The girl was no more then 16 years old. She had curly wild orange hair and vibrant green eyes. She was stooped behind a bush, with the tip of her freckled nose poked over the edge of a leaf. The rushing water roared on by her. The men stood, backs straight and held bayonets, the sharp end glistening in the moonlight. The shadows of the leaves distorted her face, giving her the element of surprise.
"Let's go Aza." The tiny baby sounding voice came from the bush next to her. Aza put a finger to her lips. The gurgling of the creek was nearly drowned out by the sound of a plane passing overhead. Aza felt her gut clench then unclench. Her sister carefully jumped from the bush he hid behind and landed softly next to Aza.
"They go on break soon." She mouthed.
Her sister nodded and her hand grabbed the two black suitcases behind them. The two watchmen stiffened as the patrol leader came close to them. The gave each other a stiff salute and the two turned and marched off. The captain had his back to the girls. Aza nodded. Her sister went first, and took a running start. She slowed when she reached the bank of the river and quickly jumped in.
Aza watched as she left her black suitcase on the bank. Aza ducked from the shadows and grabbed the suitcase. She followed after her sister. Her sister was already by the reeds, waiting for her. She put the black handle of her suitcase and let the current carry her. She dug her foot into the soft dirt and came to a complete halt.
"Thanks Lilly." She quietly whispered to her sister, as she handed her a reed. She watched as Lilly put the reed into her mouth and dived back underwater. Aza put the reed into her mouth, making a face at the horrible taste of algae and followed her sister. Underwater everything seemed peaceful. Undisturbed. Then cool water pressed on Aza as she went as deep as she could without water coming through her reed. Lilly was already far ahead of her. She frog kicked as hard as she could to catch up. As soon as she was far enough downriver, she came up to the surface, and Lilly did the same.
"How far until we reach the train station?" Lilly spoke loudly for the first time in days.
"Shh! It's about a 2 mile walk." Aza shushed her sister and picked up the hard black case. Lilly picked up hers. The forest loomed above them. She shot an anxious glance at Aza.
"We have to sleep in the woods?" She whispered hoarsely.
"Yes." Aza bobbed her head, shaking off water droplets. A plane flew high above, and both Aza and Lilly dived for cover. A few tense minutes passed before Aza heard the far off crash of a missile landing in a far off town.
"Lilly, we can't sleep tonight. We have to keep moving."
Lilly nodded, unhappy about her lack of sleep. Aza took her hand and squeezed it lightly, before stepped into the pitch black shadows.
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