Entry: LG #4.
Title: The Clearing.
Word Count: 64,000.
If your MC was an Easter egg, what flavor would she be?
I’ve read about these…I’d be a new flavor. Chili chocolate: Disliked by most, loved by a few.
Despite danger lurking between the trees, the banished always run into the forest. Ruby doesn’t understand why. Until rebellious behavior gets her sentenced. Now, Ruby is about to learn first-hand why the banished must run.
It’s strange, the way the Sentenced run into the forest.
At first they’re dragged through the crowd, digging their heels into the dirt or falling to their knees. When they reach the village boundaries, they are shoved through the gates and onto the grassy knoll we call The Circle.
It’s the last place we see them alive, yet instead of begging for their life or trembling into the grass, they act the same way as every Sentenced before them.
Their shoulders loosen and their breathing calms – I’ve even spotted one man smile. It’s like they can hear the forest calling their name, telling them to forget the predators that lurk between the trees.
And then they run.
Through the gaps in the gate, I study the flight path into the forest, clinging to the bars the same way I did at my father’s banishment.
Three winters have passed, but I will always remember how he searched for my face among the crowd. He winked when he finally found me. With a burst of energy, he ran into the forest faster than anyone I had ever witnessed. I was certain he had a plan to survive.
I haven’t seen him since.
My friend Alex scoops up a stone from around my feet, distracting me from my daydream. “Not still thinking about blood are you, Ruby?” he asks, throwing it over the fence. It clatters against the elm’s trunk at the very edge of the forest, and he smirks.
“Bloodlines,” I correct him. “The Cult watches the families that could bring about change and they use the forest to get rid of us.”
“They get rid of anyone who threatens the safety of the village,” he replies. I glare at him, and he adds, “But sometimes their judgement is skewed.”