A Chapter by starshine.

Sienna and James are lost, James has just recently broken his leg (although they created a makeshift cast) and they are fast running out of food. They haven't seen people for days, and need help.


Right on the sand, one wall being washed by the waves, was a large, colourful, brightly lit shopping center.

‘Maybe there’ll be people!’ she said excitedly, forgetting about his leg and attempting to pull him down the slope. ‘Maybe they’ll be able to help us, James!’

In her eagerness she yanked him forward; he yelped and hit her. Her expression of anticipation immediately changed to an astonished one.

‘James, I’m sorry! I forgot " the mall "‘

‘Don’t worry, but let’s get over there before something happens again,’ said James, teeth gritted.

She nodded quickly, seized him under the arm and marched him down the hill and towards the fluorescent mall, which was shining against the darkness of the pitch-black sea and throwing beams of light into his eyes.

The door was on the opposite side to them, set in a small glass entrance which jutted out from the rest of the building. The side of this glass box was in the sea, so they had to wade through shallow waves to get around to the other side, where the glass doors stood pristine.

They hobbled towards them. James looked up expectantly, waiting for them to open, but they didn’t. Sienna walked up until she had her nose against the glass, but they remained closed. James waved up at the sensor, hopping as well as he could on his good leg. They stood obstinately shut.

‘Come on, you stupid things,’ James muttered, hitting them.

Sienna pranced in front of the doors, then all of a sudden swung around and pointed both hands at the door.

‘Abracadabra!’ she cried.

James gave her a look.

‘It was worth a shot,’ she said sheepishly, shrugging.

‘Good point,’ said James, deliberating. ‘Open sesame!’


It didn’t open. Jmes pushed as hard as he could against it, threw himself against it, even karate-kicked it; nothing worked. He swore, and by the set of her chin James could tell that Sienna shared his dispirited mood. They turned away and walked up the slope behind them, continuing on in the direction they had started with, away from the mall.

‘The thing is,’ said Sienna dully, ‘I bet there were people in there. Maybe we're not supposed to -'


James turned around slowly. The doors, forty metres away, had just opened and were standing invitingly apart.

James shook his head in exasperation. ‘Come on, let’s go in.’

But as soon as they moved a step towards the doors, they started to close. James pulled Sienna back a step; the doors slid open again.

‘That is so annoying,’ Sienna said in irritation.

‘Do we really have to go in there?’ asked James, eyeing the space between the door and them.

Sienna turned to him. ‘James, what if there are people in there?’

James groaned. ‘You’re right. Okay, can you step forward? Let’s see how this works.’

Sienna stepped forward, but the doors remained open this time. James smiled with grim satisfaction.

‘I thought so. Okay, keep walking, all the way up.’

Sienna obliged, and managed to walk straight through the open doors and inside. She peered around the corner.

‘James!’ she called excitedly. ‘I hear voices!’

He felt a glimmer of hope. Finally, could they find someone who could help them?

‘Brilliant!’ he yelled back. ‘Okay, I’m going to come down " hold the doors open, please? Shouldn’t be too hard, they’re automatics.’

‘Okay,’ Sienna called back, and held the doors open with her arms.

James nodded to himself and started off down the hill. Before he’d got more than two steps, however, Sienna let out a shriek. Alarmed, James glanced up. The doors were stronger than he’d expected, apparently, and closing despite Sienna holding them apart. She fought furiously, pushing them aside with her arms " but while that slowed their progress, it wasn’t stopping it.

‘Are " are you okay?’ he shouted, unsure.

‘Yes " just " hurry up, James, come on!’ she yelled back, her voice strained.

He moved forward again, walking faster. His leg stung every time it hit the ground but he forced himself to walk forwards, his eyes on Sienna. Her expression was pained. She slowly turned herself so that her back was against one door, her feet at the base of the other, pushing them apart. James quickened his stride, so that he was almost running.

‘Hurry up!’ she yelled, her eyes clenched shut and teeth bared.

Twenty metres away…

Sienna pulled her feet up the side of the door so that she wasn’t touching the floor at all and pushed with all her might " but James could see that she was buckling under the power of the doors. Even though his leg burned and shot agonizing spasms up his entire body, he forced himself into a jolting run.

‘Come on!’ she screamed, the words laced with her agony.

He looked up; the doors were pushing so powerfully that her knees were closing in on her face, she was bent up and contorted. He forced his legs to move faster, even though the pain from his leg was growing in jolts.

Five metres…


Her knees were touching her face " her expression was contorted in pain " the doors were less than 30cm apart "

A couple of feet from the door, James dove through the gap under Sienna, sliding onto the polished floo of the mall. With a small scream, Sienna stopped straining and fell on top of him. There was a momentary silence, then the doors closed with a bing. Sienna rolled off him.

James lay flat on his back, staring at the ceiling. His leg burned like fire; it kept sending shocks of pain up his body that made him shudder. Through his pounding head he could tell that Sienna was right, however: he could hear voices echoing down the empty corridors.

They spent a little while like that, neither moving or talking, trying to come to grips with their own pain. Eventually, though, James climbed unsteadily to his feet, using the glass wall beside him as a support. Behind him was the door; to his left, a long and brightly lit corridor, completely deserted and lined with clothes stores. Sienna groaned and hit the side of his leg with her hand; he took it and pulled her to her feet. She leaned weakly against him.

‘Aaah,’ she moaned through gritted teeth, ‘oh, my back " ah, it’s so sore " I can’t "'

‘What is it, Sienna?’ said James in concern, trying to keep her standing and crane his neck around to see her back at the same time. ‘I can’t see anything.’

‘It just " ow, it "'

She broke off, teeth clenched, and after a moment of furious trembling on her part, she collapsed, unconscious, onto his shoulder. He caught her and propped her up beside him, but it was hard " she was a dead weight on his already painful leg.

‘I guess I have to go down here,’ he said to himself, sighing, and heaved her with him as he walked down through the corridor.

His footsteps echoed. The white floors were buffed to perfection, and the plants that stood in boxes down the centre of the hall were healthy and thriving. Yet the place was deserted. There was a slightly creepy feeling about the place, with everything so clean and well cared for. If he looked into the shops on either side, he could see that they were organised, all the products laid out carefully. But for whom? It didn’t look like anyone ever came here.

Brightly coloured posters and banners littered the shop windows on either side of him, but James couldn’t understand them. They were all in a foreign language that looked like Spanish, incomprehensible to him. This presented another problem: even if he found the people at the end of this corridor, would they even speak English? He’d only taken Spanish at a basic level; he could ask where the toilet paper was, where to buy crabs and why the fan wasn’t on, but nothing else. And somehow he doubted that those sentences would ever really crop up in casual conversation.

He was just passing a souvenir shop when he was suddenly, acutely aware of the sound of dripping. He looked around him but there was nothing there; then, turning around, he realised with a gasp of horror that the previously spotless floor was streaked red, and the dripping sound was actually Sienna’s blood.

He set her down gently on the floor and inspected her hands and feet for injuries, but they were fine. Bruised, but otherwise undamaged. Then he turned her over, sat back on his haunches, and stared in disgust.

Blood, Sienna’s blood, was soaking through her shirt and trickling down her back. There was a lot of it; whatever the wound on her back, it was huge and probably very painful. James looked around for someone, anyone, but of course it was deserted. Either he could run down to find those people and see if they could help, or he could stay with Sienna and try to patch her up himself.

He decided to stay. What if something happened, and he was trapped somewhere far away from her? He couldn’t just leave her, bleeding, on the slim chance that one of those unknown people could do any better than he at helping her.

So he gently took her wrists and dragged her down the hall, towards a shop that had a large red cross on it. Pulling her inside, he saw that it was a chemist. He left her on the floor, on her stomach, and went around the shop trying to find chemicals that would help. It was hard, since they were all in Spanish, and one tub of cream looks virtually identical to any other. But he gathered what he could and went back to her, dumping his loot on the ground.

Very gently, he peeled away the blood-stained top from her back.

It was immediately apparent why she had fainted. The wound on her back made James feel ill just looking at it. There was a narrow strip of blood coming vertically down her back, supposedly from the edge of the door. Chunks of her skin had been ripped apart by the power of the doors; the whole thing was heavily indented and giant, pulsating blisters had started to form. When James tenderly mopped the blood aside he could see a white wobbly mass which he assumed was her flesh; but a second later, bubbling blood had covered it again.

He tried to stop the bleeding as best as he could, and in some places it worked. In those spots he rubbed all the lotions he could find, hoping that at least one would be beneficial (he had a suspicion that one of them was foot cream, but there was no way of telling). He wrapped bandages as tightly as he could around her waist, hoping that they would help, and used a couple of safety pins to keep them in place. Finally, he force-fed her some painkillers and waited for her to wake up.

It didn’t take long. By the time he’d finished putting what he didn’t need away (it felt wrong, somehow, to leave everything sitting in the wrong places) she was breathing heavily and moving her feet.

‘What happened?’ she croaked, her voice muffled because her face was squashed on the carpet. ‘I don’t really hurt as much.’

‘I tried to fix you up,’ replied James, pointing to the array of lotions and bandages beside her.

‘I think it might have worked,’ she said hopefully, ‘because I feel a little better. Like I can walk, I think.’

She rolled over with a grimace onto her side, and used the stand beside her to get to her feet. James ran to the clothes shop across the hallway and took a backpack, which he then filled with the lotions, bandages and remains of the pizza which he had squashed in his pocket.

‘We’d better hurry,’ he said unsympathetically, ‘I don’t want those people to leave when we're so close. Let’s go.’

Sienna grimaced, but she nodded bravely and leant heavily on James as they hobbled out the shop.

‘Wow,’ she said, staring at the bloody mess they’d left behind. ‘Is that mine?’

James didn’t bother glancing back, but strode as fast as he could ahead. ‘Yeah, it is.’

‘Cool,’ said Sienna, grinning. James nodded in silent agreement, but made them keep moving, his eyes on the furthest point of the hallway he could see.


© 2010 starshine.

Author's Note

I'm not so sure about this part. The speed is a bit off; it seems a bit long and laborious, but at the same time I think it seems a little disjointed, like unfinished thoughts. Keep in mind, though, that it is the first draft, and as such unedited. Thanks!

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That's alright! I thought it was absolutely amazing! I've never read the story of someone from New Zealand before! I'm from America after all! But I love fantasy too! I saw that you said you were hanging on to about five stories, and I'm just the same!! Sorry, but I've never met someone from New Zealand before! I absolutely loved your story, and am assuming that that was just a clip from somewhere in the middle of it, right? You are an extremely talented writer, and I would like it if you read some of my stories!

Sorry about all that, it's quite the mess, isn't it? Well, anyway, I think you are an amazing writer! Keep up the good work! And could you please make sure some of the work includes the rest of this story?


Posted 9 Years Ago

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Added on January 6, 2010
Last Updated on January 7, 2010
Tags: fantasy, children, lost, different world
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Wellington, New Zealand

I'm a 16 year old writer from New Zealand. I love writing fantasy children's stories - real life I find a little dull, honestly - and currently have 5 story ideas that I'm holding onto. I'm halfway th.. more..


A Book by starshine.