Chapter 12 - The Gathering.
"OK, we're here,"
Cruise said and turned the ignition off. There was deadly silence
and nobody in sight. "I hope I'm not late," he added, got out of
"Shall I come to help?" Fleur asked nervously and hesitantly. "What about Katrina?"
"Stay in here," he advised.
"And do what?" She demanded, "I need to help you. I can't just sit here and do nothing until one of them things sucks out my blood and leaves me to die." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "I have a cricket bat."
"Oh, Lord," he sighed.
"I - I think I should wake up Katrina," she recommended. "Kat … hey, Kat … wake up … w - we are going to save some people who need our help." She shook her friend's shoulders but was pushed away.
Cruise rubbed his chin and said, "I think that it's best we let her sleep it off and hopefully, whatever strange urges she has about becoming a ninja-like-climber will eventually disperse."
"I'm not leaving her to be eaten!" She argued.
"Please, Fleur, time's running out. Just leave her in there 'cause she'll be safe until we get back. The windows are tinted so 'they' can't see her," he cajoled.
Fleur was about to say something but changed her mind. She grabbed a large cricket bat from where her feet were and got out of the car. "Look after Kat while we are gone, Angel," she whispered and got a meow in return. She covered her friend's whole frame with a dark cloth for concealment.
Cruise rolled his eyes and urged her to hurry up. "We don't want a bunch of dead people on our hands," he reminded.
Fleur closed the door and went over to him. "Ready," she announced, a new kind of determination showing in her eyes.
"Let's go into the entrance, but be careful, they could be anywhere so stay close to me," he said softly.
They both walk inside the large entrance and were posed to attack, ready if they needed to kill a bunch of blood-suckers running for them. They had a look of confusion on their faces when everything was quiet and not a single being - dead or alive - was to be seen. Some rides were still turned on, which created an unnatural ambiance.
"Strange," he whispered, "Jay told me they were everywhere."
"Jay?" Fleur whispered back. She was hunched close to him and had her bat in her hands, prepared to batter.
"One of my friends - ex-friends - but I owed him a big favour in return. He was the one who called me," he answered whilst keeping his eyes all around him.
"Oh, right," she whispered. She glanced at him. "I still think we should not have left her in there, all alone…"
"Miss. Tanaces?" He chuckled quietly, "She'll be be'er off inside the car than outside with us. We need to save people and efficiently leave without getting bitten, not saving someone and getting trapped ourselves. She's a liability."
"You're wrong about her."
"She is a liability. I mean look at what happened last time she saw a cat and these things are practically crawling. Is she going to save them all until she becomes a cat lady?"
"You're still wrong about my friend. Anyway, what do you have against cats?" She protested.
"Shh! Blood-suckers," he whispered sharply and gestured her to stay quiet. He stopped walking, as did she. His index finger was on his lips and then he moved his hands to his ears, telling her to listen.
The noise was distant and mistakenly could have been ignored at first, but when Fleur paid much attention it was inexorably true. "It's coming from there," she mouthed silently and pointed to their left. She ran quickly after him and the noise grew louder and clearer.
The pair walked side by side and quickly reached the Merry-go-round, hunched and peaked past it. There - in the near distance - was a cartwheel that held about ten metal baskets in a circle, which was going round and round along the musical pulse a ride such as that would have. Bright lights were on it and all around it. The loud music attracted the blood-suckers very well.
Two baskets were containing a man in one and a woman in the other. They were looking down at the creatures below them. But there were too many of them, maybe a hundred or more, and crowded around in a ring all together. There was no way the couple could escape without getting hurt.
"Oh … my … God…" Fleur whispered, and her eyes widened in anticipation and horror. She wanted to run away crawl back into the car, but she knew that that would be wrong. She had to help Cruise after what he did for her and her friend. God, give me strength, she prayed silently.
Cruise's usual cheery face was now deadly and grim. "Fleur, listen to me and listen well," he said soberly and turned towards her, "This could be the last day you live. There's too many and I don't even know if I migh' live through this, but I'm not going to die without trying. You can go to the car if you want now, but after you're fightin' them-" He pointed his thumb behind him, "There's no going back."
She took a deep breath and let it out. Her usual timid looking eyes were no filled with strength of mind and braveness. "I don't want to die without trying either. I'm ready!" She nodded.
"Good!" He smiled approvingly. "Here's the plan and it's the only plan that seems to work. I'll distract them somehow, you run up to Jay and Jemma - that'll be them in there - and bring them back to the car. You drive them away to safety just in case a few of them try to get to you."
"B - But-"
"Listen to me. Tell Jay to go to the nearest petrol station, which will be on Ashton Rd and wait for me there," he finished.
"But, how, but how will you be able to get there? There are so many, you said it yourself!" She argued. "I don't want you to die, Cruise."
"I won't. I promise."
"OK," she agreed half willingly and nodded.
"Then without further ado, let's party," he smiled.
Toodles & kisses! x