I wake startled from what I had just seen. It felt so real, I felt like I knew the place, I just don't know how. I can still smell the disinfectant of the hospital room, mixed with the stale scent of ancient books and I can't erase the image of their bodies lined up in hospital beds from my mind it seems to be stuck in my head.
"It was just a bad dream", that's what I tell myself anyway although I can't help thinking that it was more than that.
"Haidee I'm back" I hear my dad say from the kitchen, if I wasn't awake I wouldn't of heard him, he sounded fragile and I could hear the waver in his voice, like he wasn't sure if he really wanted to be with me.
I look at my alarm clock on my bedside table and peer at the time.
I am out of time.
I step out from my bed and pace down the stairs. I can feel the same sense of foreboding radiating from my father that has been present in me, ever since the first one was taken. It's like we both knew, that this was the end.
I could see his bloodshot eyes and the glassy sheen of freshly shed tears, and that is when I knew that he too had given up hope. I went to stand in front of him and all there was left to do was hold each other and offer each other the only time we definitely had left, the present moment.
"I'm sorry Haid, that I wasn't around to spend time with you, I didn't ever think it would come to this." he whispers, so only I could hear, just in case we weren't entirely alone.
"Dad you couldn't have done anything to change what is going to happen, you knew, we both knew". His grip on me tightens and I can feel his steady breaths on my neck.
"You know she would be proud of you Haid, your mother will protect you from wherever she is, she won't let anyone Harm you."
"I know Dad, I know"
"Oh Haid, I will never stop looking for you. You're so special Haidee Blacksby don't ever forget that."
"I love you Dad".
It feels like we're saying goodbye.
I could feel the tears threatening to fall from my eyes, but they never came. My dad released me from his grip and walked to the kitchen cabinets and reached for something I could not see from where I stood in our living room. He walked back towards me and stood behind me, then I felt the cool touch of metal on my throat. I looked down to see a pendant hung from my neck, it was a simple gold charm suspended from a gold necklace, the charm made entirely from gold, was shaped to replicate a single human eye .
"I thought it was you" he said, wrinkles lined his face and his eyes were black in colour. "None of the others are like you Haidee, you're special"
He drew a gold pocket chain from his pocket and on the back was etched a human eye, simple yet alluring in design, I felt drawn to it.
My eyes flicked open it took a moment for them to adjust to the darkness, what had happened?
My dad was no longer behind me, I turned round and could see a motionless shape on the floor, but I could still make out his wheezing breaths, he was alive at least.
I knew then that they had found me. You see tomorrow I turn sixteen.
The door flung open and I could see two shapes dressed all in black, one much larger than the other, making their way towards me, yet I just stood there, I had been waiting for them anyway, what was the point in putting up a fight now.
"Haidee Blacksby", the larger shape said, a man I presume.
"That is me" I replied
"Number 25 is ready for transport" the smaller shape said over her radio, definitely a woman.
The next thing I knew, darkness started to blur my vision and I was vaguely aware of being lifted and placed into a vehicle of some sort, but soon I was no longer aware of my surroundings.
In that moment I knew the inevitable had finally dawned and on the eve of my sixteenth birthday I was whisked away from my father and away from Greywald forever. I was fulfilling my dream to get away from my life, yet I could only feel a sense of dread spreading through me.
The last thing I remember is a golden eye burning in the darkness that now consumed my mind.