After her father passed away life got harder for Zabrina and her mother. She was once the most popular girl in school and now all she can think about is being alone. It was just another day when she headed to the plains just east of her village where her father once kept livestock. She had spent countless hours there trying not to forget the memory of her father. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she hears a strange noise and looks up. Fear suddenly filled her, as a zombie pears out from a dark corner. Was it there the whole time? why wasn’t it attacking her? They stared into each others eyes for a quick moment, and then she took off running. However, she was much more bold when she returned. Quickly discovering its her father, Zabrina vows to find the cure and with help from some friends, she embarks on a journey to do just that. Will Zabrina, Steve, Maggie, and Flute actually collect all the necessary ingredients to cure Zabrina’s father? Will what they discover change everything, forever?!
“Alright Kids today you’ll be doing group work!”
The classroom erupted with excitement. Everyone couldn’t wait to find out who they would be working with. The buzz of enthusiasm could be felt by everyone, except Zabrina. Instead of being happy she groaned with exasperation. She loathed group work.
“In fact you’ll spend the first half of your school year working with this group as we discover all about farming. We’ll start today by assigning groups, and then head out to the field”
Maggie raised her hand like a flash of lightning, eager to interrupt before the teacher, Mrs. Teacher, continued. “Can we pick our own groups? Oh please, please, please” she begged. Everyone erupted in applause but Mrs. Teacher quickly cut them all off.
“No, I’ve already assigned your groups and it is to late for changes” she started, “Maggie your group is going to be you, Steve, Flute, and Zabrina. Why don’t the three of you gather around Maggie”
When Zabrina heard her name she groaned even louder. Not only is she stuck in a group with Steve, who she didn’t want to talk to. She is also stuck in a group with Maggie, her past rival. Zabrina is beginning to loath this school year even more than she was before.
She pulled her chair up to Maggie’s desk, but didn’t bother to look anyone in the eye. In her mind she is a silent member of the group. She already planned on avoiding everyone as much as possible. What were they going to do, build her a prison? and what could feel any more like a prison than her life already.
Steve was looking at Zabrina, noticing her avoid his gaze. He tried hard not to show his excitement that they were in the same group. He didn’t want to make her uncomfortable, or put any pressure on her to be extra friendly. He’d be happy if he could just get her to look at him, never mind say something, or even smile.
Zabrina and Steve had been neighbours since they were born and prior to this last year were the best of friends. They did everything together, heck, they were inseparable. When Zabrina’s father died, thats when everything changed. She really just wanted to be alone and it took a while for Steve to get use to. Anytime he tried to talk to her, it just seemed like it pushed her away further. She didn’t want to talk to him, but she didn’t want to talk to anyone.
Everyday after school she left straight away towards her fathers farm. She’d been warned by many of the villagers to avoid that area but it didn’t stop her. Nobody would see or hear from her until school again the next day.
In class she had kept to herself, it seemed like she is a ghost, just existing. The real her is gone and this is a shadow. Steve never knew what to do, and he still doesn’t. He seemed to be good at everything, but when it came to making her feel better, he failed. While he knew she might not ever speak to him again, he is happy that he is in the same group as her.
With Maggie, though, he could do without. Not that there is anything wrong with Maggie. It just seemed that when Zabrina withdrew Maggie just inserted herself. She is always just, around, and it seemed like he could not avoid her. He liked her, but not like he cared for Zabrina.
“So, Um, I think that since we are a group everyone should pull there weight around here” Maggie exclaimed, looking straight at Zabrina.
“I just really don’t think it will be fair if some of us end up doing more work than others” She hadn’t stopped looking at her.
Zabrina had turned in her chair so she was facing the window, and her unfaltering gaze suggested she hadn’t even registered a word Maggie said, who gasped in exasperation.
“Zabrina, i’m talking to you-“ Steve cut Maggie off before she could go on, “We are all going to do our best this year i’m sure. Its not like farming is difficult” Steve started, but Flute Chimed in.
“Well, actually, there are 5 different kinds of farming. Food farming might not be difficult but i’m not confident in my skills at Mob Farming.” Flute kept going, “If i’m correct in my calculations, there are approximately 47 mobs to know about and most of them hostile-“
“Don’t worry about it Flute, i’m sure we will do great this year” Steve stopped her. “I’m happy with our group” he said confidently.
“Me to, Steve, I am just so happy with it!” Maggie exclaimed, swooning over Steve, “Like how did we get so lucky?” She giggled.
They spent the rest of the class going over the different farming and what they would be doing this year. Zabrina didn’t hear a word of it however, and as soon as midday hit school was finished. She took off as quick as she could before anyone could stop her to chat.
She headed off towards her fathers farm. Her mother now worked double the shift to provide for them as a Librarian. Nobody was there to stop her from doing what she wanted, even if they wanted to. Many people believed that her fathers farm is a dangerous place, not just because he disappeared from there. He was warned not to build his farm so close to the unsafe zone but he did it anyway. It didn’t bother him that zombies and Enderman lurked closer, and it never bothered Zabrina. The animals were more peaceful and the fruit and veggies more tasty. It was worth the risk, and he didn’t think there was a risk at all.
In fact there were many times she had joined her dad tending to his livestock and crops. As they worked together he would tell her stories about true Minecrafter’s. They would go on great adventures exploring the land beyond and below. Discovering treasures, mobs, and landscapes beyond her wildest dreams. Her dad was a Minecrafter, to her, and she’d always imagined his stories were about the adventures he had gone on. They’d even had a secret pumpkin patch, that Zabrina had continued to tend to. Nobody in the village knows of pumpkin, and when he showed her Zabrina was thrilled. It was there special secret, and she’d never told anyone.
It had always made Zabrina wish she could visit lands beyond her village, but that was never realistic. Even if she could battle the toughest of mobs, which she was confident she could, she’d have to get through the Enderman field first. She was sure not even the bravest of hero’s could make it through that field. There were plenty of stories passed down through her village about those who tried, and failed.
While they had the tools to dig down her village was built over water, so you couldn’t dig down far enough to tunnel. The only way out was through that Field, and its impossibility was obvious. The villagers still lived quiet nice and comfortably, however. They each had a role in breeding livestock, growing crops, and attacking the mobs that spawned in the small space between the village and the Enderman. Zabrina had decided that when she was finished school she would apply to become a guardian. Her backup plan was to be a Food Farmer, like her dad.
She just really wanted to be out there with the action, fighting to protect her village, like those in the adventures they talked about. She was not afraid. Zabrina’s dad didn’t think it was right for a true Minecrafter to be scared. He believed we were adventurers at heart and it is in our nature to explore. That was one of the reasons she had always liked Steve so much. He is fearless, and she thought he was an adventurer to, like her.
Thinking about Steve made her feel guilty. She didn’t want to hurt him but she couldn’t bare to be so unhappy around him either. She didn’t know how to fix herself. All she could do was be alone and hope that maybe one day, she’d feel better.
As Zabrina approached her fathers farm she noticed an open gate to the sheltered stone chicken coupe. She approached slowly and drew her wooden sword, wondering if mobs can open gates. She closed the gate as quietly as she could, before peering over and in. She made some noise, knowing that if a mob were hiding out in the dimly lit stall they would try to attack her. She’d closed the gate as an extra precaution, and so she waited for the attack. Nothing came, and she could see nothing. She stepped inside, and when she heard nothing, she let her guard down. Maybe someone had been by earlier but there was no sign of them now. She walked over to the bench which had become her second home. She sat down on it, and put her head in her hands. The tears were already welling up inside and it wasn’t long before the rainfall.
The tears were falling as uncontrollably as any other day but the faintness of the ruffling noise didn’t go unnoticed. When she heard it, Zabrina immediately stopped crying and listened carefully. Who would be hiding in the coupe? She’d found a zombie or two before, and they really aren’t the smartest. The minute your in their sight they follow you, even to their own death by sunlight. This she could count on. So when she looked up, squinting her eyes to get a clear picture of what lurked in the corner, she was utterly surprised. Huddled, avoiding the sunlight shining through the glass windows, was a zombie. Not just any zombie though, this one looked different, and it appeared to be gazing right back at her. It felt like ages they stared at each other before Zabrina made the decision to run.
When Zabrina got far enough away that she felt safe enough, she stopped and turned around. Nobody was following her. “Duh, how could it” she thought to herself. It was still daylight out and the sun would burn it to a crisp. Still, she felt on edge as she caught her breath.
“Why didn’t it attack me?” was her second thought, “It should have been after me the minute I made noise” This one stood there and looked at her, and she felt bewildered.
Zabrina continued to head home, making it there just in time before her mother arrived, slipping quietly into her room unnoticed. She was still perplexed by what happened and needed a minute to think about it. She had never heard of a non hostile Zombie, and then she had to wonder what it was doing there, in her dad’s coupe. She didn’t want to admit it to herself, but the hope was undeniable. She wondered and dare hope deep deep down if maybe, just maybe, the Zombie was her father.
Laying in her bed, Zabrina vowed that she would visit again tomorrow and this time, she wouldn’t be so scared. She was excited as she lay in her bed, uncertain of what this meant for her. She couldn’t comprehend the adventure that awaited.
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