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   Chapter 12 Shadow In My Sky

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 11417

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:17

"Who the hell is she?" the heavy-set man asked, gesturing to me. I didn't know the man's name, I didn't know any of their names except for Wilson. Beside the man now questioning me, there were three others. One was a woman who looked about fifty. She had silver hair and wore the cleanest clothes I had ever seen. Another man joined us when he heard the commotion, he was tall and remained more or less silent during the entire conversation. Vicki stood behind me, she too remained silent.

"Quiet down, let the girl finish, " the woman said.

Wilson crossed to me and Vicki. "Yeah, we should hear her out, " he said. "Okay peach, tell us what you mean, why do you want us to go back north if we just left?" he looked at me and waited. I told him everything I had told Vicki, I knew there was nothing left of the south, I knew running wouldn't' help because there was no place to go.

"Genius, " the fat man said. "You think there's nothing left, guess what, we know they're coming north. Taking camp after camp, killing, raping, using us so they won't have to do any work, meanwhile we die off--" Wilson raised his hand.

"Ron, please, " he turned to me. "What do you suggest we do?"

"My camp isn't far. The Vesp-"

"The what?" Ron asked.

"The cannibals will find them soon, " I said. "Annie said there are more in their group than the ones we've seen, my people won't be able to defend themselves."

"Boo-freaking-hoo, " Ron sang. "We have our own people to worry about."

"If I had been like you, those kids would be dead right now, " I nearly yelled. The group fell silent.

"Whatever we're gonna do, " the silent man began. "We have to do it fast. We're sitting ducks here."

"Damn right, " Ron agreed.

"Give me a minute with them, " Wilson said, leading Vicky and I away from the others. I could see he was struggling but I knew I had to keep trying to convince him. To let them go south would be to condemn both our camps to death.

"Vicki? What's wrong?" Wilson asked when he noticed her red eyes.

"Grace's camp, it's my old group, " she told Wilson. His face wrinkled with surprise. "He's dead, " she said, finishing a conversation I didn't know they had started. Wilson frowned and took her in his arms. After a few seconds he pulled back from the embrace. "I'm sorry Vicki, I don't know what to say." He turned to me. "I don't see another way Grace, we can't stay here. We can't got north, " he said and walked back to the others. I wanted to stop him, to argue, but I knew that nothing I had to say would change his mind.

"I wish I could help, " Vicki said. I closed my eyes searching for an answer in the black. The birds Camden had pointed out called and sang above me. I turned my eyes to the sky.

A flock of red-winged black-birds swooped and rolled, like a familial dark cloud. They followed one another until all I could see was the mass, the shadow. Each bird was lost, they existed only as a single unit. This is how they survived.

I ran back to the group, kicking up sand and rock as I made my march. "We have to combine camps, " I said when I was in range of Wilson and the others. Ron rolled his eyes.

"Brilliant, just hand over all our weapons to a bunch of strangers. Or better yet, give them all our food."

"Ron's an ass, but he's right, " Wilson said. "We can't risk everyone's lives for a group we don't even know, and we can't stay here, I'm sorry."

old her.

"I've been looking for you and Tom more than a decade now. I'm not letting you go out there by yourself. I'm coming."

"What about us?" Wilson asked. "Vicki, I need you, the camp needs you."

"He's right, " I said.

"And what about you?" she asked.

"I can take care of myself, " I told her. "But those kids can't. I need you here. If something happens, I need someone here who I know will fight for them."

She stood there, holding her bags of ammo and supplies, the determination slowly fading from her eyes. I put my arms around her. "But thank you, " I told her. She nodded.

"You are bravest person I've ever met, " Wilson told me with a hug.

"She really is, " Vicki said.

"Stupidest, " I corrected them.

"Selfess, " he said and put a hand on my cheek. He took one of Vick's bags from her and began to walk back to the truck. She seemed like she wanted to say something, in the end she only turned around and left the shore with Wilson.

When the the convoy was gone, I couldn't help but notice the silence. Somewhere to the west a bird repeated a call. Wind knocked the last leaves off their branches, they fell with a scratch against the sand. Nothing I heard came from another human being. For the first time in my life, I was entirely on my own.

As I began to move, I noticed the sun peeking from behind the lake. It was only there for a moment before falling victim to the impenetrable curtain of thick gray fog which crawled slowly toward me, swallowing the blue.

I understood it now. The reason I never felt like I belonged. Why I was always the outsider looking in. Why I could never have been trusted to be a hunter. I wasn't one of them. I was raised by the enemy, I was the enemy. Now that I was alone, I could admit it. They were right. Only a week ago, the thought of killing someone would have made me sick, but when I killed Tamara, and the man holding Annie and Camden, I felt nothing. I watched Tamara's eyes lose their light, I felt her last breath on my face. A good person would have been horrified, traumatized. A good person would have gotten ill. But me, I was still wearing her jacket.

*Author note:

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