Esme and Marcus, by Zahraa

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Exhausted, relieved, starved, they came to a halt as they collapsed onto the sandy ground. The sea   around them blew gently in the breeze, as there was no sight of a ship to ripple the sea. Esme collapsed onto the ground and Marcus knelt down beside her. She groaned in agony and clutched at her head, which felt like it was about to explode, and closed her throbbing eyes, distressed. Marcus gently asked if she was okay. She gave a soft moan, although she managed to nod her head and stand back up. Despite her legs feeling like jelly she stumbled forwards and finally spoke,’’ What should we do, Marcus? This journey has been most tiresome. I think that we will have to settle down here. I don’t think that I can last much longer.’’                                                                                                                                 Marcus found an enclosed cave, which was sure to shelter their head. He found some velvety, mossy leaves and dragged them into the cave. He let Esme retire there and told her not to worry and rest, but inside his heart, Marcus was concerned for her. Was she growing weaker? He pondered outside. Thoughts burst into his head and he tried to let them out. How long could they be there? Would they ever escape? How would they find food? He frowned, and attempted to answer them. Maybe… when Esme was better and war had ended? And he could find fruit in the trees; he wouldn’t have to climb them as there were clusters around the base of the trees. He crouched down and began to collect the fruits. He dried the fruits (which had been wet from a previous rainstorm) and tucked them safely inside his ragged shirt. His eyes fluttered as he lay his head down onto the moss. The first night there was better than expected, as Marcus drifted off. Despite it starting perfectly Marcus was sure that something would soon happen.  Early next morning, however, a bang erupted out of nowhere. Startled, both Marcus and Esme darted up. Esme’s ears pricked up and heard loud, ferocious calls of the King’s dogs. Esme trembled and bit her lip. There must be someone here, they thought. Who was it? Was it someone to capture them, or to help? They could hear voices, which answered their question; ‘‘the king said that his brother built this island. He wants us to search it. So, SEARCH!’’ roared the voice. Panicked, they leant against the dark shadows at the cave, as if they wanted to sink inside. Terrified, Marcus scurried outside and tried his best to conceal the cave. Gradually, footsteps and growls were getting louder. Meanwhile, Esme sobbed silently. They touched the outside, however they didn’t notice that it was a cave. Eventually they got quieter until the voice growled again; ‘‘nobody here. Next island, men!” When they had left, and Marcus was sure, he uncovered the ripe, tempting fruit. Esme gasped, delighted, ‘‘Oh my Marcus! How delicious.’’ She took a bite, and thick juice oozed out of her mouth. They both ate to their hearts content, and Esme appeared to feel much better. Blissfully, she skipped outside, the slim locket that had been against her neck flew out. Marcus frowned, then caught it. He grasped it, and a strange look flitted across his face. ‘‘Esme, what is this?’’

 

Esme fingered her locket lovingly. ‘‘It belonged to my dead mother. Why do you ask? It is my most prized possession.’’

Marcus slowly looked at the engraved markings. ‘‘My dead father had one just like it. The engravings were identical. And he said, before he died, my sister had one just like it. Esme?’’ He suddenly shot at her. ‘‘Forgive me, but… are you my sister?’’

‘‘My mother always said that I had a brother, is it you?’’

Marcus had no time to reply. Another strange look flew onto his face, which turned into terror. A cannon erupted. They both knew what the cannon meant… they were coming. There wasn’t much time. They had to flee, but knowing they had each other made them feel better. Until, at least, the war ended….

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