The sound of the crow cawing wakes me up. I sent him days ago and I was starting to wonder where he had gotten to. I manage to get myself out of bed to open the window for the old creature to come inside.  

 

The air smelled of fresh oak and I could hear the birds rustling in the trees. I turn around and there he is. I take the note from around its neck and sit down on the floor. I had been so excited to hear from my aunt back in Lucan. I open the note and read it. The paper falls from my hand.

 

The Orcs have returned and they plan to take over and destroy everything in their way. You need to make sure you get out of the Hell Fire Club. News spread to the Orcs that it stores a hidden evil and once its unleashed there will be nothing left. Your uncle and I are headed towards Tallaght, we hear there is an underground safe-haven.  I hope you’ll follow us. Please be safe, Lu. Love Aunty Joe”.  

 

I can’t believe they’re back. More so I can’t believe the rumours about the Hell Fire Club spread all the way to Orc territory. My mother and father had made up these rumours so that when the plantations were here, people would be too scared to try to take our land. It had worked for a while until a group of 50 soldiers marched up the mountain and killed my parents. I managed to make them believe the devil was unleashing his wrath. I haven’t left the mountains since. I don’t trust mankind.  

 

This time I had no choice. I may have fooled the humans but I wouldn’t stand a chance against the Orcs. They have been known to destroy anything and everything just because they can. I needed to move immediately.

 

I grabbed my leather rucksack and put in all the things I’d need; my hunting knife, my spare food and jumper and matches, my small stash of rum, and the water i’d fathered from the river. I knew one thing for sure. I wasn’t going to Tallaght. I trust my Aunt but I know how people can be so easily turned against each other. This was my chance to leave this place. While the Orcs are busy taking over, I’ll slip through the net and get out of this cage they’ve trapped us in for so long. There has got to be something else past the Orc’s borders; new people, places, a better life, just something, anything.

 

I decided I’d head North towards Tallaght where I’d say goodbye to my Aunt and Uncle and hopefully gather more supplies. After that I’ll keep away from crowded towns or villages, as that’s where the Orcs are most likely to hit. I shut the hut door and leave what I’ve known my whole life behind me. I make my way down the mountain towards the river. The trail was eerily quiet. It’s almost as if they know what’s coming.

 

I reached the familiar river and set my things down for a top-up of water. I was sitting down watching the river when the water starts to stir, and I heard a distant drumming sound. I look up and see the large frey creatures emerge from the trees. From my guess, I’d say none short of 1,000 Orcs stood in front of me. Panic sets in. They’re not close enough yet to see me but it would only be a matter of minutes. The only thing standing between  me and the Orcs is the large bridge to cross the river. Made by my parents when times were good. I wouldn’t be able to outrun them so I gather my bow and arrow and rip up pieces of my jumper and tie them to the arrows. I then use my matchsticks to light them on fire. I aim and fire at the bridge. After around 7 arrows the bridge finally started to break.

Two orcs make it over the bridge, I get my knife and manage to stab one and throw one in the river. I jump over the bridge and land on a piece of large wood and go with the river.

 

Instead of going to Tallaght I decide to go with the flow and just follow the river out of the bubble I’ve been stuck in.

 

It was such an amazing feeling to finally do something for myself and think about living how I want to live.

 

Finally I felt free.