It was a very quiet afternoon. A serene sky lay above the most imperfect of times, as if mocking how much better off it was. Clara lay with complete stillness watching the cloudless blue stretching endlessly above her. To rid herself of all the worries and troubles in her life was what she longed for most, but even when she surrounded herself in tranquility, reality wouldn't cease.
Once the bed of clover Clara rested in started to tickle, she rose and headed towards the cottage. Though it had only two rooms, a bedroom and a small kitchen-like area, it was the best place Clara had ever been. It didn't bother her until now that it was the only place she had ever set foot in.
The bizarreness in the whole situation had just occurred to Clara. The cottage was home, and she had known ever since she was young that you only had one home. Her mother and father had always told her exotic stories of people living in densely populated cities long ago, where there were many places a person would enter, even if they were only there for short periods of time. Clara had never bothered to pay much attention to the tales. They were simply fiction, right?
Clara also had never thought that there would be a time where she would long just for the noise of one of her parents' voices. But sometimes the things we don't think about are the most life altering.
Tears threatened to escape her hazel eyes. Though it had been four years since Mother's death and nearly a year since Father's, the wounds it had caused in her heart were very fresh. They were the only two people she had ever met, and now she was forced to live in complete solitude.
There were so many moments when Clara thought about how this wasn't how everything was supposed to happen. Her parents had always said that the three of them lived far off in the hills, away from everyone, for the better. Clara could hear her mother's words ring through her ears even to this day.
"The world is a very wicked place, Clara. I cannot imagine letting you go off and experience its dangers alone."
The last part was what touched her heart most. She would have to face everything alone now - the good, the bad, everything.
If she would ever have the chance to experience anything, that is.
"I am abandoned in an area I am forbidden to explore." Clara thought.
Even though her parents were as dead as could be, Clara still felt inclined to listen to their promptings to never leave their land. It was very difficult to listen to their wishes now that food was becoming scarce. The rabbit and deer she would trap and eat seemed to know not to set foot on their property, and would rarely come. On those nights, Clara was forced to nibble on the roots and weeds that her father had taught her to prepare. Tonight would surely be one of those nights.
As she thought about her late parents' teachings, the reality of what the future would hold if she continued living this way sunk in.
"The future is a terribly large thing to think about, especially for a sixteen year-old," Clara murmured to herself. Even so, it was the only thing she seemed to have power to change.