Chapter Six- Undeserving
He's not worth it.
He's not worth it.
He's not worth it!
I hear the thud as I hit the hard wood of the door and fall into the sand. I'd tried pushing and pulling the door but I think it's barred from the inside. My shoulder hurts whenever I move it as I've rammed it into the door so hard. I don't know why I'm still here and I want to run, but my body won't seem to let me.
I stand up and look at the heavy door. Then I try to scramble up it, but I can't find any foothold.
He's not worth it!
Why am I doing this? I should leave. I don't even really know Shayne and besides, he was just annoying me. He's probably dead anyway.
I slide down the door and fall in a heap to the ground. What can I do?
Suddenly, the doors fly open and I have to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by them. A man who is badly burnt runs out through the doors and past me.
"Run girl. All dead, they're all dead!" he shouts over his shoulder. All dead? For some reason I don't believe that. I cautiously peek around the door and look into the Tribe, which is still ablaze.It mustn't have taken long for the fire to spread as all the houses are built almost on top of each other.
The Tribe is small and a long lane stretches out through the Tribe, huts clustered together on either side of it, before it reaches a huge hunk of stone and jerks off to the left and up a hill to a big house. A smaller, dirt track leads to the right, but I can't see what to. To my left is a small hut, well away from any of the others, that I'm guessing is where a guard of the gate must live. It's the only hut that's not on fire. The lucky soul who lives there.
As I step into the Tribe, I feel like a living statue. I can't feel a single emotion, can't get my body out of this crouched position I am now in and I can only form one thought. He's not worth it. I listen hard to the crunching noise the sand makes underfoot, trying not to think. I can't think, I can't feel, I can't let myself. Human nature is always a persons downfall.
I continue to listen to the soft crunches of sand as I watch the huts on either side of me burn. I notice they've all been boarded up from the outside, trapping the people inside. A lump forms in my throat as I think of those poor people who were left to the fire. Even though I feel sick, I don't feel sadness or pity or...anything. I've turned the feeling switch off. It's something I've had to learn how to do. The ground becomes harder and with each step I take I hear a light tap accompany it. Looking down at the ground, I realize the path is paved in stone. Huts from every direction are alight, but no sounds greet me. None at all. All dead...
I feel the heat from the raging fires that have turned into one great inferno radiate to my body and feel as if my skin, my blood, even my bones, are boiling in hot water.
What am I doing? Where am I going?
I let my feet do all the thinking as they take me to the huge stone, situated in a large square, and down the path to the right. As I turn down it, I see a pen which holds demented, medium-sized animals with horns twisting out from the tops of their heads. All the animals are charging at the gate of the pen, causing it to rattle and shake. I look beyond the pen full of wild animals and see a small barn-like building. The door is ajar and I see smoke pushing its way out. I'm subconsciously pulled towards the barn. I don't question my bodies motives, I just wonder if there's going to be a good outcome from this.
Upon reaching the doors of the barn, I'm nearly knocked to the ground by the smoke, which settles in my throat and feels as if it is smothering my insides, making breathing impossible, whenever I inhale. I pull my top up so it is covering my nose and weave my way in and between the door.
As soon as I get in, I lose all sight. The room is covered by a shroud of dark black smoke. I notice that the ground appears to be visible so I get onto my stomach and crawl along on my elbows. On either side of me are wooden frames that cut the two sides of the room into three sections. To each of these sections is a door. The farthest section on the left doesn't seem to have a door and blood flows out of the open doorway like a river...
I pull myself over the sand-covered floor quickly, scraping my elbows and my stomach as I go. As I move closer to the blood, my throat gets tighter and my stomach turns.
A shiver goes down my spine as I crawl through the warm blood, which actually feels as if it is being boiled by the fire. I turn into the doorway which leads to the far-left section of the room.
About half of the wall rises up from the ground, the rest is a gap in the air and I can see into the next section. But that's not what draws my attention to the wall. Not even the fact that the wall has been painted red with splattered blood makes me look at it. It's the fact that Shayne is slumped against it, his body held slightly up as his wrists have been tied to a beam at the end of the wall. I can't see Shayne's state as the smoke is to thick, but I can tell he's not conscious.
Do I help or do I leave? Aid or injure? Do I let Shayne have his life or do I leave him to his death?
Every part of me wants to leave the barn right now, and why not? Shayne had attacked Grey on two occasions, and I want to get revenge for him in any way possible. Shayne has been dragging me around like a hostage, he's not even told me a thing about himself besides his name, and I think that was only because he had to. I don't know who he is. Most of my reasoning is based on guesswork, but I assume he's from this Tribe, I also assume this Tribe is Guardian. I could be wrong, he could be a Salvation leading me to my death, or a former Faith wanting a bounty.
He's not worth it.
But then again, Shayne saved me three times, he's only dragging me around as I'm no longer able to willingly go anywhere myself and I-I know him. I can't leave him. I kissed him... Why? Was I secretly grateful for him taking me out of Faith? Was I thanking him for saving me before? Or was I right the first time about me having to constantly be attached to a guy? No...it felt more like I needed to kiss him. I didn't take pleasure out of it, I just did it.
He doesn't deserve it...
If I try to drag him out, this place could be burnt down or I could pass out from the smoke before we reach the door. If I leave him, I'll defiantly walk out of this. If I keep thinking, it'll kill us both. I turn my brain off.
I drag in a huge gasp of air then get up to cut the ropes that bind Shayne to the doorway of this section. I hear him hit the ground and fall back down myself, coughing heavily.
Now what? No, no thinking.
I almost watch myself wrap an arm around Shayne's body and drag myself and him out on one arm. Shayne's heavy and he's leaving a trail of glistening blood behind us as we go, but we are nearly at the doorway...
The fire is eating away at the door frame and the two doors have fell away. Panting and coughing, I drag myself and Shayne out into the fresh air and I drag in lungfuls of the stuff while still in the doorway. Air! Sweet, sweet air that feels like cold water soothing my throat.
I lay my head down and just breath. I hear cracking from above me and look up just as soon as the flaming wood from the top of the doorway falls on top of me. It hits my waist hard and crushes me under it whilst burning away my flesh. I let out an agonized cry and quickly squirm out from underneath it.
As soon as I've dragged myself out, I grab Shayne under his arms and manage to haul him out as well.
Still holding Shayne, I continue to walk backwards to a patch of grass far enough from the barn to get fresh air, but close enough for me to make it. My head swims as I head to the patch of grass, getting tired quickly, and I constantly cough painfully which makes my ribs hurt.
As soon as my foot makes contact with the grass, the world tilts alarmingly and, once again, all I see is black smoke.
I feel a hand against my cheek as my head begins to clear.
The rest of my body moves before my eyes dare open and I feel underneath me. I'm on a soft fur blanket that feels heavenly against my burnt and tender body. But now I'm beginning to panic. My breathing speeds up and my hands claw at the blanket underneath me. This isn't real, it can't be. I must be dead. I feel my arms being gently but firmly held to my side and I stop fighting. That's all I can do. Stop fighting for my own and other peoples lives when the going gets tough. I begin to sob at the wretched thoughts that are floating through my head.
Maybe if I fought harder, he'd still be here, alive and next to me..
"It's ok Gilia, I'm here," a voice says. It takes me a minute to place it, but then I realize it's Shaynes smooth, lulling voice comforting me. The right words said by the wrong person. Shayne gently runs his hand across my cheek, wiping away my tears.
"Go away," I mumble half-heartedly. Shayne's touch fills me with a strange adrenaline that courses through my body like a cool river. I like it, but I don't want to.
"Gilia," Shayne begins, his voice has gone down to about as deep as it can get. I feel Shayne gently stroking my cheek, the feeling of it annoying and pleasing me at the same time. I finally open my eyes and look at Shayne, prepared to push him off me, then I stop. Shayne's face is a mixture of cuts and bruises. Red and black have mixed as his face is covered with blood and soot, mixed together and dried, and he's a bit off colour underneath the layer of blood and soot, but only by a shade or two.
"Why did you save me?" Shayne asks, his eyes fills with sadness, hope, desperation, fear and anger.
Did he want me to leave him...?
"Sorry," I mumble, unsure of what else to say. What can I say? Sorry, no refunds? I don't accept returns?
Shayne looks down at me absolutely baffled, "I'm not mad at you, not really, but why did you? I thought you'd leave me, given the chance," Shayne explains.
I thought I'd leave him, given the chance, as well. And I would have if I kept thinking. Only when I'd hit the kill button on my thoughts did I do anything to help Shayne. I roll onto my side and face the wall. I will not answer that question.
Shayne seems to have read my thoughts, "Please?" he asks, his voice laced with a soft and sweet seduction.
What do I tell him? It was that thought that made me save him.
"I saved you because...because you didn't deserve that," I reply quickly and flatly. A lasting silence follows. Shayne must be trying to unravel the meaning behind what I said. So am I. Does he not deserve to die in a fire or not deserve any comfort death may bring? Or did I mean he didn't deserve to be left for dead with me standing by?
"Ok," Shayne whispers before clearing his throat, "You shouldn't have done that, you could have died. You can't die while I'm still breathing," he says gruffly.
"W-what?" I ask bewildered. What does that mean? I wonder if I meant anything to Shayne and, more importantly, who is Shayne? I rub my eyes as if tired and notice I'm black with soot.
"Is there a river near here or..." I trail off, my voice flat and even.
"Yeah, just to the left of the barn. Can you just wait for a bit?" Shayne asks, sounding embarrassed.
I raise my eyebrows, "Why?" I ask cautiously. Shayne bites his lip and his eyes dart to every inch of the room besides my face.
"Your clothes are more or less destroyed," Shayne tells the ceiling. I look underneath the blankets covering me to see if that's true. The material has been burnt and torn and are now no more than a few, thin, blackened ribbons. I sigh.
"I'll go get you more," Shayne says hurriedly. His clothes survived almost undamaged, well what luck for him. "I'll be back really soon, ok?" Shayne continues.
Has he got more chatty because I saved him, or is it the lack of clothes that made him so friendly. I just groan and close my eyes.
I don't really care whether or not he comes back.