I woke up in the morning, when the first sunshine hit my face. It was still too early for anyone to be up I realized. Before I realized I was all against Newt. His face was so close. His eye lash were longer than I expected.
Wow, calm calm. I felt a rush of blood to my face and tried to put some distance without waking up.
“Owwwww….” Newt moaned.
Yeah, I woke him up. And I was still really close to him.
“Hummmm….morning.” he said wile opening his eyes hesitantly and smiling at me.
No jump, no pink cheeks, no surprise. I was hoping for some. But no, he reacted like all of what happen yesterday was just friendly. Which, knowing him, probably was.
Well, it was a good night anyway I thought, smiling at the memory.
“Ouch, my body hurts everywhere.” He complained while moving to sit down.
I copied him and stand up. I turn back to look at him hugging his head with his hands.
“Hey, you’re ok?” I asked, worried.
“Ugh….bloody headache.” He whispered, trying to avoid talking too loud.
“Hey…you are kind of green….” I added, kneeling next to him.
“Ughhh….I’m bloody going to die.” He announced.
“What happened? Let’s go see Doc.” I rushed him, starting to seriously worrying now. I never had seen him like this.
“Nah, he will just scream at me.” He stopped me.
Puzzled I looked at him
“Are you….hangover?” I asked doubtful.
“Shhhh not so loud….. my head is going to explode!” he scolded me.
Speechless I looked at him. So everything of yesterday was because he was drunk?
“By the way … what are we doing in the tower?” He asked while painfully holding his head.
“You….You don’t remember….?” I asked, surprised.
“Hmm….what?” he asked.
“You…..YOU BLOODY IDIOT!” I shouted in his ear, disappointed.
“Ahhhhhhh!” He whined in pain, at my shout first, and then at his own voice.
Satisfied, I smirqued. Turning back, I went to the ladder and left him there.
I was not upset at him. Not really. Ok, maybe a tiny bit. Especially the part that understood that he only hugged me because of the alcohol. He deserved his headache. That was my revenge. He will not remember last night, but I got precious memories. He deserved a killing headache.
Then we will be even.
Cheerful, I went back to my hut, wanting to grab a couple of hours of sleep in more.
I was taking care of the garden later this afternoon. I could observe the effects of alcohol on many faces around me. Newt looked like he was better, even if he was keeping a safe distance from me.
Strangely I was feeling more at ease than ever before since my arrival here.
“You look better!” Said a voice next to me.
I jumped in surprise, I didn’t heard him coming.
“Yeap! They said to call you Midget?” asked Spider.
I answered him. I was not really keen to get next to him. But I knew I was just mean. It was not his fault if his tattoo started a memory back.
I looked at him working next to me. My gaze clearly avoided his arm.
Come on, don’t be an ass. He is as lost as you were.
“Hum, welcome by the way.” I tried, a bit awkwardly.
He smiled at me.
“Thanks! You look cooler once you’re not scared!” He added.
“I was not scared!” I protested, remembering the previous night.
“Hummmm….well you were really white yesterday.” He commented, clearly not buying my lie.
“I drank too much!” I said, too fast.
I just remembered that the alcohol got out at the same time that I get away of the hut.
Looking at his smile, he remembered too.
“Yeah, kick ass alcohol!” He said, letting me get away with my lie.
I smiled. He was not that bad finally.
“So, do you know everyone here?” Spider asked again, changing the topic.
“Hum, yeah kinda.” I said.
“So many people to remember from yesterday, it’s a bit hard.” He made a face.
“It will come.” I reassured him.
“Hope so!” he smiled back at me.
We kept chit chatting while working together. The day passed quite fast. We finally were done working.
“Ahhhhh too hot! I need a bath!” Said an exhausted Spider.
“There are the showers behind the huts over there.” I said, showing the other part of our village.
Well, shower was a big word. We were using the water from the well to rustically wash ourselves. I always had to get mine in the middle of the night, in the middle of the forest, to make sure I was not going to meet anyone.
“Hummm I was more thinking of some leisure at the same time. No swimming spool?” He joked.
“Nope, but here is a lake over there, further in the forest.” Answered Newt, coming closer to us.
“Sounds like your headache disappeared?” I said sarcastically.
“Yeap, I’m bloody alive again!” He answered with a large smile ignoring my sarcasms.
“Tchhhh….” I answered, trying to snob his answer.
However I couldn’t stop my smile. Newt saw that and smiled back, satisfied.
“A lake? Cool! Hey, let’s go!” Said Spider, suddenly all his energy back.
“Sounds like a good idea!” Answered Newt, enthusiast too.
“I pass! I’m not a big fan of water.” I lied.
“Oh come on!” pushed Spider.
“Nope, that’s a no. Have fun guy!” I waved while running away before they can force me to join.
For obvious reason, going swimming was not the most brilliant idea to hide my identity.
I walked around for a while, enjoying the sun of late afternoon and cool breeze. That was impressive to realize how easily I got used to this life. Maybe not remembering about my origins made it easier.
I wonder if it is the same for everyone. How hard would it be to live here knowing that our family is looking for us? Or worst, that no one is…
I shake my head. I was not going to have negative thinking. Let’s think positive, positive….
Newt. My head, suddenly too helpful and obedient, brought a lot of images to me.
Wow, this was even most dangerous. Ok let’s stop thinking about past, or people, just about future. Or something fun. Like swimming. I wanted to swim. Maybe I will go in the lake, tonight, when there will be no one around.
That sounded like a plan! Swimming was good. The lake was quite nice. Inside the lake, there was Newt enjoying right now.
“Not again!” I moaned while stopping myself.
I needed to keep myself busy. I decided to go to Doc’. He will be talking about nothing and everything and that is what I needed now.
“Hey Midget!” greet Minho, running toward me.
“Hey! You’re back from the Maze?” I greet him back.
“Dude, you look exhausted.” I commented. He looked like he was still out of breath.
“Yeah, the run was long….hey, did you see Franck? I lost him near the entrance.” Minho commented.
“You “lost” him?” I ironized.
“Yeah, kinda. Don’t make fun of me!” He complained.
“Ahahahaah I will never!” I lied with a big grin.
“Stop that!” He gently hit me in the shoulder.
“I didn’t see him anyway, will let him know you’re looking for him if I see him.” I promised.
“Thanks! I’ll go check the kitchen.” He said happily.
“To look for him or food?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“Ah ah ah, very funny! Both of course!” he said while taking off.
I laughed while watching him go in the beginning of the darkness, and went back to my tracks. Directions Doc’.
“Doc’?” I called while entering the infirmary.
Only silence answered me. No one was there. Which was pretty obvious from the absence of light. But still, you never know.
“Oh Doc’….right when I needed your nonsense conversation.” I complained to the dark empty room.
Having no one here, I turned around to go to the kitchen.
A sudden clatter made me jump. I turned around.
“Doc’?” I asked again, a bit nervous.
No one answered me.
“Oh come on, I just want to enjoy your conversation! You don’t have to hide from me!” I said while moving toward the noise.
My knee hurt something hard.
“Ouch! Fuck that hurts!” I said while grabbing my knee.
“Oh come on, get out!” I said a bit upset now.
“Isn’t it your job to take care of the injured people? Well I am now!” I exaggerated, trying to get him away.
I suddenly felt a presence behind me.
“Doc’…….. WAH!” I screamed while realizing it was not him.
“Fuck Franck you scared the death out of me!” I complained before standing up again and hitting him on the shoulder.
I was not expecting to find the runner behind me, and took deep breath to calm my jumpy heart.
“…..”. Only silence again.
“Hum….are you ok?” I asked, surprised that he was ignoring me.
Worried, I look closer in the semi darkness, the visage of the Runner.
“Holy …. Are you ok?!” I shouted while watching him.
He was all white, his pupils were so dilated that his eyes looked all black.
“I’ll look for Doc’. Stay here!” I said before turning to the door.
A strong hand grabbed my forearm, stopping me in my tracks.
“Hey….Franck, I need to go find Doc’. I’ll be right back ok?” I tried to free myself.
His grip was really strong and he was keeping tightening on my wrist.
“Frank….it hurts…..stop buddy….it’s ok now!” I tried to reassure him. He clearly was out of it.
I was starting to get worried. If he was that panicked, not to hear my voice, I will not be able to handle him.
Suddenly he pulled me toward him so hard that I lost balance. I felt against him.
“Franck….fuck….you’re hurting me…..” I tried to free myself with more energy.
I was starting to get scared. What the Hell was going on? Why Frank was so…strange?
“Cold…..so …..cold……” Frank moaned in a deep voice.
“Let me go. I’ll get Doc’.” I tried to reason him one more time while still trying to make him lose his grip.
“Need……warm……flesh.” He suddenly said.
Speechless, I looked at him. He was acting weirder than if he was only scared. The way he looked at me was …. Hungry.
Stop making yourself films! I ordered myself, trying to convince me that I had misunderstand what he just said.
“Stop it!” I said while pushing Frank hard.
He didn’t let go and suddenly get his face close to my neck. Without thinking I blocked his face with my hand. I was scared. I pushed him as hard as I could but he was stronger than me. I could feel his breath on my skin.
I kicked him as hard as I could.
His grip loosened a bit, I pushed him hard and was able to free myself. Without thinking I stepped back and run toward the door. I could hear that he was running after me. But the door was only few steps away. I didn’t know what he wanted, but my guts were telling to get out of here.
“Kyaaaaaaaah!” I screamed when he felt on me, grabbing me.
“No, No!!!!!” I fought back and was able to turn and to be on my back.
He was on top of me. I blocked his face but I couldn’t stop him for long. I could see all his tooth, his mouth was wide open. I could read in his eyes that there was no one behind them. It was just an animal trying to eat me. He seriously was trying to eat me.
“Heeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!!!” I screamed from the top of my lunges, fighting with all my strength.
I suddenly felt his hands on my throat, crushing my trachea.
I couldn’t breath anymore.
I sank my nails in his face. He didn’t look like he realized it. A primitive instinct made me try to attack his eyes. But I couldn’t move an inch. If I lost the position, he would bite me. And I really didn’t want that.
My throat was burning. I could hear my head ringing.
I was losing my strength. My vision was becoming blurry.
“He…lp…….some…body” I was able to say.
Was it it? Was I going to get killed on the cold floor of an infirmary, not knowing who I was, hiding what I was? Killed by some fucking freak who wanted to eat me?
I pushed him with all my strength and was able to breath for a second. No way I was going to die like this!
“NEEEEEEEEEEEEWT!!!!!” I shouted on top of my lungs; using the second I had before Franck, or whatever it was, crushed my trachea again.
My vision got blurry again. Darkness was surroundings me. I was going to be eaten. I couldn’t stop this thing anymore.
That was it.
Suddenly I didn’t felt pressure on my trachea or on my body again. Death was taking away all the sensation. Thanks Gods. I don’t think dying with feeling your body getting eaten was a pleasant sensation.
“Midget! Midget!!! Come on!!! Bloody breath for blood sake!” was ordering a disturbing voice.
Newt….his voice with the delicious English accent. Was I gone? Or my mind was trying to give me some comfort before the end? No matter what it was, I was thankful to it.
“Please, breath! Stop bloody playing dead!!!” I could hear the panic in his voice.
I wanted to tell him it was ok, that it didn’t hurt, but I couldn’t move. My body was not responding. I was growing colder and colder.
“Her body is not reacting. Move aside.” Answered Doc’.
A sudden oppression on my chest.
Ouch…. they were going to break my ribs. A sensation of warm started on my lips, making me realize how cold I was. I could feel air being forced in my mouth.
“Fuck I need to take her bandage off.” Cursed Doc’.
For a second, no more oppression. Right after, I was feeling deliciously free. Until the annoying oppression on my chest started against.
“No time for that Newt! Do it!” ordered Doc’.
A warm feeling against my lips and air being pushed inside me. This time, it went right through my lungs. It hurts. I didn’t want that. I tried to move my head, to make it stop. It didn’t and air was forced into me one more time.
I started to feel the pain in my trachea again. I needed more air. I needed to break free.
“Ahhhhhh….” I inspired air.
“Stop now.” Ordered Doc’ again.
I roll on the side, grapping my throat. It was so hard to breath. But I had to, I knew that.
My survival instinct made me breath again and again, stopping only to cough.
“There, there…. Good girl.” I realized Doc’ was encouraging me with his hand on my back, talking to me in his comforting voice.
“….Fr….Franck…..” I said, looking around with panic.
“It’s ok now, you’re safe Lad.” Assured me Doc’.
I looked at him and started to feel my racing heart get a natural rhythm. Still confused, I looked around. There were only Doc’ and Newt. He was standing and I couldn’t see his face. His position was a bit….awkward.
“Newt?” I asked.
“….” He didn’t answer me. He just turn away and left.
“Ne….” a new cough stop me from calling after him.
“Here here, stop talking. You’re just going to hurt yourself.” Said Doc’.
“Wh…what….?” I tried to ask him. Why did Newt leave? What had happened with Frank?
“I’ll tell you everything later Lad. For now, come with me.” He ordered, reading my questions on my face.
He helped me to stand. Supporting me, he leaded me toward the bed. He didn’t have to insist for me to lie down. I started coughing again.
“You need to rest. I can’t do much for your throat.” Apologized Doc’.
“What…..happened?” I asked in a strangled voice.
“You won’t rest until I tell you, do you?” He said in a tired voice.
I shook my head energetically.
He sighed and sat next to me. I could read his exhaustion on his face; He passed an hand on it, trying to get back to life.
“Today” Doc’ started “Frank was on running duty with Minho. It seems like they got separated.”
I listened with attention, remembering that Minho was looking for Frank when I met him earlier.
“Franck probably ran into a griever. I don’t know how, especially during daytime, when they are not supposed to be out in the maze. But he met one and got infected.”
Seeing my puzzled look, he kept talking.
“They have kind of darts. They are venomous. The venin transform you into a man hunter. You look only for flesh and blood. You can’t be stopped, you can’t turn back, you don’t exist anymore. You become a sort of zombie. You look the same or almost, excepted for the white skin and pupil dilated.” Doc’ explained in a sad voice.
I shivered, remembering the eyes of Frank when he was trying to kill me.
“Frank got infected. It looks like it was a few minutes before entering the village because nobody remarked anything. He probably came into the infirmary to look for a remedy….that I don’t have.
He sighed again, his eyes lost in the past and probably in the memory of all the previous infected that he tried to save without results.
“Anyway, I met Minho and Newt who were looking for him. And we heard your scream with some other guys nearby. The time we got into the infirmary, you were almost dead. Minho and the others were able to get him out and I stayed with Newt to…well…make you come back to life.”
He looked away, as if he was ashamed. I grabbed his hand and hugged him gently.
“Th…ank you.” I said with difficulty.
“Oh Lad, don’t thank me. The thing is, you were not responding to the cardiac massage Newt and I were doing. I had to take away….your ….chest protection.” He said a bit desperate.
Not understanding I looked at him, puzzled.
“Your bandages.” He added, turning slightly pink.
It took me moment to realize he was talking about the bandage hiding my chest. Small chest but still bigger than what a guy would have. I turned red.
He did that to save my life, I was not angry. Just a bit awkward thinking he had saw my bare chest.
I felt all the air leaving my lungs.
“Wait……Newt……saw?” I asked, starting to realize.
He paused for an eternity. I couldn’t breath anymore.
Please say no, say that he didn’t.
“He saw.” Doc’ confirmed my worst fear.
Oh no. Oh Gods no. That couldn’t have happened.
“He….saw……” I repeated, trying to wake up from a bad, a very bad dream.
He was not an imbecile. He had to know what he saw.
no….He must be so angry. I have to go and find him. I have to explain.
I tried to stand up. Doc’ stopped me.
“No, you need some rest. And he needs some time too.” He said.
“But…..I have to…..please.” I begged him.
He looked at me. He saw in my eyes that even if he sat on me, I would go and find Newt. He sighed.
“Why can’t you, at least, be the only person of the camp who listened to me?” He complained.
“Ok, I will find him and make him come. You, you don’ move. That is the only compromise I can do. Do we have a deal Lad?” He sighted.
I energetically shook my head.
He sighed and went away, looking for Newt.
Oh Gods…..how could I explain to him? What could I tell him?
I was so stressed by that, scared of Newt reaction, scared that he will never talk to me again; that it took me quite a long time before realizing where I was.
Anxious, I looked around. Doc’ did tell me the others were taking care of Franck. However he didn’t precise where or how. And I was alone in the infirmary where he just tried to kill me. The only light was coming from some candle next to me. It was making the rest of the room ever darker.
What if Franck was coming back to finish what he started?
What if Newt refused to talk to me again?
What if I hurt him even deeper than I thought?
I was scared of being killed but terrorized of what Newt may think of me now. I wanted to scream and cry at the same time. I wanted to run away and to apologize to him. I wanted to sleep and realize it was all a dream and getting hugged by him one more time.
Confused about my own feelings, I lied down and tried to close my eyes and tried to slowly count in my head to get some calm.
What if he never talked to me again?
I nearly got killed tonight.
What the Hell was this day?
I open my eyes again, I was not getting calmer.
A sudden move near the entrance made me do a strangle scream. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t hear someone coming in. Was Franck back to kill me? I looked for a weapon, panic.
“It’s me.” Said a voice filled of English accent.
“Newt?” I asked, already knowing the answer, feeling my panic run away.
It ran away to leave me with a stronger scary thoughts. What was I supposed to do now? I sat on the bed.
“Doc’ told me to come or that he will drag me here.” Newt filled the silence, without coming closer.
I could only see his silhouette but couldn’t read his face at all. His voice was so neutral that I felt an empty feeling grow inside me.
“I’m…so sorry.” I apologized in a small voice.
“I should have….tell you. I shouldn’t have….let you think….that I was a man. You trusted…me and ….I was not honest.” I said between 2 coughs.
I put my hand to my throat that was burning.
“We’ll talk another time.” Newt stopped me, taking care of my well-being as usual.
“No….Please….I’m sorry….I didn’t want to hurt….you. I’m so sorry.” I repeated before having to stop, trying to catch air.
He came closer, getting next to my bed.
“Newt….I’m sorry….I lied to you….Please,….I’m sorry.” I begged him again.
I didn’t even know what for I was begging him. To forgive me? To forget? To come back to normal? All of that was impossible.
“I didn’t lie…about anything…else.” I said, hopping it would make a difference.
I wanted him to know. To know that at least, everything I said to him was the truth.
“Stop it!” He said louder.
I stopped immediately. It was the first time he scream at me, that he was angry at me.
“I’m sorry.” I couldn’t stop myself.
“Stop it!” he ordered again.
“I said to bloody stop it!” He shouted on the top of his lung, grabbing my shoulders.
“You are just hurting yourself to talk now. We will talk later. I bloody swear so bloody shut up for now!” he was so fill of concern.
He was worried for me. He was thinking of my welfare, I could read anxiety in his eyes.
The realization made me cry. I felt the warm water running on my cheeks, I couldn’t see his face anymore.
“Gah don’t cry…..I don’t know what to do….” He said awkwardly.
I couldn’t stop myself. Too many things happened today. Too many things however, Newt was still thinking on my welfare.
“I’m … sorry.” I sobbed.
He pulled me in his arms. Hugging me, he was caressing my head.
“You apologize bloody too much.” He murmured in my ear.
“I’m sorry.” I sobbed while grapping his shirt.
“What am I going to do with you?” He asked rhetorically, rocking me softly to calm me down.
“You know…..I was more confused about my own feelings.” Newt added.
I stopped and looked at him, throwing myself in his blue slightly red eyes.
“I knew that you were different. I always did.” He kept talking, softly.
I couldn’t get my eyes away from his.
“I…..Now I know for sure that you are different.” He shook his head, like if he was wondering why he hadn’t understand before.
“You….what do you mean?” I asked, sure he was not talking about the gender here.
“Look at you….big eyes, soft skin….”he started caressing my nude arms.
“Soft, so soft little midget.” He said in an hypnotized voice, not stopping to caress me.
“Newt?” I asked, a bit confused but unable to move away from his caress, or to let my eyes get away from his now so red eyes.
“I am pretty sure your delicate skin, you tender bones…..all of that make you unique.” He whispered.
I was able to get away from his eyes to watch his hand on my skin. He had so long black nails…. They were tracing long red furrows on my pale skin.
“Newt….?” I was starting to get scared.
What was happening?
“Chuuuut…..I am sure you are the tastiest of all.” He bend down and let his tongue run on my skin. It could have been the most erotic act ever, only it wasn’t.
I tried to move away but he didn’t even flinch. He sat up straight again and looked at me, smiling.
Now he has exactly the same face than Frank. Big empty eyes, hungry for flesh and blood. His nails started to dig in my skin.
“Noooooo Newt!!!!” I shouted.
Not him! No him! Please Gods! Not him!
“Newt please! Come back! Newt!!!” I screamed again, trying to make him wake up.
I could only scream while he was bending toward my arm. Unable to move or to resist him, I watched him open his mouth, full of sharp teeth.
“Noooooo NEWT!!!!!!!!!” I screamed again, my heart piercing my chest with agony.
“Midget!!!!!!” shouted a voice.