This week’s word: Leviathan.
The Next Worst Thing
Genre: Dystopian, Apocalyptic Fiction, Young Adult
Lilly, Grandma and I sit in our rocking boat hugging each other tightly, waiting for our doom. Waiting for the Others to come and get us, but all of a sudden a silence falls upon us all like a heavy veil.
I open my eyes hoping against hope that the swishing noises we heard from the water around our boat were not others, but when I look around us all I can see in the dim moonlight and a few odd reflections of moon and lightening on the surface of the water.
The river is eerily quiet as if it’s scared to make even the tiniest of gesture. I squeeze Lilly and Grandma’s hands and move my right index finger to my lips motioning for them to be quiet. The clouds above roar, and thick droplets of water start falling on us making the already dreadful darkness seem gloomier by the second. The darkness around us coupled with the rain makes my heart heavy with fear and my breathing comes in small gasps.
Lightning strikes the dark sky as if announcing the hour of the Others and making us feel insignificant in the vast dark river.
We are bone wet and shivering from the cold. I look at Lilly and Grandma’s pale faces and realise that the temperature is dropping, fast. And out of nowhere a loud wail tears through the silence like a sharp spear making all of us literally jump out of our skins.
We cover our ears in a feeble attempt to block the sharp and chillingly scream and that’s when I realise that the Others are gone. They’ve left us. But after listening to the second wail it dawns on me that the Other’s have not left us, they’ve run away.
Forgetting about what the loud wail could be, I grab a set of drenched pedals after thrusting one set in Grandma’s hands and start rowing fiercely in the direction in which we were headed earlier. I feel sorry for her, but I can’t help it. Right now we need to get away from this river before it, whatever it is, get to us.
Rowing the boat with all my strength leaves my mind wandering back to the wails we heard. It’s quite again and right now I hate the silence more than ever. All my life I’ve preferred silence over everything, but right now it might lead us to us our deaths.
My mind starts racing again, what could have wailed so loudly? I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of a creature can scream like this. But I do know one thing- I need to make it to the Camp on the other side before Others or that screaming thing get to us.
The wail rises again, this time, it’s louder than before and after a few agonising seconds as the wail drops I realise that it’s not getting louder, it is getting closer. I hope that it isn’t the Others, because frankly, I don’t think anything could be worse that having Others feed on our blood and flesh.
Whatever it is, I’m not a fool to let go of this miraculous opportunity to get the hell out of this river. I don’t have the time to sit here and ponder what could have chased the Others away from living flesh.
Guess we’ll have to find out about it afterwards, that is, if we survive the next ten minutes.
Relief floods over every tissue in my body as our tiny boat hits the ground. Without even waiting to catch my breath I jerk Lilly out of her seat and, pulling at Grandma’s hands, I literally drag them out of the boat within two seconds.
We straightaway make a dash for a tall concrete building standing just a few yards away from us. It looks strong and is a quick glance around it ensures me that it is deserted. We hide behind the building taking cover of the darkness. Sitting down with my back to the rough and grey concrete wall, I try to catch my breath.
Lilly and Grandma also do the same following suite. I turn towards my little sister and touch her button nose with my fingers. She hasn’t said a word since last night. And now that I think of it, she hasn’t spoken much in the last two weeks after the Other’s killed mom.
Looking at Lily’s dirt-covered chubby face I feel a pang of anger so deep that I feel a sharp pain in the pit of my stomach. She’s too young for all this. It isn’t fair. I shake my head in frustration and that’s when I hear a wailing similar to before coming from just behind the building.
It’s too close to ignore and run again exposing ourselves. I grab Lilly’s arm making a promise to myself that I won’t let anything happen to her or Grandma, I lean towards my left a little making sure I won’t be seen from the other side. And as I sit there trying to understand what could have made such a noise, the water of the river splashes wildly and I see a 100ft shadow rise from the river.
Words leave my mouth unbidden as panic grips my insides, “What the hell…?” And right then it turns to face me and, locking its with mine, it lets out another wail, but this time, it is so loud that I almost faint because of its impact.
Lily tugs at my hand with her trembling ones and asks me in a shrill voice, “What is it, Kia?”
I turn back to her, my face a white mask of fear, and say in a tiny voice , above the loud wailing, barely audible to my own ears, “a leviathan.”
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