One would think being stuck in this place full of boys would be the worst thing imaginable. I couldn't disagree more. Everything here in the Glade worked in harmony. We all had our jobs and duties, coexisting with the maze that kept us prisoners. Nick made sure of that.
I was the only girl so far. So far. I kept a little hope. It seems that whoever put us here thinks that the ratio should be 20 boys per girl. That's a good ratio right?
Sighing, I leaned back against the tree that I was sitting in. From way up here, I could see the whole Glade. The boys were all busy, planting in the garden, building more huts, or whatever their job was. Constantly busy.
A stick cracking caused me to look down. At the base of the tree, Jeff raised a hand to shield his eyes from the sun beaming down on him. He squinted, like he couldn't really see me. "We've got an emergency. Need you to help," he said.
"Always with the dramatics, Jeff," I replied, swinging my leg over the branch and climbing down to the bottom. I landed softly on the grass. "What's happened?"
"It's bad! One of the slicers got it good from the older ram. Lots of blood," Jeff explained.
Screaming rang out from the Med Jacks hut. As I approached, a crowd had gathered both inside and out. The sea of boys parted enough to let me and Jeff through.
"Glad you could grace us with your presence, Elira," Nick commented. He stood off to the side, arms folded and his eyes on me.
The scene made me pause. Adam had a gash in his leg that needed stitches. He thrashed about. Honestly, these boys are such babies sometimes. Wait…
"I got what you asked for, Clint," Winston said, emerging from the crowd. He had a bulky machete in his right hand.
"Woah! He doesn't need the leg amputated," I cut in between the banter of the boys who were excited to see it be cut off and Adam's ever loudening protests.
"We can't stitch it. It's gushing!" Clint half yelled, using the machete as an extension of his arm.
"Watch where you're pointing that," I said. I set my hand on the top of it and pushed it down. I grabbed the big med kit and knelt down in front of Adam. "You get to keep the leg today, Adam."
"Really?" Adam asked, his protests dying down. His chest heaved and his breaths were labored.
"So he's not losing the leg?" A voice shouted from outside.
"I don't understand how you boys think adding more blood and gore to this situation would help." I shook my head. "Hold him down."
Clint leaned over me. "Told you. It's bleeding too much."
He's right. I wrapped a thick piece of cloth around his upper thigh. "Grab the longest IV line that we have."
I chewed on my lip and scanned the crowd. My eyes landed on Newt. He was watching intently, leaning on the shovel he'd apparently forgotten to leave. That would have to work.
"Newt, let me borrow your shovel."
He had a puzzled look but let me take it. Clint gave me the line I'd asked for. This would have to work. If it didn't… I was afraid Clint was right. Adam would have to lose the leg. We'd never had it happen.
"How's it going, doc?" Adam asked, groaning in pain. His speech was sluggish so I checked his pulse in his wrist. I have to work fast or he's going to bleed out.
I worked quickly, tying one end of the tube to the shovel and the other end through the cloth I'd tied to his leg. I twisted the shovel around until the tube twisted the cloth extremely tight, cutting off the blood flow.
I tried to ignore Adam's screams of pain.
Jeff held the shovel while Clint helped me with the stitches. It took over 100 to close up the wound. I took clean cloth and wrapped the wound. Sitting back on my heels, Clint clapped his hand on my shoulder. I wiped the sweat off my brow.
"You're amazing at this medical stuff," he said, beginning to clean up.
Nick ordered everyone back to work. I told Adam he was on bed rest until further notice. Then I grabbed my spare clothes and headed to the wall of the maze in the woods. The creek ran down to it and disappeared underneath. It was the deepest point. Enough for one to submerge themselves. There was no way out. We'd tried.
"I thought I'd find you here," A familiar accent broke the peaceful silence.
I finished wiping myself as dry as I could before I slid on my new clothes. I slipped my boots on and climbed the small hill, carrying my bloody clothes in my hand.
Newt leaned against the tree, not looking my direction. He always made sure to respect my privacy when I came here to bathe. That's one of the many qualities about him that I admire.
"I'll return your shovel tomorrow," I commented.
"You'd better. I'd hate to have to fake an injury to see you again," Newt said, a smile breaking across his face.
"So you just followed me out here because…"
"You looked like you needed to talk. That was the worst injury yet," Newt said, looking straight into my eyes. It felt like he could read every thought in my head right now. "You saved his life, Elira. Everyone could tell he was bleeding out."
"That's the problem, Newt. He still might not make it. I have no idea if he's lost too much blood…"
"There's no way to know. You just have to take things one step at a time. You know that," He said and took my hand. "All I know is that these hands were meant to heal people. You're so gifted at it."
Silence took over for a moment.
"Are you ready to head back? The longer we're gone, the more stories will spread." Newt grinned, still holding my hand.
"I have no idea what stories they could possibly come up with." I finally smiled back.
Newt stepped away and gestured for me to go first. "After you, oh talented med jack."
I shook my head but laughed. The walk back to the med jack hut felt too short. Newt tried to keep my mind off of the negative by making me laugh. He was good at that too. I waved goodbye to him as he went back to work. These boys were my family and the Glade is my home. If the maze wasn't a constant reminder that we were trapped, I'd consider this my real home.