Read Surrounds (Bonds) Online

Authors: S.L. Simps

Surrounds (Bonds) (6 page)

BOOK: Surrounds (Bonds)
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It was so maddening.

Hell, did he even care about himself at all?

"Are you alright?" The words left her mouth like and accusation, harsh and hateful. She ignores her own tone.

If he notices, he ignores it. "It’s going to be awhile before we find a place that wasn’t hit by them." He explains standing and offering her a large hand.

She takes it after a moment of hesitation. His hands are very rough but also slick with sweat.

He offers her a weak smile, nearly invisible behind lines of worry and dark bruises from exhaustion underneath his half-open eyes. "You don’t have to worry though." He assures his weak smile twitching into something stronger.

She believes him.

Chapter 15

Lacey

She finds herself constantly looking at the cloudy sky, afraid she would see crimson. But it had been a day since then and it was still blue. Her whole body aches, every inch of her felt as if it was a big sore, one big bruise. They had slept in a shed last night, amongst gardening tools and pesticides, oil, and lawn mower gas, it hadn't been a good night. Every house they came across had been destroyed by the hoard. It was horrible. The air was stiff and quiet now, like the calm before a storm. Lacey hopped not, her mind was still reeling from yesterday's mess.

"Hey, Henderson?" She winces, her voice oddly loud in the cursed silence.

"We’ll stop in a few hours I promise." He tugs on his backpack strap, attention still ahead of them.

"I wasn’t going to say that, Henderson." Lacey says dryly. Henderson glances at her.

"Oh, sorry." He tugs at his sweaty hair. "What were you going to say?"

"I was going to say…" She flicks a dirty strand of dark hair over her shoulder, lightly glaring at him. "I… uh…" She bites her lip, face falling out of its glare. Flashes of clinging to Henderson in that tiny closet hits her hard, her shamelessly whimpering and blowing snot on his shirt also entered her mind. He had somehow kept it together. He hadn’t broken down like her. "I… Thank you." She whispers, as she quickly looks away.

When she finally looks at Henderson, he’s smiling a little. "You don’t thank people often. This is serious… are you sure you’re alright?" His lips begin twitching with the need for a wider smile.

Blinking slowly at his joke, the girl only shakes her head. "I’ll never do it again then." She nods slowly to herself, still staring at him. Henderson’s jokes usually ended up like this… bad. A small smile curves its way onto her lips. She had actually liked such a thing about him. Henderson is such an oddball. He once was her oddball.

Both of their shadows are long once they make it out of the hoard’s path and houses and business no longer lay in ruins. A lonely grocery store is now their destination and Henderson unclips his machete from his hip and pushes open a door blocked by broken crates.

"Wait here, I’ll check it out."

This wasn’t unusual. Henderson usually checked out what was inside a dark, dusty, cramped space, while it was her who stood outside of it as ‘look out’. But they both understood it was Henderson with the truly dangerous job.

As she watches Henderson vanishes into a darkened hall she feels off.

(O)

Chapter 16

Alasa

She wonders how old he is. Her fingers still in their actions of scaling a fish to stare at ‘Wolf’. His long black hair shields his face as he works, his pale flesh washed-out and paler underneath the fire’s glow. He had not a wrinkle, not even the tiniest of blemishes on his skin. There was no clear indications of his age besides him being over sixteen and possibly under forty. It was odd, his agelessness. He had finally found a better food substance then Rats and she was insanely happy about that. This she could work with.

She watched him sharpen his machete on a rock, oddly not intimidated by it at all. She begins scaling the fish again before opening her mouth.

"Hey…" She calls out hesitantly, wincing at the volume of her own voice. Wolf looks up slowly, pinning her down with a blank stare. Alasa shifts onto her behind and off her bruised legs, wincing. The ground was obviously not her friend. She never realized how wonderful chairs were before now. "Wh- Why exactly am I here?"

His sharpening ceases and he’s left holding the, now very sharp, machete in his hands. She gulps, maybe asking while he was holding a weapon wasn’t one of her best ideas. It wasn’t as if he could answer anyway.

Wolf stares at her for a minute before turning away, his back facing her as he grabbed another one of his blades and began sharpening that one as well.

Uh… She bites her lip, wincing teeth digging into a spilt. "I mean, my family is probably very worried and stuff…"

No response.

A sigh escapes her. Slowly climbing to her feet, Alasa picks up a few sticks she had sharpened and skewered her fish and set them by the fire to roast. Once again Alasa sighs. She turns and nearly leaps back into the fire upon finding Wolf merely inches away from her.

"God!" She cries, quickly catching her balance before falling into the flames. "Stop doing that." Her breathing comes out harsh and frantic.

Wolf looks oddly amused as he grabs her arm and began tugging her out of into the tunnels. Alasa remains quiet, unsure what to make of this. Her legs begin to burn and ache and she quickly realizes how long they had been walking. Much longer in comparison to last time. All kinds of twists as well as some climbing and descending. Soon, like before, there’s a dot of light which grows bigger and bigger when they grow closer. Soon, when it becomes much too bright, Alasa shuts her stinging eyes, pressing a hand over her face.

Only when they stop and her hand arm is let go does Alasa slowly blinks until her vision is less hazed. Outside, they are outside, actually outside, as in on the ground. Her body tenses as her gaze takes in the forest around her.

Her attention snaps quickly to Wolf as he begins walking away, left, towards a clump of bright green bushes, disappearing through them. Alasa stands still for a moment, weighing what to do. A second later her feet quickly decides upon following the bizarre creature. The fact that he hadn’t growled out to follow him was strange.

Her hands brush away the bushes and finds herself nearly falling over a hill. Quickly she teeters on the tiny perch overlooking the green, wild-flower filled valley below. It was a sight after spending so much time hidden away in a dark, wet cave.

She can make out Wolf, already half-way to the other side of the clearing, moving in quick strides.

"Am I supposed to follow him?" She whispers under her breath, testing incline with a pointed foot. Alasa looks up again, finding Wolf already a small figure yards away. Alasa starts down the hill, its steep incline causing the action to be a lot be upsettingly difficult.

Alasa makes it to the bottom of the valley and smiles proudly, sticking a tongue out childishly in Wolf’s retreating figure.

"I didn’t need your help anyway." She huffs and starts off after him. "Stupid animal…" What were they even doing anyway?

A caw, bone-chilling and soul breaking, sends an artic chill down Alasa back and instantly looking to her left and up. Something was flying above her, shielded by the glow of the overhead sun until its massive body swooped low, revealing something large and red. A bird. A very big bird.

No.

If Alasa was being honest with herself, there was no way that was a bird.

It was much too large and shaped like a lizard. She could see it, even from at least a hundred yards away its bright crimson scales and long claws. It was a hellish looking beast, truly frightening. Worse of all, it was heading her away. Fast, with quick, powerful flaps of red-orange waxy wings.

A scream began climbing up her stiff throat as if trying to escape its own beast. Wolf was beside her with breath taking movement, a throaty growl, his arms around her waist, Wolf leaps.

Like that they both are back at the top of the hill in front of the cave’s opening once more. Alasa’s being shoved into the cave’s mouth with stomach churning speed, her body smashing into opposite wall. Her body bounces off and she falls onto her back onto the ground.

A growl. A caw. Blood, warm and wet hits her face.

Alasa stiffen, breath stuck inside of her, flinching as she witness Wolf’s body go flying by the cave’s opening, followed by the flying monsters larger form. A cry. Dirt and dust begin rain down on her when the cave begins a frightening series of trembles.

Alasa backs up, still on her behind, blue eyes wide. The flying beast’s body flies by the mouth again, smashing into the ground Wolf’s bloodied form follows.

A sob escapes her and she wraps her arms around herself.

"I’m dreaming…" All of this was simply a dream. A really long nightmare. How else was any of this going to make any sense? Flying monsters? Growling animal men?

Alasa thought it had been hours, but in reality it had only been a couple of minutes, Wolf staggers into the cave. Alasa watches him, shocked at the amount of wounds on his body, his whole upper body was a bloody mess. Long gashes spread out across his shoulder blades and down his back. It was horrible, Alasa couldn’t comprehend how he was still walking.

Wolf leans against the cave wall a few feet from her, glancing over his shoulder at Alasa’s unmoving form. A weak growl presses against his bloody lips.

‘Come on’ He was saying.

Alasa looks at the ground, at Wolf’s bloody footprints following his movements down the tunnel before looking back up at his sagged shoulders and bloody back. He wasn’t human. If she wasn’t certain before, it was very clear now.

He had saved her.

(O)

Chapter 17

Lacey

He had been gone way too long. Lacey peers into the blackened insides of the building before glancing behind her again at the quickly lowering sun. Her shoulder blades ache and she unshoulders her backpack before bending over it and searching through its small pockets for her one and only blade. Her fingers finds her small switch blade, which she was sure wouldn’t have any effect at all on one of those crazy men from before nor any of those flying monkey things, but it was something.

She frowns into the hall. She unhooks her flashlight from her waist and hesitates before clicking it open and lighting the hall with it. The object flickers and sputters off after a few seconds, prompting Lacey to smash an open hand against it. Once again light appears, strong and unblinking.

"Alright…" The girl whispers under her breath, "Let’s go."

She takes a step and another into the narrow hall, driven only by her worry for Henderson. It wasn’t as if she could abandon him, not after how many times he had saved her. Saving his ass from whatever was holding him up would surely take care of her debt.

The thin girl nods, flashing the light along the walls, seeing awards and a picture of the employee of the month, smiling with two missing teeth. Lacey stops in front of it, her light brightening the framed photo and smiling face.

Now, how was she going to save him if he was honestly in trouble? Her fingers slowly tighten around her switch blade.

"I’ve never been one to plan anything out anyway." Lacey whispers under her breath, turning away and starting off again. She was more take action first, think about it only if it bites you in the butt.

The air grows muggy as she finds herself inside of a break room, an odor she instantly recognizes brushing against her nose. Worry kicks her in the gut. Blood. She’ll always remember it, that odor. Her stomach twists. She’s usually use to the quiet that has become her life but it was suddenly too ‘loud’. No voices, no hum of electricity, no birds, simply her own breathing and an occasional rat. Worse of all, she couldn’t ‘hear’ Henderson.

Biting her abused lip, she flashes her light across a broken vending machine, finding the contents missing. The glass broken in front of it, the flakes crunching horribly loud under her booted feet. Her light eventually lands on an open door, which she assumes leads out of the break room.

Another hallway awaits her, wider, but the floor is littered with paper. She finds a piece with a footprint on it, which she assumes must be Henderson’s, leading to her left. Without hesitation, she turns and heads left, wanting nothing else then to get out of there as soon as possible.

Her pace now quickened, she finds herself exiting through a pair of swinging yellow doors in no time. The blood smell only grows louder, mixing in with the odor of spoiled food. She’s greeted by a wide, black room filled with tilted over displays, a glass and food littered floor.

Fear pricks at her back when she identifies how the uncomfortable quiet has been shattered, now replaced by low keening noises. Her mouth dries, hair stands up on her neck. She begins lifting her light, taking in the color red splattered along the tilted display stands and floor with hazed amazement. Her light is almost above her, almost brushing the inky ceiling when a heavy, calloused hand lands on top of hers, pushing it quickly down. Another hand finds her face, tightening over her mouth, successfully muffling her yelp of panic.

"It’s me…" Henderson whispers breathlessly, "you do not want to do that."

Her body relaxes a little but her fear only intensifies. Its dark, but her flashlight is just barely giving her light enough to make out the hundreds of tiny shadowed figures perched along the iron beams above them. One thought wiggled into her mind – not bats…

BOOK: Surrounds (Bonds)
3.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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