The forest was dark, darker than she'd ever seen before; the trees casting shadows before her were like skyscrapers. She moved around the forest gracefully, her electric eyes scanning the landscape. She was cautious, yet she acted as if she was protecting her territory. She had a long, doubled edged, sharp as sharp, maliciously dangerous piece of silver in her hand. The handle was braided with black leather and comfortably fit in her hand like it was made particularly for her.
The way she handled it, it was obvious she was a warrior. Her stance was alert, ready to break into a sprint at a moment’s notice, but also had her hand gripped tight around the handle of her knife so she couldn’t be disarmed.
Her eyes searched every shadow as she moved soundlessly, looking for the monsters that were surely going to turn up at some point. They’d been hunting her for days, but she was a natural fighter. She’d killed a countless amount, yet there always seemed to be more.
Suddenly, her eyes detected something out of the ordinary under one of the trees directly in front of her. She blinked a few times, attempting to focus on the mysterious object, but she was still too far away to see clearly. Holding her knife up in the ready position, she advanced slowly forward.
To her surprise, at the base of the tree laid a girl, about her age though she looked nothing like herself. The girl had honey blonde hair, but she seemed to almost blend with the darkness itself. It would have been quite easy for her eyes to skip over the girl if she wasn’t as vigilant as she was. Dressed all in black and laying in the shadows, it was only her golden hair that made her visible to the eye.
She kicked her leg lightly and when the girl didn't respond, she turned her over with her foot just to check she wasn't dead.
The girl wasn’t in good shape. Her clothes were torn, her face was pale with purple shadows under her eyes, and she was covered in small cuts and bruises. But she was breathing steadily.
The warrior first slipped the girl’s backpack off her shoulders, searching for any weapons. She didn’t look particularly dangerous, but she was wary of her anyway. She found basic survival supplies (remnants of food, a canteen of water, a sleeping bag) and a short, sharp dagger. It was covered in bits of grass and dried blood as if it had been simultaneously used to kill an enemy and cut the grass.
A hundred questions ran through her mind. Who is this girl? What is she doing here? How did she get all the cuts and bruises? But these questions would have to wait until the girl came to. Setting down her own and the girl’s supplies a few feet away, she began to make camp.
She had to sleep, but she couldn’t sleep unprotected in plain sight underneath a tree. Usually, if she was forced to sleep in the forest, she would climb a tree and sleep concealed in the branches, but she was hardly up to dragging a second unconscious person up there with her, and she was far to curious about the girl to leave her alone.
Finally, she decided to set numerous snares and traps within a ten foot radius, forming a circle around the pair. That way, if a monster got too close, the sound of the trap would surely wake her up. She slept with her knife in hand as usual, praying that nothing would find her.
* When she woke up, the daylight was streaming through the trees and burning her eyes. Memories from the previous night came flooding back, and she instantly jumped up, knife in hand. She looked around for the girl and noticed she was no longer passed out, but instead sat a few feet away.
There was pause while the two girls looked over each other, attempting to decipher any hidden threats, but both came up with nothing other than the fact that they were both armed with their respective weapons.
She spoke first, breaking the silence. “Good job on the traps. We didn’t get any monsters, but there are a couple of rabbits that we could eat.”
The other girl nodded. “Yes. I think we need to chat.”
* Within half an hour, both girls were sat around a small fire, tearing off chunks of meat. Neither of them particularly enjoyed eating small animals found in the forest, but if you wanted to survive, you had to eat what was available.
“What’s your name?” The blonde girl asked.
“Sloane Doran.” the other answered. “What about you?”
The blonde hesitated. “Rose.”
Sloane raised her eyebrow. “Are you sure? You don’t sound sure.”
“No, it’s just… my name is Emily Rose, but I don’t go by that name any more.”
Sloane waited for her to say more, but she didn’t, though she suspected there was more to the story than just that. But she didn’t push the subject.
“Okay, Rose. Why were you lying unconscious in the middle of the woods?”
“Monsters.” Rose answered. “I was being chased… I managed to kill them, but I knew there’d be more, so I just kept running. I guess I eventually passed out.”
If these few sentences had been given as an excuse to any other human being, they would have instantly assumed the girl was crazy, to say the least. But Sloane nodded; she could relate.
“You too? I thought it was just me. I’m glad I’m not going mad.”
“I thought I was at first.” Rose admitted. “I’m not a great fighter. I mean, I can fight, I know how to dodge, block, attack and stuff, but I lack technique.”
Sloane nodded. “At least we have each other now.”
Rose smiled and nodded, and the two began speaking about other things, slowly beginning to trust each other more and more.
And that was how the friendship of Sloane Doran and Emily Rose began.