A writer is a world trapped in a person. Victor Hugo

If you ever looked up, you'd notice the specks dancing, swirling through the emptiness ahead. But who looks up anymore? This wasn't a place of wonder, of magic or mystery. The specks in the sky felt like unsettled dust in the stagnant miasma, the murky sand bleeding into water enough to dull any reflections to more than just silhouettes.

"If no one cares," a soft hush caressed my ear, "no one cares."

"Partha, hush," words escaped my mouth. "You're interrupting my musing."

He shrugged and perched himself along the ledge with me, and at once my attentions focused on the only life within a reasonable distance. Partha was new here, compared to me and many of the others. "But it's the truth, isn't it, Starling?"

No, I couldn't believe that. Someone somewhere cares. If no one cared, the world would've fallen to… right. "My name isn't starling," was all I could say instead.

"Then tell me what it is, nestling."

The muscles in my stomach lurched at the thought, twisting to stand up and head back to the place I'd learned to call home. My fingers caught a brush of sand and skid, sliding me toward the vast nothingness. This is how I die, the thought fleeted rather haphazardly.

"Shireling, if you wanted to get away from me, you didn't need to go and jump off the edge of the world," Partha said nonchalantly as his strong grip effortlessly pulled me back into safety. "See you later?"

I shrugged half-heartedly, scrambling up. "Thanks for the save," I muttered over my shoulder. There's always next time.

Sand filtered through the grooves of my toes as I took off the well-loved hunter's boots I'd arrived in. Another day was over, another night to begin. My left hand found the small dagger and carved into the soft gypsum wall under the decrepit saying another tick against time.

Home: a place where you feel you belong

It was supposed to be someone's inspirational quote, a way of expressing love and admiration for their place of sleep. But when your home stinks of sweat, soiled linens, and stale dust, it becomes somewhat of a depressing statement. My residence wasn't unlike the other buildings here, vines growing raggedly over every surface, snaking through the sands of rubble and ruin.

The truth is, I belong here for the sins I've committed, regardless of how much I can or cannot remember them. And I wasn't particularly religious, so I must've done more than a trifecta of evil.

Small stars were tacked to the ceiling, the kind made of plastic that glowed for about an hour when there was no other light left in a day. "If you really wanted to make me happy, you'd take me away from here," I called into the makeshift kitchen. A muffled sound and a clang followed my comment, so I knew he heard me. I knew it was a futile comment – no one could escape past the Bound Hands that gated our way of life from the desert expanse.

A bottle with amber liquid sat visible through the kitchen archway. "While you were out, I caught us a bird for dinner. It's a feast tonight," Kellar held up his prize by its feet. We hadn't eaten more than a mouse's worth of food in a week, and birds flying over were a rarity. Not much came here by choice, even for fleeting visits. After all, like dinner, fleeting visits often became a little more permanent than expected.

I smiled and stepped past him to get to the bottle that never seemed to empty. "You're a real wonder, Kellar Ehraslin."

And I meant those words, because he was one of the stories that should've been told, rather than one that was wasting away. I might've been biased, but there had to have been something special.

I slept dreamlessly in the crook of Kell's arm, not unlike every other night. My system was overloaded with intoxicating smells and heady feeling that seemed to pass the time a little better than being sober could ever attempt.

Mornings sucked because they brought a chilling realization that this isn't just a horrible nightmare, and that the time before this, the time I can't remember or perhaps never had, was the reality.

Perhaps, there was something more out there than dust and the taste of somber mornings. It egged me on, the inherent feeling of an adventure waiting to happen. But that wasn't my adventure to have; it couldn't have been my adventure. After all, who'd want me as a protagonist?

I wasn't a book. I was just a sentence.

A/N: Unedited, but please comment and support my story 3 xoxo Lys