"Who's there?" I'm calling out to the quiet. Who or whatever's there doesn't reply to me and I'm getting angry. Angry that they won't reply, angry that I'm the only kid left on this goddamn planet in a crummy settlement in the middle of nowhere and the population is dying out, and I'm angry that I'm scared out of my frickin' mind, and I'm getting so angry that my thoughts become white hot and I'm shooting hateful and scared daggers at the quiet tear in the normal commotion around me, and-
-And then I hear a gasp.
I stop and my thoughts become question marks. I squint into the darkness of the canopy and I can see them; two large eyes and pale skin. I draw my knife and it glints as I pull it from the sheath. There's another gasp and a series of thuds, like someone falling backwards, over and over. Then there's quiet again.
My heart's pounding and my blood's jumping crazily in my viens and on some wild, outrageous impulse, I'm tugging back branches, fighting my way through bracken that snags my clothes and tears my skin. Animals are skittering everywhere, "Quiet! Quiet!" or "Last boy!" or "Run!" or "Hop!" or "Fly!" they scream. I'm running down the ditch, stumbling as my feet whack against tree stumps and gnarled roots. I'm following the crushed path where a body has obviously tumbled.
Then I'm stopping, gasping for breath and my eyes have spotted the cold looking, pale, bare foot from beneath an overgrown patch of reeds at the bank of the river. I make forit, but a fox has beaten me to it.
"Blood..." It whispers, "Food..." It whispers. It dips its head into the rushes and yaps, delight written in its thoughts.
"Gerroffoutta it!" I growl. The fox yanks its head out, hackles raising and it sniffs tentatively at the body before cutting me down with one word that I really don't wanna hear.
"Boy!" It yelps in fear and scarpers, running back from whence it came.
Boy... The word replays in my mind and I shudder. No. That's impossible. I'm the last boy on this whole planet! Aren't I?
I'm hacking back the reeds, flailing my arm as I cut the plants aside. Then I can see it...
Well, not 'it'.
'Cause 'it'... is a him.
He's deathly pale, whether that is his natural colour or 'cause he's ill I dunno. He's tall, but thin and I can see the bones defined in his wrists. He has long eyelashes and they are casting long, dark shadows that yawn out over his sharp cheekbones. His hair is an unusual shade of black and blue, like the colour of raven feathers in sunlight. His forehead has a crimson line from where he fell and little beads of blood are trickling down to his ear and curved jaw. Three red and silver scars are marked from his left eyebrow to the corner of his bloodless lips. He has something metal in a leather pouch around his slim waist; a small, wide cylinder attached to a thin, narrower cylinder and a handle.
The fact that he has a wierd looking weapon thing attached to his belt doesn't scare me, it's the fact I can't hear his thoughts is what is making my heart slam against my ribs and my throat tighten. And he's a boy. A real life boy.
Suddenly, his eyes snap open and he fixes me with a grass green gaze for a second, then his eyes flash to a tawney brown colour and his pupils are huge. He scrambles to his muddy, dirty feet and I can see more than just his face now. He is wearin' nothin' but a pair of black, baggy combat trousers and I can see his ghostly skin is mottled with scars and bruises of all different shades. The skin around his ribcage is so thin I can see the outline of every bone, ridge, crevice and pale, inky blue viens that run up his abdomen and chest like rivers marked on a map in intricate weaving patterns. He seems badly malnourished and he is dithering despite the lack of wind and coldness in the air. His eyes flash into a green and brown, uncertainty riddling his curvy, sallow, over tierd face that looks even more sickly due to the flint black locks that tumbled in greasy knots to his sunken collar bones. He looks so fragile that if I breathed too close to him he might snap and crumble into a million shards of porceline white right in front of my eyes. He looks so corpse like I actually want to cringe. No one can be that thin and still be alive.
He grabs his rucksack in two, white, twig like arms, but his lips are remaining tightly pursed, like they're super glued together.
Boy? I question, Boy? Metal weapon? Quiet? Pale? Blood? Sick? Knife? Danger? Knife? Boy? Stab? Kill?
The boy whimpers at my last four questions and I realise that though I can't hear his thoughts, he can hear mine. I realise I'm looking at my hunting knife and I'm actually considerin' to kill this boy. Why? I dunno. I honestly, really dunno. I'm too scared. Too scared. My confused thoughts just make one enormous jumble of noise and the boy drops the bag agains to press his slender hands to his ears and I see he has a spike deliberately driven through one ear lobe. It's no use, I think, It gets inside your head too. You can't hide from it.
The poor boy is so terrified his eyes are actually beginning to fill up. I remember that I'm still holding this goddamn knife and I drop it and it hits the ground with a thud. Then I'm running, running again. Far away from the boy, far away from the river and far away from my knife.
I'm strugglin' to breathe as my feet pound back up the steep incline, my muscles are aching and they scream out for oxygen but I still sprint on. The rabbit warrens twist and hook my feet from under me. I scramble up to fall, scramble up to fall. Again and again. Over and over. My legs are just running like clockwork now, one foot in front of the other in a continuous cycle. Thud, thud, trip, scramble, thud, thud, trip, and scramble.
I'm masking thoughts of the boy with other thoughts, pushing the raven haired teen with his silent aura to the back of my mind and block it off with memories; me, mom and pa, the time before we could hear eachother's thoughts, back when everything was normal.
I run past the gates into Belleville and I've forgotten how noisy it is here in comparison to the woods and I'm almost blown back off my feet by a flood of thoughts and sounds.
R&R and let me know whatcha think guys! ;)
- Sara xoxo