I thought I had posted this, but obviously not. So, here it is, Feral Boy 7. This might be the last in the series, for the simple reason that writing this was a chore rather than a fun activity. Typing the words out was like pulling teeth, and making it sound right was torture. I'm taking that as a sign that Feral Boy had exhausted itself. Thanks for supporting it though! Remember - you can find all the Feral Boy stories under the Library tab.
The Feral Boy 7
The blade went into his jacket, and for a moment he looked startled. Everything slowed down - her breathing, the other guard’s moment of realisation, his eyes flicking to Javen. The guard’s eyes widened and he staggered backwards, pulling the knife out of his body. Amelia glanced at it. It was dry and she looked back at the guard. He was smiling and grabbing his gun off the floor. A bulletproof vest. She was an idiot. Of course they would wear protection. Amelia took a step backwards, her legs bent into a fighting stance. The guard picked up his gun. Around him, the others were turning on her, priming their guns, and on the floor, Javen was staring up at her, his mouth open and his forehead lined with sweat and dirt. He was mouthing something. “Run...”
Amelia paused. No. She wouldn’t. She had been running for too long. From her father, from the police, god, even from her own emotions. She had to fight her corner. Amelia narrowed her eyes and turned to face Javen. “No.”
Javen look shocked and started to say something, but his comment was interrupted by the click of bullet sliding into the barrel of a gun. Amelia jerked forward, the knife in her hand. The face. It wasn’t protected. If she could hit that, then she might have a chance of winning. Amelia concentrated her sights on the guard nearest to her. He was cocking his gun in place and raising up to meet his narrowed, steely grey eyes. She only had one chance. It was time to take it.
Amelia darted forward and struck the man square between the eyes with the butt of the knife. She sprawled backwards and dropped his gun. Amelia reached down and kicked it towards Javen. “Use it!” She faced the guard again and primed herself. She was ready to fight.
The guards around her were either tending to the one she had just hit or standing around uneasily, their guns pointed at her, but their fingers hovering over the trigger. They were scared, nervous. Amelia could see the thought running through their startled, confused minds - Could they kill a little girl? Could they do that? Amelia heard Javen stand up behind her. He walked up to her and pressed the gun into her shoulder blade. He leaned in close to her ear. “Run on three.” Amelia opened her mouth to protest, but Javen’s hands were tightening round his gun and she could feel his anger towards these men. He was inexperienced with a gun...maybe it would be better if she ran. “Three, two...one!”
Amelia ran, her legs whipping out behind her. She could hear Javen firing a few shots behind her, and as she ran past the guard that had been kicking Javen she thrust the knife into his thigh. There was a dull thud as he collapsed, and the guards started shouting and firing. They seemed less nervous to shoot at Javen. Figured. Amelia ran faster. She could hear the lasered bullets passing behind her, whistling through the air, and the guards shouting abuse, and yelling at their comrades. There was a scream as one of the bullets hit their target, but it wasn’t the low pitched yelp of Javen. Amelia almost smiled as she whipped round a corner. Yes! Three down, two to go. Through the din, she heard Javen’s footsteps join her own. A few seconds later, and he was running alongside her, the gun gone from his hands.
“Well...that was...fun,” he panted. His flicked his long hair to the side and turned down a corridor to the right. The remaining guards had started running behind them, their footsteps slowed, heavy and laboured behind them.
Amelia smiled. “Yup. Take a...left here. It’s where I came in.” Javen nodded and turned down the corridor. The doors. They burst through them and Amelia felt relief wash over her. It was good to finally see something she recognized. She glanced around the corridor. They had come out at a different door. “There. The vent. We have to go through that!” Javen looked at her in disbelief.
“How are we meant to get up there?”
“Foot holds.” Amelia ran up to the wall and ran her fingers over the bricks. There were no foot holds, no cracks that she could use. She glanced at Javen beside her, who was staring at her, his eyes wide, echoing that of his father’s - full of determination and fear. “Push me up, and then I’ll pull you up.”
Javen looked pained for a moment, but Amelia knew there was no way he could be chivalrous here. The guard’s footsteps were getting louder and louder - despite the fact they were weighed down by heavy batons and guns, they could still run fast. “Fine.” Javen folded his hands into a cup and let Amelia stand on them. He thrust her upwards and her skinny fingers latched onto the edge of the vent. She clambered up the wall and into the vent. It seemed tighter than it was earlier, but she could still wriggle around in it. She passed a hand down to Javen, who was glancing backwards every couple of seconds. “Take my hand!”
Javen blinked and grabbed Amelia’s hand. She yanked him upwards and then froze. The guards had suddenly turned round the corner and they were staring at them, their eyes narrow and hard. The two of them smirked and with a wink, they pointed their guns and fired.
A bullet shot past Amelia’s head and buried its way into the concrete, melting it into a gloop. That was what the bullets did. Super heated in the gun chamber, they could go through anything, melt anything. Get shot by one and it turned your skin and bone to a crisp. Another bullet whizzed past Javen, moving his hair, and
Amelia unfroze from her trance. She pulled with all her might, and Javen scrambled put he wall and into the tunnel.
Javen twisted round and pushed Amelia forward as soon as he got into the vent. “Move!” His eyes were wide and angry, and the side of his face was coated with a thick layer of sticky, congealed blood. “The guards! Move, Amelia!”
Amelia crawled forward and wriggled up the long thin tube. She could feel the heat of the bullets over and above her, zooming into the concrete and turning it to soup. She crawled faster. They would get their aim right at some point, and when they did, Javen would have to bear the brunt of it. She moved faster, keeping one foot pointed behind her, touching Javen’s arm gently. She tilted her head up, and looked down the tunnel. She could just see a pinprick of light. Yes! The exit. She hurried towards it, every muscle in her body straining towards that tiny line, that tiny mark of hope. “Javen! I can see it! The exit! I can see it!”
Javen let out a muffled reply and Amelia smiled. They were going to make it. They were going to escape! After all that, they were going to live, to survive, to prosper! Amelia crawled faster in the tunnel, her head bouncing off the metal . The bullets had stopped flying and the sizzling sound of them hitting the concrete had ceased. The guards were still audible though - shouting and swearing, talking into their walkie talkies. The stopped talking for a moment and then Amelia heard the sound of footsteps hitting off the floor. They were running away! To help their injured friends maybe, or to receive back up, but still - it was one less thing to worry about. Amelia glanced up and saw that the pinprick of light had gotten larger, showing the rectangular hole of the vent, where she had kicked the grate away. She squinted. It had been dark when they arrived - just after midnight. Surely they weren’t in the compound for that long.
Amelia wriggled forward a bit more and then stopped. The light was blinding, shining through the entire rectangle with astonishing brightness. There was a buzzing noise and suddenly the sound of a dog barking.
Amelia’s eyes widened as Fluffy’s muzzle pushed into the grate. Her throat went dry. No, no, no, they had got too far for it all to be broken and destroyed now. The German Sheppard’s teeth were bared and it’s eyes glinted in the harsh light. It swayed to the side, and Amelia caught a glimpse of metal shining from under the light. It was a floodlight - the one they used to light the stadiums after the weekly football games. The dog barked and a man’s voice shouted to his mates. Guards. This was it. They had been found. They had been caught.
Amelia felt all the colour drain from her face. All of that work, all of that effort. All for nothing. She heard Javen’s voice, faint and dim in her narrowed view of despair asking her what was wrong. She ignored him and stared dumbly ahead. This was it. It was all over. Javen’s dad would be killed and she would be put in jail for aiding a Unregistered. Her parents would disown her - she would be nothing. But Javen, Javen would be sentenced to death. Amelia’s heart sank into her stomach, filled with blackness and grey shadows. He was as good as dead. She couldn’t let that happen. But what could she do? She and gotten him out, but now they were trapped. There was nowhere they could go, nothing she could do. She turned to face him, her face gaunt and pale, ghostly in the light. “Javen. They know we’re here.”
Javen gulped, but he seemed rather calm. “Are there any other side vents?”
Amelia shook her head. “No.” She could hear Fluffy straining at his collar, yelping and barking over the guards’ hurried speech. They were deliberating - wait until they come out, or send Fluffy in to get them.
Amelia felt a lump rise in her throat. “We’re trapped.” Amelia wished she could cry, anything but the hopeless despair, that bottomless fear filling up inside her. “Javen, they’re going to get us.”
Javen’s face paled and he started shaking. He tried to stop the tremors, to hide the terror in his eyes, but it welled up inside them, turning the brown into a hallowed, dull wood. His hand snaked out and grabbed Amelia’s. “It’s fine. We’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” Amelia nodded and looked back towards the grate. The light had dimmed a bit, and the dog was now clearly visible. The guards behind it had reached an agreement, and they were now gathering around the outside of the vent, their guns pointed at the whole. The one that was holding Fluffy loosened his grip. This was it. This was the end. Amelia squeezed Javen’s hand and closed her eyes. She could hear the dogs heavy breathing coupled with Javen’s short, sharp breaths of hidden fear. She relaxed her shoulders, and as Fluffy bolted out of his handler’s hands, she whispered, “I love you.”
The pain was sharp and instantaneous. The dog bit her arm and pulled her out of the tunnel. It’s teeth were like daggers, and Amelia wished she hadn’t thrown the knife away as the searing hot pain raced down her leg. She could feel blood fall down her leg and onto the floor, only to be smeared on her clothes. She clenched her fists and bit her tongue to stop her from screaming. These men weren’t going to get any sign of weakness. They had done enough to her already - she wasn’t going to be humiliated.
Fluffy threw her on the ground and ran back into the tunnel to get Javen. Amelia just lay on her back, the sharp stones scattered over the concrete digging into her back. Her leg felt like it was on fire, and every breath she took intensified the pain. She heard Javen scream as the dog bit down on his leg. She winced at the noise and kept her eyes closed. She was vaguely aware of a man pushing her forward, kicking her side, but she could barely feel it. Flashes of pink and purple splashed on her eyelids, a myriad of colours and shapes spilling out in front of her. She heard a thump beside her and a hand wrap around her. “Amelia?” Javen’s voice was croaky and hushed. “Amelia? It’s going to be ok...” He let out a sigh and he stopped talking. Another voice filled the air.
Amelia tired to sit up, but she felt as though a weight was on her chest, pushing her down. She felt her hand loosen as something shot into her arm. It wasn’t a bullet - it was lighter and sharper, a prick rather than a stab. All her muscles went lax and she felt the world spiralling away from her. Everything was going black, and the sound of the voices around her drifted away, pebbles washed out to sea.
“Get away, she’s my daughter! Amelia, Amelia! What the hell did you do to her? She’s my daughter! Help me get her in my car...yes, I’ll take the boy too. Just hurry! Oh, my baby....It’s ok, it’s ok...”
Amelia felt someone lift her up, and a tear drop onto her cheek. “D-Da-a...” She opened her mouth and then everything went silent, and a sheet of black fell over her eyes.