By Eliyah Villalobos-Sharone
Jax: Day two
Jax was willing to kill to get the stardust. His village needed it so much, too much for Jax to care about the other competitors. His family. Luke. Everyone that he cared about would die if he didn’t get that stardust. They were all depending on him. Screw Nina Collins and Loren Davis. They only needed to save one person. Jax needed to save two-hundred-thirteen.
Jax chose the third path only because only Arana Lancing was going on it with him. Jax quickly and confidently jogged ahead. He didn’t need an ally. He was ripped. He had knives that he could fight with or make tools with. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him here. Most desperately, Jax didn’t want to get attached to anyone. If he started to--it would be all over. Jax spent an hour jogging on his own until the trail became so ivy infested that there was no clear way to go. He pulled out his map and compass. It didn’t help Jax as much as he would have liked but he could tell the general direction of where he was supposed to go. He doubted he’d run into anybody. There were only the six of them in the forest. The strongest Magis had cast a spell that strictly let six in every six months to prevent people from stealing the stardust.
It was harder to move forward with the bramble thickening around him, but Jax managed to do so hardly breaking a sweat. It scratched his skin but he didn’t stop. As far as he knew, it was bramble all the way across. As he trudged, Jax let his mind wander. He remembered his siblings, sick, in bed. It was overwhelming. He had left his family when they needed him most, when they were sick from the plague. But he needed to make it here, if any of them were going to survive. His friends, everyone he cared about were there, in the wrath of the plague.
Jax moved faster through the bramble. He couldn’t block out the image of Sorrel, weakly calling out his name. Nobody would be there to comfort her. And Harvard, his playful 12 year old brother that would stop at nothing to tease Jax but then when he found Jax sick, he would do all of Jax’s chores and prepare softer meals for him. Jax cared for Sorrel and Harvard the most out of all of his siblings.
Jax remembered when he had introduced his friend, (though they had barely known each other at the time) Luke to his family, the Wagners. Luke. The reminder of him made Jax crash through the bramble even faster. Luke had been surprised by how large the house was as his parents were both working class.
“We needed a house that big to fit everyone.” Jax had reminded him. Luke had grinned and helped himself to a butterscotch candy that Flora had set out for guests in the mudroom. He popped it into his mouth.
“Tastes great. You should really eat them.” Luke signaled to the butterscotches. “Oh, and I’ll finally meet the, I’ve already heard about a million times, Harvard?” Luke asked grinning. Luke definitely heard a lot from Jax about Harvard.
“Yeah, and my parents, Flora and Jike. Brace yourself. The baby cries a lot.” Candy did cry much more than most babies. If Candy wasn’t mostly Flora and Jike’s responsibility he didn’t know what he would do. But since both of them had full time jobs each of his siblings did share in the responsibility for her.
Jax twisted the key to enter the house. “Oh my god! You’re finally here!” Sorrel came bursting through her room. “Hi Luke!” Predictably excitement gushed through Sorrel’s voice. “It’s nice to see you’ve recovered,” she smiled sweetly.
Just then Candy burst into tears. “I’m sorry, I have to go help Candy.” Sorrel hurried back up to Candy’s cradle. Jax and Luke listened to Sorrel’s “Shhh, it’s okay” for a while before Luke asked to meet Harvard.
“It gets pretty chaotic here. Come on, let’s go to the haunted room,” Jax said, gesturing towards
Harvard’s room. Luke laughed. Jax paused a moment and noticed he might actually have a
friend. It felt good.
Eliyah Villalobos-Sharone is thirteen and lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. She loves Woven Word, where she can write and let her mind wander in a community environment. Eliyah loves writing and hearing other's peoples writing.
Woven Word Young Writers Workshops © 2021 All rights reserved