👣🚶 Left behind👣🚶
© Meenah writes ✍️
I could see that Jean had began to shake very badly, and that any moment she would scream, drawing the attention of who ever was out there to us.
If they haven’t seen us already.
“Jean,” I whispered, “We gotta lay low, OK?”
She nodded rapidly, still whimpering.
“Harriet I’m scared,” she said.
“We’ll be alright, just follow my lead.”
I crouched low and began to crawl towards a cluster of rocks, looking back frequently to see if Jean was behind me.
As we moved, I was thinking. Who…no, what was out there?
And what did it mean by destroy them?
I shivered with fear.
I had to be strong for Jean, the poor girl seemed to be having a heart attack.
Finally we got to the rock and leaned on it to catch our breaths.
“I shouldn’t have left, God knows I shouldn’t have,” Jean began.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the story by the fire. Jack was just—–ahhhhhh!” she screamed.
The ground beneath us was splitting open very fast, separating us.
“Quick Jean jump!” I yelled and held out my hand to her.
“i—-I can’t!” she said.
“Try, or we’ll die!” I urged.
She ambled forward, but the ground was splitting so fast that she nearly slipped and almost fell into the opening.
“Harry I can’t!” she was crying now.
“OK stay there, I’ll come to you,” I said and stood in a position to jump.
I mentally counted….one….
“Be careful!” Jean said.
I swung myself with all my strength, but unfortunately the ground opened wider and I fell in, holding on to a piece of twig.
The only thing keeping me from death.
“Harriet!!!” Jean called in a shaky voice. I grunted in reply.
The twig I held was loosening.
My hand grew sweaty and my hold was dwindling.
Jean got on all fours and crawled closer to the edge.
Slowly but surely.
“What are you doing?” I asked while struggling to maintain my hold.
“Give me your hand!” she said and stretched out her hands to me.
“Jean you’ll fall! Just go, escape!”
“No Harriet, I’m not going anywhere. Now give me your hand!”
I was holding the twig with both hands.
I looked down.
It was like a scary deep smoky valley below.
It was a typical Valley of Death.
I gulped and looked back to Jean.
I released my hold with one hand and reached out to her.
We were far apart.
“Harriet try harder,” Jean pressured.
“I’ll fall if I do,” I replied, but I still stretched out my arm again. We strained to reach each other.
I lifted my self a bit.
The tip of my fingers touched hers.
A tall and monstrous figure appeared behind Jean, which she didn’t see, and the ground shifted even more, making me loose my grip.
“Har……. ri…..et…..!” Jean called out.
I was still falling and screaming.
Was this how my life would end, with my parents unaware of what was happening to me, and with the image of that misty monstrous figure in my mind.
If yes, then……
Wait a second.
I’m not falling anymore.
I opened my eyes to the feel of strong hands gripping mine. I looked up.
It seemed to be a guy, kneeling beside Jean. She had a hopeful smile on her face.
The guy pulled me up.
He must have a lot of strength.
I fell on the ground beside them.
“Harriet oh thank goodness! I thought you were—”
I interrupted her with a loud scream of pain which followed after something sharp had pierced my side.
I groaned and held the spot.
My hand touched warm sticky liquid.
“She’s hurt!” the guy said. “She’s been shot. Quick, you have to help me move her before the Master returns.”
Between them, they carried me.
I felt weak and dizzy.
It was as if this was no ordinary would because it stung as hell and at the same time numbed.
I was dizzy, yes, but I could still see.
And what I saw scared me: A hundred or thousand small, dirty creatures were crawling out of the crack in the ground.
They hurried in all directions.
I closed my eyes fearfully.
I was having a very bad nightmare from which I’ll soon wake, because this could not be real.
I opened my eyes again, hoping they’ve vanished.
But there were more of them.
And one turned into my direction. It’s eyes shone a dangerous red, it’s teeth were razor sharp, it had no nose, just two wide holes breathing. It’s limbs were skinny and ended in long sharp talon like claws.
And it saw me.
It jumped rapidly towards me.
Weren’t Jean and the guy seeing it?
I was too weak to alert themi opened my mouth, but no sound came out.
That’s it, we’re gonna die.
I mentally made a short prayer and closed my eyes.
But instead I heard a loud gunshot, and the creatures deadly scream, before silence. We stopped moving.
Another figure appeared from the fog, and this one was a female. I couldn’t see her as clearly as I could the creature.
“Hey Ewan, What have we here?” she asked in a strangely low voice.
“Two lost girls against the Master,” the guy whom I just found out is Ewan responded.
The girl nodded.
“We need to get them out of here. Juliantes still can’t explain why the earthquake had to happen. Come.”
They began moving stealthily.
But I couldn’t take it anymore. I was weak, loosing blood and the wound hurt like hell.
I became slow, lagging.
Darkness began to claim me, and I welcomed it.
Jacob Anderson flung the land phone away with so much fury, and it hit the wall and broke. His face was twisted in what seemed like a permanent picture of anger.That was how it was since yesterday when he and his wife waited in vain for their daughter to return home.
The news of the earthquake was allover the city the previous evening, and parents rushed to Creole High to pick up their wards. Jacob and his wife went too.
But their panic at her safety turned to surprise at her absence.
“Where’s Harriet?” Mrs Anderson asked Mrs Jackson.
She looked stunned as she said, “She should be here somewhere….”
“What do you mean by that?” Jacob bellowed.
“You see, the news came suddenly and in our haste we didn’t stop to check all the students. But I’m sure they all got in. Harriet???” she called nervously.
Just then Micah and Lyn Norman, Jean’s parents, rushed forward too.
“Where’s Jean? We’ve been waiting at the lot for her for almost fifteen minutes,” Micah began, taking a look at his watch.
Mrs Jackson seemed more agitated than ever. She let out a sigh and called Katherine over.
“Did you see Harriet enter the bus?”
Kathy shook her head slowly.
“No, I didn’t,” she said. “But I did see when they both ran off. We tried to call them back, but they wouldn’t listen. I had hoped they’d hear the camp whistle when it’s blown.”
Lyn Norman let out a wail. “Don’t tell me my baby’s out there…..in this condition…. oh God!”
Her husband patted her, while Jacob did same for his wife.
“What kind of incompetency is this???” he asked no one in particular.
Later they called an emergency search and rescue team together. The team made it to the camp sight.
But there was nothing, and no one there.
“Honey you have to calm down,” Mrs Anderson said as she watched her husband from her position on the sofa where she sat hugging herself and trying not to cry.
“I can’t calm down! I have to light a fire under that search and rescue else they won’t make an effort to look for Harriet.” he sighed and stopped pacing. “Maybe I should have let her stay home.”
Mrs Anderson stood up and wrapped her arms around him.
“Let’s be strong now. At least she’s not alone. She’s with Jean. We’ll find them.” she sounded like she was trying to convince herself too.
There was no school today for final year students because of our unconventional return from camp.
I sat in my bed, clutching my blanket around myself and feeling guilty.
I was the one who caused Harriet so much pains.
And now she was left behind in some goddamned place.
And Jean too….
Oh if only there was a way to reverse time. I’ll do so.
I just hoped Harriet could forgive me.
My mom knocked and came in. She sat at the edge of my bed.
“Honey it’s past ten. Won’t you have breakfast?” she asked.
I shook my head. “No mom.”
“Come on baby. Harriet will return. Her father, being the senator, has the whole police force at his disposal.”
“You don’t understand mom. I’ll never forgive myself. I’m the one that—”
I was interrupted by the loud ring of the doorbell.
“I’ll get it,” mom said and went out.
Minutes later, she returned and said, “Your friends are here. Will you get dressed so I’ll send them up, or will you come down?”
“I’ll get dressed. Send them up after ten minutes.”
I tidied up my bed, brushed my teeth, packed my hair in a messy way, and slipped on a tee-shirt and a knicker.
A knock came.
“Come in,” I said.
In walked Luke, looking strangely unbothered, Fred, looking quite, Jack looking thoughtful. And sad.
“Hi,” I said to all of them, managing a weak smile.
“You don’t look so bright,” Luke said cheerfully and plopped on the bed beside me. He draped an arm around my shoulder and pulled me closer, not minding the surprised looks on Fred and Jack’s faces.
Well, I did.
I took his hand off.
“And you look overtly giddy for a situation as moody as this,” I accused with a glare at him that lasted no more than two seconds.
I still felt shy to look him directly in the eye for a long time.
Fred and Jack sat with us.
“I can’t believe this. Why would this happen?” Jack began.
“Well I’m not really wondering,” Fred replied with a pointed look at Luke, who still had a bright smile on his face.
“Luke are you in anyway unconcerned about this? I mean two of our friends, one being your girlfriend, are missing. And you’re acting like it’s OK?” Fred argued.
“Relax,” Luke said and stood up. “We can’t stop living just because of that. You guys should stop being dramatic!” And with that he was gone.
The three of us exchanged looks.
“Crazy,” Fred muttered.
“Maybe that’s his way of coping with the situation?” I offered as explanation.
“Ha! Cope,” Fred scoffed.
Jack, who had been quiet all this while finally said in a low tone, “Jean… she’s out there and it’s my fault… ”
He was talking to him self, but we heard it.
Fred shrugged and walked out, while I took a minute to study Jack. He looked utterly devastated, and what was he guilty about?
He caught me watching him, offered a weak smile and went out too.
I took a moment to ponder: Jack was the cause that Jean had run out of the campfire gathering yesterday…. and he seemed really concerned that Jean got lost, so maybe….
“Kathy…come on let’s grab a snack,” Fred called.
I forgot about my detective work and hurried downstairs.
We went to a nearby ice cream shop and had ice cream and cookies.
Apart from Jack, everyone seemed light hearted.
Luke kept winking at me.
To be continued
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