• A pale sickly looking boy with startling blue eyes came crawling forward and wrapped his arms around the legs of my attacker. He began to cough violently, and a specks of dark blood appeared on the dirt floor in front of him.

    Panicking, I sprinted blindly towards the door. A tall, dark skinned boy stood in front of me blocking my path. His features were soft, but his whole aura was harsh and commanding.

    “Where are you going, coward?” he growled, picking me up by the back of my shirt.

    “I didn’t do anything, and I would appreciate it if you’d let me go.” I said bravely, smirking a bit.

    He set me down roughly and looked away. “Go help Stade,” he ordered, pointing to the blue eyed boy.

    I calmly walked over Stade and picked him. He looked to be slightly older than me, but was surprisingly light.

    “What do I do with him?” I called to the dark skinned boy.

    “Put him on the bed,” he grunted, swinging my attacker over his shoulder.

    I found a small, dirty bed in the corner of the room. There didn’t appear to be any blankets or covers, so I lay Stade gently down on top of the mattress. I pulled down my sleeve and wiped the blood from his mouth. Stade’s eyes fluttered opened.

    “Thank you Miss,” he whispered.

    I nodded.

    “Is there anything else I can do?” I asked, more out of politeness than the fact that I actually cared.

    Stade thought for a few seconds. “Would you please go outside and ask Dryden how Gabriel is?” he asked anxiously.

    I sighed, wishing I had never asked, and headed out the door.

    I found the dark skinned boy sitting on the grass outside the pawn shop.

    “Dryden?” I ventured.

    “What?” he sighed in his usual condescending tone.

    “What’s wrong with that kid?”

    Dryden turned to face me. “You mean the one who did that?” he asked, pointing to the gouge on my shoulder. The bleeding had greatly slowed, but the wound stung as the sweat from my forehead poured down into it.

    I nodded shortly and sat down beside him.

    “I don’t think it’s any of your business, but Gabriel has epilepsy. He did nothing wrong, so you have no right to blame him,” he finished threateningly.

    I ignored the last sentence, and staring at the soon to set sun. This place was just another mad house.

    After a few minutes of silence Dryden stood and pulled me up by my injured arm.

    “You’ve got yourself mixed up in this; you’re going to have to talk to Stade.”

    My eyes watered as fresh blood soaked through my shirt.

    “There are two things you should know about me;” I hissed coldly, “first off, I don’t obey you out of fear, but because it is logical, and secondly, I fight to the level of my opponents.”

    Before he could respond, I hooked my leg around his right knee and pulled. Dryden fell to his knees.

    “You’re just a useless cripple,” I sneered, as I walked back into the shop. I had never met anyone in my life worthy of my respect.