I shot off of the stage and bonked my head against my knee. Ow! That hurt! What was going on? The area was dreadfully silent, and all I could see was the one person conscious- which was Cade.
Why was she awake? Why were we not? There was something definitely wrong. Her breathing was ragged.
Her shoulder was bleeding profusely, and… she was kneeling over the body of Rosabelle a knife within her right hand. She looked… absolutely traumatized.
Was Rosabelle… possibly… dead? Did Cade…? Suddenly something became sickening clear to me. Something had probably possessed Cade and had caused her to attempt to kill the unsuspecting Rosabelle.
She had been awake a bit longer than us- meaning that the injury on Cade’s shoulder was from her blade before Cade grabbed it and impaled her. Cade… had probably killed her.
I really needed to warn the others! Friend or not, Cade obviously needed to be kept at a distance… at least for the time being until we figured out how to make sure it didn't happen again!
I grabbed onto my teacher, hoisted him up- awkwardly- but the best I could, and dragged him a safe distance away. If I screamed, Cade would probably notice that I was awake.
But I needed to scream! “WAKE UP! YOU NEED TO MOVE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!”
Nobody had any idea what was going on, but they did bolt awake all right. Cade turned to me. Uh- oh.
Did this mean I was the next target?!?! “Ah! I’m getting out of here you useless mongrels! I don’t have to put up with this!” Odell rose and stomped away.
She had been faking sleep the entire time. Just- wow. More like O(l)d(sm)ell she was so annoying. Reminded me of an old granny.
“That’s right. An untrustworthy thornbush like you must be avoided. All thorns and no roses.” Vaclav grunted, pulling himself to his feet. “All in favor of abandon ship raise hands.”
“Wow- talk about foreign!” Cracked Tom; snorting through his nose. Some desert sand sprayed out.
“I’m being serious you monkey.” Vaclav snapped. This caused Tom to laugh even harder. By himself. No one else joined in. I raised my hand tentatively. Hands shot up like rockets.
Soon there were only four people not raising hands other than Cade. Dollie, Lane, Tann, and Nick. Vaclav picked up Rosabelle’s body, without so much as a glimpse back; he trudged away.
One by one the number of people diminished. I took a look one more time before joining the parade of misery.
“Cade. It will be alright.” I instructed firmly. We were inching along painfully in the desert, and Cade was complaining- a lot.
Apparently one of the creatures had raided our supplies; resulting in not enough food or medicine. Right now, I had torn off part of my shirt to bandage up the wound but it was still quite deep.
“But I killed her!”
“If you did- it wasn’t your fault.”
“It was!” She hadn’t wanted to talk since then.
“If anyone’s, it was mine, Dollie’s, or Odell who ran away.” Informed Lane. “Seriously. I was staying invisible the entire time with Dollie and neither of us were helping.
I’m scared of those things- and the dark, and Dollie doesn’t really like fighting in general… to be truthful, the exam attack was my idea. How about we pretend it was Odell’s?”
“Uh- okay- yeah.” Cade sniffled. It was then I realized she had been crying a ton. “It was ‘Oldell’s’ fault!” She tried. Lane and her began laughing for no reason at all.
I wondered what got into them.
“Did you inhale ‘mudzura’ or something?!” Demanded Dollie. “Foolish stupid laughter isn’t going to help us.” I took a look at her, and we both rolled our eyes.
“Oh. Sorry. It’s just that the aspect of being in danger that I can’t even imagine is getting to me.” Lane burst into laughter. Yeah. They definitely inhaled something.
“You two- please just… calm down. We are going to set up camp soon- so please gather something that will be flammable and some food.”
“How about I scout then?” Asked Nick. “I have the board and I can use it properly now!” I nodded. Nick had improved a lot, I barely recognized him as the person at the beginning of the year.
He was… a lot more confident. I was pretty sure Flute had rubbed off on him. Really, without Cade’s notice, everyone was improving because of Flute.
“Yeah. You should scout. That would help. Cade- you better be watching.” I said with a smile. Nick looked a bit embarrassed. Cade looked up.
“Huh? Did you say something?”
“Yes. I told you to watch Nick.”
“For what reason?” Dollie began laughing.
“Tann wanted you to see Nick’s new skills.”
“Oh. Why didn't you say so?” I mentally groaned. Nick kicked off the ground. He rode up into the sky, and then did a flip. He jumped off the board.
“What’s he doing?!” Hissed Cade, utterly confused. I raised my finger to my lips. The board appeared underneath him. Cade looked amazed, and inside my heart jumped to. “He can do that now?”
“What? You thought you’re the only one with new skills?” Asked Dollie jokingly.
“Oh shut up!” Complained Cade. He shot back down.
“So the good thing is I didn't spot any creatures. The bad thing? Same thing. Animals need food to survive and if there are no animals…” I sighed.
“Well we can still eat some of the food.”
“Talking about that- I noticed one odd thing.” Informed Dollie.
“Since we’re going with Cade’s theory of the ‘mudzura’ things attacking us; why didn't they kill us? Why did they retreat? Why did they target our supplies?
Why did they pick up their fallen comrades? And why were they working together? Didn't she tell us that they attack on their own?” I hadn’t thought about that yet. But that was perfectly true.
“Adding to that they had only taken part of the supplies.”
“Okay- here’s the theory, they don’t know us as much as we don’t know them. They were flocking for the food. They had no need to stay around.
They grabbed whatever they could- possibly, they were planning to eat the corpses? As we know, there’s nothing good to eat in this desert.” Dollie and Lane were sharing glances again.
“But then- they would have ate us. Just saying.” pointed out Lane.
“What if they aren’t actually monsters?” proposed Nick. “They could be in the same situation as us. They evolved to kill their brethren because otherwise resources would be stolen.
They developed good abilities. Perhaps we just didn't learn about them enough.”
“Um… sorry about interrupting- but I’m sure that this wasn’t here before.” Cade pointed out. There was a small black chip of a crystal in the backpack.
She picked it up before any of us could tell her no. “Woah! This is awesome guys! Freaking awesome!” I sighed and transferred the Machaau to my eyes.
“That’s… not Machaau… but not not Machaau. How do I put it? It’s a source of energy.” I said quickly. “So it could be safe… or it could be dangerous.” She closed her eyes.
“SWITCH.” She whispered. She disappeared for a second. She didn't reappear. I started to worry. “Woo-hoo!” Right as we started to question this decision she flew right towards a sand dune.
She switched with the entire dune saving herself just in time. She had started a miniature sandstorm from her fast switching. “See that?!” Wow. That. Was. Astounding.
However, I was focused that she had used the black crystal. It was probably forbidden and dangerous.
“I’m sure that is too dangerous.” Insisted Dollie. “It probably corrupts your soul or something.”
“Obviously not! I feel perfectly fine! It won’t do anyth-” Blech! Won’t do anything? Yeah. Riiiight. Absolutely believable. She turned green in the face.
She definitely had gotten sick just from that one use. Lane snatched it from her and stuck it in his backpack.
“Okay. We’re not using that.” Everyone but Cade agreed. We finally decided to set up camp and get Cade to some water. I mulled over my notes for so long- that I fell to sleep on my book.
Very nice. I notice how Elder Meridan just ditched me. Did he think I was sleeping? Just wow. In fact currently I was stalking him- and it was about two in the morning. He paused.
I could sense it. I heard rocks being moved. It had been a long time since Kieran had stopped following us. I supposed she was sleeping. Outsiders are weird.
Why are they so lazy? I sensed something inside the cave. A female: twelve years. Panicked. Scared. They finally were dragged out by Older brother. They were pale and thin. Blond hair.
“Wh-who’s that?!?!” The girl yelled scrambling backwards.
Meridan snapped around towards me. He sighed; it looked almost like he was annoyed to see me. He got a raspberry in return. The girl immediately passed out. Wow.
“Why are you here? I thought I was leaving you back at the vehicle for safety.”
“Really? Safety? Come on! I can handle this!” I whined.
“Well- since you’re here and all- I might as well show you this.” He shined Machaau on the cave wall. “It says that Fluke went to a certain location. The Far Shore.”
“Fluke? I’m sure that isn’t a name.”
“Flute. Flute Finn the pain in the butt that believes he’s my friend.” I looked at him carefully.
“Don’t you mean he is your friend?” I asked teasingly. It was obvious enough from his face. He groaned like it was agony to say that.
“The point is we have to go to the very far end to get to him.” He scooped something up off the ground staring at it.