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Shelter Not Found : When Lana returns home from war, she finds her small town burnt down. Finding her brother the only survivor, how will they survive, or will they?
Posted by Dessie, Aug 14, 2016. 278 views. ID = 7178

Shelter Not Found

Posted by Dessie, Aug 14, 2016. 278 views. ID = 7178
This post was written in 0 minutes.
I've been working on this for two months and I finally have the first two chapters. Please review!
This post has been awarded 5 stars by 1 reader.

Chapter 1

It had been three years since I had last set eyes on my beautiful town. I knew it would be different, but the sight waiting for me took the air out of my lungs and turned it to ash.

It had all burned; the entire landscape a blackened grave for all I had once loved. My heart jumped into my chest as I started walking towards the remains of the town of Poe.

The ground of the market square crunched beneath my feet, and I wondered why the charred skeletons of perhaps my family, my friends, were marked by stones with names scratched on them placed by...some kind stranger? It didn't matter then; first I had to go home. I knew my way well. Through the red chalk road, under the coal covered arch, and along the third ally to the right.

I approached slowly, with small steps. My childhood habit of twisting my hair nervously returned. My house was no longer the shelter I knew. The tree with my old tire swing had crashed into the kitchen , the rubber had melted on my flowerbed.

My yellow wooden fence fell down when I opened it, turned dark brown on one side. I wanted my older brother to be there, needed him to smile at me as he pushed me and waved his hands, signing that he was worried sick. I gathered my courage and put my hand on the doorknob, but couldn't open it. I knew that the only thing awaiting me were two graves. My brother, and my cat would be lined up in a row of fresh dirt.

Only after the air was windy and ashes were in my eyes did I twist my wrist and the door seemed to be pulled from me by some force. But this force had brown hair and blue eyes and was dressed in torn orange overalls and a once white shirt. I didn't accept that he was standing in front of me. I punched. I kicked this impossible vision of my Tom. How dare he let me stand there and doubt his survival?!

Finally he grabbed me signing rapidly with one hand, too fast for me to understand. He punctuated each sentence with his expressions, repeating the same motions with his hands and eyes.

I laughed and raised my hands. "Too fast."

"Stop! Lana!" His strangled voice pushed out, desperately covering my mouth and bringing me forward in a hug.

I knew he only signed when it was needed. Like when the tornados would come over our house and the winds roared through our ears.

I tried to remember the sign language he taught me. My hands moved awkwardly. "How are you alive, my brother?"

"I left to Elyand for help. Upon return was welcomed by the blaze." He was turning his head and signing in a frenzy; he was scared. I only remembered seeing him scared once before, when mother was taken by the soldiers.

"Tom, what's wrong?" My hand went to the dagger at my side.

He crouched down so his large frame shadowed me. He put his hands to his chest with his thumbs up and his eyes suddenly serious. "Soldiers."

A rustle behind me triggered my senses. I sprang from my stillness and let out my breath at my small black cat.

"Loki!" He leapt up an rested on my shoulder. "Damn cat!"

Tom whistled twice, our old signal to hide from our mother past bedtime. He led me down steps I didn't know we had, hidden by the tree.


I was led into a small room. It looked like the old shelters mother once told us of, used for storms called 'hurricanes.'

Tom took Loki off my shoulders, tossed him out the door, and quickly shut it. I moved to protest, but I was too intrigued by what I could see out of the crack in the door.

Two Elyand soldiers digging through rubble and trash until Loki sprang out at one of them.

"Ah, it's just another cat! False alarm! Back to base!"

Loki happily run back to our hide away with a whistle from Tom.

"Okay, Lana. No talking outside, not even whispering. Elyand is not an ally anymore. They've aligned with Grevence. I was banned from Elyand. The royal court approved Grevence's plans to burn Poe as long as the citizens were warned and given a time to move. We didn't have a chance. I was so worried when I received your letter saying you were arriving then. Why are you here now? You are two days late."

I tried to tell him what had delayed me, but did such a horrible job that he laughed and handed me my old notepad and pencil.

I quickly scribbled down, 'Soldiers; in yard.'

Copyright 2016 Dessie. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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