Chapter 3: Cailen
I couldn't believe it. It finally worked. I had been trying and failing for at least 15 minutes to contact whoever was inside my head and I finally did it. Huh, his name is Asher.
He doesn't sound like he wants to harm me, or even like he knows what is happening. His thoughts sound hesitant, like he is still processing everything.
I wonder if they tried to capture him like they did with me. I wonder if he got away. Clearly he isn't dead, but he must not be in a great spot.
As I wait for his response I look around the forest. I managed to find a small grove that seems pretty safe, but I have no idea where I'm at.
Even if I wanted to return to the school I would have no idea how to get there. I have no food or water, and I am exhausted. So basically, I'm probably going to die out here.
No, I need to have positive thoughts. I managed to escape. There has to be some sort of food out here, also probably some fresh water.
The people that are rumored to live here are said to be running from the law. I am also running from the law, so maybe I'll fit right in. This is fine. Everything is going to be fine.
I am lying to myself.
My thoughts are interrupted by Asher,
'Hey, Cailen. Are you okay? I saw a vision of someone climbing out of a building in my mind, and while that was quite badass it's probably not a great sign. Was that you?'
I laughed, 'Yes, that was me that you saw climbing out of a building.
I had a really weird headache today at school (I'm assuming that has something to do with us being able to communicate) and then these guards chased me down. Did they try to get you, too?'
'Unfortunately, they did get me. I am trapped in a cell right now and I have a feeling that they want me to tell them where you are.'
'Okay, so that's bad. How about instead of talking about the messes we are in, we just try to figure out what exactly this is?'
'Sounds good to me. So, I had an awful headache too, right before they got me. I guess that was when we kinda connected or something? I don't know. But how did you know I was in your head?'
'I heard you talking to me.'
'Oh right, like when I counted down to three? I wasn't exactly sure what was going on there.'
'Not only that. I heard you say that you didn't want to die-- it's what made me keep running from the guards-- and you told me to take deep breaths.'
'Okay, that is weird. I thought those things to myself, because I am so cool that I need extra motivation to just walk forward.'
'Did you hear me think anything?'
'No, I only saw you climbing out a window after the guards knocked me out. Wait... actually, I heard your name in my head for a few seconds when my headache started.'
'Huh,' My stomach rumbled and I realized how hungry I was. 'This is random, but currently I am stuck in some woods right now and I don't have any food or water.
Do you know about surviving in the wilderness, because I certainly do not.'
His response took a bit this time. I wonder what was going on in his end of things.
'Sorry man I don't know much, maybe find a stick and make it a weapon? Find a stream of some sort? I probably know less than you do. Right now I'--I felt his voice leave my head.
It didn't feel right. Something was wrong. Someone was hurting him.
'ASHER! ASHER!' I yelled for him. No response. 'ASHER! ARE YOU THERE?' I only got silence in return. What are they doing to him? Then I froze as I felt him come back.
'Cailen? I'm back, are you okay? They--'
Once again he was gone. The silence was deafening. I closed my eyes waiting for something from him. Then, a terrible high pitched screeching filled my head.
I screamed in anguish hoping for the end to come. I couldn't even hear my own scream. My vision blacked out, but I was still awake. The sound consumed me. I couldn't think.
I couldn't do anything. I think I was screaming, but it only blended into the background of the inhuman wail.
I couldn't feel the tears streaming down my face, or the wet leaves against my body as I lay on the ground praying to just pass out, for the pain to be too much for me.
I think I eventually did pass out, but the all consuming sound stayed with me through my unconsciousness. I woke up somewhere different.
I felt a wet rag brush against my forehead and my eyes squinted open to see a woman push my hair back, "Sshhh," she said. I fell asleep.
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