“Lyssa, Lyssa we don’t have the meds for this, what are we going to do” She huffed in a fast pace, my hands entwined with hers. I watched Ryder sprint out the door and down the hall, I hoped her was getting help; I prayed Echo would be alright.
We sat there for a few moments, the adrenaline rush wearing off. I had to convince Echo to stay down a few times, telling her that she shouldn’t walk in case it spreads in her blood stream. I watched painfully as a tear formed and fell from her eye. Echo - my best friend, my rock, was crumbling beneath me.
Her eyes opened and closed slowly I could see that she was struggling to keep them open, I stroked her cheek and tried to talk to her about anything other than this, keep her mind off it. It didn't work.
The medics came; Ryder actually did something for someone else for once. Echo was knocked out before they put her on the portable bed. Happy Gas, it was a beautiful thing sometimes.
I spent the night wasting away in my bed. Holli still has no idea what happened after we left her and she was asleep by the time I got home. As it turns out, all of my efforts to stop the venom from spreading in her blood stream were pointless. Echo was unconscious when I left her; the neurotoxins from the venom were attacking her brain.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t get the sound of Echo’s piercing scream out of my head. After an hour of it playing over and over in my head, I realized that it was the first time I had ever heard Echo scream. Really scream, not pretending or playing around.
A scream of terror.
I can’t begin to imagine how much pain she is in as the toxins ooze through her blood stream, poisoning her to the brink of death…
I couldn’t stand it anymore. I rose from my bed, threw on the nearest pair of pants I could and ran to the medical wing.
All of the guards I passed knew exactly who I was and exactly where I was going, they didn’t bother to stop me only to listen to me fight with them.
They knew it wouldn’t work.
The news that Echo had been bitten by a snake had entered the Compounds gossip radar and the whole community knew exactly when it happened and who did it.
In a few words, Ryder was not liked by anyone at the moment.
I stopped at the sliding door, catching my breathe before entering and having it taken again at the sight of Echo hooked up and so many machines. It took me a moment to notice the tube shoved down her throat
Not once in my life have I ever seen Echo look so vulnerable.
I peeked at the forms on the table to the right, they just explained how Evolution has made the snakes venom more intense and harmful to the human race. Great, so instead of dealing with the kind of snake you learn about in history books, Ryder had to go and get some super snake that can shut down organs.
I calmed myself and sat in the chair on the other side of her bed. I held her hand as tears poured from my eyes.
“C’mon Echo, I knew you can get through this, please, you have to” I cried. Tears trailing down my face and leaving behind stains.
“You’re my sister, you can’t die on me, you can’t” My jaw clenched as I tried to stop the tears, it didn’t work. I squeezed her hand and leant my head against the metal bars that were supposed to stop her from rolling off of her bed.
I didn’t hold back, I let it all out. The tears poured from my eyes until my head hurt. I latched onto her hand as if it were my life line. In a way, it was, Echo was the only thing in this world that was keeping me sane. She helped me with Holli when I couldn’t deal with the parenting act. She stood by me whenever Ryder and his gang were around. She even attempted to cook for me during the week I was so sick I could barely walk. She isn’t just my best friend, she is my sister.
I didn’t even realize I had fallen asleep until I was woken up by an angry nurse shooing me away.
I was too exhausted to even try to put up a fight; instead, I hazily walked through the compound and back to my room. I was almost at my door when I was stopped by Logan.
“Morning beauty queen, what’s with the mane?” He joked, pointing to the top of my hair.
If anyone else had stopped me, I think I would have just ignored them and kept walking, but Logan was too sweet to ignore.
“I spent the night with Echo” I yawned
“I thought she was on quarantine?” A puzzled look spread across his face, he raised his hand and ruffled his sandy blonde hair in confusion. He could have just been confused, but anyone who knows Logan knows it was more about the fact that he could show off his muscles.
“The venom is in her blood not on her skin. She isn’t contagious” I snapped defensively. He knew me well enough to know it was the exhaustion talking.
“Go get some rest Lys, I’ll tell Lansbury what happened” He hugged me and whispered in my ear that he was here for me and that Echo would be ok. No matter how much he can infuriate me, I had to admit that Logan was a good friend.
I slowly took my last few steps towards my door and opened it as it creaked.
Holli was on my before I could even close the door.
“Is Echo ok? Is her leg yucky? Will she be ok? Why didn’t you tell me?” She started off just talking quickly, but by the end of me she was yelling
“Echo is fine, I didn’t see her leg, she will be ok and you were asleep by the time I got home yesterday” I responded just as fast as she did.
Even though y couldn’t see the sun or moon underground, The Compound leaders made an effort to keep us in the same cycle.
“You should have woken me up then Lyssa, Echo is my sister too!” She crossed her arms and glared at me. If looks could kill, I would be another six feet under.
“Holli, as you can probably tell, I haven’t had a very good night. Could you please just do me this one favour and go to Sherri’s flat?” I pleaded. I wanted to tell her to shut up and leave but I knew it would have only made things worse than they already were. Truth is, I didn’t want Holli to know about Echo at all.
Holli stamped her feet out of the door and slammed it behind her, I could already tell she was going to ignore me tonight.
Exhaustion took over my body and I collapsed on the bed. It only took me a few moments to fall asleep.
For the first time in weeks, I had a dream.
In my dream, I was standing in a dark room, a dim lamp being the only source of light. I could vaguely make out the hospital bed and a body shape creasing the sheets, I was in Echo's room. I tried to walk but my legs wouldn't move, I pushed harder until I saw the body twitch, over and over.
I didn't try and move this time, I watched idly by as the body threw itself onto the ground and shook so hard it was banging against the bed. I fell back onto a chair that had manifested behind me, pulling my legs to my chest in fear. I could feel my eyes widen in shock.
As much as I tried, I couldn't move to help her.
She stopped shaking and slowly rose from the floor, my heart beat a little faster and my pulse quickened.
I figured out exactly what was going on the second Echo snapped her neck to the right.
She had turned.
She moved to face me, I could clearly see her blackened eyes now, the light from the lamp had brightened enough for me to notice. Echo's pixie white hair had grown out to have black tips, her eyes were as red as blood, beating down at me. She moved towards me, one sluggish step after the other and I couldn't do a thing to stop her. I couldn't move, couldn't talk, I couldn't even breathe.
All I could do is watch as Echo moved towards me and look at me as if she were a starving begger.
I got my voice back once she had reached me and placed her teeth into my shoulder. The only reason I knew I had was because my scream was the last thing I could hear before I woke up.
Only my scream wasn't a part of my dream.
When I opened my eyes, Logan was holding me by the shoulders and shaking me back and forth.
He let go once he realised I was fully awake and alert.
"What happened?" He asked, sitting patiently beside me.
"When I came home I fell asleep and-" He cut me off.
"No, not 'what happened' in reality, what happened in your dream?" His sincere eyes pierced my soul.
"Echo, sh-she turned" I cried. Tears pouring down my eyes. One fell and hit my leg, I watched it as it left a trail down the side of my thigh.
It was all I had to say for Logan to be able to put together the rest and know what else had happened.
He hesitated for a moment before he put his arm around me and hugged me. It was the first time anyone other than Holli or Echo had hugged me, but I didn't even care. My emotions were running too wild for me to care about anything else but my dream at the moment.
"Why are you here?" I pulled back and snapped back into my normal self. Logan shouldn't be here, he was supposed to still be in the training ring.
"I was supposed to tell you something but it isn't important, it can wait 'till later" His eyes gave him away, a guilty look was plastered all across his face.
"Liar, now tell me" I demanded.
"Lys, I don't think it's the best tim-" This time I was the one to cut him off.
"God dammit Logan, I don't have time for this. Just tell me what you were sent here for" My patience running thin.
I don't know if it was his body language or my intuition that gave him away, but something told me that I knew exactly what he was about to say.
"It's Echo, she doesn't have long to live"
It wasn't exactly what I thought he was going to say, probably even a little better. She had a little longer to live, but the thing that forced those tears from my eyes the moment he said her name is exactly what was going to force me to go topside.
Echo is going to die.