I was in our old house, sitting at the small square table. My father sat in front of me reading the newspaper while mother sat to my left, drinking a steaming cup of coffee. A biscuit was placed on a plate in front of me with a cup and what smelled like green tea. I could hear my younger brother, Thomas playing with his action figures making explosion sounds as he clanked them together. This was our routine before the invasion, but something in my gut told me this whole situation was wrong.

Without thinking, I grabbed the biscuit but before I could bring it to my mouth, Father’s hand slammed down on mine, causing a surge of pain to run up my arm. He looked up from the newspaper and straight into my eyes.

“Find it, Ally. Find the dagger now!” He said forcefully, then his arm started to fade and the pressure of his hand on mine felt as though the weight had been lifted.

Soon, he was gone. I looked to my mother but she was no longer there either and the voice I had recognized as Thomas’ had stopped. As if by magic, I was in a white room still at our square wooden table, but the biscuit and cup of tea were no longer in front of me.

It was replaced with my father’s dagger that the shape shifters had taken from me. I gently lifted it close enough to my eyes so that I could inspect the handle. On it was a detailed map. Little triangles along the carven path; the path starts at what looks like a building that ends at an ‘X’. I finally realized that this was the map that my father had told me about in my last dream. But just as it was there, it was gone.

I woke with a startle, sweat dripped down my face, my breath came fast, heart pounding. I took a minute to calm down and slow my heart beat while Liam lay peacefully beside me; his mind still filled with dreams no doubt. Only his breathing was steady compared to mine. My body urged for more sleep but after that dream I wouldn’t be able to get a minutes rest. So instead, I looked to the forest around me in hopes that it would ease my tension.

The chirping of the birds echoed through the forest and filled the morning air as they chatted from tree to tree. Laying down and looking up at the sky I could watch as the sun replaced the night sky, bringing back the colors it had taken with it last night.

Purple, pink and orange ran through the sky like children in a playground. For a moment, the image made me forget what kind of world we lived in now, compared to what it was only a few years back.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?”

I jumped at the sudden break in silence. “You scared me,” I exclaimed .

Liam chuckled. His arms were folded across his knees and pulled up close to his chest.  He did this only when relaxed which wasn’t often.

“Sorry, but everything seems so peaceful.” He breathed out.

He was right. It seemed as if nothing had happened, like we could just go home and enjoy our family; a family that neither of us had anymore, apart from our siblings.

“Yeah, it does.” I agreed.  “It makes me feel like the invasion never happened, as if there’s just peace.” I sighed.

We sat in silence, watching what was left of the sunrise.

“We better get going, so we can get more food for Christina and Thomas.” I said. I slung my backpack on as did Liam and soon we were on our way to the next warehouse we would raid.