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   Chapter 11 Exodus

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 8343

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:17


I woke up screaming. The nightmare which jarred me to consciousness quickly vanished when I felt the sting of tearing muscle cutting down the length of my shoulder. I screamed again. Blue light showered down from above, the entire room was filled with a cold teal glow. My head spun with the turmoil of the moment. The wall beside me suddenly dropped and white light burned behind it. My head wouldn't stop spinning.

"Shh, " a man's voice soothed. Remembering the threats Tamara had made, I began to fight-- pushing and kicking as he put his hands on me but my shoulder stung so much I was paralyzed by the pain.

"What hurts?" he asked.

"What'd you do with them?" My eyes were beginning to adjust. I wasn't in a room but a tent.

"Them? You mean the brave Anastasia and the quiet Camden?" His face became more and more clear now. He was so close I could distinguish the individual stubbles of his recently shaved beard and see the chestnut shine in his eyes.

"Where are they?" I asked. He ignored the question, trying to find the source of my pain.

"Your shoulder's been dislocated. We can help with that, " he said.

I turned over and raised myself to my knees until I was able to stand and move around him. I held my shoulder in place to stop it from swinging loose and stepped outside. We were on the shore of a calm clear lake. My tent was only one of a hundred set out on the sand.

As a cold breeze rolled over the water and brushed past me, my cheek began to ache and I remembered Tamara's knife cutting into me. I put a hand to the wound, my fingers ran along the smooth braid of thin nylon stitches. Looking to my hands, I saw clean cotton rags wrapped around my burnt wrists.

"I didn't know about your shoulder, would've been better to have done it while you were out. Gonna hurt like hell now."

"You did this?" I asked him, still holding my cheek.

"One of ours did. I'm shit with needles."

"Where are the kids?"

"Look behind you."

I turned back to the lake and scanned the shoreline. I saw women and children bringing buckets of water to the fires on the sand and setting them over the flames to boil. At the edges of the crowd, men and women patrolled, bullet-proof vests strapped to their chests, guns in their hands, eyes to the distance.

Camden was smiling beside his surrogate sister. Annie lifted her eyes from the plate in front of her, a goofy smile cracking across her lips when she saw me.

"Was it you? In the truck?" I asked him withou

they're all coming north? There's nothing left in the south, no food, no water, they're coming 'cause they have no choice, " I told her. She didn't say anything.

I pushed past Vicki and found my way outside. As I walked through the camp I noticed everything I had ignored before, mostly the unwelcoming stares from those who wished I had never showed up here. On the road beyond the trees I saw the eighteen wheel truck one of Wilson's men had been driving when he found us, behind it were trailers and pickups, a never ending convoy all pointing in the wrong direction.

"Slow down a sec, you need to rest, " Vicky called behind me.

"I'm fine."

"Prove it, tell me how old you are, what's your name?"

Vicki asked, but I didn't slow down, I knew every minute that passed gave the Vesp more of a chance to regroup and attack. If we didn't leave soon, they'd block our path and there would be no way to get back to my camp without getting caught. It may have been too late already.

"Hello? Name?" she asked again.

"Grace, " I told her. "I'm eighteen. And You're Vicki, okay? I'm fine."

"Grace?" she said, a tone of surprise raised in her voice. "Where did you say you were coming from again?"

"What's it matter?"

"Eighteen..." her words slowed with her steps. I stopped and turned back, she was putting something together. "Were you alone?" She lifted her eyes to me, scared. "The kids said you saved them-- were you alone when you went to help them?"

"No, I was with--"

"A man?"

"Yes."

"Thomas?" she asked, tears swelling in her eyes. All at once, it made sense.

"You're the woman he was looking for, " I said. " Victoria."

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