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   Chapter 30 What I Am

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 6816

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:26


"You have to take control, " I told Annie, "if you don't, someone else will." She put her eyes to the scope and slowed her breathing. "Do you see it?"

"I think so, " she said. It was the first deer we'd seen in the three days since we'd been on the road. Its antlers were small and smooth.

"As soon as it's in sight, squeeze the trigger. Don't pull, squeeze."

She waited, following the deer's movements as it trotted from behind the brush, smelling the ground in search of acorns and nuts. "Now, " I told her. I waited for the bang but she only watched as it nibbled across the grass.

"Annie--"

"I don't want to, " she said.

"I know it's tough but we're starving, we don't have a choice." She pulled her eyes, gently leaning the gun toward me.

"You do it."

"I've done it. You have to learn. He won't be around long, we need the meat."

"I can't."

"You have to."

"Why?"

"Because someday you're gonna have to kill someone again, and if you don't have control of your emotions they'll end up killing you."

"So what?" she said and dropped the gun. The sound startled the buck-- I took the rifle up as fast as I could and fired as it ran through the brush. The shot echoed and bounced between the trees sending the nearby songbirds flying for safety.

The buck skipped off into the forest, the hunger I'd been trying to ignore now gripped my stomach like a strangling hand.

"What's wrong with you?" I hissed. "We're fighting for our lives here, do you not understand that?"

"I don't care! I don't care if I live or die, do you not understand that? Camden's dead, Marcus is gone, and you--" she stopped herself.

"I what?"

"I don't even know who you are!"

"I'm the one who saved you from a lifetime of enslavement and torture."

"You never cared about us! You left! You promised you'd never leave us and you left, we would have died in that ambush if we hadn't left the group when we did. We almost died because you didn't keep your promise."

"You don't know what I went through!"

"I thoug

eir size. "Trix, go with Olivia. Annie you're with me." I rushed out the backdoor, Annie ran with me as we made our way to the arcade on the left. The inside was dark, layers of dust covered the machines like gray carpets.

"You alright?" I asked, putting my eyes to the window.

"She's right, we should have more people." I turned back and looked at her. The rifle weighed heavy on her skinny arms.

"You can still run. There are places in the woods you can--"

"Is that what you want?" she asked.

"No. I want you to stay, " I told her.

"Why?"

"Because I can't protect you if you're out there."

She looked at me with something like forgiveness in her eyes.

The crack of a twig snapping pulled my attention to the window again. Three men and a woman were quietly making their way across the yard leading up to the arcade.

"Stay close to me, " I told her as I lifted my rifle, resting the barrel atop the air-hockey table in front of me.

I looked through the scope and put the crosshairs on the man leading the way. Some of them carried guns, others had wooden clubs with nails spiked through them or long, grime covered machetes.

Somewhere in the distance, shots rang out, crackling off the walls. They stopped moving at the sound. I held my breath as I aimed at the man's head.

I squeezed the trigger. Blood filled the air.

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