Chapter Eight- Finch
Me and Finch hide our camp as best as we can before we leave to hunt. Finch covers the fire pit with sand and I ease the cupboard down to the ground and lie it flat on it's back so the things inside don't get damaged. We then hide all traces that people used this place like bowls and blankets. Now our camp looks like the ruins of a shed that has been left abandoned. When Finch is satisfied that our camp now looks deserted, we crawl out of the gap between the cacti and then cover the entrance with dead bushes and branches.Our precaution is not entirely stupid. We have never left the camp unattended before. Anything, or anyone, could raid our camp while we are gone, and I've got a feeling that Finch was planning for the anyone. I don't know if we're hunting today to hunt for food or to hunt for Grey because, although he hides it well, I know that Finch is worried about Grey and wants to find him as quickly as possible. Finchs head is whipping from side to side as we walk away from camp. My hand moves to the hilt of the sword as I see Finchs unease. Finch seemed adamant that he would teach me how to use a sword today. The only way I have this sword is because Grey had left it behind, I just hope that he at least has his knife in case he runs into any trouble, like a pack of hunting animals, but if he runs into a pack of wolves with only a knife to defend himself with, he's dead anyway.
"Stay close to me Gilia." Finchs is barely audible to me, which makes me more scared then if he'd been shouting. Why is he whispering? Now I'm really nervous and I seem to orbit Finch as I attempt to stay by his side.
"Finch, what's wrong?" I whisper back to him
"I have a bad feeling. Like something is watching us." He's basing his worry on a bad feeling? If I worried about all the bad feelings I got, I'd probably be huddled up in some corner away from any sharp objects. But I decide to go along with this. I've survived this long under Finchs guidance. But I'd never seen him like this before. He is looking as scared and anxious as the prey that I stalk on hunts, looking like he is ready to bolt at a moments notice. Whatever. Finch can chase shadows and I can chase Grey.
Waves of heat crash over us as we weave in and out between the sandy hills, travelling to some point in the distance that would lead us who knows where. The sun is travelling higher into the sky and there has still been no sign of any life. Not the flick of a quickly disappearing tail, not the gleam of bright eyes in the shadows, not the soft beat of a birds wings. Nothing. How is Finch paranoid about something watching us if their is nothing around to watch us? Me and Finch proceed through the barren landscape. Finch finally sits down for lunch after a few hours of complete boredom. I chew slowly on the fruit Finch has given me from a backpack that he brought with him and watch a ball of tumbleweed bounce on the sand and over a hill, disappearing from my view. At least the tumbleweed has more idea of where It's going then I do. Once we finish lunch we get up and continue in the same straight line we started in.
"Finch where are we going?" I ask at last. I have wanted to ask for hours.
"I don't know." Finch replies. At least he's honest. I don't reply as I don't know if there is anything that I can say.
The day drags past me slowly as Finch tries to teach me how to use a sword. He stopped me about an hour after we continued walking after lunch so I could get some practice. Now he has me practising my swings on a cactus but I can't get this sword to do what I want it to. It's harder to control then my knife because it's longer and I can't get a good grip on its hilt. I also slow down my strikes as I get near my target. It does not help that Finch is standing to close for comfort.
"Can you please get back?" I ask him, irritated as I nearly hit him when I miss the cactus.
"Trust me Gilia, I am nowhere near you!" Finch replies. Yeah you go and make me sound terrible at this. I aim another strike at the cactus out of anger and the sword gets lodged in there. I try to pull it out but it's not moving.
"Maybe you should stick with the knives." Finch says laughing as he pulls out the sword for me.
"I'll bear that in mind." I say, snatching the sword off Finch.
"Look I'll show you." Says Finch and he comes over to help me. He puts his hand on my arm to try to guide me, but I immediatly pull away at his touch. In the back of my mind a voice is screaming at me that what just happened was wrong. Finch looks confused and is staring at me. I wonder if he felt that to.
"Never mind." He seems to whisper to himself.
"Why do you want to teach me how to use a sword anyway?" I growl at Finch, feeling mad at him for just touching me.
"Well Sha..." He quickly stops himself. What's wrong with him? What was he going to say.
"I'm sorry what?" I ask. Finch looks a bit desperate as he stands where he is, his face has gone red.
"Well.....um....shan't you know how to use one?" He says looking pleased. Ok that was weird.
"Finch that made no sense." I say.
"It didn't did it?" He replies.
"What where you going to say?" I ask softly.
"So you don't remember anything about your past then?" He says quickly changing the subject. He knows that I don't so why is he asking?
"No just...a strange feeling and...a boy...I think." I answer.
"You remember someone?" Finch asks as if excited.
"Yes, recently. And I remember....caring about him. How weird is that when I can't even remember his name?"
Finch shakes his head. "That's not weird. I bet you'll remember him soon!" He says looking almost ecstatic. He is so weird, but I have a feeling he knows something. About me. But I know if I just asked him he probably wouldn't tell me so I try a different tactic.
"What about your past? Did you come from a tribe?" I ask Finch.
"Apparantly I once did but I can't remember it if that is true. As long as I can remember I was living outside of society. I used to live with my mother and my brother, Nate. My mother told me once that she had brought shame to our tribe and my father so she had to leave them. We lived in a hut that my mother had built that was tucked away in a corner of the desert, only about a ten minute walk from a stream. My mother looked after me and Nate, kept us clean, cooked our meals and made sure we stayed at the hut when she went out to hunt, although she wasn't particularly good at hunting, there were plenty of nights when we went hungry. When I got older I started to hunt and my mother taught me how to cook and she eventually taught me how to heal wounds after I came back injured from a hunt. Nate stayed at home the whole time as neither me or my mother wanted to risk letting him come with me on hunts. Nate didn't look like me or my mother, I looked nearly the exact same as her. Nate had tawny eyes and light brown hair and was much shorter then I was at his age. I used to play around with the swords that my mother had stole from her old tribe for us. We were as happy as you could get. I gave Nate's old sword when I began to trust him." Finch says, nodding towards the sword that now hangs at my waist in its sheath. Immediatly I know that something bad ahd happened to Finch's brother. How else would he be able to give Grey Nates sword?
"I really cared for my brother." Finch continues. "Especially when my mother began to slip away. It wasn't to bad at first. She would just wake up in the middle of the night screaming and when I went to try to calm her down, she would ask me what had happened to my sister. But I know there's no way I could have a sister. If I did, then why wasn't she with us?" Finch asks, staring really hard at me, almost scrutinizing me like the first night we met. I guess Finch sees me as the little sister that he never had, and our similarity must only add more of a fire to that little fantasy. Finch shakes his head to break his stare away from me.
"No." He mutters under his breath. I look at him for a while, wanting him to continue with his story. I've been wondering about Finch for so long that he now has me entranced with his tale.
"But then it got worse. She started having fits and would break things. One night we were just sitting down eating and she went into a fit and started throwing the food around the place, and when Nate tried to calm her down, she hit him. Immediatly she was pulled out of her fit and she looked so sorry and begged Nate to forgive her. Nate was willing to forgive her but I just grabbed him, took our swords and the bow and arrows my mother had found, she didn't know how to use them though so it didn't matter, and left. I didn't want to risk that happening again. Not to Nate. My mother didn't come after us, maybe she felt bad about what had happened or maybe she just went into another fit, I have no idea. I took my brother as far as we could go before he got to tired. We got quite far actually, I think it was more so the night coming on that made us stop rather then Nate. But the thing that frightened me the most was that, not to far from where me and Nate were, was a tribe, and the size of the tribe made me think it held at least a hundred people. I tried my best to keep me and Nate well hidden. I only lit fires during the day and got rid of any black smoke as quickly as possible. The only problem was that I had to take Nate with me when hunting, so I tried to teach him how to use a sword, but he was terrible. He couldn't use the bow and arrows either, so I just took him with me and kept the animals attention away from him as much as possible. But then one day, when we were hunting a wolf for a meal, I heard growling behind me and when I turned around, I saw two mountain lions. They're horrible things, my mother had warned me about them before but I never really listened. I'd given Nate a sword, but I knew he would be of little use. Fighting them was extremely hard and, if anything, Nate just got in the way. I'm guessing one of the lions was weaker as I killed it quite easily, the only damage it did to me was make a cut in my stomach, but then once I killed the first, the second lion seemed to get more infuriated and more powerful. Until then, I had kept Nate out of the way of all this. I was battling the lion and struggling to block its swift attacks and I tried to land hits between its strikes. Then it suddenly stopped attacking me and ran somewhere behind me and before I knew what had happened I heard Nate screaming. I'd turned around and saw the lion on top of Nate who was on the ground. It had then lowered its head and bit him really deep. I had stuck my sword into its back as soon as it had raised its head again, but I was to late. I'd went over to Nate and saw that he had a wound half on his neck and half at his collar. He was bleeding very heavily." Finch looks up at me and, something I have noticed with him, Finch doesn't cry, he just has a deep, saddening look that makes you feel as if someone is tugging on your soul. I'm upset now because seeing him sad upsets me as well.
"I'd tried to do all I could to heal his wounds, but I didn't have all the things I needed and Nate just wasn't strong enough. Once he died I'd left as quick as I could because I couldn't bear to look at my brother just lying there, unmoving. I was so mad for days, more then that, and slaughtered every single kind of animal I could find but I never ate them. The thought of eating one of those vial creatures sickened me. I didn't really eat anything for days, I wouldn't risk eating fruit because I didn't know what was safe to eat. But then I met Shayne and..."
"Who's Shayne?" I suddeny demand.
"I didn't say anything about any Shayne." Says Finch quickly looking red again.
"You're a terrible liar Finch you know that?" I say
"It doesn't matter Gilia! You know the rest from Grey." He yells at me and walks off. What's his problem if this Shayne guy doesn't matter. I suddenly hear the words that the blue-eyed boy from my dream a couple of nights ago had said to me as if it is being whispered into my ear, the smooth voice sends a shiver down my spine.
"You have to remeber Gilia."