The Darwin Chronicles, Book One: The Mountain Ranges

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Chapter 13

Emmett walked stiffly to the entrance to the dungeons. Two guards, Dan and Phil, blocked his way.

"Sorry, Emmett. We can't let you in. Joseph's orders," Dan told him.

"Let him in." Joseph's voice came from behind them. "But just him. No one else." Everything about him screamed sympathy, which infuriated Emmett. Emmett nodded curtly to the three men and marched into the dungeons.

The door to Amelia' prison cell was open. He slipped in and closed it, and looked down at the sleeping girl. She looked peaceful in her sleep. Not so sad and conflicted as when she was awake. Emmett sat down on a stool across from her. Amy slept on the hard floor, on some brown sheets. She still wore the same blood-stained nightgown and cloak as the night before. Suppressed anger flickered in his emotions like a dull fire. After about half an hour, she moaned and opened her eyes.

"Where am I?" She mumbled, rubbing her eyes. Her voice was silvery again, not laced with evil or scratchy.

"In the dungeons." His voice was clipped and curt.

"What?" She was wide awake now. She looked around. "What-what happened?"

"You turned into a dragon." The anger flared brighter. "Attacked the village."

"What? No," She said. "I didn't do that. I-I don't remember that." He was glad to hear the evident rising panic in her voice.

"Yes, you did, Amy. And you know what? People got hurt. People got killed, Amy."

"I don't understand. I didn't hurt anyone. I didn't kill anyone."

"Yeah? You're saying that?" He swallowed, swallowing back his anger. "You know the houses around the square, Amy? You burned them down, along with the families in them. Men, women, children, the elderly. Do you remember Pete? He was burned alive. I heard his screams. They were terrible, Amy. And my sister, Norie. You never met her. But she was the most beautiful girl in the world, until you came along. Half of her face is burnt off. But she's still beautiful. And you remember my father? Do you remember him? ANSWER ME!"

I do! She was angry too now, and it showed in her expression. I remember Pete. I know your sister Norie. I remember your father!

"Answer me in words, you freak!" He snapped at her. "You know what you did to my father? Darren? The man who awakened your powers? Your Giver? The man your own father died for?! Do you know what you did to him?! You killed him, Amelia. You killed him! You killed my father, and I hate you for that. I will always hate you, loathe you for that. And I hope you know that everyone else will loathe you too!" His anger drained from him, and it felt good. It felt good to let everything out.

The horrified, terrified expression on her face broke his heart even more. "How many?" Amy whispered.

"Twenty-four." He said these words with spite, watched it stab her. She hugged her knees and buried her face in them, her shoulders shaking in sobs. "And sixty-five injured." Emmett stood up and spat at her before opening the cell door and leaving her.

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