Cayleigh tore through the woods savagely; she could hear the runner in hot pursuit and to be honest, she wasn’t moving very fast. She was quickly losing breath and her cadence was significantly
slower than what it had been when she had first taken off.
She was tired; she needed to rest. Each dry breath of chilled air that she inhaled set the thin walls of her expanding lungs ablaze; and, she could scarcely grasp each breath before it all came
spilling back out in raucous sputtering.
* * *
Jessica sped down the street; except for a stray plastic bag billowing in the silent wind, a few vacant cars, and bits of paper littered about the street, the town was pretty much void.
When she reached the end of the street, Jessica turned the car around and crept back up the road.
After a short while, she caught sight of someone running across the street--. It was Bootsie…
Bootsie ran across the sidewalk and onto someone’s lawn; she leapt through the tall grass that spilled messily over into the street and ran up to a window.
After recognizing her, Jessica sped towards the house--startling Bootsie--and pulled into the driveway.
“We’ve got to go!” Jessica yelled out the window, madly flailing her hands in the air.
Bootsie put two fingers to her lips and whistled for the others. Then she ran up to the car and hopped in the backseat.
“What happened? You’re supposed to be at the intersection waiting for us,” James yelled, running towards the car with Arthur only steps behind him.
“I just told her,” she said in heavy gasps. “They’re coming for us--”
“Ain’t gotta tell me that shit twice,” Arthur said, jumping in the backseat.
James opened the door and hopped in beside Bootsie.
“Just what happened back there?” Arthur asked.
Jessica tucked her bottom lip in and swiftly backed out of the decrepit driveway.
“Well?” James asked impatiently.
“There were just too many of them--” she began. “We fired at as many of them as we could, but they were coming too close--. They just attacked us out of nowhere--”
James, stricken with sudden fear, leapt forward and looked into the front seat.
“Where’s Cayleigh?” he asked.
“She what?!” he yelled.
“She didn’t make it!”
James was taken aback. He slowly leaned back into his seat and stared blankly into Jessica’s dark, chocolate curls.
“But, I told you--”
“What did you see? What makes you think she didn’t make it?” Bootsie asked, squinting her hazel eyes.
Jessica bit her bottom lip and thought for a short while.
“She just--she took off into the woods.”
“And you just happened to be in the car?”
“She wasn’t thinking straight!” Jessica yelled defensively. “I made it to the car and she didn’t!”
James cocked his gun and leaned forward.
© Copyright 2016 Jennifer Brighton. All rights reserved.