Chapter 1: Dreaming of a Time Long Ago...
When I was little, my parents would read me stories.
Each story was different, but I could remember each one by heart. There were tales of distant lands, unique people with a variety of different cultures, even legends of mythical creatures of many different sizes and shapes. They would spin tales of different worlds and times long ago. They made stories come to life around me as they described in great depth, the many sights, smells, and sounds.
I believed each story with all my heart back then.
I began to leave small gifts for each of the creatures I heard stories about. Anything I could get my hands on, being only five at the time, such as snacks or small things I thought they would enjoy. I loved all the creatures my parents told me of, even though many were said to be dangerous. But my favorite story?
The Legend of Mt. Ebott.
My parents told me the legends of a great war between the humans and a whole race of monsters. They spoke of powerful mages casting a large spell over the mountain, keeping the monsters trapped inside. Each story told to me about Mt. Ebott was soaked up like a sponge. I remember always wanting to go and see the mountain myself, dreaming of seeing it with my own eyes even if I disappeared like the others who got too close.
But then everyone started to get really sick, my parents included.
I watched as they got weaker and weaker, the town doctor could do nothing to help them.
They never stopped telling me stories, always writing in a big leather book that they said was for when I got older.
Then one day, they died like everyone else on my neighborhood block.
I was left all alone.
Until I wasn't.
It was weeks after my parents died when the people with weird plastic suits stormed into my house. I was scared, I didn't know what they wanted. They took my parents after putting them in weird looking bags, I tried to stay quiet as I hid in their closet but it was useless. They opened the doors, I tried to run but I was caught quickly.
They took me too.
I was locked in the back of a car, it had no windows and was really dark inside as the door closed behind me. I cried, screaming for help, to be let out.
But nobody came...
I cried and cried until the rumbling of the car lulled me into a fitful sleep...
I woke with a gasp, flinging myself off the bed with a loud thump.
Chapter 2: Story START!
“Great. Another one…” I rasped out, air refusing to return to my lungs despite my best efforts.
With great effort I forced myself to separate my body from the chilled wooden floor, getting to my feet shakily. My alarm clock continued to shriek at me, demanding my attention like a touch-starved dog. I pushed the snooze button, plunging the room into blissful quiet. My ears rang slightly from the adrenaline spike, slowly growing quiet as my body realized there was no threat.
Except Brutus, he was always a threat to my well being.
I took in a deep breath, finally filling my lungs with some nice quality oxygen, before releasing it slowly. My heart began to ease into a more reasonable pace, instead of trying to push itself out of my chest. Now without the threat of heart failure, I got ready to start the day. Glancing at the time, I couldn’t help the groan that escaped me.
I, Aniah Lee Stone, absolutely loathe mornings with the entirety of my SOUL.
But did anyone care?
No. Not even in the slightest.
I forced my legs to carry me to my closet, trying to go over what I needed to do today in my head. I managed to find a grey muscle tee in decent shape along with black leggings, polka-dot socks, a jacket with decorative patches on it, and my bandage rolls. With my acquired pile of clothes, I wandered over to the bathroom to get a much needed shower. I finally put together my mental schedule as I stepped into the cold spray.
First thing I needed to do was head to the LAB for my bi-weekly check up, a thing that was required by all residents every now and then. It was especially important for those who leave the Sanctuary borders. If I remember correctly, I’ll be meeting up with Miss Rachel for this appointment.
Next in the agenda was a meeting with Dennis about my gear. In my last job I managed to damage my poor baby. Luckily he said that it wasn’t broken beyond repair and was even gonna make me some new goodies to take on my next job.
After that I need to check in with the Big Boss Lady at the Main Hall. I was requested for a job according to Mini Boss. It was apparently a big job, one that may take a while outside the border. It wasn’t uncommon for Scavengers like me to go outside the border, but I was requested by name. It was odd, cause Big Boss didn’t like me leaving the nest, often trying to make me work as something gross like a desk job.
The final thing on the list was a quick monthly meeting with Mini Boss and the others at Scavenger Hall. Every month we gather to discuss anything that needs to be done in the guild, the financial stuff, and the improvements of the Recruits. It wasn’t the longest meeting but it was just as boring. On the way out I could probably snatch some small jobs I could do while I was out on Big Boss’ job, depending on what the job was exactly.
I let out a weary sigh, quickly drying myself with a towel before wrapping myself up with the bandages. My clothes were thrown on after, as I went through the motions of my morning routine. I brushed my teeth and forced a brush through thick red and white curls. I let my gaze roam my reflection in the mirror, taking in the freckles sprinkled across my semi-pale skin before locking eyes with my own silver-gray gaze. I grinned, deciding I looked decent enough to go out into society, before turning on my heel and shuffling out to the kitchen. My house wasn’t the biggest but it wasn’t too tiny either. I had a kitchen, a living room, a laundry room, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. It was plenty of space for little old me.
I snatched my phone from the island counter, checking the time.
I should have enough time to make some eggs and toast.
The LAB is usually open for the public around six, but they usually let me in early so I can be done before any of the others swarm the place. That reminds me, I need to grab some more of that special blend stuff from them. I only had a bottle left, plenty for the next week or so but I’ll most likely forget to stock up if I don’t do it today.
After I threw my plate in the sink to wash later, I slipped my shoes on and grabbed my keys. I locked the door behind me before starting to stroll through the quiet neighborhood. Even though I hate mornings, I love the peaceful atmosphere at this time. Birds sang softly in the distance, the flowers began to bloom as they searched for the slowly rising sun.
It was going to be a pretty beautiful day today…
I totally just jinxed it, didn’t I?