“Get out of here, and take your friends!” Matt yelled. She nodded, grabbing Callie and Kathryn by the arms and started to run back up the road, almost stumbling on the uneven paving stones, her hair streaming in the wind. She must have lost her hair band in the fight.
“We’ve got to get back home,” she gasped, panting. Her friends were white with shock, their eyes wide and unseeing. Callie still had tears on her cheeks, although her face was set, determined.
They reached her house. Anna felt in her pocket for her key, but it was gone, so she rang the doorbell. Her parents answered it.
“Anna! What’s happened?” Anna ran inside, half dragging Callie and Kathryn with her.
“The Celryn. At the house,” she gasped. “Matt’s - still - fighting them.” Her breathing was laboured, the result of such a panicked run. “I fought three of them. Last one nearly killed me.” Her mother’s hand flew to her mouth.
“How many were there?” she said, trying not to believe it.
“Fourteen,” said Anna. “Against two of us. Well, three now.”
“Three?” her father inquired.
“I’ve gone, but we turned two of the Celryn. Like Matt did that night. Remember?” Her parents shuddered.
“Unfortunately, yes.” Her father turned to his daughter’s friends, who seemed to be in a state of shock. “Would you like some hot chocolate?”
Kathryn nodded but Callie shook her head.
“I can’t. I’m allergic.” Her father’s eyebrows shot up.
“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot,” said Anna’s mother. “Would you like some soup instead?” Callie nodded.
“Thanks, Angie,” she said. Anna’s mother smiled.
“You know, you’re the only one who ever calls me that? Everyone else just calls me ‘Anna’s Mum’. But I like it.” She smiled. Anna did too, because finally it seemed like everything was back to normal. Until she remembered something.
“Mum!” she said. “Mum, my key fell out of my pocket when I was fighting the Celryn.” Her mother looked blank. “Don’t you see? They have our house key! They can get into the house!” Angie’s look of incomprehension suddenly changed to panic.
“Greg!” she called. Her husband came out of the kitchen. “Greg, I think we’ve got a problem!”