The Fall of Us

©Molly Looby CampNaNoWriMo '14 !

Enter the world of Tye. The Fall has devastated much of the world as we know it but Tye knows nothing else. He and his best friend Eeli are ready to leave their home as soon as they reach thirteen years so that they can be off on their own and be who they want to be and do what they want to do. At last.

Tye and Eeli could never have imagined how dangerous the real world was going to be.

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19. 19

 

In the mornin I wake to Eeli’s face much closer to mine than I was expectin an I jump, kickin Nimmo who lifts his head, waggin his tail as he sees I’m awake. We ended up in the biggest bedroom all on the big bed together under the other, smaller sheets. I prop myself up on my elbows. He crawls towards me an rests his head in my lap, lookin up at me.

“What?” I scratch behind his ears an he’s got that look of pure happiness on his face. He don’t look like he knows what sad is. “You have a home, don’t cha? Well it looks like you gotta new one now. I’m gonna end up wiff you, Nimmo. Eeli ain’t gonna have time fer you but I guess I’ll let you tag along. If yer good.”

As I sit up properly, Nimmo crawls into the space I’ve made between Eeli an me. He puts his nose rite up close next to her an sighs. Eeli screws up her face an makes a little noise. I put my hand over my mowf to stop from larfin. Nimmo’s tail’s goin an he tries to shuffle closer before lickin her in the face.

Eeli squeals an waves her arms around. I can’t stop my larfter now. My stomak is squeezin so hard an tears have come to my eyes.

“Tye!” Eeli shoves me hard in the chest.

“What?” I’m holdin my stomak wiff one hand an wipin the tears away wiff the other. “It weren’t me, it was Nimmo. You wanted to keep him.”

She huffs, crossin her arms an layin back. “I ain’t bin woken up like that before.”

“If yer lucky it won’t happen again.”

Nimmo’s got hisself all snug in the gap an is lookin between us, almost smilin.

It turns out that Nimmo gits up earlier in the mornin than anyone we know so we’re on the road all fed an ready at the time that Eeli’s usually wakin me. As we walk, Eeli an I take turns callin Nimmo’s name. At first we have to make our voice high pitched an loud fer him to realise we’re talkin to him but by lunch time he seems to know we mean him.

We sit down on a park bench missin most of its slats fer lunch an give Nimmo a piece of bread that ain’t gonna last that many days anyway.

“I mean,” Eeli says as she chews. “He’s clever ain’t he? He already knows his name is Nimmo.”

Our eyes are on him an his are on us, his tail waggin.

“Yer rite.” I nod. “He knows that’s his name. Nimmo.”

This time he gits up an sits at our feet. Eeli shakes her head an strokes his fur. “We hit the jackpot here, Tye.”

“Whatever you say.” I look behind me but there’s nuffink there. Fer some reason I ain’t bin able to stop checkin our backs every coupla moments. I just got this feelin that there are eyes everywhere, watchin us, waytin fer somefin. I ain’t sure what but I don’t fink I wanna know.

We head off again an I swear I’m seein somefin behind us, just duckin outta site as I look.

“Eeli.” I prod her, leanin close, whisperin. “I fink someone’s followin us.”

“Don’t be stoopid.” She stops an turns to me. “Nimmo would know.”

We watch him sniff a lamppost that’s still standin but long useless.

“See, nuffink.”

“No, Eeli. I got a bad feelin.” I point to a tree that’s growin out the pavement. It’s got this stupid little fence round the bottom fer some reason. “Lemme just check somefink. Nimmo!” I call an he’s at my side as I go to the tree. I’m a coupla feet away an I definitely see somefink orange. My heart is in my mowf, makin it hard to breathe. I can’t hear cause it’s poundin in my head. My hand shakes as I go fer my swift nife.

There’s a loud shriekin an then there’s a man in my face yellin an wavin his arms an I’m screamin an Eeli’s at my side an Nimmo’s barkin.

I can’t catch my breath an I can’t see strate an I can’t git my hand round my stoopid swift nife.

Then there’s a larfin sound. “Gotthcha!”

“What?” Eeli’s pantin. “What did you say?” She gits in the man’s face. But now my vision’s not hazy wiff fear I can see that he’s only a year or so olderen Eeli an me. He’s tall an skinny an has brite orange hair an a face fulla freckles. “What is wrong wiff you?” She pushes him hard an he almost topples over. “You wanna give me a heart attack?”

He’s not larfin no more, he’s holdin his hands up an steppin away. “I dint mean any harm. I wanted to scare you.”

“What is wrong wiff you!” Eeli yells it this time. Nimmo’s at her side, ears goin back, crouchin low as he follows her. There’s a snarl on his face.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I dint mean it, honest. I fort it was funny.”

“Why’ve you bin followin us?” I’m gittin closer, standin next to Eeli.

“I ain’t seen people fer a while, I wanted to watch you before I approached, make sure you weren’t, I dunno, gonna kill me or somefin.”

“You sayin we look like killers?”

“No, no.” He’s still steppin back but comes to a buildin an can’t escape anywhere. “I’m sorry, okay? Can we start again? It’d make me feel much better if you made the dog stop too.”

“He’s just lookin out fer us.” Eeli says. “He don’t like the look’a you an neither do I.”

“Please don’t set him on me. Please. I won’t do it again. I’m good. I promise, please. I just wanted to talk to some people.”

Me an Eeli shoot each other a look. She gives a little nod an I give one back.

“Okay,” she says, strokin the top’a Nimmo’s head an he calms. “We won’t hurt ya.”

“Thank you.” He lets out the biggest sigh I ever heard. “I am sorry.”

“Shut up. What’s yer name?”

“Phee.”

“How old are you?”

“Fourteen years. Be fifteen later in the year. I was born when the frost killed everyone.”

“Great.” I say. “I’m Tye. This here’s Eeli. The dog’s Nimmo. So where are you goin?”

“Nowhere really. I fort I was bein clever. Fort I could find somewhere to settle by now but it ain’t as easy as Mum always said it had bin fer her.”

“Go back a day’s walk an you’ll come to Croftford.” I point in the direkshon behind him. “That’s a good place. If you ask fer Jax an tell him we sent ya he’ll sort you out.”

I turn to walk away but Phee grabs the sleeve of my teeshirt.

“Jax?” He asks. “Jax Flame?”

“Yeah.” I screw up my face. “You heard’a him?”

“Of course I have! Have you two met him?”

Eeli steps closer, pushin her face closer to Phee’s. “An what if we have? Don’t you be sayin anyfink about him, alrite?”

He steps back, shock cloudin his face before he gives a short larf. “Man! I’m stickin wiff you guys!”

“What if we don’t want you?” I can’t help eyin him. He seems harmless but I ain’t about to let him wunder along wiff us. “We already got a dog, we don’t need another mowf to feed.”

“I’ll feed myself. I got supplies.” He hitches up his rucksack. “I ain’t no trouble.”

“Yer bein trouble rite now.” I look at Eeli an she shrugs.

“I dunno what else we’re supposed to do. He’ll just follow us again. I say we let him tag along.”

“I dint realise we were buildin an army.”

She rolls her eyes. “What harm will he do? It mite be useful to have another pair of hands.”

“Okay.” I nod, lookin to Phee. “But if yer too annoyin you mite find yerself left behind.”

“Understood.”

“Rite, enuff chit chat. The day’s wastin.”

We walk along an everyfin’s quiet fer a while. Nimmo keeps lookin back at Phee an Phee tenses every time he does so. It’s quite funny so I watch em.

“So, Tye.” Phee jogs a coupla steps to be beside me. “You never said where yer goin.”

“It’s non of yer business.” I say.

But at the same time Eeli speaks too. “Camrose. I’m goin to meet Wren Song an be her next singin star.”

“Eeli!” I shove her arm an she nearly goes over.

She rites herself an scowls. “What the hell was that fer?”

“Don’t tell him everyfin!”

“Why not? What harm will it do us? He can’t steal my dream.”

I huff.

Phee waytes a moment before speakin again. “I know Camrose. It ain’t far from Redway Grove.”

“Where’s that?”

“That’s where I’ve come from. I can take you if you want?”

“We’ve bin told to head fer Hallow Rise.”

“I’ve just come from there. Redway Grove is closer. I’ve even bin to Camrose a few times. Me an Mum used to go there to bring back supplies we dint have. It’s about a half a day’s walk from Redway Grove.”

“Okay.” Me an Eeli exchange a glance. “But what’s in it fer you?”

“You don’t set the dog on me an I’ve got people to talk to.”

“Alrite. But any funny business an the deal’s off. We ain’t takin no chances.”

“Course not, don’t blame you. There’re some dangerous people out here, hidin, waytin.”

“You don’t have to tell us that, we already know.”

 

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