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Writing Experiment

Working Title: She was a liar

She was a liar, everyone knew that. She never even bothered to hide it. I don't know why I trusted her. No one ever did, and with good reason. I guess, I trusted her because even though she was a liar, she was the most honest person I'd ever met. I know that sounds sad, and like the world is just full of assholes, but that's not it. She really was just that honest, even in her lies. She lied about anything that she felt she had to, but she did it through telling the truth. I know that doesn't make much sense, but the girl really was just that good. She would tell you the truth in a tone that made you think she was joking, or she'd tell you a lie in the most convincing way that you never thought to question it. She was one of the best at what we do...practically perfect.

I trusted her with everything, including her own life, despite knowing full well that that was a mistake. She promised me that she'd always find a way out. I knew that was a lie the moment that she said it, but damn if the years of watching her get out of impossible situations didn't make me complacent. I knew better than to believe she would always find a way out...always want to find a way out, but she smiled and laughed every time there was a close call...every time everything went to hell. I should have known what was going on. I should have seen how much of a toll this was all taking on her, but it was just so easy to pretend everything was fine. Especially since, her greatest lie of all was reassuring everyone that she was okay.

The girl had this way about her. She could make the most clouded situation look completely clear and simple. She could make almost anyone laugh even when we thought there was nothing for us except pain. She could talk a group of full grown men into a battle just by telling the truth, and she kept each and everyone of us alive and going just by being herself, despite the fact that she wanted nothing of the kind for herself. She pushed us to be more than what we were, and I wish that she would have been willing to help herself as much as I was willing to help her.

Unfortunately, that just wasn't possible. Serene just wasn't the type of girl to push herself, and she was stubborn to the point where no amount of pushing her helped. I guess, in a way, she was always destined to go out the way that she did. We all tend to overlook the fact that she chose to stop fighting that day, because, to us, that doesn't matter. She still went out as a fighter, saving the people that she deemed worthy of her protection...the people that she deemed friends...the people that she considered family. After all, her sacrifice gave the rest of us enough time to get away from the raiders. I still think that had she wanted to find a way out she could have, but I won't let that cheapen or take away from what she did...from the gift that she gave us. However, none of that means that I didn't see her lay down her sword. I watched helpless as she allowed the fire to consume her as the Volchuins praised their victory over watching our leader fall.

Serene had wanted to give up long before that day, but it just wasn't our way. We fought unless there was nothing to fight for, and I guess, at some point Serene had just lost her reason to fight. She had become almost disinterested in fighting, but she wasn't always that way. There was once a time when she enjoyed fighting...when she lived for it, but Serene was very much like a small star. She burned bright, but burned out quickly. She became the leader of our little group of fighters by default, and she remained leader even when she didn't want the position simply by how good she was at the job. See, the crazy thing about Serene was, even when she loved fighting, she never started a fight for no reason and she never continued a fight if there was no gain. She was more of a diplomat than any of us wanted to admit, and she was a great mediator...not that she'd ever admit that to anyone...even herself most days. I feel almost certain that had she not given up, Serene probably would have died of old age, which is something not many of us get to see in this particular occupation.

Serene wasn't perfect--no one is--but the girl was damn good, and it was a damn shame when we lost her. It wasn't surprising when Serene gave up...not to any of us, but that doesn't mean that we don't mourn her. I'm probably the only who mourns the girl she was before the last couple of years caught up to her. Serene worked for years to keep everyone important to her safe, but in this life there are always casualties. Serene knew that, and understood it better than any of us. She dealt well with it...for a time, but eventually the losses became too much, and slowly but surely we started to lose her as well.

I think the only thing that kept her going these last few years was the knowledge of what it would do to us if she stopped fighting. We were like wild animals for a time. We were always fighting each other, attacking each other simply because we lacked anything else to do. It seemed that the only thing that could ever calm us was Serene. One look from her and we would all fall silent. In last year or so, we've all mellowed out quite nicely. I know many of us attribute that change in our little group to Serene. She just had this way of showing people around her how to be different by simply being herself. I think she felt we no longer needed her, which was why she felt comfortable enough to stop.

I don't think she understood just how lost most of us are without her. Not me, of course. I know my path. I always have, but many of the others are like sad, lost puppies without her, and I don't know if I'm good enough or strong enough to show them a new way...not without Serene to temper out the more unruly ones. I wish Serene had seen what I did, but I don't think wishing will help any of us now. Especially since right now we need to move on.

After all, we still have the Volchuins after us, and since Serene is dead we also have the heavy task of finding a replacement leader. If the Volchuins don't kill us the upcoming internal power struggle just might. Serene didn't want to be leader, and it was pure accident that she fell into the position. The fact that she was good at it was pure dumb luck, and we're all extremely grateful that it just happened that way. However, I fear that such luck will not befall us this time. Especially since many have suggested that I take the position. This, of course, is a ridiculous notion, because, like Serene, I'm a liar. However, unlike Serene, I don't lie to help people.


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