by Pencil Lead
Idella brings a new Idea into play and Chet becomes a bit formidable.
| Pacing back and forth between my fellow lost ones, my mind continued to work overtime on the information Derrick had relayed to me over the course of what Chet said had been days. There was no such thing as time here, only darkness. Minutes felt like hours, hours like days, and days like years. In my opinion, we were rotting away down here. Why not do something? Figuring out this man made prison and getting out of here was our only option!
“You’re going to wear holes in the floor,” Chet grumbled. By now I had grown used to his constant complaints and forward advancements. He hadn’t tried to kiss me again so we got along well enough.
“I just don’t understand why we just sit here! We can’t hide out forever! Why not make tools out of some of the steel and medals? We can fight those demons and find an exit. A place like this has to have tons of entrances and exits to the surface.” Turning to Derrick, I tried to get him on my side. “You go out every other day to search for the food survival packs. Have you tried any of the unknown doors? Freedom could be right under our noses!”
Melanie seemed to light up and nodded her head in agreement. “Could it hurt?”
Chet’s calm disposition crumbled away, replaced by a sinister scowl. “I am the leader here. It’s too dangerous and too few of us to go on some wild escapade among the shadows. Besides, did we not tell you this is earth, long gone, and for all we know the atmosphere could be completely obliterated? If the dark doesn’t get us, and I know it will, we’ll die anyway. It’s better to stay put and stay alive.” The outburst left Chet breathing heavily, and Kate scurried to his side to brush his hair out of his face and whisper soft words. He brushed her off.
“I have to agree with Chet.”
The comment had come from Will, surprising me. Will and Chet seemed to be always at odds, and to see them take positions on the same side struck me as an odd once in a lifetime event.
“Derrick,” I pleaded. If at least half of us were ready to take up arms than maybe we had a chance. His sharp green eyes scanned each face and then came to a rest on me.
Running a hand through his short mocha hair and exhaling loudly he exclaimed, “We could do it. I know a few clear paths down here. Though, beyond them has yet to be explored. We could run into anything”
Chet cursed, and Will shook his head. “It won’t work,” they said in unison.
“I want to do it.” Kate’s words were softly spoken, yet they seemed to have been yelled across the room by the expressions on our faces. The quiet girl had not only talked loud enough to be heard, but her opinion was that opposite of Chet’s.
Melanie chuckled. “Well that makes it four to two. We’re going.”
Blankets and pillow cushioning were made into thick fluffy layers of armor and shoe padding to eliminate noise. Pieces of the slow decaying factory were fashioned into daggers, spears, and a mirror so Chet could do his hair. All but Derrick, who kept going over the routes and plans, were quiet, pondering on a hopeful future or a formidable death.
“Okay, so right when we exit the doors the no light rule comes into play. Most of our trip will have to be taken in complete darkness, which is why we have to hold hands. Never let go of your partners; it could cost you are your partner their life. Even if we come in contact with a shadow, hold on to someone. If some of you get disconnected, stay put. We’ll return for you… if we can risk it.”
Silence greeted his pause so he continued.
“I know those halls out there by memory, as well as a few safe stops so I will lead the line.” Derrick faced Chet with questioning eyes, and the boy did not disagree. Derrick turned back towards the lot of us. “Chet, you bring up the rear, than Idella, Will, Kate, Melanie, and me up front. That way we’ll have man power spread out. All of you have weapons, be quick to use them. No talking or stopping until a safe spot is reached unless it cannot be helped.”
I raised my hand. There was a question that had been mothering me since my arrival to the group. “When Will asked if I had been infected, what did he mean?”
Everyone seemed to become distant, as if they weren’t here anymore, but somewhere in the past where the answer to my question still lived. Snapping out of it first, Chet replied,” When someone has been infected, they mutate. Half shadow, half human. They’re bodies looked burned and they smell like they’re decaying. Their limbs bend and twist at inhuman angles. They feed to! They eat humans.”
A look of blood lust shone in Chet’s eyes, sickening me. Whoever nominated this wacko as leader chose blindly. There was something wrong with the boy. An invisible dark aura followed him everywhere, and I constantly caught him looking at me as if to consume me. Chet scared me, and to think I would have to rely on him as a hand holding partner through the darkness scared me more.
“Alright, line up and head out,” Derrick ordered, and as we got into position and Derrick began to unlock the door, a sick feel started in my gut, spreading up and out. Maybe I was wrong. We could all die.
The candle was blown out, Chet laced his warm fingers between my clammy cold ones, and the door was opened. Chet’s warm breath ghosted over the chill bumps on my neck as he whispered,” Don’t worry baby, I’ll protect you.” His words were ill comfort as our troupe marched forward into the unknown.