March of the Fire: Part Six
Art by blizard131
It was eight hours before anything happened to any of the three of us. Or perhaps it was only twenty minutes. It just felt like a long time.
I sat there, and I almost started to cry. Not quite, though. It would be too embarrassing. I had been so close; I could have been the world’s greatest adventurer, world renowned for my expedition to the Lost Isle. But I was in a dungeon in the middle of a volcano, captured by a bunch of wimpy faeries.
I could have been amazing, had the best life, but I was probably going to be killed. And I didn’t even know why.
I looked sadly at my paws, fingers laced together in waiting. I let out a sigh. I looked up, and looking at the windowless walls and mesh cots, I almost related it to the pound. And I did start to cry, my eyes exploding with brackish liquid so similar to the stuff that had sloshed upon the deck in the midst of the storm. And then I remembered: the captain and Lillian! They were still on the boat/ship/whatever the heck it was, and they might be able to save us yet! A flame of hope began to glisten inside of my chest, and I hoped so very much that they could help us.
Lillian held onto the wheel for dear life. She had unbolted it, thus making it so that the boat would not be able to move. But the captain seemed to have gone a bit insane.
“Give me the wheel!” he roared at her.
“I’m not leaving until the others get back,” she said timidly.
“Why should you want to wait for them!?” he continued shouting at her, “They left you behind!”
“We have to wait for them,” she said defiantly, “we aren’t risking anything just staying here on this boat.”
“No,” he said, “but I want to get out of here!”
“Oh, stop acting like a baby,” she told him, “we can stay anchored here for as long as necessary.”
“Give me the wheel, or else I will push you off of this boat!” he shouted at Lillian.
“You would not!” she exclaimed, now a bit alarmed, and she began backing away towards the hatch.
“Then give me the wheel!” he shouted at her.
Timidly, at first, Lillian began giving him the wheel. But, since he was a good seven feet away from her and she did not really want to get thrown overboard, she threw it at him, and hit him squarely in the head. He slumped to the ground, unconscious.
“Oh my!” exclaimed Lillian, hands fluttering to her mouth. “Now what am I to do?”
My face fell as I realized that they had no way to get to the island, since they were anchored off of the island without the rowboat. I felt my self shaking as I realized how hopeless we were. And I still needed an explanation.
“Kid,” said Roxton, and I looked up at him, “You did your best. We might not be able to get out of here, but I’m glad I at least got to come back to this island. It was my first real big adventure from when I was younger. But just to think that it’s the secret hideout of a bunch of faeries...” He shook his head. “It feels like a stupid way to go.”
“Yeah, well, you’ve at least done something in your life,” I told him. “I mean, you’ve discovered temples in Geraptiku, you’ve gone through a time warp, you’ve discovered Moltara for goodness sake! And I haven’t even ever done anything, because every time I try, something always goes wrong.”
“Well,” said Clara, and I could tell there was a hint of annoyance in her voice, “instead of wallowing in your own self pity, maybe one of you could, I don’t know, help me with this?” and I looked over at her. She sat on her knees near the door as she picked the lock with a hairpin.
Roxton grinned, and so did I, and we both ran for the door as we heard the lock click.
“Okay, so maybe we should check to see if there are any guards patrolling the hallways, and then we can formulate a plan to esca-”
“No time for that!” exclaimed Roxton as he burst through the cell door, and practically into a rather large Darigan Chomby.
“Sound the alarm!” she wailed (yes, she, and she had a rather high pitched voice), “Prisoners from cell 852 have escaped! Sound the alarm!”
Clara whacked her forehead, quite annoyed. “Really, Roxton? We’re just going to skip through the dungeon and hope we don’t run into any of the guards? Really?”
“Keep picking the locks,” he told her as he began running towards the exit, where there were quite a few guards.
“Ugh,” she groaned. “May, can you pick these instead?”
“I dunno how,” I told her innocently. “If I did, I wouldn’t have spent so much of my life in the pound.”
Her eyes got huge. “You’re an orphan?”
“Yeah, I thought you knew that already,” I told her. “Anyways, what’s so important about it?”
“That makes much more sense!” she told me, but then she looked over my shoulder. “May! Watch out!” A Magma Lupe wearing a guard’s uniform came up from behind me. I whirled around, and ducked when I saw him try to bring down a rather large stick on my head.
As the stick hit the ground, I grabbed it and wrenched it out of the Lupe’s paws. Using it, I whacked him in the knees and he fell to the floor. I spun around, just in time to see Moht, Kerlie, Jordie and Gaviella sprint out of a nearby cell, and follow Roxton down the corridor. Still holding onto my stick, I sprinted along after them, and it looked like we might just escape.
“So,” muttered Yyro as she looked through the magic window that floated in mid air. It was about 23.65% more accurate than a crystal ball or a magic mirror, as windows were much easier to enchant. “It seems that we have yet another newcomer to this island. And she has been here before.” Her voice, though it was confusing with its odd way of never being defined, seemed full with tension to Jessalia. “You have met her before.”
Jessalia’s mind was spiralling to find who it might be, but it stopped at a certain earth faerie. “Illisiy,” she practically whispered. “She has returned. But why?”
“The child,” Yyro said, and though Jessalia could not see her face, she knew that Yyro must have been nervous, “is already here.”
“But what am I to do?” pleaded Jessalia, now desperate.
“The child is in the dungeons, but has just escaped,” Yyro told her. “Eradicate her.”
And so, with a sweep of her blood red cape, Jessalia left the throne room for the dungeons, unsure of whom she would encounter.
And I bumped straight into a really really tall faerie. Well, I mean, that was the first thing I noticed about her. She was really tall, with crimson coloured hair and dark eyes. Her skin was pale white, and she wore a burgundy cape over her shoulders.
She raised her eyebrows at me. “Not quite what I was expecting,” she muttered to herself, and with a louder, more confident voice shouted, “Prepare to duel!”
“Uh,” I said, as she began gathering magic in the palm of her hand. “What?”
The magic dissipated as she looked at me. “What do you mean ‘What’?”
“Well, what exactly do you mean by duelling? As in, magic duelling?”
“I seem to have the wrong child,” she said, and shook her head, “Show yourself!” she shouted, her voice echoing about the dungeon.
And nothing happened.
I glanced over her shoulder and noticed that everyone else had stopped. They were looking at me, some fearfully, some confused, and a certain Lutari just plain annoyed.
The faerie looked back at me. “Perhaps I am right,” and she paused, “but perhaps I am wrong. Are you not the one who has 'saved the life of another'?”
“On which occasion?”
“And one who has 'spent her life in loneliness?'”
“More or less, I suppose.”
“And one who will 'suffer great pain'?”
“Uh,” I mumbled, finding this last one rather disconcerting, “I dunno?”
She sighed, and proceeded to blast me with a ball of powerful magic. I shouted as I flew backwards into the wall, back colliding first. Dizzily, I stood up and shook my head. Wincing as I opened my eyes, I found that the faerie had left, seemingly in a hurry. I saw her flourish her cape as she drifted down the hallway. I shook my head a bit, convincing myself that I was absolutely fine.
“Okay!” said Clara as we neared the end of the dungeons. “Judging by the positioning of the guards, they are currently on the second shift of the day, each of which is four hours long. They are currently into the eighty-sixth minute of said shift, positioning about three of them right outside this door. They are all probably carrying-”
“Easy peasy,” grinned Roxton, and burst his way through the door. “Large stones!” Clara shouted as one of them fell onto his head. Roxton slumped to the ground, and a faerie Korbat flew by, cackling loudly.
“Roxton!” she shouted, and quickly ran over to him. “Can you hear me?”
“Yeah,” he said, and pushed himself up with his elbows. “I think I’m okay.”
I leaned on the wall, my head still spinning. I couldn’t really see straight, but I told myself over and over again that I was absolutely fine.
“Duck!” shouted Jordie, and we all ducked out of the way (well, all of us that were standing up) as a large boulder tied to a vine swung over our heads.
“Don’t stand up!” shouted Clara, and we all kept running. I felt my feet pounding on the floor, felt my knees bending, felt my head spinning as we ran. Then I fell.
“Keep going!” I shouted to Moht as he turned around, “I’ll be okay!” I collapsed there, and glanced up above me. Easily ten boulders were swinging back and forth across the ceiling, the air around them blowing my hat back and forth.
I let out a huge puff of air, and rested my head on the ground. But only for a second. Then, mustering all of my strength, I pushed myself up, and proceeded to crawl in the direction everyone else was running.
Jessalia narrowed her eyes at the earth faerie. The two of them began circling each other, preparing for the battle that would follow.
“So,” said Jessalia, “we meet again.”
The earth faerie laughed. “Oh Jessa, you know that we shall meet again time after time.” Jessalia cringed at her old nickname. Back before the time warp... but she thrust the memory from her mind.
“So,” Jessalia asked her nemesis, “what have you been doing for the past twelve years?”
“I have become a guardian faerie,” the earth faerie told her, all seriousness.
“I doubt that,” Jessalia snorted, “who have you been guarding?”
“The Huntress,” Illisiy stated simply. Jessalia drew in a deep breath.
“You mean to say that you have been guarding yourself?”
“Oh no,” the earth faerie said. “You just passed her and her family.”
As I continued crawling under the swinging stones, I heard a loud cracking noise up ahead. I looked up, and saw a falling stone. Then came another, and another. The vines were breaking; I realized, and hurried onward as fast as I could. Well, I mean, crawling isn’t exactly the fastest mode of transportation, but what choice did I have?
I could see everyone else further up ahead, and tried to catch up with them. That’s when they hit a wall.
“What are we supposed to do now?” I heard Clara ask over the crashing stones.
“We have to find a door!” Roxton shouted, and they all looked around frantically for one. As I crawled, stones pounding all around me, I searched for a way out as well. We were in a simple hallway, stone walls and floor, and when I looked up to try and see the ceiling, I saw... a door.
“Guys!” I shouted over the crashing stones, “The way out is up!” But no one seemed to hear me. I looked at them frantically, trying to figure out how to get their attentions.
Which was when I saw a boulder about to break. And it was right on top of someone.
“Clara!” I shouted, and immediately got up and ran to her. I pushed both my pain and her out of the way, and just in time.
“Ahh!” she shouted as she fell out of the way and onto the ground. Face up. And so she saw the door.
“I see a way out!” she shouted over the boulders, and apparently she had a much louder voice than I, since everybody looked straight at her. She pointed up, and so everyone looked up at the door.
It actually looked like a door; I mean, one would expect a trapdoor type thing, but it actually looked like a door. Doorknob and panels and everything.
Jordie shrugged, as if to gesture that he had no idea how to get up there. I looked back up at it, as uncertain as the next pet on how on Neopia we were supposed to get up there.
That’s when Kerlie had an idea. He jumped off of the ground, and landed on one of the swinging stones. He swung back and forth, hanging on with his tail, so much that I started to get even dizzier. Then he jumped to a higher rock, and a higher rock, until he was almost at the ceiling. Before all of this happened, we all took the hint and got onto our own rocks. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds; those things were moving pretty fast. I hung onto the vines for dear life, but I eventually made it to the top. Kerlie had already opened the door and popped through, and I followed him quickly.
I burst up into pitch darkness.
Unable to see anything, Clara asked, “Is everyone here?”
We all said yes, and everyone was thankful to get out of the way of the stones. But things would only get worse. We felt along the walls, searching for a way out, but no one could find anything. I kept bumping into people, and I was worried that one of us might fall back through the door, since we couldn’t see any of it. Just pitch darkness.
“You know,” commented Moht eventually, “I bet that it’s magic, ‘cause we can’t see any of the door anymore. Otherwise there would be a big light rectangle in the floor.”
“Great,” groaned Roxton. “Now what are we supposed to do?”
“Well, I know some spells,” Clara said, “but none of them are light spells. I can clean water, make a fire-”
“Well, that works just as well,” I told her.
She shook her head, “It’s not that simple,” she told me. “I need to have something to light it on. Like a log or a piece of cloth...” she trailed off at the last part, but I couldn’t tell what she was thinking since her face was shrouded by darkness. “May, can I use your hat for a second?”
“What!” I practically shouted, alarmed. Someone shushed me, and I dropped my voice. “I will not be burning my hat!”
“Well then,” asked Clara, “how do you suppose that we are going to get light in here? Just chant something random in Altadorian--”
I sighed and pulled off my fedora, but she wasn’t done with her rant, “--like ‘quamquam est malum malum’ or ‘Semper ubi suberubi?!’”
And poof! Just like that, the lights popped on.
“Whoa,” muttered Roxton, “I didn’t know you could do that.”
“But that doesn’t even make any sense!” exclaimed a surprised Clara, “‘Semper ubi sububi’ means ‘always wear underwear’!” We all burst out laughing at this.
“Well,” said Moht, wiping a tear out of his eye, “maybe they just didn’t want anyone to find out how to turn on the lights?” We all agreed to this theory, and I looked around the cavern in which we stood.
The room was small, about the size of a dinner-table, with dark grey walls and torches which had recently been lit. Then I looked back down at my hat, and I noticed something written very neatly in cursive near the brim:
Roxton A. Colchester
I gasped as I saw this, and quickly handed it to its owner.
“Huh?” he asked as he took the hat from me, and I quickly pointed to the name written inside. “Hmm. We must have accidentally switched hats at some point,” and proceeded to take the one from his head and hand it to me. But in the rim in the same handwriting was his name.
When the alarms were sounded at the prisoner’s escape, Evre looked up in unease from her sandwich. “What on Neopia?” she wondered out loud, and hurried down the dungeons just in time to watch the familiar tail of a blue Wocky disappear around the corner. And she knew she had to help.
There was a door on the wall besides the one on the floor, and we hurried into it. We found ourselves in a rather large chamber, with the same stone walls and flooring and the same torches. It was rather semi-circle like, with nine other doors. Eight of them, plus the one we had just come through, were normal, small, wooden doors, each of a different colour, but on the flat wall was a large marble double door.
“Well, what now?” wondered Jordie aloud.
“Big doors usually mean exits, so out we go,” said Roxton with a grin, and pushed open the large double doors.
And there, right in front of us, was what basically looked like an army of rather mismatched pets. They all wore the same scarlet uniform, but there was every colour from pink to zombie, every species from Usul to Skeith. Everyone gave a quick shout and they all rushed in. We all backed up quickly, preparing to run, but as the army stumbled in, it seemed that they could not see anything.
“Ahh- what’s going on!” shouted a purple Yurble who had run into a wall. “I can’t see!” moaned another voice for the crowd.
“Guys,” whispered Moht, “they can’t see us because of the magic. Or anything else, for that matter. But they might be able to hear us, so be quiet.”
“Okay, so what now?” I asked, making sure to keep my voice low.
“Pick a door, any door!” exclaimed Clara, and we quickly shushed her. “Eight of these doors lead to traps, one of which we were just in, all of which connect to the dungeons in some way or another. One of the doors is the treasure room, or contains something that needs to be kept out of the way from everyone else.”
“All righty then, so choose one of the doors,” whispered Roxton, but whatever else he was about to say he was cut off from, for at that moment the tall faerie stormed through. She shoved her way to the front of the crowd and quickly announced, “Semper ubi sububi!” and then it seemed that the outsized throng could now see us, for someone shouted “Get them!” and rushed towards us. So we all ran into the first door we were closest to, which happened to be purple.
We slammed the door behind us and pushed it shut as they tried to push it open. I used my feet to insure that it would stay closed, but then I heard a lock click. I instantly lessened my weight and turned around.
Clara held a hairpin in her paw. “Found a lock,” she said with a slight but exhausted smile.
Suddenly, I heard a sound. Well, I guess you could say that it was a voice, but it was such a strange voice that it didn’t quite seem natural. And it seemed to beckon. “Come.”
I turned around slowly, expecting some kind of vicious beast; a trap for the unwary. My gaze was met with a lush curtain, from which behind the voice was coming. The whole room was decorated in dark coloured fabrics, with ominous torches hanging from the walls. Overall, it really did look like some kind of villain’s lair.
The voice suddenly changed to become much deeper. “Come closer.”
I was about to walk towards the curtain, but Clara put her hand up. “Who are you?” she asked.
“I am not someone you should wish to cross,” responded the voice, now rather nasally.
“Okay, that really doesn’t help. Tell us who you are, and we might come closer.”
The voice sighed loudly. “Clara Chatham, I understand your worry,” it said, and Clara looked rather surprised that it would know her name, “And if I was in your sandals, I would be worried too. Very well, I will tell you a small amount. I am the ruler of the Fyr, working hard to bring justice to my people. They range from the ignored Moltaran faeries to the little bullied Kacheek who wishes to show his superiors that he is not weak.” The voice, now rather high pitched, paused dramatically. “And the lonely orphan who wishes she had a family.”
I drew in a shuddering breath. “How do you know that I’m an orphan?” I asked the voice.
It responded very simply. “I am psychic.” I had thought that whoever was behind the curtain seemed perfectly insane, but then it sighed again and told me, “I am not a psycho, I am psychic, which means that I read minds.”
I guess that this was about when I realised how hard it was going to be to fight my enemy.
“But exactly who are you?” repeated Clara.
“You really wish to know more about me? Very well.
“Back when I was younger, my sister and I were renowned throughout Faerieland as being the most beautiful of them all. We were carefree, until my twin was captured by Balthazar. I have not seen her since, and believe her to be dead. I went to Balthazar’s lair to free her, only to be captured. Using my powers, I brought an army of faeries to my side, only to have my efforts fail. My good friend and I were the only two to escape, and I was banished from Faerieland. I wandered about Neopia, until I came across Moltara, at which point I discovered that I was not alone in wishing for revenge against someone. I have despised almost all faeries since my banishment, and I have found that there are many more whose wishes are yet to be fulfilled. And so, the March of the Fyr began.”
“Wait a second- what exactly is the ‘Fyr’?” asked Roxton.
“The Fyr is the organization for those who wish for vengeance. Together, we can conquer all that have shamed us and stood in our way.”
“But that is probably not the greatest way to get revenge at all!” protested Roxton.
“Neither of you two is even on good terms with any faeries anyways,” commented the voice from behind the curtain.
“What?” Clara exclaimed, seemingly offended, “When you’re in the process of saving Neopia from a terrible doom, you will do just about anything to help! Even if it means throwing slushies at faeries!”
“Um hm?” asked our masked villain in a voice that sounded oddly like Veer, and Clara turned a little red.
Suddenly, I heard a small clicking sound coming from behind me. I whirled around just in time to see the lock click ever so slightly. Then BOOM! The door burst open, the army piling in.
“Get them!” shouted a baby Ixi, and boy did we run for our lives. Or tried to anyways, for the room was so small, that we could hardly go anywhere. We were trapped.
We backed into the wall, edging away from the crowd that threatened to consume us, until we saw a familiar face flying over them.
“Evre!” I shouted at the slightly bewildered fire faerie. “Help us!”
“How?” she asked me.
“I dunno, can you get us out of here?”
She looked a little thoughtful for a moment, then suddenly snapped her fingers. “Oh, yeah! I know exactly what to do!” She flew down next to Kerlie, who obviously didn’t know who she was and looked more than just a little worried, and pushed on a stone in the wall. With a loud crumbling noise, a small piece of the wall fell away, revealing a hidden passage way. “This way!” she shouted, and quickly hurried in. We all filled in behind her.
We kept running through the pitch black passageway. Sometimes we would go up, others down, and once or twice the ceiling got very low. The army kept following us, though there seemed to fewer of them now. “This is Rermia’s escape passage!” Evre shouted back at us once, but I didn’t have the time to ask who Rermia was, because we suddenly popped out into broad daylight.
We were on top of the volcano, standing precariously on a ledge. I peered down, and saw, much to my horror, that below us stood the rest of the army, angrily waving their swords at us.
“Oops,” said Evre, a little bit embarrassed, “I think we took a wrong turn further back. I couldn’t see anything.”
“So what are we supposed to do?” asked Clara.
“I have an idea,” I said, beginning to grin. I whipped out my last coil of rope, cut off a few short pieces from it, and quickly tied it into a lasso. I had read about Kauboys doing something like this, and I spun it around in a circle. Well, I mean I certainly tried my best, but the rope still flopped over me and hardly did anything besides get tangled.
“Here, let me,” Roxton said, taking the rope from me. He spun it quickly in a circle, and asked where he should throw it.
“Right there,” I said, pointing to a rather tall tree. “We’ll be over the army if we go there.”
Clara shook her head. “No, they could run straight to us at that angle. It would be harder for them if we threw it right behind them. It’ll make for a much riskier fall, but if we can make it through there, we should be in a much better position.”
“I like May’s idea better,” said Roxton, and I could tell that another argument was about to begin.
I spoke quickly before Clara could put in a word. “Let’s just go with Clara’s idea; it’s probably more logical than mine.”
Roxton threw the rope, and it landed on the tree perfectly. “You have to teach me how to do that,” I told him, grinning. And, yes, yet again, people started staring at me like I was a crazy person. “Seriously, guys, what is wrong with me smiling?” I asked them.
“We’ll tell you later,” said Jordie, grabbing one of the pieces of rope I had cut. He looped it over the zip-line we had created, and began swinging down from the mountain.
Moht jumped on, then Gaviella, and then, since we were running low on rope, Kerlie used his tail. “Ooh! This looks like fun!” exclaimed Evre, and quickly swung down before I could say that I hadn’t cut a piece of rope for her. We had two pieces of rope and three people. And between the two of them, there was also going to be quite the argument.
After about a minute into the debate of who should stay here, I quickly said, “I can use my hands. I’ve done similar things already; I think I know what to do. You guys go.”
They grudgingly set off with their ropes, and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation. I backed up a few inches, and then took a running leap forward. I grabbed the rope before I fell, the momentum hurting my fingers. But it seemed like it worked, because I was sliding forward really fast. Maybe a little too fast.
I was coming up behind Clara, going much faster then her. I shouted to her, but the wind in her blue Wocky ears must have been too loud, because she never even looked behind her. I gulped, when suddenly I came up with an idea.
I let go of the rope with one of my paws, and swung to my right. I had plenty of momentum, because right as I was about to hit Clara, I started to swing back. Then I let go with my other paw, and flew through the air for about a second. Using all of my strength, I grabbed onto the rope in front of her. Unfortunately, I kept swinging, and found myself going a little too far to the left.
And right into a tree.
I held onto the tree for dear life, and I didn’t fall into the crowd. My head spun and it felt like I had just played a losing game of Darigan Dodgeball, for the horrible feeling of loss spun quickly through my heart. I was going to die, I realized, and I didn’t think that anything could save me now. Anyone, though, was an entirely different matter.
Evre grabbed me under my shoulders, and I was certain that I was going to pass out, but I kept my consciousness by force; I knew it would be bad if I fell asleep. We were flying directly towards the ship, which looked like it was very close to the land (Lillian had brought it as close to the island as she could, but in the process had gotten it stuck in the sand). Evre dropped me quickly onto the deck of the ship, and I stood up, steadying myself with the railing.
Everyone else was quickly coming towards us, and they all clambered aboard. The army was close behind us, and we were almost certain that we were not going to get away.
Evre flew away from the ship, and levitated in the air for a few seconds. It seemed like she was spacing out and muttering to herself. We readied ourselves for battle, and I took out my stick from my backpack. I had shoved it in there at the last minute, and now it looked like I was going to have to use it.
“Acendebis!” I heard Evre shout behind me, and suddenly the boat began to float into the air. With another something in a different something in Altadorian, we began flying at what felt like the speed of light.
We couldn’t steer; the captain was unconscious anyways. We soared over the island, and then over the sea, and then over Krawk Island, and suddenly we saw the Lost Desert, and then I gasped as we flew over Shenkuu. We saw all of Neopia in about fifteen seconds.
Of course, we had to drop to the deck, for the winds were whacking us straight in our faces. We lay down on the deck of the ship, holding onto whatever we could find for dear life. “How do we land this thing!?” I heard someone shout over the not-so-light breeze. I looked around for Evre, but it actually looked like we had left her behind.
That’s when we began coming up on Neopia Central. The ship began to sink a little bit, and suddenly we crashed right near Uni’s Clothing. About half of the ship skidded another couple of feet, and we decided that the ship was wrecked. I guess you could say that I was at least a little bit glad that the captain had stayed asleep during this time.
We got off of the ship, I guess sorta expecting some kind of congratulations. A few Neopians glanced at us sideways, but continued on walking. I had certainly seen plenty of flying ships crash into something, about once every few months. I guessed they just thought it to be normal.
“Well, what now?” Moht asked me, and I realized with a sinking feeling that my first adventure was now over.
“I dunno,” I said, “I guess we’re supposed to go home now. Not like I really have a home.”
“Hey, it’s okay, I’m only on the other side of town,” he said with a smile, and I grinned half heartedly at him. We quickly hugged each other, and I found my feet treading quietly towards the way that I knew was the pound. I thought I was going to go back to my old life then and there. Boy, was I wrong.
The wind began to pick up, papers and grass whirling around as if a tornado was about to begin. And I saw a large dark mass in the clouds. I realized something then: they weren’t going to be letting us live.
They had followed us.
To be continued...