It's funny how the body just kicks in. There was a moment when my mind didn't even think before my legs began to run. I was incapable of figuring where to go but it was as though my legs were locked onto a destination. Freddie sprinted with me, anxious to get to wherever the gun shot had come from. The cafe. As we got to the wall near it we crawled along slowly with Flynn and Freddie in front of me. Freddie's hand gripped mine. There was no words but the touch somehow made us able to establish what the hell was going. Flynn counted down on his fingers and turned to go in. A gunshot erupted from behind the door or the cafe. Flynn clamped a hand over his mouth.
I stared at him worriedly. Freddie cursed.
"What." I murmured, already knowing the answer. Flynn sunk to the floor clutching his arm and trying not to be too loud. A figure walked from the shop. Spencer. He looked around and not spotting us stormed away, the fun dangling from his hand. Freddie got up to look around the shop. Flynn hit his head against the wall his body convulsing in painful shudders. He groaned.
"Ssh." I whispered. "It's going to be ok." I pulled at his shirt and begrudgingly Flynn moved to I could rip it. I geared off a thin length. Elevating his arm slightly I managed to tie it just above where the bullet had caught him. As I finished the knot my fingers shook uncontrollably.
"Thank you." Muttered Flynn. I smiled gratefully, no thanks was necessary. He directed me to his phone and when he realised I had no idea how to use it he called an ambulance with his working hand. A small cry came from inside the cafe. Making sure Flynn was ok I walked in.
My feet crunched against the broken glass on the floor. Somebody had smashed all of the counter. Bits of cookies and cakes littered the floor.
"Cassie." Freddie cried, his voice broken by tears. I dashed to his words, finding his tucked behind the counter. He was crouching over somebody.
"Lillian." I blinked away tears as I looked over the lady I had grown so close too, as she lay on the floor blooding pooling from her hip.
"Ssh honey." She said touching Freddie tear stained cheek. "You have to find Vespa and Noah. That man was going crazy looking for you three." She grasped my hand with hers, it was cold. A siren sounded far away. Thinking quickly I kissed Lillian on the cheek and thanked her for all she had done for me.
"What are you doing?" Said Freddie.
"I'm going to find them." I said getting up.
"You can't, he'll kill you." Freddie argued.
"Honey," Lillian uttered, clutching Freddie's face.
"You can't, he'll shoot you. You can't leave me." He shook his nans hand off of him and came close to me.
"Freddie," I sighed. "They are my family, I can't be without them. I have to at least try." I whispered.
"No." Said Freddie stubbornly, entwining his arms around my waist, trapping me.
"Freddie let go."
"You can't leave me."
"Freddie." I pushed his hands off of me. I moved to the door. He held my wrist lightly, his eyes begging me to stay. I moved to him and kissed the tear off of his cheek.
"I'll be back soon." I promised. I left through the door, the bright lights of the ambulance just emerging.
Running in heeled boots wasn't the best of ideas. Neither was running through the woods in the dark. All that plus the crazed gunman really didn't help my over active imagination. The pain of running like ice but the voices of my loved ones played through my ears making me more determined to find then. Why they had run into the woods I had no idea, Spencer probably knew the woods more than we did . But they were scared and everybody does stupid things I fear. My heart burned with hatred for Spencer, for harming my family my Friends and the life I had made away from the prison he was the warden of.
I ran for what felt forever, the time being lengthen by the speed at which my thoughts dashed through my head, taunting the idea that Vespa and Noah were gone. Images of their bloodied bodies filled my mind and I stopped running for a second. I bent over wheezing, closing my eyes and trying to think straight. So far I had gotten to the fence. The fence that only a few weeks ago had meant freedom. I jumped over it and began running again. With every step I grew more cautious, flinching at the quietest of sounds. My body was on high alert, expecting the worse.
Over the time I had spent with Vespa and Noah I hadn't realized how much I had needed them. Firstly Noah was the main reason I was out in the first place. I forgot how much I owed him. He had not only helped me escape but saved me from getting caught numerous times. He was thoughtful and kind and I couldn't resent him for the mistakes he made. We were as precious as broken glass, the likes of which even if put back together is never the same. As for Vespa she was on a new level of beauty. A combination of wit, intelligence and looks bound by the fierceness of a wild animal. She was a lion-heart. We had fought over stupid things but her anger was just the cracks of the glass and for that I couldn't judge. It was definite that I was the oddest of the group. Switching between fainting, hallucinations and cutting my head open in curiosity I was not only broken but crushed beneath many a feet. For some reason I wasn't angry though. In my twisted mind u was grateful. If they had not separated me from my old family and then I would have never found my new family.
The only way of knowing how far I had run was the rise of the sun. I had been running for hours but I wasn't done yet. With every step my legs screamed at me, contrasting with the voices in my head telling me to keep moving. I fell against a tree, my breaths ragged and painful. I gulped down the air, coughing and spluttering with every attempt. I wiped the sweat off of my forehead. I wanted nothing more than to just wake up in my bed in my home. For Freddie to comfort me and tell me it was all some nasty dream. But it wasn't a dream and Freddie was miles away, probably in some hospital tending to Lillian. A owl hooted somewhere in the distance keeping my tired mind awake. I sank to the floor, desperately trying to keep my eyes open. My vision spun, the trees growing blurry. I rubbed at them, spots of blood appeared throughout the scene in front of me.. The ghosts of my friends swam throughout the woods. I wanted to scream at them to leave me be but I was frozen.
“Alice.” Called a voice through the woods. I blinked my eyes open and shut, blinded by the early morning light. Blades of sun sliced through the leaves of the trees. I murmured something incoherently to even myself and used the tree I had fallen asleep on to help myself up. I stared at the blue dress I was in. “What the hell?” I mumbled, smoothing down the white pinafore. How hard had I bumped my head.
I stared in the direction of the calling, wanting to shout back that there was no one of that name here. I squinted through the trees finding nothing.
“Alice.” Said a voice behind me, I jumped around. Elle stared at me her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”
“I should ask you the same, I’m looking for Vespa and Noah.” I said tiredly.
“Who?” I stared at her blankly. “Come on, we have the tea party. Hatter's waiting for you.” Elle stared at me.
I laughed. “Is this some sort of joke.”
Elle looked at me her brow furrowed. A branch snapped behind her and she turned, just in time for a bullet to slice through her chest. Her eyes rolling back she fell into me. I collapsed under her weight. Elle lay dead in my arms. I glared at her pretty face, her eyes wide but unseeing. I blinked my eyes close and a fresh set of tears fell down my cheeks, eventually falling on her pale cheeks. I looked up to the gunman. Spencer smiled at me with drunken eyes, his face slathered in dripping make up. He looked half crazed, the gun spitting smoke. Almost galloping he approached the two of us. He pulled me up roughly, leaving Elle face first in the dirt. He stared at the skirt of my pinafore.
“Shame about the blood.” He said, his voice contorted with sniggers. I yanked my hand away from his grasp and hit him roughly. He stumbled back mock hurt crossing his face. He took a shot at my feet and I lept out the way, letting out a scream. He clutched his stomach as his laughs filled the woods around us. His laughter was so loud the trees seemed to be laughing at me too.
“Alice, Alice, Alice.” He tutted.
“I am not Alice.” I said through gritted teeth, conscious of Elle's blood on my hands. Spencer gave me a pitying look approached me. I stepped backward. He lunged at me, grabbing my arm and twisting it behind my back, I whimpered in pain.
“Ok, humor me then.” He said into my ear. I stayed silent. “Ya know,” He tapped the gun against the back of my head, every clunk drilling the picture of my friends as target practice into my head. “You're friends are already at the table and this gun is fully loaded. If you don’t come along quietly, well, my hand might just slip on the trigger.” He shot at a tree a few meters from us and scraped the gun down my throat burning a line of skin.
“Fine.” I mumbled.
“There's a good Alice.” He yanked me through the forest, letting me trip over the uneven floor that was littered with faces I had seen around the village. Not far from where I had awoken was the tea party. A table set up with tea and moldy cakes. Vespa, Freddie, Lillian, Jessica and Noah stared at me blankly. They too where dressed as the various character. It clicked into place, 'Alice in Wonderland' my favorite book. Never had I thought it could be so sinister. Spencer pushed me into a chair, with a wave of his hand a cup of tea formed in front of me. I made no attempt to drink it. With a careless flick the gun went off and Jessica slumped against the table. I choked back tears and poured the tea down my throat. I wiped away the tendrils from my mouth and stayed very still. The table was quiet.
“Why so quiet?” Asked Spencer, pouring himself a cup of tea. He took it like a shot of whisky, banging the cup down so hard it shattered, catching his fingers and making them bleed.
“Whoops.” He muttered with a giggle. He gaze looked around the table and fell on me. “Tell me why is a raven like a writing desk?”
“I don't know.” I mumbled.
“Wrong.” Laughed Spencer crazily, shooting Lillian carelessly, her body fell to the side of her chair. The gunshot wound evident in the middle of her head. A cry escaped my mouth. “Care to give another guess.” Said Spencer pointing the gun to the sky. I shook my head, tears trailing down my cheeks.
“Wrong again.” A gun shot. Noah fell.
“Stop it please.” I begged.
Spencer cocked his head in Freddie's direction and turned to me, a crazed smile on his face. Before his gun could go off, I dove in front of Vespa and Freddie. There bodies swayed carelessly in the wind as the bullet pierce my skin and lodged itself in my heart. I choked up a sob, trying to ignore the pain. It wasn't that bad the worse thought was losing Vespa and Freddie. Spencer dropped his gun and dove towards me, placing his hand over the wound and trying to stop the blood from happening.
“No, no, no.” He screamed, cradling me in his arms.
I laughed. “You didn't seem so sad about killing me before.” I had one over on him. I wouldn’t let him chose when I went, I would die in my own time. His salty tears trickled off his cheeks onto mine.
“Humor me.” I laughed, giddy on the numbness of my body.
“Alice.” He murmured, stroking my hair.
“Spencer.” Said Vespa, somewhat broken from her doll like trance. “Bang.” Spencer's body went limp and slipped from me, his dead body landed with a thump on the floor. I closed my eyes knowing that at least two of my friends were safe from his wicked ways.
I woke, coughing and spluttering, craving the air I so desperately needed. The dream vanished from my mind and my goal became apparent again. I had to find Noah and Vespa. I stood up, curious as too where I was as it was not where I had fallen asleep. Had I walked whilst I dreamt? I rubbed my head and looked down at my clothes, they were once again what I had worn to the party and there was no bullet wound in my chest. I tore off my boots and began walking around in socks. My vision still blurred but my determination drove me forward. I had no idea how long I had been walking and the canopy of leaves was so thick I could barely see the sky. I felt stupid for having fallen asleep at such a dire time. A twig snapped beneath my foot and my vision focused. No further than a hundred yards in front of me was Tiger's hut.