City of Xi'an, China. 2013
Night was falling fast, and the archeologists were still going. But as the stars came out, they finished, one by one, packing their tools and bags into dusty trucks and jeeps. Then they would drive off, leaving a cloud of dust in their wake. Kayla scanned the site, and spotted her father. He was finishing up packing. She helped him carry his bag of tools, while he carried his pack of water and food, and probably other stuff like maps and his Bible. They say down in the car, and they were finally on their way. The sights of the city blurred past. Kayla touched her silver necklace again, thinking and wondering about her mother. She only saw her father about once a week, but she was fine with that. She had only gone with him on this trip because her grandma wanted her to. Kayla closed her eyes. She remembered when she got that necklace. One night, her mother gave her a small box. When she looked up, she could see her eyes. They were kind, and loving. But then she remembered that terrible day. Her mother was cooking spaghetti, one of her favorite dishes, when she suddenly looked at her. Then she closed her eyes, and passed out. Kayla called 911. The ambulance carried mother away, while Kayla stayed at home, waiting for father. She remembered the waiting room, listening to voices on the other side and feeling dread.
"We fear that she has little time left, but we also hope for the best." Kayla had closed her eyes, and ran away to the bathroom. She could get some quiet there, and be able to think by herself. When she came out, father was waiting. She knew what was coming, but the goodbye was still sad. She stayed for over three hours. That was the last night. Kayla stopped thinking about it, and she looked out the window. "The last night," she thought to herself. She could see the stars in the night sky, and she imagined what heaven could be like. Perhaps it was just her mother's last night on earth. At least she would eventually see her again.
Outside the city of Shaanxi, China. 210 B.C
Fear. That's what Ying felt that night. He laid on top of his hard bed. It was made of old wood, and has bugs in it. He would wake up to bites, scratches, and splinters in the early morning. But that wasn't what he was scared of at the moment. He was scared of the voices he heard outside his door. It sounded like his parents were arguing. Soon, they went to bed, and the only sound was the creaking of his bed when Ying shifted his weight. He felt that something big had happened. But being to tired to investigate, he drifted off to sleep.
In the morning, he woke up late, and heard some noise outside. His younger sister was crying in her room. Ying went to comfort her. But when he felt her hand, he started to worry. Her hand was feverish, and she looked pale. He decided to get some medicine to break her fever. As he went into the kitchen, he spotted his mother washing dishes. Her face was downcast. Feeling that something was terribly wrong, he took out the medicine and gave it to her sister. Ying then went outside. He wanted to ask his father about his sister's fever. Usually, he went to work out in the fields in the early morning to get some work done before the hottest part of the day. As he walked out in the morning air, he shivered. The house suddenly seemed really warm, even though the morning drafts blew through the windows all the time. His only coat was paper-thin, and worn down with holes and tears. Feeling really poor and cold, he scanned the fields for his father. Then he searched the barn, the stable, and the fields again. That was when he started to get worried. Fearing the worst, he went back inside and asked his mother about father. The look she gave him said it all. She told him of their dilemma. Earlier that week, they had been getting reports about soldiers and how they were coming closer. They had heard of men joining the army to help protect their families. Sometimes the soldiers ordered men to join the military. If they didn't, they faced being executed or sent to work on one of two projects of the emperor's; the wall or canal. His father had talked about the situation and what to do. His mother was against him going, for life was hard for a widow and her children. Ying shuddered, thinking of the family he once knew. But father had never let go of the idea. He had joined the army, and Ying would probably never see him again. Ying went upstairs to his room, and started evaluating the situation. This is bad and will probably end terribly. His father was gone, leaving him to take care of the fields and livestock. They would eat less, and his mother would hardly be home, working late to provide for her family. But what he feared most was his sister's sickness. Soon, their small supply of medicine would be gone, and with no money at all, they would be without help. He hated his poverty. It felt unfair, that the emperor had so much money, and power, while he was stuck with poverty. He took out his journal, and started writing what had happened that day. He had just finished the last sentence when he felt a wave of anger rise toward emperor Qin. His sister would get worse and worse, until there was one less person to feed. And they would be even poorer.