Everyone was singing around the campfire, dancing, and having a good time...then Jayckie ran into camp and everything went quiet. She whispered one word...guards.
In a split second the camp was full of activity. The fire was doused, food and any items disappeared. Just as quickly as it started, the hustle was over...and the camp gone.
Five pairs of eyes watched from various hiding places. There were people in trees, bushes, behind rocks, and more. Everyone was anxious.
Shouting was heard as three guards walked into the clearing.
One was tall with a red handprint on his helmet, another had armor that was dented beyond repair, and the third was short and round enough to make a bowling ball look flat.
“Where did that rascal go?!” the tall guard asked.
“We almost had her!” yelled the guard with dented armor.
“I think she went this way,” said the tall guard.
“No, this way,” replied the guard with dented armor.
“You’re both wrong, this way,” the round guard announced.
“I think we should split up,” the tall guard said smartly.
“I agree,” said the guard with dented armor.
“Well, no use waiting around. Meet me at the boat at eight o’clock sharp!” ordered the round guard. He looked pleased when the other two guards left.
He went his own way smiling and humming out of the camp.
He nor his companions knew that where they had just been standing was full of fun and laughter just moments before, and if things went as planned, they never would.
After a few moments, a redhead with very curly hair climbed out of a tree, clearly upset. Once the other people saw her sitting on a log, they too came out of hiding.
Now, these people are not just any people. These are kids. The youngest is six, the oldest is fifteen. They all ran away, forming what they call, The Pack.
Jayckie has long multi-colored hair tied with black strings like a braid around her hair.
When the wind blows and her is down, you see blue, purple, red, green, orange, purple, lime, violet, and much more. Her eyes are a deep, sea blue that look into her soul.
They always did say the eyes are the windows to the soul. While Jayckie enjoys her name, she prefers the name Jay. She thinks it makes her seem closer to her thirteen years.
Maxi has light violet colored hair with lime green tips. Her eyes are grey and hard. Most of the time, she is out stealing for The Pack.
In the entire group, she is the only one who can get away with it. Maxi, or Max as her friends call her, has a cool head and can think well on her feet.
Her thirteen years seem more like sixteen as she is sly and foxy.
Reena, or Ree, is the oldest at fifteen. She is cool headed and reasonable, but does not like being in charge. She acts as the second-in-command.
Her pink hair is cut into a short bob, and her violet eyes are big and sparkling. She isn’t the most talkative person but when she says anything, people listen to her.
Little Sam was adopted into Arialexa Lacy’s family. At only six years old he doesn’t really hang out with any of the girls. When Arialexa Lacy decided to run away, she took him with her.
He doesn’t know that he is actually Arialexa Lacy is his real sister, that she was adopted too, but she knows. Sam has black hair and bright, green eyes.
He is short for his age and, like Ree, doesn’t talk much. Everyone loves him, and sometimes take a day off to make him new toys, as an apology for not letting him have friends.
Arialexa Lacy is the leader of The Pack. She is only fourteen years old, but is the strongest and most fiery girl you will ever meet.
She isn’t amazingly strong muscle wise, but is strong in heart. Out of everyone, she is the smartest. She is a good person, and calls her pack her family on occasion.
Nobody calls her Arialexa Lacy, they call her Lixa. She knows everything she needs to about the palace and the evil king. That is why she ran away with baby Sam.
Lixa’s hair is the same red as a burning fire, and long. Long as in all the way down to her knees. Her hair is so curly and dense, it looks like a forest.
Her eyes reflect her mood and are a deep, emerald green in color. Lixa’s mood swings are so dramatic, only her friends understand her. You don’t want to mess with Arialexa Lacy.
Nobody messes with her, except for Jay every once in awhile, but even Jay never comes out unscathed.
Anyway, as everyone came out of their hiding places, Lixa stood up and kicked a rock, sending it spinning towards a nearby tree. It left a mark the size of her palm. Angrily, she turned to Jay.
Max and Ree quickly sat her back down. They held a whispered conference. Every few seconds one of them would turn and look at Jay. Sam just played with his toys. Jay just sat on a log.
Lixa turned to face Jay. “What were you doing! You almost let them find us!” she yelled.
Jay seemed to become angrier than Lixa. “I was finding food! Did you not realize we are almost out! I get that thieving is Max’s job, but we needed it!” She screamed through tears.
Lixa got quiet, “look in the hollow oak by the stream,” she whispered.
Silently, Jay headed over to the tree Lixa had mentioned. She climbed up and looked inside. It was full of food.
Some were fresh fruits, others candy, everything in their containers just thrown in with all the other food. More food than they had in years. “When did you get this,” Jay asked shakily.
“Yesterday. You need to believe in Lixa, ok Jay?” Max answered,” she knew we were running out, and didn’t want anyone to worry…”
“Believe in her,” Ree said.
Jay sat down, clearly exasperated,”Well…next time, tell me. I’m part of this group too! You three are not the only people who ran away. I was part of this too.
The Pack wouldn’t exist without me!”
Everyone looked at Lixa, who shrugged and rolled her eyes. “Well, next time you have to promise that you won't give us away with your horrible thieving!” she laughed.
“Deal!” Jay giggled.
“Ummm….as much as I love the two of you getting along, we need to move. Fast. Two more guards were spotted,” announced Max.
Quickly, the campers/runaways packed their bags with food and a few measly supplies. Then they left. Sam was in between the girls, Lixa and Ree took the front, Max and Jay took the back.
Most of the food was with Ree, and the weapons with Lixa and Max. Jay carried the cooking supplies and watched over Sam.
As the group crossed through the woodlands, nobody talked. Nobody could make any noise, in case the guards found them. The Pack crossed silently through the woods, knowing every inch by heart.
Everyone, except Sam that is...he just followed Lixa, making sure to be quiet. Not that silence helped anything.
As the five kids approached their main camp, they were in for a big surprise.
Not only were they completely surrounded, the camp had been turned into the palace guard headquarters! Luckily, nobody had spotted them yet...
but it was only a matter of seconds before someone did. Lixa turned everyone around with a few hand signals, straight into a guard staring at them!
Max inhaled sharply, completely taken by surprise,” What are you looking at?” she snapped at the guard. He looked behind him to see if anyone was watching.
This gave Max just enough time to grab her favorite weapon from Lixa, a staff carved from oak and decorated with silver designs of dragons and other magical beings.
She twirled the staff experty in her hand, took a bow and pointed the end straight at the bewildered guard. He raised his hands high and took a step back.
‘I, I mean no harm Miss…” He waved his hand a bit to imply that he was requesting her name. When Max answered him he continued,”Just please don’t hurt me...Maxi, I-I won’t report you or anything.
Max smiled like her foxy self… “Well, take off your helmet.
I want to say this to your face, guard,” she said, flipping her staff expertly before leaning on it like it was the most stable thing in the world.
When the guard removed his helmet, Lixa gasped from behind him. He had the same red hair as she did.
When he turned around, she saw that his eyes were the same green, he looked almost exactly like her. Jay and Ree looked from Lixa to the boy that stood next to her, shocked.
The guard shook like the ground he was standing on was vibrating. Max just smiled.
The guard recovered first saying,” Who are you?”
Lixa shook herself like she was released from a spell,” I am Arialexa Lacy, I was orphaned and ran away. I can do a lot of damage should you turn us in, guard. Oh, and who are you?”
The Lixa look-alike smiled,” I am Asher, your brother. Mum didn’t know what to do with you because both her and dad lost their jobs. They gave you away. I’m sorry.”
Not knowing what to do, Ree and Jay sit down to play with little Sam. Max watched the whole happy reunion, but saw a hint of confusion in Lixa’s eyes.
“So… are we going to have him join us, forget this ever happened, have you leave us, have Ash turn us in…” Max rambled on and on.
“Well, we’ll just have to wait and see,”Lixa said.
“Or we could go with an unnamed option,” said an unknown voice,”The other guards find you and take you back with them.”
As this new voice spoke, The Pack was surrounded by guards. Each had their weapons ready and was so close you could hear their breathing. The girls looked at each other.
In unison, they counted down from three.
And with that, The Pack attacked.