Chapter 01 - Well
The cold air made my knees ache and my nose feel cold, eventually forcing me to snuggle deeper under the warm blankets until I collided with Nate, who slept peacefully and blissfully. In fact, I envied his capability to fall asleep at the drop of the hat – was that what it was like to not have anxiety?
Eventually conceding that I would not be sleeping anytime soon, I crawled out of bed and wrapped myself in a thick, plush blanket, and stepped out onto the balcony. Despite being twice as cold as inside the house, the view made it all worth it.
However, this morning, I was not pleased by the view. In fact, I doubted anyone would be pleased to see their pack house burning. I felt the air rip from my lungs as the fires roared against the inky black of the night sky, licking away from window to window and engulfing room after room. The black smoke, pummelled into the sky blacking out the stars and the moon as it polluted the air. The fire blackened the stone and the light cast eery shadows across the gardens as my eyes burned with the oranges and yellows of heat and flames. The way it burned mesmerised me, captivated me body and soul – until reality sunk in.
I didn’t hesitate to fling myself over the balcony railing, flying over the railing and colliding with the gravel driveway beneath. The gravel faulted my landing, making my feet slide out from under me and I quickly regained my footing, racing down the hill to the burning building.
’Get up,’ I roared through the mind link to Nate, ’The pack house is burning.’
’What?’ he replied, clearly still half asleep.
My feet carried me in a blur down the garden path as I leapt down flights of stairs and jumped over small garden beds and benches, bringing my closer to the radiating heat and flickering flames of the building. And that’s where she stood, staring at the golden flames, her hair flying around her in the wind and her night gown fluttering loosely against her tanned skin.
“Patricia?” I asked, slowing as I neared.
She turned, and my eyes adjusted to the contrast of light, and I looked at her eyes-stained red with tears, her lip quivered, and her body was covered in goosebumps as she shivered, somehow cold against the burning heat that radiated from the burning pack house.
“Alice,” she said, her voice laced with desperation, “please tell me you smell that.”
I swallowed, she wasn’t talking about the smoke that filled the air from pack house, “what do you smell Pet?”
A loud crack filled the air and I felt the air being ripped from my lungs and a sharp pain in my chest – a pack member had just died, the pain flowing through my own body. I swilled to see a section of the roof collapsing.
“Is there anyone still inside?” I asked Patricia, grabbing her shoulders.
She looked at me, as if she hadn’t herd what I had said, tears streaming freely down her face like a waterfall, “Dammit Pet,” I hissed and I stepped around her, racing towards the burning building.
The security system had been activated, the doors sealed but the heat had softened the metal and I was able to force them open. Black smoke burst to escape the foyer, as air was sucked into the room, only feeding the fire more. I stepped into the room, bringing my shirt over my mouth and nose in an attempt to filter the air and help me breath.
Two young men quickly running towards me, “Thank you Luna,” they coughed, and they raced past, quickly followed by more men and women who resided in the pack house. I grabbed one of the young man’s arms and pulled him to the side.
“Is there anyone else still upstairs?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” he replied, “when the fire started, we tried to get as many people out, but the doors were already locked, and we couldn’t call for help, no one could link anyone outside,” he said.
“Thank you,” I replied, letting him escape the heat and smoke.
I felt another sharp pang fill my chest, there had to be someone still inside, still upstairs, someone dying, someone dead – before I knew it, I was halfway up the staircase and dodging the fames as they licked away at the rugs and curtains, doors and tables, paintings, and flowers.
It was just irritating me knowing that there was an incomplete chapter uploaded. So