Bisected Amber

I ran through the woods, clutching my shoulder.

"How could this have happened?" I thought to myself.

I could feel the pain of the bite seeping deeper into my flesh as I trekked on towards the light. The light was from a small house just outside the forest.

"I have to make it," I told myself, speaking over the mangled moans and pants from my pursuer. He was gaining more and more speed.

This can't be the end for me...

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2. Chapter 2 - The Fever

I killed him, I thought to myself as I trudged along through the darkness. I actually killed him. Even after these months and months of "the infection," I've never killed anyone.

My hands were dripping with a thick black ichor that smelled profoundly of death and rotting things.

 

And not only did I kill a person, I killed Justin.

 

My eyes began watering, tears spilling down my dust-covered cheeks. I couldn't help but remember the days we'd spent together; the years that I'd known him. And now I'm limping along through a forgotten forest with his blood on my hands. Who knows if I'll even make it out alive....

"Lexi..." I heard a faint call echoing in the vast expanse ahead of me. My head snapped up in mixed fear and relief.

"Yes!" I call back, "Yes, it's me! Please, help me!"

"Lexi!" the voice sounded closer.

"Yes! Please help me!" I stumbled toward the voice continuously calling my name.

A tall figure with billowing blonde hair emerged from the fog, running at me, bandages in hand.

"Kaitlin...it's you," I whispered in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

She began to speak as she wrapped my neck and right arm. "I came from the house just outside of the woods. Well, it's a shelter now for wayward Runners."

I flinched at she tightened her wrapping. "How many Runners are there?"

"Only five. Not many people are foolish enough to be going around wandering through lost territory."

"So you are?"

She looked down at me, her blue eyes sharp. "Lucky for you, yes, I am."

"Sorry," I blushed, "so how did you know I would be here?"

"Being that I'm your only family outside your Province, I got a call saying that Province 9 had been evacuated due to infection," her shoulder slumped and I could finally see how exhausted she was. "I knew that it was your Province, so I figured you would be on your way here to Province 6. I had no idea that you would be alone and injured. How did you hurt yourself anyways?"

"I--"

"Never mind that now, let's get you to the shelter."

 

 

.oOo.

 

 

"This is Annabelle, she manages intel and communication. Then we have Logan, he's all brawn and no brains. Handy to have in a face-off though. Then there's Olivia, Drew, and Timothy. They're the navigators."

Kaitlin introduced her team to me as soon as we arrived to the shelter beyond the woods. Annabelle was a short light-skinned girl with rippling chestnut hair reaching to her hips. Judging from her features, I'd say she was Italian. Logan was tall, pale, awkward looking boy with biceps as big around as my thighs.

 

I don't think I'll be bothering him.

 

Olivia, Drew, and Timothy looked oddly alike; all dark hair and strong jawlines. Maybe they're related?

 

"This is my team," Kaitlin motioned to them with a grandiose gesture of her hand.

"But I thought Runners traveled alone?" I furrowed my brows.

"That's a common misconception that the Provinces invented to keep their children from leaving them defenseless," Annabelle piped up. "Not that I'm judging or anything. I'm just stating a fact," she added embarrassingly when she saw the look I gave her.  

"It's true. It would be-- to put it frankly-- fucking stupid to go out in this world on your own," Kaitlin went to her friends aid.

"I guess you're right," I squinted to keep my vision from blurring.

"So where are you from?" Timothy asked me.

"Province 9."

"You mean the recently deserted one?" said Logan.

"Yes. Thank you for pointing that out you insensitive ass," replied Kaitlin curtly. She turned to look at me, "Like I said, all brawn and no brains--"

"Can I sit down?" I spoke abruptly.

"Uhm, sure," Kaitlin motioned to one of the many couches in the room that I hadn't previously noticed. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Just a little dizzy is all." Olivia's clinical eyes were upon me, narrowed with focus.

Kaitlin put the back of her hand to my forehead. "You do feel a bit warm. Maybe you should lie down for awhile."

"That would be nice." My neck and shoulder began to pulse painfully with every beat of my heart. I felt sweat beading all over my skin as my breath became labourious.

"Oh my goodness," Kaitlin's voice was laced with worry, "what's happening?"

"How did you get that injury?" Olivia's voice was cold, analytical even.

"I...I--" I stuttered for a reply, but my tongue was thick and my mind was cloudy.

"Tie her to a bed!" a male voice shouted, probably Logan. "If she's going to transform in here we need to make sure she can't attack us first!"

 

I would never attack you guys...

 

But then again, I thought Justin would never attack me either.

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