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As we walked down the street in a small not so popular, average sized town in the middle of nowhere we made our final plans. My best friend Jamie turned to me and smiled.
“What?” I say immediately thinking that I had screwed something up, made some huge mistake that I hadn’t noticed, or that my hair was messed up in some way. I ran my hands through my hair and found that my hair was still pulled back neatly in that ponytail that I put in this morning. Then I looked down at my jeans and baby blue hooded sweatshirt thinking that I spilled the coffee or toast I had for breakfast on them. When I saw nothing I push the sleeves up so that they are now around my shoulders and tuck a loose strand of hazel brown hair behind my ear. Then he started to laugh as though I had just told him a joke that he hadn’t heard in a while.
As Jamie was about to reply to my odd reaction to his stare, my phone rings.
I look at Jamie and his face reflects the way that I am feeling, confused and scared. My phone is nearly untraceable. Bad things happen to the people who have had our numbers before. Some of them are probably being interrogated by TEACHERs or Resistance Guards right know. Others were maliciously killed instantly without hesitation. But then there are the ones who know how to divert Resistance Guards attention away, only call us under a dire emergency, and make sure they use a scrambling device if they are certain that they need help.
I flip the phone open.
“Hello…Cameron Puck and I assume Jamie Cane is there with you?” A voice comes through the phone raspy and deep.
“Who wants to know?” I look up at Jamie who doesn’t look as frightened as before. He has the look of determination set hard into his features of his face.
The line goes dead.
“You think that was them?” Jamie asks turning toward me. I see that he is not going to give up any time soon.
“Don’t really know.” I say of course knowing who he is talking about right away. Resistance Guards have been coming after us for the past three years. Since we escaped from the EYSS, Exceptional Young Spy School, a school so secret that the people that people who have had anything to do with the school would be monitored for the rest of their life. (That is until rebellious teens started to escape.) The EYSS is a top secret boarding school/camp for kids whose parents are the top spies, and I mean the top, or for kids that show great potential in the profession. That is how Jamie and I met. Trackers are some of the top spies that the EYSS sends out to bring us back. We are not the only ones to have escaped the EYSS. These twins, Isabella and Cassian, escaped about a week before us. We’ve meet them a few times, too. We’ve swapped stories and exchanged ideas and tactics, but every time the meetings were cut short.
“Well do think that they could be close? I mean we’ve been here for a while. They’ve got to be getting closer.”
“Why? Have you heard anything? Is there something you’re not telling me?” I ask, turning around in a complete circle to make sure we’re not being watched. I was now thinking about how close they could be. “I guess that we have been here for a while.”
“Well I think that I have found a clue as to where some more escapees may be.” Jamie said to me nudging my arm with his elbow. “Guess what? I am pretty sure I’ve found the place!”
“It’s this little cliff overlooking a forest outside Kenya, Africa. There is a tiny almost unnoticeable cave hidden behind a waterfall.”
“OK, so if our place is found than when do you want to leave? Or we could stay a little while longer. Just relax, I mean we haven’t been in a place like this in a while. Plus if we go to some jungle in Africa there is a good chance that we won’t be near any civilization for miles.” I say as I take my iPod and start listening to the song Closer to the Edge and think how true the lyrics are.
I didn’t notice the jet black Mercedes soaring around the corner circling us until it came around a second time. But this time it veered through the on-coming lane of traffic and hit the building four feet in front of us. By the time the driver opens the door a crowed has formed. I glance back, as Jamie and I push and shove our way through the crowd, just in time to see the driver talking on his cell phone while staring past the crowd of strangers and straight at us. He mumbles a few words into the phone then smiles again as a few lines of blood run down from the corner of his mouth and a four inch gash on his forehead. I start to panic.
“They’ve found us! It’s time to go…Now!” Jamie says pulling me through the back and around the corner and toward our Navy ‘94 Chevy Berretta. Smoke blew up in a cloud behind us we speed our way to the Air Port.
One Month Later
The last thing I heard was a bang and a thud as a bullet left the barrel of the gun and entered the flesh of my right shoulder, forcing me to the bare ground inside the warehouse. How long has it been since that bullet entered my body? The searing pain is spreading through my body! Oh, please make it stop! Wait what’s that guy doing?
“Hhh...H...help.” I try to speak but can barely utter the single word.
He grabs a bag and takes out his cell phone, takes out a damp cloth, and takes out a syringe. What’s he saying on the phone?
“It’s Allen….yes, Cameron Puck…right….Got her once in the right shoulder…No boy sir. I’ll be on my way.”
I start to think where Jamie could be. How heartbroken would he be if he found the dead and lifeless body of me on the floor? With both my parents and his parents dead, we are all each other have. Where would he go? What would he be able to divert the attention of the Trackers on his own? All I know is that I have to stay strong for Jamie.
Where is Jamie when I need him? The guy, Allen I think, is getting a little to close with that cringe and the foul stench of the cloth is making me dizzy. I have to time this right. I close my eyes tight and try to think straight.
BAM!!! I sigh as splintered wood sprays my face. Finally, Jamie is here! Just as late as always, but not a moment to soon. He is still holding his PSP, while driving a olive green four-wheeler, packed full in the back, through the wall of the ware house. Jamie collides with Allen sending him flying across the ware house into the wall with a thud of unconciseness.
“…what took you so long…,” I manage to mumble, regaining my ability to speak, as Jamie hops off the back of the four- wheeler and strides over to me?
“I got a little caught up.” He says innocently holding up his PSP looking at me with apologetic eyes. As Jamie comes over to help me to the four-wheeler he came in on. I can’t help but notice those same intense baby-blues fall on the crimson hole in my shoulder.
“Do you want to go the hospital this time? Or, do you think that the hospitals will be monitored too? You know, I think I can fix it.”
Being by Jamie I am already feeling better. “I…I think I’ll….be fine.” I sputter out. “Maybe…we should find a new hiding place, somewhere more secluded this time, safer.”
“When? …. Oh, did you mean now?”
“I don’t know, just some time soon.” I say managing a slight laugh which I know is what Jamie was trying to do to lighten the mood.
“Well you can’t go walking around like that.” He says setting me down and nodding toward my shoulder, then turning around, and sprinting back to the four-wheeler grabbing one of our smaller bags. Then he comes back and empties its contents out in front of me. The bag was full of supplies and our “necessities”. He put all the medical kit and extra supplies in one pile. Then Jamie put my books and music in anther, being careful not to get them that dirty. His games went in another pile careful not to scratch them. Then there was one pile for tools, and one for the radios, bugs, and phones of the Trackers that we found and disabled. Next he started cleaning my wound. The bullet went in less than an inch. It wasn’t that deep so Jamie was able to take it out. I only let the slightest whimper escape my lips as he removed the bullet, sterilized my shoulder, and wrapped it up in a fresh clean bandage. He was gentle and careful not to put too much pressure on the wound, but enough pressure to stop the bleeding as best he could.
Half-an-hour later we were off, riding through the rough African bush as the sun left the sky with an orangeish-redish tint that was slowly turning to a deep purple then black with white billions of gleaming specks. I noticed the thick bush started to thin out and I could hear the rush of water and its fresh pure smell. Almost immediately I knew we are near the camp where we have been staying for the past three to four months. When we finally pushed through the last of the green trees, I see something that nearly makes me yelp in horror. It was all I could do to stop myself from jumping off the back of the four-wheeler and running straight back the way we came.
Right in the middle of a miniature lake and waterfall, stood a silent, unmoving helicopter. I hit Jamie hind on the arm and told him to kill the engine. Then, we snuck off the four-wheeler hiding it in the bushes. We hid in a tree silently watching and trying to come up with a plan. However many Tracker guys were sent, I know they’re not going to get what they’re looking for.
Suddenly, it hits me!”We need to steal the helicopter!” I quickly whisper in a hushed excited voice.
“Are you completely insane?!” Jamie almost yells slipping on a branch, catching and steadying himself before he hits the ground. “They’re right there! Going into our hideout no less! They’ve probably already figured out that there is nothing of use in there.”
“I know! They can’t find what they are looking for if what they are looking for is on its way to someplace else! Plus, I have an idea.” I said scrabbling down the tree with Jamie right behind me.
“What are you saying?” he asks with a questioning look on his face. I ran over to the four-wheeler and searched the bags for what I was looking for. When I did a devilish grin grew on my face. As soon as I held it up Jamie knew what I had done.
In my hand I held a detonator. It wasn’t very big and neither was the explosion it would bring. I have been rigging the explosives at the entrance to the cave for the past week when Jamie would go out to catch food. Now is the perfect time to use it.
I look left then right, making sure that we’re not seen, and then bolt toward the pilot side of the helicopter. I know we only have a matter of minutes. As Jamie buckles up I keep the door open so we can both see what was about to happen. I pressed the button, and almost instantly we heard the explosion. Then the rocks came falling in front of the cave blocking the Trackers from being able to leave or anyone else from entering. I start the helicopter with ease. In no time we are up in the air and on our way.