When I regain consciousness, I’m lying against the Jell-o wall of a building. The Nightwalkers are gone, but the crazy, violet-eyed guy from before is there.
“Do you want to die?” he says, bending over me.
“Of course not!” I say. “Why do you think I took the pill?”
“There are more coming.” He reaches out a hand to help me up.
I contemplate it for a moment but I’m still too groggy to get up on my own. My head is spinning so I feel like I’m on a ship being pitched on tumultuous waves.
I follow his gaze and see the Nightwalkers he’s talking about. Spinning around, I see more on the other side. Once again, I’m hemmed in, but now I only have one pill left. Even if I can get more, I’m not crazy enough to use up my last pill.
“Think,” he says. “There have to be other ways.”
He doesn’t sound too worried. There’s a hint of challenge to his voice, as if he knows the answer but wants to know if I can come by it on my own. The tone angers me. I dislike wanting to prove myself to him.
“How many pills do you have?” I say first, even though I have a feeling it isn’t the direction he’s thinking in.
“None,” he says simply.
As rare as it is for anyone in the city not to carry pills, I’m somehow not surprised at all.
I glance around, taking in everything there is. The marshmallow walls of the buildings around us are no good for climbing, so we can’t use those. What else is there, though? Ah–a plant! It’s a tiny thing, cropping up between the lightning bolts sizzling on the sidewalk. I press my hands against it, willing it to grow. It sprouts up instantly with a creak as the wood stretches. Branches fan out and reach leaves toward me. I grab a leaf and use it as a whistle, the sound shrill and high.
There’s nothing. The violet-eyed guy and I stand back-to-back, facing the Nightwalkers on either side. They’re close enough now that I can see the burning coals that are their eyes and the torn, blackened flesh that hangs from their jaws and ribs. I clutch my pill bottle in my hand. One more left. If this doesn’t work, I can still take it. I still have another way out. The violet-eyed guy doesn’t, though.
A Nightwalker’s fingers grasp at me, brushing against my collarbones. I gasp. They’re like hardened lava, leaving searing burn marks on my skin. Recoiling, I step backward, colliding with the violet-eyed guy.
“Well?” he says.
“Just wait a moment,” I say, praying this works.
Just then, a dove dives down in front of us. I’m not sure if it grows or if we shrink, but we’re suddenly on its back, and we’re flying higher and higher toward the singing stars.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12
Snippet Saturday is my chance to share bits and pieces of my writing.