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Just The 4 Of Us

by April Hart 

Posted: 19 September 2007
Word Count: 2771
Summary: Fantastic and exciting read about four teenage children who must find their way to each other and travel across a dangerous country to find the truth about their past but by mistake they stumble across something darker, something far more dangerous than the monsters that occupy the land. Using the mysterious gifts they discover they must learn to use them not just to discover themselves but to stay alive.

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Four women ran into the stone circular room as fast they could, thrusting aside the objects that stood in the way. It was a marvellous room with expensive wall hangings and a comfortable carpet that could easily be removed so that the room could be decorated in an even more fashionable way as the fashion in Pyratheon seemed to change with the wind. The sight that you could see from the single small window was astounding. Most of the time people that looked at it were captivated by the beauty of the land but the four had no such time for pleasantries. The carpet was ripped up and thrown down the tower stair that led to the room they were in.
“Bar the door.” The command was given by a raven haired woman clad in red armour. The blonde woman waved her hand and a spurt of air knocked a strong wooden plank into place.
“It won’t hold them for long,” another of the four said.
“I know, but it will keep them away long enough to do what we must.” The red armoured woman said and turned to the fourth of them. “Did you bring the tools?” Silently, for the woman was a mute, the fourth spread out four pieces of cloth: red, blue, white and brown. Next she put out four stones of the same colours and removed a candle, an incense stick, a crystal and a bowl from her sleeve and put them at four points in the room. The black haired woman blinked and the candles flame flickered into existence causing red wax to start dripping. She started to sing a chant, a very ancient and seemingly forgotten chant that grew louder and louder each time it was spoken. The blonde woman blew a short spurt of air from her lips that sent the smell of the incense wafting through the small room as she did it over again, a plain scent but delightfully refreshing. The ingredients used in the stick were most often used to purify. If you listened closely you would hear faint notes of music caused by the speed of the air moving getting faster and faster, that acted as a second level of the chant. The third woman lifted her arms and four pillars appeared, raising the objects up onto a higher ground so that they were level with all four of the women’s eyes. The mute lifted one hand and shot out a stream of water to fill the bowl. At once everything blended together. There was a flash of bright light and everything fell silent. The material and stones had moulded into each other to create four different necklaces.
“It is done.” They all said when darkness filled the room and the necklaces disappeared. The barrier on the door finally gave way and shadows that were once men swarmed in and out again leaving nothing but four piles of dust.

The Four
A girl was wiping the mud of her tatty clothes when Damian, the girl’s childhood friend, came running up to her, a ridiculously silly grin spread across his face.
“Natalya!” he called out to her, “how is you?” Natalya was about to answer when he interrupted.”Never mind. Guess what?”
“Hmmm...You have a long lost rich brother that wants to include you in his family and wouldn’t mind taking me in at the same time?” She asked hopefully.
“Sort of but that’s not what I came here to say. Lord Whiner is holding a competition for the best archer, sword fighter, jouster, hand to hand combat and all-rounder.” He ticked them off his fingers as he said them. “It’s tomorrow. I entered you into it. The winner gets 100 gold pieces.” She stared at him in shock. Several thoughts were streaming through the girls head. There’s no way I’m good enough for this. The best fighters in the country will be there. Everyone dreams of having that money and where will I get a sword, bow and arrows and a joust from in time for tomorrow and anyway, I’m just a peasant girl. She repeated all of these thoughts to Damian. He just smiled and said,
“Remember I said ‘sort of’ to your question about a rich relative. Well, I do have a rich relative but he’s my mother’s, fathers, brothers, cousins, son. I didn’t know that he existed, especially since Ma died.” The boy paused for a moment and took a deep breath, continuing what he was saying. “He won’t take us live with him but he will supply us with what we need. So come on, I’ll have to take you there.” And with that he grabbed her wrist and dragged the girl behind him for a mile through windy cobbled streets passing rickety old houses. During this journey Natalya thought about her friend. He didn’t talk about family much, not since his Ma died. Damian was so worried about his younger sister developing the disease that his Ma got but there was nothing he could do about it. It was his sisters’ duty, even though she was only a year older than him, to stay at home and do the cooking and the cleaning and looking after the sick. She was starting to show the first signs of the illness. Damian’s sister was the world to him, he had displayed that he was not going to let his little sister get hurt when he found that the man who had been selected as an appropriate husband pinning her down on the bed, taking advantage of the fragile girl. Damian still had the bruises on his knuckles from when he had hit the man and the bruises from his father where he had been clouted for losing a chance to be rid of one of his father’s responsibilities so he didn’t have to spend so much money. When Damian had told his Da about what the man had almost done he didn’t care. His father just went down the local pub, like always. Natalya snapped back to her senses when she started noticing the change in class. The street had three sections to it with a large gap in between. Where the two children had started from was the poorer half where the poor quality housing and the polluted streets were. When they reached the house of Damien’s relative Natalya noticed that the house belonged to someone in the middle class and it was at the end of that section of the street, closest to the richer and far more expensive houses. “Impressive eh? Cummon, we use the servants’ entrance coz we don’t want to pull his name down into the mud. Imagine his peers faces if they saw two mud splashed kids walking through the front gates bold as brass.” Natalya looked down at herself. Damian had a point. “He might not help us if we did.” They walked down the well trodden path through a nice looking garden to the servants’ entrance and told a stuffy old man called a butler why they were there. He led them into a very richly decorated room where the two would wait for Damian’s relation. Natalya was just considering picking up something silver and putting it into her pocket when the door opened and a portly man stepped through holding a wine glass filled with crimson liquid. He looked at Damian, then at the girl and a look of disgust crossed his face. He turned back to Damian.
“I don’t recall permitting you to bring guests.” He said in a deep voice. He’s so serious, she thought, it’s amazing that he’s related to Damian.
“Oh, she was a necessary person to bring. I thought that she might need to see the weapons she’s using before the competition.” Damian replied in a clear and confident voice.
“You’re entering a girl into a competition. She will be no good and I shall happily laugh at her.” There was silence for a moment.
“I think Richard needs a demonstration Natalya. Don’t you agree?” Damian said sweetly to her. The girl was staring at the floor, feeling out of place in her shabby clothes amongst all this finery before this but when Damian said that his relation might want a demonstration she realised this was her chance to prove herself. Natalya’s eyes snapped up to meet Richard and a corner of her lips lifted into a dangerous half-smile. Richard took a step backward. In the blink of an eye she was standing opposite him, the shards of glass that was his wine glass lay on the floor. Richard’s eyes flicked from hers to the shards and back up again as he recalled what he had just seen. Natalya had managed to get to the other side of the room and kick the glass with such a perfect accuracy that she had clearly astounded him. “Is that enough of a demonstration for you?” Damian asked politely. Richard took a deep breath and let it out slowly, obviously trying to let out the fear and respect that had crept into his eyes.
“So...how can help you two?” Damian and the girl smiled and started to tell him what they needed.

Rose was staring out of her elegantly framed window into the streets below her when a knock came from her bedroom door.
“Come in,” Rose called in a bored tone, not taking her eyes of the scene below her.
“I hope I haven’t bothered you Miss Whiner,” Clare called in timidly. Rose tore her eyes away from the window and looked at her servant with an unreadable expression on her face.
“No not really. And please do not call me ‘Miss Whiner’. You may be my servant but you are also my friend. Call me Rose.” Rose hated formality.
“Of course Miss- I mean Rose. So, what are you looking at?” Clare added to her friend when she turned back to stare out of the window again.
“Oh, nothing.”
“Nothing seems to produce the most fascinating reactions in people,” Clare indicated to Rose holding up a mirror. She had gone bright red. I can’t believe I was caught Rose thought now she’s going to think the wrong thing if I tell her but I don’t really have much choice. “Look I know there’s something going on. You’ve been staring out of that window every day for the past 2 weeks at around the same time of day. I’m your friend, you can tell me in confidence,” Clare said reassuringly.
“Well, I suppose you will not let this drop will you?” Clare shook her head. “I guess I should tell you then. I know you will not tell anyone so... I feel drawn to one of the boys that works on the market there. I can’t explain why but...” Rose trailed of and indicated to the market stall opposite to her fathers’ large house. Clare drew in a sharp breath. Rose instantly wished she hadn’t said anything.
“Your father will not approve, you know that! Do not pursue this boy Rose.” She sighed, “I shouldn’t know this but servants hear all the gossip, your father is planning to take you to the Spring Ball and is hoping to pick a suitor for you. I’m sorry but even if by some miracle he lets you be with a working class man, people would look down on you.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Rose said quietly to herself. She couldn’t quite explain how she felt, it wasn’t an emotion, it was a sense but if she said that to Clare she would think entirely different to how it was meant. She walked over and sat on the new crisp linen sheets staring around her room. A fine-looking wardrobe stood in the corner holding her gowns, next to this a table with a lace covering and an antique vase upon it. Across the room a large bookcase held several old books including her bible of which she read passages from every night, upon her fathers’ request. She knew that she could not pursue this strange feeling because it will mean giving up all of this. She was not strong enough.
“Please excuse me Rose but I feel that I must get back to the kitchen to prepare some food for your fathers guests. May I suggest that you wear your blue dress today as the weather is so fine?”
“I will see you later, maybe we will be able to persuade my father to let me go into the dress makers over the other side of town and take a certain servant with me.” Rose hinted to Clare. She nodded and left the room. Rose let out a long sigh. Clare was her best friend and they had known each other for 3 years but people could only see a mistress and servant relationship because of her status. This is stupid Rose thought I should be allowed to be friends with whoever I want, not with whoever fits my status. With another heaving sigh she said her dressing servant could come in and start to dress her in the fine blue dress that Clare had suggested.

John looked up at the window opposite his market stall. The window belonged to a young lady, the daughter of Lord Whiner, owner of the large and expensively decorated house. John shook his head. How could anyone be so selfish? The money spent on decoration could be given to the poorer people so that they could buy food and drink. Thinking of food made his stomach growl. He hadn't eaten properly for 3 days now, all the money that he earned working here was being spent on making his sister better though he felt it was a lost cause. She was seriously ill and was getting worse by the day. The money that's spent on one golden leaf of decoration on that house could help pay for my sisters health. And food. He added as his stomach growled again. He looked back up at the window and managed to catch a glimpse of a blue fine material. John gave start as a carriage swept past and splashed him in mud. The driver stopped outside the magnificent house and got down from his seat. It looked as though he was hastily coming to apologise to John for what he had done but at the last moment opened the door of the carriage to an expensive looking man. As the man stepped out of the carriage a look of disgust crossed his handsome face.
“Next time do not make me step out into this filth servant,” he spat and turned on his heel. His polished shoes clicked up the neatly lain path toward the house.
“Yes sir.” The carriage pulled away to a refined spot and a portly dressed man and an elegantly dressed lady stepped out of the house. Lord Whiner and Rose Whiner, father and daughter walked down the path to meet the new arrival.
“Greetings Charles Rife. What a fine day, don’t you agree?” Lord Whiner asked cheerfully.
“Yes, a perfect day for drinking tea in the garden. I am sure your beautiful daughter would agree.”
“Now, now, Sir! I cannot have that kind of talk toward my daughter,” Lord Whiner said. He inclined Rose Whiner to go inside which she did. “Not until after the wedding anyway,” he added with a quiet hush.
“Let us go inside. I do not enjoy the watching of riff raff.” Master Rife said with a contemptuous glance in John’s direction. The two men walked inside. Rif-raff indeed. Just cause I’m not as stuffy as them or as posh as them or as rich as them doesn’t mean I’m riffraff. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a voice call,
“Oi, are going to do any work today or are you going to stand and stare after the two posh gits.” With a start he realised that he had been staring and turned round to face his boss with a grin on his face.
“Well I was considerin’ starin’ after the ‘two gits’ as you call ‘em Raffi.” His boss laughed and tossed him a rose. “Why thank you sir,” John said mockingly, “but I don’t think I can accept such an intermit gift this early in our relationship.” Raffi laughed again.
“You never fail to make an impression John. You’ll have a fine lady some point in your life. Now get to work and start selling me some flowers to the pretty women. There’s a reason I keep you boy. The ladies love you.”

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