Cinders 4The forest was still for a few short moments and the three women were able to just stand there and breathe. They needed a rest, but the red army would be upon them soon. All they had time for was a quick breath and maybe a chance to see their surroundings.
Mel looked up at the stars, shining and twinkling as they conversed and waged their own battles above them. There was one star, one that she needed. The North Star would always guide them.
Ashley wasn't paying the stars any attention; they didn't look much different than they had at home. Instead she was staring around her at the trees which were too tall and too narrow, having the proportions of a child's drawings. Some of them were striped and some of them had freckles, and some of them leaned to whisper to one another. They were watching them.
Bella though, she couldn't take it, she sat down on the ground, her short shorts immediately soaking up the wet of the forest floor, and she covered her face with her hands.
"This is wrong!"
Cinders 3Mel pulled away from her as a rapid tapping erupted at the window. Bella was beside her, looking as confused as Ashley felt. They joined Mel in looking to the window. At first it was too dark for Ashley to see what it was, but then she recognized it to be a couple of birds. Not so strange, birds, but normally they wouldn't be at the window like this, tapping as if they were trying to find their way in.
"What's happening, Mel?" Bella asked, her hands by her mouth. It was like she had a habit of chewing her nails, but she didn't. She never bit her nails. "What is this?"
"The bridge is open." Mel spat, "Ashley opened it."
"What?" Ashley stared at her, "I didn't do anything!"
"You remembered and that was all it needed to be opened up!"
"What bridge?" Bella asked.
Mel rolled her eyes, "I don't have time to explain, alright? They're coming and they're going to be here any minute, looking for us! We have to go!"
Ashley pulled herself out of bed, trying to ignore the tapping on the glass. She
Cinders 2Ashley didn't know what was going on. The memories had come so vividly, like they were happening at the moment, but now they were faded like most memories, clips of old films on instant playback. This time through there were small interludes, the surprise and fear on Richards face, the hurt she must have caused him, the question he was trying to ask her.
He was asking her to marry him. He was asking her to be with him forever and he was doing it in such a romantic and beautiful way. He must have thought she had rejected him. He must have thought she hated him. She curled in on herself, locked into her apartment with all of the lights off and curtains closed. Her face was burning. She didn't want to cry but at the same time, that's all that she wanted to do. She wanted to sob, get all of these horrible feelings out of her at the same time. All she could feel though was this need but nothing was coming out.
There was a knock on the door, loud and hard and rapid. She turned towards it, wo