After burying our family, Thomas and I knew we couldn’t stay in the camp. Everything was destroyed and everyone was dead. There was nothing left for us. Leaving was the only option. He went to grab necessary stuff such as a change of clothes, some food and water, weapons and a first aid kit. I left for my own house and packed the same.
I met Thomas outside the house. He held something in his hands. When I came over he handed me a small eagle carved from wood on a leather string. It was Luca’s. I looked at Thomas with wide eyes filled with tears. ”I took it off before we buried him. Taught you might want it.” He said as I took it. I stared at it for a second before placing it around my neck pulling it under my t-shirt. “Thank you” my voice was raspy from all the crying.
"There is camp East from here.”
“About a week on foot”
"Don’t you think it’s weird that they killed everyone? They didn’t take anyone to enslave them. I remember when I was a slave they were always bringing people in.” I said as we walked through the forest.
"Ya.. something is happening. We need to warn the other camps. That’s if we are not too late.”
With that, we headed East following the small compass Thomas held in his hand. We both walked quietly, drown in our thoughts. There was no need to talk, we were both grieving, our hearts were drowning in sorrow. We lost our loved ones, now we only had each other.
After hours of walking, we stopped to rest for the night. We decided we would sleep in the trees as I did all those years ago to keep us safe from wild animals and werewolves. When we found the perfect tree we climbed it. After having something to eat we tried to sleep. We each kept watch as the other slept. I offered I would go first.
As I leaned against the tree and watched the sky. Stars gleamed in the night and the nearly full moon was illuminating my surroundings.
I woke up at the sound of Thomas’s voice.
“Reine, time to wake up,” his soft voice filled my ears.
I rubbed away the sleep from my eyes. When I looked at him, his eyes were bloodshot red and swollen. He avoided looking into my eyes. I didn't comment on it knowing well enough how he felt.
After getting off the tree and checking the compass we walked for hours until we came across a river. Deciding to take a break I washed my face with the river water and Thomas did too. As I sat on a rock I took out an apple and ate it.
Travelling for days, we pretty much repeated the same things every day. Sleeping in the trees at night and walking during the day. We didn’t come across any werewolves, vampires or any big wild animals.
After over a week of travelling, we finally reached the camp. It was smaller than our camp used to be. The outskirt walls were made of wood. As we approached the gates we were greeted by a very unfriendly guard.
“Leave, or you will be killed” he spat at us.
“We mean no threat,” Thomas's voice was calm.
“We need to talk to your leader,” irritation slowly grew within me.
" LEAVE!!” He screamed into my face, I flinched and took a step back as his disgusting breath penetrate my nose.
In my peripheral, I saw Thomas was about to step in towards the snappy guard but stopped.
A woman opened the gate.
"What’s going on here,” she approached us.
"We need to talk to your leader” Thomas' voice was cold and serious, his face void of any emotions. I rarely saw him like this.
"About what,” she asked with a steely voice.
“We came here to warn him. Our camp was destroyed, everyone was killed and your camp is most likely next” I blurred out, wanting to get this over with.
She watched me cautiously and then glanced at Thomas. She looked like she was having an inner argument with herself.
As we passed through the camp people were giving us unfriendly glares. That made me nervous seeing we weren't welcome here.
“What are your names,” the woman asked never facing us.
“Thomas and Reine” Thomas replied
"How long have you travelled?”
"Over a week” I replied this time.
We entered the wooden house, that was not far from the main gate.
“Dad!” She called.
After a few seconds older man walked down the stairs. When he spotted us he looked alerted almost angry.
"Astrid who’s this,” he stood in front of us, eyeing us warily.
He wasn’t as tall as Thomas, he had brown hair laced with grey on his temples. He had green eyes and was medium build.
"This is Reine ” she pointed to me ” and this is Thomas” she pointed towards him. ” They’re here to talk you”
He turned around to us ”I’m listening”
This time I kept quiet I let Thomas deal with him.
"Our camp was destroyed by the werewolves, they killed everyone and your camp will most likely be next.”
When Thomas said it the leaders facial expression changed, realization hitting him, “I’ve heard about what happened to your camp”
“Then you know they will be coming for other camps too.”
" Ya,” he said as he touched his chin thinking, "I just hope we have more time ”
"How long have you travelled,” the leader asked.
" Over a week” the woman replied for us.
I glanced at her. She had shoulder-length blonde hair, green almond-shaped eyes and freckles across her cheeks and nose. She was her father’s height taller than me.
Then she asked ”how is it that you two are alive” she looked at me pointedly.
This time I replied ”we weren’t there when it happened. We were hunting. When we came back-” I stopped as my voice cracked then my eyes shot to the floor. I didn't want them to see me crying. I fought the tears and felt relieved that I kept it together. Thomas put a hand on my shoulder.
"Then, if you weren’t there when it happened, how do you know it was werewolves,” the man asked perplexed.
“We heard howls,” said Thomas next to me.
After that, the leader allowed us to stay. Astrid led us out of the house towards another a lot smaller house.
“You can stay here. This house is empty. There should be everything you need inside” she said while she opened the door.
The house looked like someone lived there and left for the day. The kitchen was filled with pots, plates and mugs. Wardrobes were full of clothes. It was cosy but dusty. The furniture looked handmade from wood. I couldn't help the loud sneeze that left my mouth.
It was getting dark outside. I decided to have a shower and call it a night feeling exhausted from the travelling. And I couldn't wait to sleep on a bed rather than the uncomfortable tree.
A loud scream woke me up from my sleep. After my eyes shot open I jerked into a sitting position reaching for my pocket knife that was under the pillow. My eyes scanned my surroundings and noticed Tomas' bed was empty. It looked like he never made it to the bed. Suddenly a sense of dread filled my being.
I quickly stand up and looked out the window. Chaos and death were all I saw. People ran around with utter horror on their faces with wolves running after them and fire quickly swallowing nearby houses. I quickly got dressed and threw my bow and arrows over my shoulder. When I ran out of the house, werewolves were attacking people and spreading fire. Some were in their animal shape some in human shape.
I got my bow and arrows ready aiming at the werewolves that were attacking people. I kept shooting and killing the beasts when all of sudden I heard someone called my name.
Suddenly, harsh pain seared through my scalp as someone pulled me roughly on my hair and I fell backwards losing my balance. I saw a man towering over me. His eyes were glowing yellow full of rage. Before I could do anything, he straddled me and his rough hands began to squeeze my neck. ”Die bitch!!” he spat at me through clenched teeth. I clawed at his arms as I tried to free my throat getting much-needed air.
With the adrenalin flowing through my body I lifted my bottom off the ground, hooking my legs over his torso and pulling him off of me. Once my neck was free I gasped for air then I quickly got on my knees.
"We have to run,” I said to him as I frantically searched for a way out.
He pulled me and led me towards the far end of the camp near the wooden wall. Few of the wooden pieces were missing from the attack. I wanted him to go first since he was wounded and less fit to fight if needed but he pushed me out first. I squeezed through and when I turned around my eyes widened in shock. Thomas had an arrow sticking out of his thigh and two more arrows protruding out, just above his hip. His eyes were wide. My heart shattered for the second time in the last week as I noticed his fatal wounds.
"Thomas!" I cried out and tears filled my eyes. I stretched my arm out to grab him and pull him through.
He shook his head as he pushed away my hand "no, run!" He ordered me but his voice was weak as blood covered his entire leg.
"No, please...not you too" I begged. He looked at me one last time, relief flashed in one of his good eyes as if he was happy to reunite with Freya and Remi. The corners of his lips raised ever so slightly before he fell to the ground as his consciousness slipped away.
Upon hearing faint voices I turned around and ran into the dark forest. I could barely see where I was running thanks to the tears and the darkness that surrounded me.
Days went by, I don’t even know how many since Thomas’s death. I was wandering around in the forest. I didn’t eat, I didn’t drink and barely slept. All I did was cry and walk. Somewhere along the way, I lost my bow and arrows. I didn’t care if someone would kill me. At this point, I had no more tears to shed. I felt complete numbness and disconnected from the world.
The loneliness that surrounded me filled my head with morbid thoughts. I yearned to be with everyone in heaven. Now that I had no one I had no reason to live. I wanted to end my life.
I sat at the bottom of a large tree to rest when I noticed next to my left thigh a sharp-looking stone.