• Chapter 3- By All Means, What the Heck?

    Sure, this place, my heaven rocks! Sure, I want to stand still and stare at this beautiful scene for hours. Alas, Johan spends all his days taking care of me, so I must work other way around. Awkward hearing that a kid like me takes care of her guardian, eh?
    Sighing, my fingers dance through the branches of a bush. My thumb hits a string. My opposite hand reaches for a bent stick attached to it.
    With a grunt, I pull out my bow.
    What about the arrows? Muscle memory kicks in. I climb my way up a birch tree. My hands perform a rhythm of grabbing a branch, holding on to it to let the other hand catch up, and then looking for a new perch. My feet follow the beat too (wow, that rhymed! I should really be a poet.) Finally, I sense that all the other branches above me would break under my weight, so I pull over and sit down.
    Smiling to myself., I grab a leather bag from a hole in the tree.
    Yea, I’m just magical like that
    Psh, I wish.
    I fling the bag over my shoulder. With bow in hand, I pull out an arrow and push it against the string.
    A cute, brown bunny runs below my swaying feet. The tip of my arrow follows its lopsided track. The poor little thing sniffs at a mushroom then falls over with one side gushing red liquid.
    Sorry tree-huggers! My bad!
    I merrily jump down the tree to the forest floor to collect my kill and arrow. With one hand, I examine the plumpness of the rabbit. Not too skinny; good. Not extremely plump; what a bummer. I stifle a yawn and think well this feller’s worth at least 20 gold at the market.
    Yea, I sell what I kill. I think I mentioned that Johan stays home to care for me. Of course, that means he doesn’t work. So, guess who pays the rent, kids! Johan? I guess he hands the money into the tax collector. Other than that? Nuh-uh. Then who does? You guessed it. Moi. How do I get the money? Hunting. Yes, that’s how I take care of Johan.
    I close my eyes and listen to the birds sing to me.
    Tweet, tweet, chirp, Mechellaaa, chirp chirp. Mitchell, Meshell tweet.
    Huh? My eyes open What the heck?! How did the birds learn my name?
    I don’t know if you readers would feel honored to hear your name sang by the birds, but I sure did. Yea, I guess that’s just me.
    Chirp chirp, Mechellle SahhnnaAahna Tweet.
    Wow, they know my full name! I must be just so awesome!
    I look to see my flying stalker. Sure, it pronounced my name wrong, but whatever.
    Mishelle tweet!
    My eyes track the noise to a small sparrow on the very top branch of an oak, sitting like the star topping a Christmas tree.
    I smile at the sparrow and innocently remark, “Hi birdie.”
    If birds could give their face an evil and dark grin, my stalker does so. To my surprise, the sparrow morphs into a pitch black raven.
    Once again, what the heck?!
    Yea, big what the heck.
    Caw, caw! The bird tries to get my attention, like he didn’t have it already.
    The raven-thing’s cold eyes glint devilishly in the bright sun. Michelle SanaAna.
    Complete shock engulfs me. This time my stalker pronounced my name perfectly. To tell the truth, that didn’t scare me as much as the fact that the raven sounded… human.
    The black bird waits devilishly wanting me to remember something.
    Oh yes. I recall the fact that if a black raven speaks your name, you know that your death is coming soon.
    With that, the bird flies away.

    The idea of death—striking.
    The idea of me dying— oh boy that raven was in for it.
    I quickly rise to my feet and dash to follow the bird of death. As I came closer to my home, I hear loud noises.
    I catch up with the raven without noticing. All I hear is Johan franticly calling my name. I desperately search around the front yard until I lock eyes with my guardian
    I just about grin seeing his familiar face, but then I find the reason of panic.
    Johan doesn’t even try to escape two blood-thirsty looking grips on his arm. His eyes reveal a hidden guilt. Furious, I ready my bow. One of the guards smirks.
    “Michelle, stop! Trying to save me would be suicide! Just freaking run!” shouts Johan.
    With that, a guard hits him in the head with a big electrical spear. Ouch. Johan collapses on the ground in horrific pain. A strange feeling runs through me. Not shock or joy, something I have never felt before. Something that made me certain that Johan was about to die. Along with that feeling came another that somehow made me think—no, know I could bring him back to life after he became deceased.
    “Johan,” I call, “you’re going to die. I’m not guessing. I know.”
    His face shows surprise despite his recent injury (wow, I wish I could be that strong.) “Know? How?”
    “No clue. Also, I know once you die, I can help, I know I can do something!”
    “You can. That is why you must run away. Run. Learn how to control that urge to help the dead; your power. Leave me here. I will always watch over your soul. I let this fate come. I was lucky I escaped it for so long. Just go Michelle, go. You’re a Heart. It’s a deadly fate that you cannot escape. So now you must get out of here, and save yourself.
    “Bro—” he locks eyes with the raven as an understanding passes between them. “Follow the northern star, Michelle. The one in our skies.”
    Shocked and confused, I look at my raven stalker. At that moment, he morphs into a literal golden eagle. He takes off into the air shining so brightly that he looks like a star. The bird’s beautiful solid gold wings propel him north.
    The northern star.
    I hear Johan’s last scream and look back. His body lies on the ground with the glint of life missing from his eyes. Trying to follow one of Johan’s last requests by resisting the urge to help, I turn my head and rush towards my guiding light.