Chapter Twenty-Four- Why Can't It End?
I'm lying facedown in the grass. Not dead. I feel the pain of where I was shot just above my heart. Why aren't I dead?
Everything sounds as if I am underwater when I hear talking only a few metres away.
"How many survivors?" a ragged voice asks. Finchs voice...
"Seventy-two," a new voice replies. It's a guys voice, but it sounds like it never quite broke.
"Out of the five-hundred?" Finch asks, his voice has been raised to a shout.
"Yes, and I believe outsiders joined the battle as well."
"Outsiders?" Finch says, his voice has climbed to a very high-pitch. But then he settles it, "Is the Tribehead still alive?"
"Chase, my name is Finch and I will be adressed as only that."
"Yes s- Finch."
"Who killed the Tribehead?"
"That's what we're trying to find out!" says the high-pitched guy in exassperation.
I hear footfalls approach me and then stop.
Please don't be Finch. Please be someone who will put a bullet through my head or stick me with a sword. Don't. Let it. Be. Finch.
My worst fears are confirmed when I hear an animal like shriek that is definetly coming from Finch. I hear the sound of a blow.
"Finch, calm down!" I hear the high pitched guy, Chase say. I'm guessing he hit Finch as I can hear Finchs angry panting behind me.
Then Finch explodes, "Calm down? You want me to calm down?! My best friends have been killed! Actually, they were more then that, they were the only family I knew!"
I am kind of touched by what Finch is saying. I still wish I could die, right here, right now.
"Finch!" Chase says. Silence follows. What has happened? All I can hear is Finchs heacy breathing which seems to be turning into a growling in his throat. This suddenly reminds me of the night I was surrounded by wolves. The night Finch and Grey found me.
Grey...I wish they never found me.
Then, without any warning, I feel a hand on my shoulder and am flipped roughly onto my back. I still have my eyes shut tight, wishing for death to come, when I feel the sharp point of a sword pressed against my throat. At last, someone has decided to kill me. There is nothing left for me on this world. Finch would quickly get over me dying. Just as I have thought of Finch I hear more movement and feel the sword pressed harder against my neck.
"Gilia!" I hear Finch spit out my name as if it is dirt. This shocks me enough to make me open my eyes. When my eyes open, I see Finch in front of me who has got his sword against my throat.
Why does it have to be Finch? I want to die, but for some reason I don't want Finch to be the one to kill me. I don't want to lose anyone else today...
"You killed Grey," Finch whispers in a menacing voice. He's not even questioning this, he's just stating it. And his statement is true. No form of injury could make anyone feel the pain I'm in now. My heart has been ripped apart into a million pieces, my mind has been shattered leaving me an empty shell, the ghost of a human. I don't know why I feel so scared right now...
"Answer me!" Finch shrieks and I feel the sword pushed hard against my throat, the trickle of blood run down my neck...
"Yes," I say in a broken whisper, "Grey's d-dead because of me."
Finch is practically radiating fire when he hears me say this, "You should be dead!" he spits out at me, "And even that would be to easy..."
I nod, driving the sword deeper into my throat. Good. Finchs jaw seems to tighten as he pushes me to the ground and draws back his sword, ready to kill me. I shut my eyes tight and the only thought I allow my head is soon I'll be back with Grey...
"Gilia!" I hear a deep, desperate voice cry, which sounds as if it is fast approaching. What now? Just let Finch kill me already.
"What are you doing here?" Finch hisses at the newcomer.
"What are you doing?" demands the recent addition to our little party. His voice sounds familiar.
"Just stay out of this!" Finch says.
"Are you going to kill her?" the person says, his voice sounding tortured.
Yes. I think.
"Yes!" Finch says, mirroring my thoughts.
"Get out of here!" I hear Chase growl.
"I won't let you!" I hear the newcomer, he sounds like a boy, say. There is movement towards me which is followed by a thump and the sound of someone hitting the ground.
"Quick Finch!" I hear Chase say. In the seconds that follow, nothing happens. Then I hear the whistle of a sword breaking the wind and brace myself for the blow that is sure to follow. I hear Finch cry out in pain and hear him fall to the ground. Chase is shouting out foul words that have all jumbled into each other. I open my eyes and see someone in front of me, although he is not facing me. In front of me and to my right is a guy with light brown hair and almost orange coloured eyes. Judging by the curses that are still tumbling from his mouth, I guess that's Chase. And, in the very corner of my vision, I see Finch who is on his knees clutching at his side, his sword lies on the ground beside him.
"Leave," says the boy in front of me in a barely audible whisper. There are a few seconds of silence and stillness before I see Finch get up painfully.
"Chase, go tell the survivors to follow us out," Finch says as he hobbles off away from me, but not before he gives me a look that shows me all the suffering and I have brought upon him. A look that promises his revenge
I prop myself up on my arms and find the grass is slick and red with Greys blood. I feel my stomach lurch. I look at the left side of my top and notice it is saturated in blood, but my blood loss looks like more then it is. I slowly look up at who I should be calling my savior, but I feel myself resenting him for interfering in my murder. As soon as my eyes travel upward, I see his deep blue eyes staring deeply into mine, in the same way Grey used to look at me, the way he conveyed his burning passion of love to me. I then feel a maddening panic as I fully take this person in. There is no mistaking it, this is the same guy who attacked Grey. The one I tried to kill. The one who saved me from getting shot. The one who has been stalking me...
He looks not much older then me, judging on the boyish look he still has about him. Maybe it helps that he is grinning at me wildly, as if nothing else in the world could make him happier. Although he is creeping me out, I cannot take my eyes off of him. I am frozen, my eyes wide in what I guess is fear, and my breathing comes out in heavy pants.
Suddenly, he clears his throat, "It's a good thing I found you. At last I might add." he says cheerily. I am still frozen and the only change that takes place in the minutes that follow is that I notice the smile on the boys face quickly evaporate, "You do remember me, right Gilia?" he questions. What does he mean, remember him? All I remember him as is the guy that tried to kill Grey. When I don't answer, I see anger begin to slowly creep over the boys face, although his eyes are filled with a maddening sadness. The sadness in his eyes suggests that the feeling is leading him to the point of pain. This sadens me. No. I don't want him to be in any kind of pain. This thought confuses me. Surely I should wish all kinds of pain upon him. His eyes seem to be catching the fire of the anger on his face as they are becoming hard and set looking. My breath is taken away as I remember something. The memory crashes over me like a wave
In my memory, I am running towards the ibexes pen. I remember a love for these simple animals. Just when I get to the wooden fence of the pen, I see there, standing on the fence, waiting for me.
"Hi!" I say as I pull myself onto the fence next to him. He turns to me and smiles before putting a finger to his lips and pointing towards a newborn baby ibex. The ibex is still shakily trying to stand up on all fours. It is so adorable. I turn and smile at him but feel it leave my face quickly when I see the bandage on his arm, going from his elbow to just before his wrist.
"What happened to you?" I ask, my voice full of concern. He looks down at his arm and shrugs.
"Blood oath," he says brusquely, brushing my question off.
"And just how much blood do they need?" I ask, the pitch of my voice climbing higher. He looks at me as if shocked.
"Gilia, trust me, that is nothing! Just a small part of what I'd do for you,"
"I thought that there wasn't going to be a blood oath. Because of our circumstances. Is it bad?"
"I asked if I could take it. Makes this all feel more real and sealed. I've been told there'll be a scar but..."
"A scar?" I cut across him.
"Yeah but it's meant to be a mark," he says quickly in a reassuring tone.
"Why do you need a mark? It's not like I'm going to lose you."
"I guess not," he says, "And I won't leave you. Even if you send me away," he promises
I laugh, "I know. It's hard enough to get rid of you already but now you're sealed to me by an oath!"
"Well that's good because you know I will always protect you."
I smile at him and he gives me a quick, soft kiss. This kind of thing isn't weird between us, not anymore. I rest my head on his shoulder and we watch as the baby ibex takes its first steps.
I gasp as I am returned to the present. To the reality of Grey being gone and Finch wanting to kill me. But now I feel as if I am not alone. I look up at the strange boy. He is looking at me, his eyes filled with anger, sadness and loss, that seems to be because of me but not directed at me. After a minute or so, he slowly holds his hand out to me. I look at his arm and feel a jolt as I see a long scar running from his elbow to just before his wrist.
"I'm Shayne," he says when he sees me staring at his scar. He says this stiffly, as if he's not meant to be saying that to me...
"I'm Gilia," I reply. Shayne nods. He already knew that. I take his hand and as he pulls me up I hear a loud explosion and the sound of something heavy hitting the ground in the distance.
"Come on," he says, holding my hand stiffly in his, "Salvation are coming, Salvation are coming," he chants to himself.