Starlight (In need of major rewriting)

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Chapter 11

I turned back and crawled into the van. The man had successfully crawled into the back and now lunged at me with the knife.

I rolled out of the way, the knife grazing my arm. I winced but scooped the girl’s frail body into my arms, leaning close to hear that she was still breathing, thankfully. I stood up with her in my arms, making my way toward the back when the van swerved, knocking me off my feet. The girl groaned and rolled over a bit, squeezing her eyes shut tighter. I fell from the force of the van moving so suddenly, twisting my body so that she landed on top of me and wouldn’t be hurt. I got up again, slowly pulling myself up, and made my way to the back door, once again.

“Tesla!” Ollie and Adahy shouted, seeing me getting closer. I glanced back behind me once at the man coming at me with a knife again before leaping out of the van.

Adahy jumped forward, holding his arms out to steady me. I sighed in relief and handed the small girl over to him. My adrenaline rush was gone and suddenly all of the exhaustion and pain hit me at once. It felt like a semi-truck had run me over. My knees gave out from under me and I fell, Ollie reaching out to steady me. My vision blurred and I fell to the side, everything turning dark and spinning away.

I heard voices around me, but I was too tired to open my eyes. “Is she awake yet?” a boy’s voice asked.

“I don’t think so. Wait, she’s waking up!” Another voice said. I groaned and rolled over, feeling a cool cloth slip off of my head. I shifted where I was laying and felt the warm sun rays shining down on my face.

“Ugh, someone please turn off the sun,” I groaned, rolling away. The sweet sound of laughter filled my ears and, since sleep wouldn’t come again, I forced my eyes to open to be faced with bright, sea-green eyes, a ring of sapphire in the middle giving it the perfect look of a beautiful ocean.

“Good, you’re finally awake,” the girl said. I sat up, groggily, and looked at her, confused.

“Uh, no offense but, who are you?” I asked as she dripped a cloth in a wooden bowl of water and placed it on my forehead and leaning me back down.

She laughed, “Sorry, forgot to introduce myself. The name’s Ace. And from what I hear, you’re Tesla, correct?” She said. I nodded slowly, eyeing her suspiciously. Then I realized who she was.

My eyes widened, “Wait, you’re the girl from the van!” I exclaimed. She grinned widely at me.

She had a choppy pixie cut and her hair was a shiny black with dyed red tips. Her bright eyes sparkled against her dark hair. I noticed she looked to be about my age, too. Her before-deathly pale skin was now tanner so it looked like she spent a lot of time out in the sun while I was out. She looked healthier and not nearly as skinny and frail as before, either, so that’s a relief.

“Yeah, I’ve been helping out here with Oliver and Adahy.” I tilted my head in confusion and asked, “Wait, how long have I been out?”

“About a week. Maybe just a few days. It’s hard to keep track of time out here.” I jumped at the voice and turned to see Adahy sitting in the corner of the tent.

My eyes widened, “A week?!” I jumped up, the cloth falling from my head. My vision went dark and my head got dizzy, forcing me to fall back down.

“Woah, easy,” Ace said, reaching out and slowly setting me down. “Don’t get up too fast.” I groaned slightly, opening my eyes to see the room around me spinning.

“You’ve been drifting in and out of sleep the whole time. Here, eat some food,” Ace said, handing me a bowl of some sort of soup. I thanked her and sat up to eat while they watched me. I felt a bit uncomfortable in their gaze, but I continued to eat silently.

“Tesla! You’re awake!” Before I knew it, I was being tackled with a hug by my best friend.

“Can’t- breathe…” I said between gasps. Ollie quickly let go of me and I took a deep breath. He chuckled nervously and I laughed.

“Is there anything I could help you guys with now that I’m awake?” I asked, setting my empty bowl down and looking at them.

“Well, we were going to try and build a raft when you woke up…” Ace said. Ollie elbowed her and sent her a look. “What? I’m just saying, now that she’s awake she could help some!” Ollie rolled his eyes at her.

“Raft for what?” I asked, looking between them. The three seemed to be having a silent conversation with their eyes.

Adahy turned and looked at me first. “We found a long river nearby and we thought the water might be a quicker way to travel than land.”

I nodded, “Okay, that makes sense.” I stood up slowly and walked out of the tent to find a stand with a large raft in the process of being built. I walked over to a pile of sticks and vines and grabbed a few sticks, picking up my knife from my bag and shaping the edges to make them flatter. I wrapped the vine around a group of sticks, tying them together to form a flat board.

The sun started to set and I was exhausted. I wiped a bead of sweat off and sighed, contently. “Tes, come on in, it’s getting late.” I looked over at Ace and looked back at the raft.

“Tes?” I asked. She walked over and stood next to me.

“Yeah, it’s a nickname.” No one’s ever given me a nickname before. It felt… nice. I smiled a bit and nodded.

“I’ll try and help more tomorrow,” I told her. She laughed and shook her head. “You’re really something, Tes.” She grinned at me before heading back to the tent, leaving me there to watch her leave.

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