Too late…

The first thing I notice as we near where Max fell behind are voices. I recognise them.

“I need to stay,” Max says.

I stand a street away, the gone in my hand forgotten, Conor next to me as we listen.

“I have to go back,” Colin says.

“Come with us,” Aaron says.

“Bitsy,” Max sighs my name.

“They might let her go if you come with us,” Aaron says, but I can hear the lie in his voice. I just hope Max can.

“Really?” he says and I can tell that he is still under the effects of the drugs. I start forward and Conor holds me back.

“Don’t leave me,” he whispers.

“Never,” I say.

“Come with us and they will be left,” Aaron says.

I wonder if he was on the other side all this time. I suppose we ought to have been suspicious, finding a pilot and a helicopter at so convenient a time. I shake my head at our naiveté. But when did Colin become allied with them?

“Why?” Max asks, and it is almost as if he has read my mind.

“Leave her?” Aaron asks.

“No, why are you helping them?”

“I was always helping them,” Aaron says. “I was meant to bring you here. Once Bitsy made that call we knew we had to get you here.”

“To become lab rats,” Max spits. “And you?”

I realise that he must be asking Colin.

“It seemed the best. We can’t beat them.”

I frown at that. We are more than the humans. And I don’t want to beat them. I just want to co-exist. We are no threat to them; I mean they are poisonous to us.

“Why do we need to beat them?” Max asks, and from the strain in his voice I know he is getting to his feet.

“They can’t let us live. We are monsters…” Colin says, and by doing so I realise he has just told Max that it won’t make any difference what he does. They are going to hunt us down.

“I don’t suppose you’ll give me a head start?” Max asks.

I wait. There is silence and I wonder what is going on. I look around. We are standing in the street and totally exposed. Conor is glancing up and down the street and I can tell he is anxious and afraid.

“Come on,” I say and I drag the gone to the buildings in front of us, a series of houses. I notice that three doors down a curtain twitches, but I ignore it.

Placing the gone on the pavement I pull Conor into the shadow of a terrace. I crouch near the front wall.

“Okay,” Aaron suddenly says. “But they will send us out for you.”

“Colin?” Max asks.

“Go. I can’t…” his voice fades out.

I hear Max stumbling away. The others don’t move. Instead, after a moment Aaron starts to count.

“One…”

This is some sort of sick hide and seek.

“Two…”

Max is walking our way, I can tell that he is trying to pick up speed but his gait is more of a stumbling shuffle.

“Can we help?” Conor asks.

“No. He will be here in a moment.”

“Three… Really, Max, you want to stretch this out? Just give up…”

Max’s speed picks up. He comes around the corner and stops. I know he can smell me but he seems to be putting on a show. He finally starts walking towards us. He places a finger to his lips, the universal sign for silence. I nod and motion to the gone. He gives a grin and picks up the limp body.

“Four…”

He drops the drained body and stretches. He’s regained a lot of his movement, but I can see that Colin and Aaron have added to his bruises. He gives a thumbs up and nods to the street. We start moving off, Conor and I trying to be silent.

“Five… Max are you still alone? I thought I heard someone else there?”

We all theree look at each other and break into a run.

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About Kate

Kate Murray has recently completed her Masters in Creative Writing and is currently working as an illustrator and writer. Her first anthology of short stories ‘The Phantom Horse’ was published in December 2013 and she subsequently has had another anthology published by Raging Aardvark; “Love Just Is” looks at the truth of love, in all its guises from romantic to obsessive. She is currently working on an anthology of ghost stories which should be published at the end of October 2014 and is also writing her first novel. Kate runs two blogs, one is about her life as a writer (kate0murray.wordpress.com) and the other is a serialisation of a novel, “The Gone”; a disaster hits the world while Bitsy is on a flight from Italy. She lands to find that the world is completely altered and she must learn to survive in a place where everyone is not who they appear to be (thegone.wordpress.com). Kate has had short stories published in magazines and e-zines, including ‘The Lampeter Review’, ‘Jotter’s United’, and ‘What The Dickens’. She has had short stories included in the ‘Twisted Tales 2013’ anthology published by Raging Aardvark, and the ‘Busker Anthology’ and ‘Spooky Tales Anthology’ published by What the Dickens. Kate’s artwork has been exhibited at the Museum Of Modern Art in Machynlleth where she was selected after entering the art competition and at Aberglasney Gardens as part of the Mid Wales Art group. Her artwork has been published by companies from Norway to Australia and her latest works will have illustrations in it. She has also had a series of line drawings published by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in their biodiversity action plan. Kate currently works in the foothill of the Cambrian Mountains where she has a purpose built workshop that she affectionately calls her ‘house’ as she spends far more time in there than anywhere else.
This entry was posted in Chapter 14 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Too late…

  1. Kate says:

    Reblogged this on Kate Murray and commented:

    Too late… How will Bitsy get to Max? #thegone #amwriting

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