“Tallie, Tallie! Get up right now!” Cas’ urgent whispering wakes me up. The sleeping bag around me rustles as I jerk awake, my eyes snapping open. Cas is leaning over me, tousled hair and rumpled clothes, his eyes filled with urgency.
“There are people in the woods. Searching with torches.”
“What?” Fear pummelled me. Had TJP found us?
“Get up. Mel and Pete have just left to find out what they’re doing, we have to pack everything up.” He jumps up and hurries from the tent, quickly and quietly beginning packing. Of course, Pete can blend against the trees, basically become invisible, and Mel just needs to get close to them to hear their thoughts. They are the perfect team when it comes to getting information. Pushing down the feeling of uselessness, knowing that Cas should be meditating, trying to see something about what is going to happen.
Jumping up, I shove on a jumper and gear jacket over my thermal t-shirt, changing my leggings to jeans and lacing up my combat boots before begin to pack everything away.
10 minutes later, me and Cas were hidden in the trees surrounded by the tent and our few belongings. I was breathing fast, both of us were carrying our weapons of choice. We all hated guns, although we did carry a few, so we kept to the olden times, the weapons that nobody expected us to carry. Cas was carrying a bow and arrow, he had better aim than anyone. I was holding a long, thin sword, ideal for moving fast, and had four throwing knives clipped to my weapons belt. We crouched amongst the branches, waiting for either Mel or Pete to return, or for the searchers to appear. The bikes were blow us, hidden but ready for us to clip on the bags and drive.
A rustle whispered through the trees, a murmur of wind, or something else. Sure enough, Pete appeared below us, shifting from the exact colour and texture of dead leaves to his dishevelled self. He spotted us and carefully made his way through the close-growing branches climbing up to the branch where we both perched..
“It’s them, kind of. It’s a group of people employed to look for us, not TJP itself. We have to move, anyhow.” We always trusted Petes’ logic. If he said to run, we ran, if he said to fight, we fought.
“Where’s Mel?” Cas’ voice was, steady, we all knew how to act in bad situations. Don’t panic. Don’t be reckless, evaluate all solutions. I am so bad at that. Jay used to get so frustrated.
“Being braves all well and good cupcake, but not if it gets you killed.” Despite what was going on, I couldn’t help the pang of grief- none of us knew who was dead, who was alive.
No fear ran through my veins, but adrenaline was beginning to pump up to my brain, blurring my vision. I wanted to run and fight them. I wanted to feel fire pouring from my hands. I wanted-
“Tallie! Come on, we have to move, Mel’s already packing up the stuff, we have to go, now!” Pete’s voice cut through the recklessness.
Together the three of us leapt from our hiding places, landing silently on the dry-dirt floor. Grabbing the bags and packs from around us, a weirdly small amount for four people, we began to run.
Years of training had taught us how to run both quickly and quietly, so that we moved almost soundlessly through the undergrowth, our toes spread to out to gain as much surface area as possible, making us lighter and more nimble. It was still dark, and through the branches I could see the dark blue night sky, the stars nothing but a flash as to my fast moving self.
As quiet as the four of us were, the same couldn’t be said for the motorbikes. Mel had dug them both out from the dense branches and undergrowth they were hidden under, and was waiting for us anxiously, her beautiful face lined with worry that disintegrated as we came into view. The four of us worked as a perfect seamless team, and strapping the stuff to the bikes and wheeling them down the track was done efficiently. We had to move, we knew it, but if we started up the bikes now, we would be found within seconds.
Mel, Cas and I turned to Pete, waiting for instructions, he was scanning around planning. He turned to us, a sharp edge of panic in his eyes.
“Ok, we need to move, now, but we’re going to be slow. So Cas, I need you to focus, if we need anything right now, it’s for us to see the future. Mel, same for you. We need to know every thought going through their minds, but don’t tell us until we are far away, and safe. Tallie, you and I need to get the bikes moving. You two”, he said to Mel and Cas, “run ahead, don’t worry about us.”
Nodding, Cas and Mel ran down the track, getting themselves out of harm’s way so they can centre themselves, and try and get some information. Me and Pete grab a bike each by its handle bars and get moving pushing them down the track- trying and failing to be quiet.
I don’t like this sort of action. I like fighting, the flash of steel, the wind twisting around me as I dove out of the sky, I like pumping heart beats and hair plastered to my neck with sweat. I like the fire pumping through my veins. I didn’t like running with two incredibly bulky motorbike, my rucksack bouncing on my back, my sword in its hilt hitting my hip.
We final emerged from the track onto the small country lane, high hedges hiding us from view, we swung the bikes round, getting ready to run when light exploded from the trees, torchlight lighting our faces, reflecting of the curled metal exterior of the bike.
A loud, excited voice cut through the air like a knife. It was young and hopeful. They had found their prize.
“Over there! People! With motorbikes- oh dudes I think it’s them! GO, GO, GO!”
They had seen us.
And they were coming.
dedicated to lizzie (I won’t read it)