The screams I knew would soon be reaching at me were already etched into my head. I would know the source of every scream, but somehow that made it worse, to know which person I held dear was dying a slow death. I should’ve stopped and ran back to them, tried to help them, but I didn’t stop running. Surely the guardians are on their way, they wouldn’t let them suffer.
Or maybe because of Evan, they would, because of me and the choices I made. No, no I wouldn’t pay for his actions, and neither would they. My feet thumped against the pavement, leaving a trail of sorrow behind me. My fingers fumbled for the hood on my sweatshirt, pulling it over my head as far as it could go. A low, humming sound was slowly inching toward me. It’s not them, please don’t let it be them. The pavement grew softer under my tired feet as I slowed to almost a walk, I’ll be damned if this is how they get me.
The humming continued to slow down, heating the back of my legs. My heart thumped louder in my chest, I won’t do it. I kept waiting for the car to pass, but instead I had an eerie feeling that only meant one thing, they found me. Idiotically, I turned, trying to get a better view of the car, when four males jumped out of the vehicle. From the second they stepped out of the car to when they started chasing me, I knew I would have to choose, fight or flight.
The adrenaline coursing through my veins was the only thing forcing me to choose flight. My feet “Stop!” A husky voice called out to me. My legs fumbled into their ways as my feet connected with the pavement.
“Hazel Whethers, stop right there!” Another deep voice yelled. A crack ringed through the air, pain flooding through my shoulder as my body slammed into the cement. Fight this, Hazel, You have to fight this.
I make it out of here alive. Real or not real?
The man with the husky voice grabbed at my hands, trapping them between rings of metal. Fight, Hazel. “You were a difficult one to find.” I’m not done running yet, I pushed every ounce of strength into my legs, throwing them up around his neck, squeezing. His weight was slowly becoming less as he slid off me. He was grasping at my hands, attempting to pry them from his neck, but the absence of oxygen to his lungs made him only a little bit stronger. I threw him to the side, moving onto my stomach, I pulled my body forward with my arms, the swelling pain in my shoulder seeming small compared to my attempt at getting away.
He grabbed at my feet, I thrashed my legs around, I felt pressure on my shoulder causing me to scream in agony. The man pulled me onto my legs, a tingling, burning sensation coming from the wound. He dragged me back to the black car, and threw me inside. The man slammed the side door and locked, preventing me from escaping.
A black fence like barrier separated me from them. The car radio was on and was playing classical music, I think it’s a Beethoven piece. We came to a sudden stop. My body jerked forward, hitting the already sweltering wound against the car door. I screamed out, grasping at anything, the dots multiplying. Within seconds the few dots had completely taken up my vision, and slowly I faded out of consciousness, lying against the car door.
I think I lost myself three times, each more peaceful than the one before. As I was fading into my fourth, the car stopped again, the four guardians jumped out the car, one lifting me up, he tied a band over my shoulder causing the blood flow to slow down. He then threw me over his shoulder, letting my legs dangle. The sky was still a deep blue, the moon and stars providing rays of light over the gloomy city.
The side to side sway of the man carrying me had gone on for some time, as his steps slowed I began to heat up, smoke disguised the glow of the moon. The fire had grown since I left, however long ago that was. The guardians stand by me, almost amused by the fire. “Hey!” I screamed. “My family is in there! Why aren’t you doing anything?”
“Shut up.” The man grumbled pressing firmly on my shoulder. I winced at the pain, closing my eyes. I thrashed around tiredly, but my body had almost gone completely limp, my only support was the guardian who was letting my family die.
All I could do was watch in horror as my orphanage engulfed in flames. My family was in there, burning because of me. No, the orphanage was burning because of him, my family, my life is dying inside of it because of the guardians. It’s not my fault.
The pain grew even more, but I was focused on the orphanage, and the screams that would scar me for the rest of my life. Which probably won’t be that long, the obnoxious voice reminded me.
He’ll pay for this. They all will.