were no monsters. She wasn't even outside anymore. She took in the room slowly, as if she'd never been in a room in her life. Red wallpaper covered the whole room. Saren could easily tell that the wallpaper was worth something just because of its design and quality. There was carpeting on the floor. Berber, to be exact. Carpeting was also a sign of status. There was a blazing fire in the fireplace across the room. Saren scratched her head. She looked at herself; she happened to be soaking wet. Her dress clung to her body. She turned around slowly to see what was behind her…

"Ack!" Saren yelped, and she rolled off the bed.

She had stared into his dark blue eyes.

"Is this how you repay the person that saved your life?" he asked Saren testily. He hopped off the bed, his boots making a huge clunk on the floor. His silver hair came down to his shoulders and seemed to glow even though there was only light from the fireplace. He knelt on the carpet next to her.

"What…what…kind…" Saren stuttered, "Of repayment were you hoping for?" She was shaking nervously.

He chuckled. Then he took his index finger and put it underneath her chin. He raised her face to his. "Whatever kind you have to offer," he whispered.

Saren pulled away and rolled to another side of the room. "No! I'm fifteen!" she yelled, curling up into a ball.

"Hello fifteen, I are seventeen," he said, checking his nails. "No but seriously…the name's Bren."

Saren crawled over to the fireplace and sat there for a moment. "Did you throw water on me?" Saren asked while she looked at the fire.

"You kept hitting me…I had no choice."

Saren quickly took off her shoe and threw it at him. He dodged it.

"Whoa! Be cool!" Bren said, as he watched her. "I mean you haven't earned the right to throw things at me…"

"Oh really?" Saren asked. She turned around and glared at him.

"Only girls that I am physically…"

Saren didn't even let him finish. She took off her other shoe and threw it at him. He dodged it again.

"You pervert!" Saren yelled.

"Not technically…" Bren said, while laughing. He had one of those laughs that after awhile would make a person get angry.

There was a knock at the door. Saren was surprised that she hadn't seen it when she was looking around the room.

"She's awake," Bren said, still laughing as he opened the door.

Another guy walked in the room. He seemed to be around the same age as Bren. He also had dark blue eyes and silver hair, except his hair was much shorter and looked messier than Bren's. Why is there a black etching around his eyes? Saren asked herself.

"What have you learned about her?" the other guy asked seriously.

"She doesn't like me," Bren sobbed, throwing himself onto the other guy. He pretended to weep.

"Get off of me," the guy said, pushing Bren unto the floor. Bren clamped onto the guy's leg.

"Dear brother Xavier," Bren sobbed. "She loathes me so."

Xavier drew his sword and pointed it at Saren. "Tell me who you are…Now."

"Fine then," Saren said, standing up. She curtsied. "I am Princess Saren of Fathure, and I have been exiled from my own kingdom for the murder of my mother."