Chapter One: Stowaways
Anne leaned casually against the cold shadowed wall, round the back of the saloon and looked at Caleb intently. "So you'll come?" Caleb just looked at her blankly though he was fidgeting nervously, the complete contrast to Anne's calmness. "I don't know Anne…Surely you're not serious?"
"I'm deadly serious. I'm tired of my family, this town, this life. I hate it and I want an adventure and so do you. Do not deny the truth that shows so clearly in your eyes" Her own eyes were shining with clear excitement and a knowing smile was playing on her delicate, pink lips. "It's so dangerous Anne! Won't you miss your friends here?" Caleb looked away from Anne nervously as he already knew that she would not be swayed. Once Anne Veronica had set her heart on something, there was no going back. "You are my only true friend Caleb! That's why you must come with me!" Caleb wondered how his best friend could be so selfish at times, wanting him to run away with her, not giving a second thought about his own feelings. "I…I'll come…" He forced out the words with reluctance and scuffed the dusty ground with the tip of his worn boot. Anne smiled brightly, revealing a set of perfect white teeth, and hugged her friend tightly which caused his cheeks to flush. "Oh thankyou! Thankyou!"
- That's how the pair ended up hiding behind a pile of wooden crates, in the storage cabin of a steam train, on a dark and dusky night. There was a sharp bite of cold air in the musty smelling cabin and Anne shivered continuously, hugging herself to preserve her body heat. Caleb traced pictures in the sheet of dust that covered the wooden floor of the cabin and valiantly ignored the freezing air that was wrapping around him, chilling him to the bone, and the pins and needles that were stabbing within his bony legs. Caleb always had been a fighter despite lacking the fierceness that Anne possessed. He rested his head sleepily against the hard wall and his eyes darted over to Anne who in the dark just looked like a silhouette, curled up in the corner. "Anne? Are you okay?" Anne crawled over to her friend and rested her head on his shoulder, yawning tiredly. "Yeah…Just tired…" Caleb squirmed as her head was rather uncomfortable. "Do you think this was a good idea, Anne?"
"Of course. The cold is getting to us and making us feel down but tomorrow, when the sun is high in the sky, we'll feel better and we can have an adventure. I'm sure of it"
"If you say so…" He responded doubtfully, staring at the wall opposite and wondering what his family were doing at that moment in time. The sound of Anne's steady breathing and quiet little murmurs were all that he could hear as he watched her falling into a sudden deep sleep. Caleb himself, sat slumped against the wall in an awkward position, unable to sleep at all. "This is going to be a very long night…"
- Streaks of golden light shone through the cracks in the cabin walls as the sun rose from behind the sandy hills that spread for miles around. Caleb had always been fascinated by the sun and its beauty, especially at sunrise and sunset. Today however he found himself distracted and too nervous to appreciate it. His whole body ached and his muscles were tense as a result of the sleepless night on the hard wooden floor. Whereas Anne stretched and rubbed her eyes sleepily before smiling brightly at her friend. "Morning!" She chimed eagerly, getting to her feet. The train jolted suddenly and she steadied herself on the wall, giggling shakily. "Erm, Caleb…How are we going to get off the train without being noticed? What if it never stops…" Caleb sighed at her, faking bravery as he too got to his feet and stood confidently. "Don't be ridiculous. Trains always stop at some point and we're small, they'll never notice us." He was attempted to sourly add that it was her fault they were even there but he decided better of it.
It was at that moment that he noticed how small and defenceless Anne really was. She had always been a petite girl with an extremely slim figure, beautiful auburn curls and deep emerald eyes. Her complexion was perfect and her cheeks were rosy with health. Basically, Anne Veronica was pretty, cute but weak and helpless. Sure she could bat her eyelashes and smile sweetly but what use was that if they ran into any trouble? Though Caleb himself was nothing special. Quite the opposite if he was totally honest with himself. Caleb was tall and skinny with dirty blonde hair and pale green eyes. He lacked arm muscles and well, any muscle at all. So between the two of them, they didn't stand a chance against anyone.
After ten minutes of silence, apart from the occasional noises caused by the train wheels on the track, the two stowaways felt the carriage gradually slowing as the train came towards the small station. Within a few more minutes the train had stopped completely and the passengers began to get off, though there weren't many of them. Anne and Caleb quietly snuck out of the storage cabin and joined the passengers, blending in. "Let's explore this town and stay for a few weeks then try another train" Anne said with confidence as they both left the station and walked towards the town. They reached a sign, worn with the years that read; 'Welcome to Canyon Diablo'.