Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Well, here is my first book so far. I was inspired to write it after reading The Hunger Games. Although, I do not have a name for it yet. Here it is:
As soon as I walk out of school, I noticed it was cool and moist. I look up, the sky is gray. It probably won’t rain but if it does it will be a mist. On my way home I decide it will be good enough weather to hunt. While hunting I see my friend, Kiko.
“Hey there Lu…” Kiko begins to say, but I hush her. She instantly knows why. Branches are cracking in the distance. Just as we hide in the underbrush, a girl followed by a boy run into our hunting grounds. They look worried. I gesture to the tree and the girl climbs up with no problem. For the boy, he was shorter-maybe younger-than the girl and couldn’t find good footing on the tree. I almost knew something bad was going to happen, so I hide in the underbrush making myself almost invisible. Soon after, Kiko follows. We wait. A piercing sound silences all the birds. We look out and see the boy-who finally found some footing on the tree-with a spear in his back where his stomach. The boy was then dragged into the darkness. We wait for about an hour. I’m sure all the game was scared away by all this but that’s not the point. I tell the girl it is alright to come down. No reply. I look up to see if the girl is there, but nothing is moving. I climb the tree-Kiko on the guard on guard-to see if the girl is not dead. Good news and bad news. Good news, the girl is not dead. Bad news, she fainted with a bounty hunter of some kind on her butt. I knew nothing about fainting people.
“Kiko.” I whisper down but loud enough for her to hear.
She looks up. “What?”
“Take the girl.” I say as I pass her body down. Right away Kiko knows she is safe with us. She dives into our underbrush cave that we hid in a few minutes ago. When I come in I see Kiko saying something to the girl’s almost lifeless body.
I hear her saying, “Rue…Rue.” I guess that’s her name. Kiko turns to me with a worried look, “I need water, Luke.” I know in a split second if I don’t get the water, this is going to get ugly and fast. I know every nook and cranny of these woods. So, I head in the direction of the nearest water source, not that far from here. I have to get to that water now.
I hit the ground after tripping on something. My eyes widen as I found out what I tripped on. I reach for my bow which is about a yard or two in front of me. This is going to be hard. I jump up as the wolf stares into my eyes. It’s now or never. I run forward knowing the wolf is on the move behind me. I grab my bow, draw an arrow and shoot. As the arrow flies in the air towards the wolf I slam into the ground. A yelp, and then silence. I hurry and get back up on my feet. I know Kiko is probably worried, for me and Rue. I also know I am close to the lake. There it is, my lake. When I get to the bank I remember that I have nothing to hold the water in. I look around desperately. I finally find a bush with leaves big and sturdy enough to hold the water in. I grab one and roll it so water can go inside. I put it in the water and hurry back, watching my step this time. When I get back I am carrying the water in the leaf and the wolf. Kiko looked confused for a second-I bet it is weird to see your friend with a leaf and a wolf-but takes the water. She gave me her knife, which is sharper than mine. I gut and skin the wolf knowing that is what Kiko wanted me to do. I cut big chucks out of the meat, knowing later, if needed, we can cut them into smaller pieces. I look over to Kiko. The girl, I mean Rue, was on the ground. Kiko poured some water on Rue. I could hear her breathing better than when I first got here. I sigh, not from grief but from happiness. Kiko’s mom is a healer and she learned her techniques. I open my pack and get out some blankets-which I always carry around in case something, like this, would happen. I hand them to Kiko. She lays them down, when I hear something. Kiko must of heard it ,too, because she was staring in the direction of the sound. I stick my head out of the underbrush cave and see a truck with a harpoon-just like the one that killed the boy-on the back driving past. I hurry back in the cave and hush Kiko. She and I both look at Rue knowing if they find her, she will die. But if they find her, they will find us, too. Knowing how dangerous this could be I decide to climb a tree to get a better look. I know I should do it because,1, Kiko is healing Rue and, 2, I am the better tree climber. Kiko nods as I climb the tree. I look at the driver seat, but no one is there.
It must be one of those electronic ones I saw on T.V. You put in someone’s I.D. and the truck tracks them down until they are found. But that doesn’t stop it from killing anything else. A turkey gobbles into the path of the truck. A harpoon lunges into the turkey’s heart, killing it instantly. Another harpoon comes out of the back of the truck, ready to kill anything else. See, that just proved my point. I wait until I can’t see the truck anymore to climb down the tree. By my look Kiko knows what kind of truck it is. But, luckily I have an idea. I cut some hair from Rue and stick it to a log and roll it in the clearing. I can hear the truck approaching. It appears. A piercing sound. Kiko sticks her head out so she can see it. The truck leaves. Kiko is very observant and saw the truck I.D. scan the log and posted positive.
OK, the truck will be sent back as soon as The Sun Tribe knows it is a trick. The Sun Tribe is in control of the other tribes. The other tribes are The Moon Tribe, The Water Tribe, The Earth Tribe, The Air Tribe, The Snow Tribe, and the last and least The Tribe. That is my tribe. We are so poor that we don’t get a name. At least we are unique. We are the only tribe that, well make that family, that still brings music to the world. Our favorite band is Linkin Park. They are from way back in time but some how we know their songs. My favorite songs have to be, “When They Come for Me”, “Iridescent”, and “Waiting for the End”. They all seem to end at the same topic, feeling out of place. That’s me, Mr. Oddball. I don’t like to talk, I love to sing, and besides Kiko I have no friends. Kiko on the other hand, Loves to talk,-when it is safe to-doesn’t know how to sing much, and has tons of friends. All kids at school are like Kiko.
Oh yeah, back to the truck. I grab Rue and carry her in the direction I know is home.
When we get back I lay Rue on the table at Kiko’s house. Her mom gets to work while Kiko and I watch. By the way, I am Luke. I am told that I drift off a lot. And when I say a lot I mean A LOT! I doze off mostly listening to music. I go off into another world. Not one I can remember though. I stare off into the distance, letting the song guide me to it. And when I say me I mean my soul, the part that only music can reach. If you are a person who worships music you would understand.
Sorry! I’m doing it again. I told you I doze off!
“Luke. Luke. LUKE!” Kiko is yelling at me.
I turn. “What? What do you want?” I ask.
“You were dozing off again. I worried about you this time.”
That is a surprise. She never talks about her feelings to me. “It is about time.” I say jokingly. She sighs in defeat. “So is she awake?” I ask.
“Yeah. Want to meet her?” What? I dozed off through that whole operation and didn’t even notice!
I sigh. “Yes.” Kiko leads me to the guest room, where I see Rue sitting.
“Hi. I am Rue.” She says shyly.
“Hi. I am Luke.” I manage to say before Kiko butts in.
“He saved your life. And mine. And his own.” Kiko says proudly. No wonder people like Kiko, she makes you feel like a hero-even though I was-most of the time. And she can hunt. But The Sun Tribe doesn’t tolerate hunting. Or gathering. So the only people in The Tribe who like our meat are traders. We can score big on the wolf meat-and innards, some people like them-with the tribe’s trading post, The Dot. Well, we couldn’t have The Lantern, Sun’s, The Crater, Moon’s, The Seal, Water’s, The Mountain, Earth’s, The Vent, Air’s and The Snowflake, Snow’s. And if you didn’t notice we had to make it sound like it was related to that kind of tribe. So, The Dot was perfect. Because we are like dots living here in The Tribe.
OK I noticed it this time because I am staring at Rue who is talking to Kiko but I can’t hear their conversation.
“Sorry, I dozed off.”
“That is OK. I noticed right after you did and started talking to Kiko.” Rue says quietly.
“Well, if you are going to stay here, you better get used to it.” Kiko says making me feel bad.
“OK, now that we know who’s who, lets in role you at school.” I begin to say.
“We can’t do that yet.” Kiko screams at me. I understand what she means. If The Sun Tribe knows she in role in school at The Tribe they6 would find her within an hour.
“Then, what are we going to do with her?” I ask.
“I don’t know, ask her?” Kiko yells at me.
“I want to go to sleep. But with you yapping back and forth, it is kind of hard.” Rue yawns out. “Good night.”
“Good night.” Kiko and I say together. It was nice to have a friend other than Kiko. Because Kiko makes you feel great and then chops you down to size by a complaint. Hopefully, Rue likes to sing.
“OK.” I say calmly, after I shut the door to Rue’s room. “She is likely to be hungry. I know I am and I wasn’t running for who knows how long.”
“I’m hungry, too. Wait, didn’t you get a kill during all of that hub-bub?”
“Yes I did.” I say proudly remembering the wolf and two rabbits from the snares I checked on the way. “A wolf.” I pause. “And two rabbits.”
Kiko is staring at me with the look that says “Whoa.”, as I pull out the wolf and the two unskinned rabbits. “How did you… I mean…wait, what?” Kiko stutters out.
“You know how I got the wolf but on the way back I checked the snares I set up and found these.” I say gesturing to the rabbits.
“But you were carrying Rue and you were in front of me. How?”
“Secret! I will never tell you it.” I say. Now she is going to be watching me closely. Trying to get my gold mine of a secret. “How about we look at the other snares quickly, and see what we can cook. Oh yeah I got some roots.”
“How did you know...”
“Because you are predictable!” I say with a smile. Of course I knew she was going to say “Are they edible?” and “How did you know what I was going to say?” She is that easy to predict off of.
“Well, you are right. We should go now before Rue wakes up.” Kiko says. The opening of a door sends my head flying in that direction. Rue was peeking out at us.
“Can I come? I love harvesting.” Rue says hopefully.
I look at Kiko. She shrugs. “Come with us to ask my mom if she thinks it is safe.” Rue dashes out to us.
“Hopefully she says yes!” She turns to me. “Of course I like to sing. Who doesn’t?” I point to Kiko. Rue gasps. “You don’t like to sing?”
Kiko noticed Rue was talking to her and said “I just haven’t learned how to sing yet. OK?”
Rue nods. “I’ll teach you.” Rue says finally. “How hard could it be?” Kiko and I shrug. Whenever she comes to my house, it is full of music. Mostly from my mom’s guitar. But when I am home I try to teach, not to sing, but to play drums. Yeah, drums.
If you come into my house when I’m home, you can hear a pretty good, but not perfect, replay of almost any Linkin Park song. “Rue,” I start to say. “Do you know how to play drums?”
She looks at me puzzled. “What are drums?”
“They are…” I begin to say before Kiko finishes.
“instruments that when you hit it, it makes sound.”
“I could have said it a lot better but oh well. We better hurry and…” I stop.
“Hurry and what, Luke?” Kiko asks.
I turn to Rue. “You can’t come with us, Rue. It is too risky because if the truck was sent back to pick you up we will be hiding all day.” I say.
Rue nods. “Hurry back! I’m starving!”
Kiko and I both nod. We head out. Kiko is keeping a close eye on me as I grab game from the snares just like I expected. But I would never use my trick if I didn’t need to. I pause. “Kiko,” I begin. “If the truck comes back we still have to hide.”
“I know. But this way they can’t get Rue.” We start back when I hear something growling. It is definitely not a wolf anymore. I turn. My bow up. “A bear!” Kiko squeaks out. I shoot. Big mistake.
“Run!” I scream to Kiko. The bear lunged towards us. I turn around quickly and shoot again. We are running away from home, I know it. But I know we are also running towards a cliff because of the land and my head map. Our only chance of making it back home alive is to kill the beast. “Climb that tree.” I order Kiko. She does as soon as I do. The bear lunges at my tree. I shoot towards its head. It growled as it slowly died. I know my arrow didn’t kill it. I missed its head and hit its shoulder. I know what killed it as soon as it was being dragged away. The truck. It was following our movement probably for a long time.
“Luke.” I hear Kiko whisper to my tree.
“Yes.” I whisper back.
“We need to get back now!”
The truck rolls away leaving the bear behind. We climb down our trees carefully. I run to the bear and pick out my arrows. I fling the bear over my back and run into the weeds as soon as the truck comes.
As soon as the truck leaves I am on my feet. I sprint home. Kiko is out soon after me. “Let’s count our game.” I say as if nothing happened. We count one bear, one wolf, six rabbits, three squirrels, and one turkey. We head home and hand the wolf to Miss Eshbaugh, Kiko’s mom. I start to skin the rabbits when I remember Rue. Kiko must have remembered, too, because she was coming down the stairs with Rue before I could sat anything.
Rue’s eyes glisten. I can tell that she has never seen much meat let alone lots of meat, like this. I start skinning the meat again. In no time I only have half the bear to skin. “I am glad we are a team. You can hunt, gather, skin, and trap good. And I am here to help you with those things.”
“Don’t forget the use of me and herbs to save Rue.” I say with a smile as I skin the last bit of fur off of the bear. “By the way, if you were wondering, her last name is Eshbaugh.” I say pointing to Kiko. “and mine is Scherich.” Kiko’s great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother is Anja Eshbaugh. Mine is Jordan Scherich. They were best friends. When the tribes started Jordan and Anja didn’t want to have much attention to their tribe so they could hunt in peace. So that is how I ended up in The Tribe. What stays a mystery to me is if they started The Tribe or if they joined other people. I am pretty sure my mom knows. “Sorry. Zoned out again.”
“It’s OK. My last name is…” She pauses, thinking. “I’m sorry. I can’t think of my last name at this time. But I will be able to tell you in a little while.”
I hand two rabbits and one squirrel to Kiko’s mom. “I’ll have to save the others for a later time.” I remember that I didn’t gut the meat yet. “I’ll gut those before you put them in the stew.” She hands them back and I gut them quickly and successfully. I flame them to her again and she cuts them into perfect sizes. I gut the others when I remember the bear. I never gutted a bear before. “Kiko, do you know how to gut a bear?”
She shakes her head. Rue’s face brightens. “I have seen my dad gut them before. Can I help you?” I nod. She sits next to me. Pierce it there and there. Make a line in between, making sure not to cut too deeply. Now, pull out these. Slice these. And pull out the rest.”
“Wow. That was easy.” I say looking at the gutted, skinned bear. “Kiko,” She probably already knows what I’m talking about. Trading.
“Come on, Rue. We are going to go trading.” Kiko says as Rue’s smile grows and she runs and hugs us.
“What are we going to sell or trade? Or whatever it’s called.” Rue asks.
“Well, we are going to sell the skins and innards. Come on, we have no time to lose.” As soon as I see she looks grossed out by the “innards” part, I tell her “Some people like it. Others make stuff from it. It is kind of disgusting but cool at the same time.” At this she brightens up. And we are on our way. We say good bye to Kiko’s mom as we leave. “Let’s go to my house when we are done with the stew. Your mom makes really good stew. Wait!” I rush back in and give Kiko’s mom some roots and spices that I found in the woods.
“Thank you” She says before I’m out the door.
“You’re welcome.” I say back as I come outside. “Roots.” I say before Kiko has time to ask. “Let’s go!”
When we get to town, I head for The Dot to trade the furs. When we get inside, everyone cheers, “It’s Kiko and Luke!”
Kiko and I say “Thank you” like we always do.
“Who is this?” Mr. Polo asks.
“I’m Rue, Rue…” She thinks. “Hi I’m Rue… Rue… Rue M... Rue Meinz… Rue Meinzer! Hi, I’m Rue Meinzer!”
“Is that your fake name or something?” Mr. Polo suggests.
I walk in front of Rue to be face to face with Mr. Polo. “No.” I say. “She happened to be found in the woods when she fainted. And Kiko’s mom revived her. Got it?”
“Oh OK.” He says backing up a little. “I was just going to say, if it was, she doesn’t have to use it here.” He says calmly walking over to his workshop. “Show me what you have.”
“We got six rabbit skins, three squirrel skins,” I pause to take out my knife. These traders are crafty. You need whatever you can to get the right price. “A wolf skin and a bear skin.” I pause again as he looks at the skins. “And the the starting price for the bear is going to be high.” I jab my knife into the table, when I hear Kiko telling Rue to stay back-I do get into the game too much sometimes. That is when I know this is going to be easy.
“Well let’s start at fifty.” Mr. Polo suggests.
“Fifty?” I say furiously. “I thought we were going to start at a high price. We are starting at two hundred! Two hundred gold!” I pull my knife out of the table ready to put it against Mr. Polo’s neck.
“Two hundred gold? You think I have that much money?”
“One, I know you have that much money. You are a trader. And, two, we don’t stay at the price if you know how to trade.”
“Two hundred.” I start.
“One hundred fifty.” Mr. Polo argues.
“Two hundred.” I repeat as Mr. Polo snarls.
“One hundred seventy-five.”
“Two hundred” I repeat angrily. Why won’t he just agree.
“One hundred eighty.”
“One hundred ninety-five.” I say angrily at the money.
“One hundred ninety-five it is.” He hands over the money and I hand over the bear skin. “Now the wolf will be…” Mr. Polo starts before I cut him off.
“No. I’m going to trade the other skins with other traders. You know one that give real prices.” I hear him pull out a knife silently. I wait. He is trying to creep up on me. I turn around and put my knife to his neck in one swift motion. Rue gasps. “Don’t think about it.” I say as I put my down and turn and walk away. Kiko and Rue follow. I whisper to Kiko, “My great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother’s last name was Meinzer. Amy Meinzer.”
“I know.” Kiko says over to me.
“Luke. Luke Scherich. Wait, Scherich! My seven greats grandfather’s last name was Rick Scherich!” Rue says getting louder every sentence.
“Wait he is my lots of greats grandfather too.” I say.
“OK we get that you are lost cousins or something!” Kiko intrudes. “Let’s get a move on with the trading.”
“OK.” Rue and I both say, sad that we can’t figure out where we dropped off in the family tree. We head to Fat Al. Fat Al buys and sells fats and innards.
“What do you have for me, Luke? Hopefully not a knife to the throat.” Fat Al says.
“No, I’d never do that to you. But, I have innards. Bear innards.” I say. “So let’s start at two hundred gold.”
“Two hundred gold? You need to start higher. This is bear innards, right?”
That is why I like trading with Fat Al. He makes sure you have a good price. “OK four hundred.”
“That is more like it. Three hundred fifty.”
“Three hundred seventy-five.”
“Three hundred eighty-five.”
“Four hundred it is. OK here you go. Let’s see.” He sniffs. “Six rabbit skins and innards, three squirrel skins and innards, and one wolf skin with innards.”
“Yep. Which one you want?” Yea h he can smell what you have.
“The wolf innards is all.”
“OK. Three hundred fifty.” He signals higher. “Three hundred seventy-five.”
“Good. Three hundred fifty.”
“Three hundred seventy-five.”
“Three hundred fifty-five.”
“Three hundred seventy-five.”
“Three hundred sixty.”
“Three hundred seventy-five.”
“Three hundred sixty-five.”
“Three hundred seventy five.”
“Fine three hundred. There you go. Do you want anything?”
“No thanks. Gotta finish selling the rest of this and then we are eating Kiko’s mom’s stew.”
“OK, then I’ll buy the rest of the innards for,” He thinks. “Rabbits for four hundred fifty and squirrels for three hundred. So, that makes seven hundred fifty. Deal?”
I look at Kiko. She nods. “Deal.” I say. We exchange. “Who gives a good price on furs?”
“Um. Probably…” He thinks. “The only fur traders are Mr. Polo and the sisters, Lily Carman and Connie Frye.”
“Oh OK.” We head to the sisters avoiding Mr. Polo.
“Hi.” Lily says. Connie ignores us. The Fyres hated our families since Stevie Frye met Jordan Scherich and Anja Eshbaugh. “So what type of fur would you want to sell?”
“Six rabbits skins, three squirrel skins, and one wolf skin.” Connie says. “I could hear them over there.” The sisters are our age. But they got the job after people whined about Mr. Polo.
“OK, what price do you think is suitable for all the rabbit skins?” She asks.
“One hundred each. That makes six hundred.”
“OK.” She pulls out a wad of cash.
“No, gold.” She looks frightened but then grabs some gold.
“Four hundred.” She argues.
“Four hundred fifty.”
“Four hundred seventy-five.”
“Five hundred fifty.”
“Fine.” She says slapping the gold into my hand. You may think six hundred seven hundred fifty are high numbers of gold. But in The Sun Tribe each person has a minimum of 25,000,000 cash just imagine how much gold they have. Even homeless people up there have more money than what we will ever get.
“Wolf skin will be eight hundred and squirrels will be seventy-five each. So, 1,025 gold.”
“OK. Here you go.” She gives me the money and we go over to the traders who trade knives. I need a better one, this one is getting dull.
“I’ll trade this knife for that one.” I point to the deadliest looking knife, hoping an untrained knife trader will give it to me. So, that is like all of them except Mr. Polo’s two sons, Niko and Nikoli, and Ginger. Ginger comes up to me.
“Sure and do you want unlimited supply of it?” She says.
“Fine that one.” I point to the one next to it. It is just like mine only it will cut through anything.
“OK.” She takes my knife and hands me the new one.
“Can I have that one, too?” Kiko says.
“Sure. How many?”
“That will be a hundred each.” I pay for them. I hand them to Kiko. She hands one to Rue. I smile. Rue is probably younger than us. And when she got the knife, it was like something went on in my brain. She is like my sister.
“Hey Rue.” She looked at as I slipped my knife in my belt. “You want to ride on my back?” I sensed she was tired. So, I thought that would be nice, because it’s hard to get anything nice out of me often. I’m nice a whole day and the next week I’m threatening everyone that I am going to kill them. Harsh really. Plus it would make her feel corfortable.
On the way back she fell asleep. Kiko said it looked cute. “Well, it’s the least I could for my little family member.” I say almost whispering.
When we got back I set Rue on the chair at the front door and got some stew for her and myself. When I set it on the table in front of her, she wakes up instantly. “Yep. That’s mom’s stew for you.” Kiko says. Rue smiles and digs in. I do the same.
When we were heading to my house, Rue was all excited.
Thanks for reading my book!