strike: a faerie tale
Author's note: This a sequel; check out the first. This second book took me one month during a summer vacation... Show full author's note »
rescueI COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. Three days had already passed and I still had no strategy. No plan to make my escape come true. I never told Bree or Mark about my plans. Bree would want to come, and Mark would most likely make sure I couldn't leave. He would probably tell someone and they would just catch me again. Of course, I wasn't going to make myself a spectacle, like my last attempt.
I only remembered my friends and family at night, when I had only my thoughts to comfort me… or haunt me. It was one in the morning, and I couldn't fall asleep, so I got up and went to the window to look at the mountains. I would've tried to escape that very minute, but Bree told me The Place (that's the name I'd given it) activated its sensors and cameras at night. Because of past attempts, the cameras were extra small, and there were no more blind spots. Awesome.
The past three days weren't as bad as I thought they would be. Dr. Hewitt's results showed little progress. The antidotes affected me several ways, most of them were painful. The burning needles and the unpleasant side effects were the hardest part of the whole. I had told Bree about it after she had asked what was wrong with me; I had barely made it to my room one time, practically dragging myself.
Some of the antidotes started to get easier to take. One antidote actually caused me to turn invisible. Just yesterday I had found myself outside the building, panting for breath. I didn't tell Dr. Hewitt that these abilities belonged to Jake. After he flushed out the medicine, I tried to do it on my own as I left, but it didn't work. Maybe I got Jake's abilities because my mind was trying to get me to remember I had a life outside The Place.
I realized I was beginning to worry about my friends and family less each day. In fact, I barely even thought of them--except at night. There was no one I could talk to, not even Bree, but mostly because I didn't want to. Bree thought about her family at night, but she never wanted to talk to anyone about it; she completely adored her little brother--he was the only person outside this place she ever thought about. One thought she had while with me was that she couldn't remember what her mother looked like at all; her father even less.
I was startled out of my thoughts at the sound of a small pop below my window. Curious, I looked down to see someone's silhouette, turning wildly around. I strained my ears to hear him.
"… the hell? What is this place?" I heard Jake say to himself. I was about to call him but realized someone would hear me shout. I looked wildly around the room to see I had nothing, then looked down at my broken watch. I took it off and dropped it down to him. I waved my arms at him after he picked it up. He looked up at me then back at the watch.
When he looked back up at me again, he disappeared. Did someone see him? Was he leaving? I turned only to find myself in his arms.
"How did you find me?" I asked breathlessly, wishing I could scream my lungs out. He still held me so tight against him I could barely breathe.
"I followed a trail. It's--" He stopped. I heard the footsteps too. I let go, he turned invisible, and there were knocks on my door.
"Amy?" It was Mark. "Who are you talking to?" I opened the door, but he barged in and looked wildly around the room. I heard Jake move around, barely missing him.
I crossed my arms. "What do you want?" I asked, sounding as mean as I could. "I was trying to sleep until you came in."
He hadn't found anything. "I thought a heard a guy's voice," he replied.
"It wouldn't be the first time you came to the wrong conclusion. Get out. Now." I held the door open for him.
He stayed where he was and sighed. "This is getting ridiculous. Why don't you talk to me? You talk to Bree so easily, but you guys aren't the same. We are."
I scoffed. "I have a boyfriend, Mark. Get that through your thick skull. I don't see you that way at all."
He smirked. "We're the only two of our kind here, Amy. I doubt it's just coincidence that we found each other. Plus, I don't see your boyfriend here--"
"Shut up, Mark!" I said loudly before Jake could even think of appearing. "He may not be here physically but he's been with me forever. I love him, Mark, not you. You and I will never have anything. That is one thing that will never change, so just get out."
He stepped closer. "Face the facts, Amy! You're not going to see him again. He probably doesn't even care about you anymore. He probably has another girl--"
I punched him. My super strength must've been back because the sound reverberated around the room. He got up and left without a word, slamming the door behind him.
Jake reappeared next to me. "Wow. I--"
"No time. Someone might've heard that. We need to leave now," I said, taking his hand and pulling him to the balcony. "You see the last mountain range over there?" I asked, pointing at their silhouettes through the darkening sky. He nodded. "You have to take us there now. I'll explain later--" The door slammed open as two men in army-looking uniforms pointed menacing rifles at us. I was already seeing them disappear before I heard the gun shots--Jake was pulling us into the suffocating hole.
When it was over, I fell to my hands and knees, gasping for air. I heard Jake collapse next to me. For a second, I thought he was lying down and breathing like I was, or maybe I was just too loud.
"Jake?" He didn't even stir. With a creeping feeling of déjà vu, I turned him over to find two tranquilizers in his chest, the same kind that had hit us back in the orchard. I pulled them out and dropped them instantly, the metal smarting my hand. I wasn't sure how long Jake was going to be out, since he'd gotten a double dosage.
I half-dragged half-levitated Jake behind a bush. The night air chilled me to the bone, so I curled up beside Jake, resting my head on his chest to keep us warm.
Bree crept into my head. I had promised her had I ever tried to escape again I would bring her with me. Here I was and here she wasn't. I felt bad about that….
I pinched myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming again… nope, this was for real. Just to be sure I still had my powers, I put up shield. The clear purple aura flowed from my hands to form a bubble around us. I started to listen more sharply when I heard a howl come from the distance… .
Its claws scratched lightly on the ground in the darkness, the light padding foot of the animal made it sound like it had four legs. The scratches became light footsteps and the sound of branches could be heard being pushed aside. I stood up inside my purple transparent bubble, unwilling to believe it would be her, as she stumbled into view.
"Roxanne?" I asked incredulously.
"You have to leave. Now. People in army-looking gear are looking for you. They have these huge guns and everything." She said everything in one breath, just like in the dream. We slung each of Jake's arms over our shoulders as I flew us farther away from where Roxanne came, careful to stay in the trees.
"How did you find us?"
"I was sleeping next to a rock when I heard someone say your name. I looked up and saw like… six big guys with guns walk by. I knew you were probably around so I sniffed you out. I had to transform in order to beat them to you. What happened to Jake?" she asked, looking at Jake's head lolling side to side with our movement.
"He took two tranquilizers to the chest as we left," I explained, weaving through the trees. I heard some footsteps behind us, though I wasn't sure how fast they were actually moving; maybe I was going too slow. "They're getting closer," I said as Roxanne heard them too. If we kept going at our pace they were bound to catch up with us for I was definitely not going fast enough. I tried to speed up but my body ached in protest. My sleep deprivation wasn't helpful at the moment.
"They're catching up," Roxanne said, letting go and dropping to the ground.
I stopped and turned back to her, still levitating and holding Jake. "What are you doing?" I hissed.
"This is my fault. I'm the one who led these guys to you in the field. They wanted to capture me but I offered you up as an exchange." I blanched. "I'm so sorry and I know that's not going to be enough. Hide up in that tree, I'll distract them so you can fly away."
"You're… insane. They might kill you," I said. I knew I should have been angry at her for selling me to these people instead of herself, but she was making up for it.
"There's no reason for you to feel responsible for me," Roxanne replied as she watched for the approaching men. What did she mean by that? "What are you waiting for? Go!" She shooed me away.
"Just come with us. There's no need--"
"Amy, I owe you more than this. Just go--" The men were almost on top of us. I gave Roxanne one last look before flying up over a tree, keeping out of view and hating myself for leaving her.
"Where are they, Roxanne?" I recognized Dr. Hewitt's voice.
"Who're you talking about? I haven't seen anyone here all day," she replied in a convincing tone.
"Don't play dumb, little girl," snarled another male's voice, a harsher one. "We know you've had contact with the faerie girl. Now, where are they?!" I jerked when I heard Roxanne grunt in pain.
"I don't know… where they are. They left a long… time ago," she said, her voice breathless and strained. I couldn't stand hearing this; I wanted to help… but if I left Jake for a second they might get him while I helped Roxanne. I didn't want to lose them both.
"Don't hit her!" said Dr. Hewitt. I heard some struggling. The men were fighting.
"Stop it!" Roxanne yelled. There was more struggling now with some growling--Roxanne must have transformed. There was a loud snarl, a gunshot and yowl at the same time. The gunshot still echoed throughout the mountains.
"What did you do?" came Dr. Hewitt's quiet voice. It couldn't be Roxanne….
"I- I didn't know… s-she was coming," came the man's voice. I gasped and put a hand over my mouth. The man's stuttering was answer enough. I didn't hear any sound that could identify her. I wanted so badly to go down there. Instead I flew away as fast as I could, leaving Roxanne behind.
I wasn't sure what to feel. I didn't call Roxanne to come to our aid. I didn't tell her to hold them off while I hid. If only I'd seen this coming….
"What was that?" Jake murmured. We flew over the last bit of mountain. His eyes were still closed as his lolled around like he was trying to wake up.
"What was what?" I asked softly. We were descending, flying only a couple of feet of the ground and avoiding loud branches.
"… loud sound…." He fell back into unconsciousness, his head lolling back onto my shoulder.
I was starting to get exhausted from supporting Jake's weight along with myself, and I nearly dropped him a few times. After a couple more trees, I decided to stop about a couple of yards from a hiking trail; I wouldn't be able to continue much longer. I gently lowered him to the ground. My legs gave away, and I fell right next to Jake, which was sweet relief. With the remaining strength I had, I made myself comfortable and let the darkness take me.