• The wind that surrounded the mountains was very unpleasant. I walked the area several times before concluding that nothing would stand in my way until I found out what it was. Everything was getting darker and the sun barely showed atop the cliff. It seemed so close to the mountain peak that I could swear that I could see the mountain burning. Maybe it was my imagination but, it was there and it worried me. Those thoughts faded from my mind. Sighing, I continued walking. Even though I had no exact clue where I was truely going, I knew that someone I had been searching for, would be there. My mother and sister were waiting. If my sister was alive. That is why I belived only my mother would be there. My steps were heard easily, for, there was not very much noise out in the middle of the mountains. Overhead, the sun set right into the mountain, or so it seemed. Footsteps that were not my own began to come. I stopped. What was going on? Who else but me would be out here? Thoughts of Native Americans that might live here popped into my head, but, Native Americans hadn't been in this area in ages.

    I could hear the sound of a fastened breathe. One that was running. I sighed. Whatever it was, it was running for me. Soon enough we would run into each other. Instinct told me to run away and give up my despret search for my mother and if she was living, my sister. They would be beyond this mountain and a plain, in a marsh that was full of beautiful trees. In envisioned their smiling faces looking at my dirty body as I met them in the marsh. How arrogant I was trying to find them. It was a stupid thing to do and I knew that before I left the safety of my town that was no bigger than seventeen acres. That's why the town was named Seventeen Acres.

    Hearing the footsteps getting closer made my thoughts go from happy to fear. I prepared for the worst, it being someone who obviously didn't want me here and was here to kill me. What ran into me, made me believe that this was the end. A little boy, no older than six looked at me with shocked eyes. He was dirty as well, smudges of mud and, even worse, blood, on his cheek. Looking at the poor being made my eyes water up. Such a young soul running. The question was...from what? He gasped in horror looking up at me and cringed away wimpering.

    "Don't kill me!" He pleaded. I felt my eyes widen. His face was still scared and he tried to get up, but, failed and fell back down.

    "Why would I want to kill a child?" I asked in my calmest voice. Unfortunetly, it wasn't that calm.

    "Well, I dunno, you...you just are scary looking in the dark," he tried to say the same way as me. The boy didn't even do as good as I did with the calm thing. We stared at each other for a moment in silence. I decided to ask something.

    " What were you running from?" I asked warily, trying not to sound nosey at all.

    "Well, around here, when the sun goes down, the wolves come out so, I wanted to get home before they did, but when I got home, my mom wasn't there and the village was burning down so I ran out here trying to find some help, then I heard a wolf howl and I ran into you."

    "Oh, so you weren't running from something that horribly dangerous, here, listen up. The wolves are more scared of you than you are of them. That make you feel better? It is the truth, I'd know." I winked at him and smiled. Hopefully this would calm him down.

    "Uh-huh, thanks a lot stranger!" His eyes were bright and he stood up again, this time, his legs didn't buckle in fear. Instead of leaving him out in the middle of the desert I asked him politely if he'd like to come with me and I would help him find his mother. He agreed carelessly and walked by my side. Nothing bothered us while we walked silently through the mountain. Silently until he wanted me to answer some questions.

    "What's your name? Mine's Jack, people call me Jackie!" Jack exclaimed,"That's a girly name! But, I like it."

    "Well my name is Cayli Turner and it's a pleasure to meet you Jack."

    "Same to you! I have another question..." He didn't finish his sentance before he looked at me for approval.

    "Ask away Jack!"

    "Well, you are out here in the middle of no where and well...Why are you out here anyways?" The question I didn't really want him to ask me. I guessed he would and now I had to answer or I could remain in silnece.

    "Well, I am out here passing trough, I am looking for my mom and she is just beyond these mountains." Nothing. Jack said absolutly nothing at all. He just stared into space, smiling. Now something struck me, we were both looking for our mothers. Mine farther to reach than his but, we were one in the same league.

    "JACK!" a voice called, interuptting our silence. A woman stood on top of a ledge crying and looking down on him. Must have been his mom.

    "Mother!" he cried out, tears forming in his emrald eyes," Mother I found you!" Without thinking he ran to the ledge and began to climb up. Dispite his size hewwas an excellent climber, better than most adults that hike for a living. When he made it to the top, he ran right into his mother's outstreched arms. I turned to walk away.

    "Wait Cayli, don't go!" Jack yelled," please come stay with us!" Turning my head, I shook it as if I didn't want to stay. Like I wasn't interested. Jack was crying and I sighed. Even though I shouldn't have, I walked to the rocks he had climbed on and began to mimick his movements. I nearly fell. Finally reaching the top of the ledge, the woman hugged me and thanked me many times for bringing Jack to her. She was sobbing and sniffing. She finally let go of me. Mixed emotions filled my body. Would my mom hug me the same way when I got to her. The same way Jack's mother hugged him? Maybe she'd forgotten me and wouldn't know who I was. Maybe...she wasn't in the marsh anymore. Maybe she had died with my sister. Who knew? It was worth a shot finding her though, and, I would do whatever it took to see her face one last time. I turned away from Jack and his mother and stared, off into oblivion, waiting for dawn, when I would depart once more.