Crash! Clink! What was that? I look up from watching my dog Burr playing with a stick. Suddenly I hear a strangled cry. Wait... the only other person in the house is my sister Emma. The cry sounded awfully close. I jump up, gently telling Burr to stay. My small, obedient dog sits and I hesitantly open the kitchen door where Emma was last.
Emma is on the floor, breathing shallowly. I do not see a weapon anywhere, but no matter.
"Emma! Are you all right?" I ask, then curse myself for asking such a pointless question. I try again. "Who did this to you?"
"Alexia Underwood... " Emma never calls me Alexia. "I know it and you know it. I'm practically already dead. Run before he comes again."
"But..." I protest. Emma is almost still. Then with a final heave of her chest, Emma's last action is turning the room deathly silent. It hits me right then. My sister, the sister who taught me everything, gave me all the love she had, is dead.
What should I do? The most reasonable thing to do is mourn, but I'm doing that anyway. Literally bucketfuls of salty, gritty tears are pouring out of my eyes. After a few minutes there are no more tears left, and I get up to see the my only friend in the world now, Burr. I gather the meager food we still have on my way out. Without thinking, I also grab my trusty bow, and a huge bag of arrows. Tired and still letting silent tears fall from my eyes, I lead Burr out the door of our cottage. I almost don't see it, but Burr tilts her head toward our stream. Gratefully patting her head, I fill a canteen with cool, fresh water.
Almost to myself, I murmur, "I have to avenge Emma's death." Burr looks up at me brightly like a small, hopeful child, as if to say, Of course, Lexy, and I'll follow you wherever you go.
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