Only the silence answered him for a couple of seconds.
People were looking at each other in disbelief. After all grievers never ever attacked the camp, they never came out of the Maze and rarely out in broad daylight.
As to mock our thoughts, a very recognizable and strident scream of griever, way too close to be from the Maze, echoed in the hut.
The disbelief let place to the terror on everyone’s face.
And there, it was the chaos.
Everyone was rushing, running towards the exits, in panic.
I felt the terror of my memories of the night in the maze, rushing back to me.
This time, I had nowhere to hide. We had nothing to fight them, nowhere to run to.
No, not nowhere…
After all, if they were here, they weren’t in the maze. And we could make it out this time.
I turned against the crowd that was pushing me out of the way, trying to get back to the centre of the hut. Going to the opposite direction, I got pushed back hard.
“Ah …” I felt down on my knee, couldn’t resist the mass of people pushing me away.
A sudden strong grip pulled me back on my feet and to the middle of the hut.
“You’re ok?” Asked Minho after letting go of my arm.
“Thank you.” I said, happy that he helped me and hadn’t just ignored me.
I felt guilty to even think that he could do that. Minho was not the type of person to let me get hurt just to get back on me.
“We need to go!” He said at me.
We could hear the scream from outside the hut of the guys who escaped first.
“We need him!” I shouted to cover the noise, pointing at Spider.
This one, was not laughing anymore and was looking awfully pale. Newt was already next to him, pushing him back to his feet. We reunited and went towards the exit, the hut was already empty except us.
Looking through the open door, we could see the grievers invading our camp, in broad daylight. They were everywhere. And they were massive. I hadn’t realized that in the Maze.
We didn’t stand a chance against them. I felt so cold suddenly, surprised that I escaped one of them…and that I was so close to one of them, not long ago, and survived it!
The other guys who were already outside, were all running in every direction, some towards the forest, others towards the habitations or the other side of the camp…but grievers were running after them.
I pointed at the entrance of the Maze.
“This is our only escape!” I said.
Newt and Minho nodded. Spider was just whining and shaking.
“First time of my life I see a God going to do on himself.” I said with sarcasm to him.
He totally ignored me.
“On our way, just grab anything that can help but don’t stop!” Ordered Newt.
“We don’t stop and we don’t slow down or we are dead. If you don’t run, you are dead.” He added, more for Spider than for us.
“Ready?” Newt asked again.
I took a deep breath, and nodded.
“Run!” he ordered.
And with that, we took off. The 4 of us were running as fast as possible, straight to the exit. I could see 3 grievers in my immediate sight. One was in the middle of the garden that Newt and I took so care of, destroying everything in his heavy but fast run after some of us.
I saw on the left side, against the wall of a hut, a sharpened stick. I dodged towards it without slowing down and grabbed it. When I turned to go back to the group, the wall suddenly collapsed, made weaker by the griever that had just jumped on top of the roof.
With a scream, I jumped backward to avoid one of its legs, rolling on the ground. Without stopping, my survival instinct guiding my body, I jumped back to my feet and sped up toward the entrance of the maze. Fortunately, the griever was still unsteady on the wooden logs that used to form the wall. Without waiting for it, I kept running. The adrenaline was making me fly. I could hear my breath echoed in my mind, the pulse of my crazy heart beat against my temps.
I was running for my life, even if my heart was threatening me to explode any moments because of the efforts and the terror.
I suddenly saw someone on my left side. I could distinguish his face, he was of Gal’ friend, Marc. And he was going to the wrong direction.
“No….this way!” I shouted.
He ignored me and ran towards the forest.
“No! There is one there!” I shouted again at him in pure vain.
The Grievers that nearly got me was back on its legs. Without hesitation, it threw itself toward the guy who was now closer to it than I was. With shock, I watched the Marc understand that the danger was actually closed than he calculated, and trying to change direction in despair. Powerless, I watched him lose his race against the griever, and this last one closing its huge jaws on the Marc’s arm and throwing him to the air.
“Oh my God….” I said, stopping myself to throw up at the view of this poor guy flying in the air like a doll. I never got close to him or really talked to him, but nobody deserved this type of ending.
I stopped watching and focused on my run. I had no desire to finish like him.
I raced toward the entrance of the maze, avoiding the damage caused by the grievers and not turning back. The doors were so closed but seemed so far away at the same time. I was running, paranoid, sure that one of them was running after me. But if I stopped to check, I knew it will close on me and kill me.
I had no idea where were the others, I didn’t saw them anymore. Selfishly, at this point, I was too scared to think and slow down.
I suddenly heard a strident scream behind me.
Oh My Goooood…..
There really was one behind me. And it was so close that my ears were painful. Or maybe they were hurt by the screams that were escaping my mouth without me realizing it.
I was watching this freaking door and didn’t feel like it was any closer. I also grew cold when I realized that making it to the door didn’t mean anything since this one was following me. It will not stupidly stopped at the door and say “game over”.
I don’t wanna die! God no! I beg you!
“Midget, dodge!” Ordered a powerful voice.
At this point, I was not even understanding the meanings of the words. I instinctively recognized the voice and the surprise made me tripped on myself., letting go of the spar I had took.
I felt on myself. Took my impulse, I rolled on myself for a few seconds before stopping, face against the dust.
No…not so close to the exit!
Without paying attention to the pain, I jumped on my feet, ready to keep running. Without stopping I kept running to the maze entrance, few meters ahead.
Just seeing the entrance, I didn’t realize fast enough I was running into someone. For the second time in few seconds, I collapsed on the floor. But this time, with something else. In panic, I screamed and tried to stand up to keep running. But this time, a strong grip stopped me.
“Midget!” Ordered a voice. I recognized it.
It was a voice I could trust. This voice meant I was safe. The panic decreased in me, and I finally realized that Newt was blocking me with his body.
He released me, hesitantly. Standing up, he helped me to do the same. Then he hold me again, a second. It felt so good that I lost it, grabbing him and hugging him tighter. I had to feel that he was safe and alive next to me, uninjured.
“You’re ok?” He asked, checking on me with an inquisitive look.
“…Yeah…I think so.”
I took a deep breathe, starting to clear my mind. With surprised, I realized that I had made it into the maze. I could still see the entrance, but I made it in! Newt, in front of me, looked really pale.
Had he been hurt?!*
“Are you ok?” I asked him, sliding my hands on his torso, checking for possible injuries.
He grabbed my hands and nicely tighten his grips on them, giving me a small smile.
“I am ok.” He reassured me.
“We all are.” Interrupted a voice.
Jumping around, I realized that Minho was next to us. Without hesitation, I hugged him.
“Thanks God!” I said before freeing him.
Spider was on the floor, looking like he was trying to get his breath back. IT seemed like they were able to grab bags with bottle of water inside and some vegetables from the garden, that must have been waiting next to the kitchen.
“That is a good thing you tripped or this spear would have gone through you!” Added a voice.
I turned to see Doc’, arriving with Nigel and Alvi who was supporting Damien with the help of Gal.
“You let that on the floor.” Said Doc’, giving me the speak I left in my first fall.
“You’re lucky that Gal’ is such a good shot. He got the eye of the griever, which allowed you to escape. And us to follow you.” Added Alvi.
Surprised, I looked at Gal’. I was not expecting him to risk his own skin to save mine.
“Don’t look at me like that. This griever was on our way too.” Said Gal’ while looking at me like I was the stupidest thing on earth.
Yeah, it would have been surprising. I thought to myself while Doc’ went to Damien.
“What happened to him?” Asked Minho, looking at Damien.
His red hairs were now drenched in blood.
“A hut felt on him.” Answered Doc’, who was tearing pieces of his sweater apart, to bandage Damien’s head.
“That is the best I can do at this point.” Doc’ added, apologetic.
“We have to move now.” Said Gal’.
“To go where?” Asked Doc’. “Our camp…there is nothing left.” He added, shock filling his voice.
We all felt silence, feeling the weight of his words. The camp that we all lived in, our refuge, our home…nothing was left.
I looked at Alvi, Gal, Doc’, Newt, Minho, Nigel… they had worked so hard to build it, to survive. And now it was taken from them. That was just not fair. I was pretty upset, even thought I had lived here only a few weeks. But for them, it had been months, years… I couldn’t even imagine how hard it should be for them.
“If we stay here, the Grievers are going to find us.” Commented Gal’.
“Why would they?” Asked Minho.
“You seriously think that they will just stay at the camp?” Asked Gal’.
“Obviously not.” Answered Newt.
“So let’s get out of here.” I added.
“We still have the map with us.” I said, looking at Spider.
“You’re back at that again? How the hell are we supposed to trust him? Or even you? For all I know, you are working together.” He shouted.
Dumbfounded by that, I stared at Gal’.
“What does that mean?” I asked him, feeling anger building inside me.
“Everything went wrong since you joined us after all.” Added Nigel.
Surprised by that attack from Nigel, I lost my words. I hadn’t seen that one coming from my quiet roommate.
“Are you bloody kidding me?” Interrupted Newt.
The air got suddenly tensed and threatening. We all were still feeling the adrenaline of the attack running into our blood.
“Now is not the time for that!” Stopped Alvi with a groan.
“We have nowhere to return. Even if they are leading us towards a trap, we already are in one, so what difference does it make?” Concluded Alvi.
“They…?” I repeated, angry.
“You got my point, shut up Midget.” Shouted Alvi at me.
Too surprised to even think of answer hi, I just obeyed and turned silent.
“Now, if you want to leave, you are going to take us out of here.” Added Alvi with a threatening voice towards Spider.
I wasn’t under his glare, but couldn’t refrain a quiver. I was seeing his body tensed, his clenched fists and jaw. I could read on his body language that he was ready to throw himself at the throat of Spider if he dared to say anything.
Alvi was scaring me like never. I never doubted his qualities as a leader, but I always thought that it was because he was the first one to arrive in the Maze. Now, I was suspecting that he also defended his role as a Leader with the power of his body.
According the pallor of Spider, he felt it too. He just croaked in a tiny voice.
“I…will.” He obeyed.