When I came round all was very quiet. As my eyes focused I realized I was looking up at hundreds of books. I frowned. Where was I? I heard someone talking and looked around. The remains of my group were stood around a table, whispering.
“What happened?” I groaned. Rebecca looked over to me.
“Oh, you’re awake. You fainted. We said we would stay behind with you whilst the others go on. I decided to do some research on children in this town and Charlie and Mark went over to see whether anyone was in the house. There wasn’t, but I discovered something. Once a year a child, or several if they are twins or triplets, go missing. The night before they go a blood curdling scream is heard throughout the village. The children don’t go missing on a particular day each year; there is no pattern between those who go.”
Well, I thought, that didn’t make sense. Jake and Christina were not siblings. I said this to the others as I sat up.
“I know.” Replied Rebecca. “But maybe she took those two because she thought you had found out about her and she felt threatened.” I looked at her, my eyes filling with fear,
“But that would mean that she will come after us as well!” Rebecca just sat there.
After I had a drink of water and some chocolate to regain some energy and we went and sat on the steps outside the library. We were all quiet, just staring at the house. Where were Jake and Christina?
We went for a walk around the village in the afternoon. We didn’t come across the main group. We walked in silence. Rebecca and I aimlessly lead the group, Grace closely followed us. Further back Mark, Charlie and Tom dragged their feet. A strange noise roused me from my dreamy state and I looked around.
“There.” I yelled and pointed towards where I’d seen Christina.
Rebecca jumped beside me. “What?” She asked, following my finger in puzzlement.
“Can’t you see her?” I glanced back to where I’d thought I’d seen her.
“Who?” Rebecca asked, still peering over to the other side of the road we were walking along.
“Christina.” I ran across the road and across the garden where I had seen her standing.
“No-one’s here.” Grace had caught up with us.
“I saw her. Honest.” Rebecca shook her head and turned to go. She screamed. I turned too.
Standing behind the three boys were three more people; Jake, Christina and another boy. My mouth moved but no sound came out. I didn’t recognise the third child but I knew it wasn’t good. There expressions were blank. As we ran back towards the boys the other three pushed them to the ground. Tom struggled against the third child who had his hands on Tom’s shoulders. He managed to break free and made it over to us. The other two were in too much of a shock from seeing their school mates like this that they couldn’t move.
A movement behind them caught my attention. Coming towards us was the woman. She was smiling. It was that sweet smile that made my eyes water but I could see the anger behind those eyes. It made me shrink back in fear.
“Well.” Her voice called out and Grace went ridged, as did Mark. “You have escaped me once, but I have you again, and three extras. What a pleasant surprise. Hold them.” She cried. More children appeared from behind her, advancing on us.
A voice from beside me made me jump.
“What do you want with us, and with the other children you have taken?” The women smiled at her, but unlike me Rebecca’s eyes did not water and she did not cower.
“You will just have to wait and see, my dear.” The woman stopped behind Mark, her arm raised. “Now, silence. I have work to do and no time to talk.” Her gaze shifted down and she lowered her arm onto Mark’s shoulder. I couldn’t look. I remembered last time, the head thrown back, and the mouth wide open as she screamed. My legs almost gave way. I heard Rebecca beside me yell run. I turned and stumbled to follow, as did Tom. But Grace did not follow. She was frozen to the spot. I screamed her name, over and over, but she didn’t come. I looked at Charlie. He was looking at me; his eyes desperately trying to hold my glance. He opened his mouth and yelled my name. But I didn’t hear it. He mouthed something else but I only saw the woman, turning, lowering her arm down to him. I ran.
Rebecca was no-where to be seen but Tom was stood on the corner of the road.
“Where can we go?” He asked.
I couldn’t think. My mind was only on Charlie. They’re gone.
“Megan? Where can we go?” Tom repeated.
“I don’t know,” I replied.
I looked at him but he was looking behind us. I looked to. They were coming. “Run.”
We ran together, on through the village, running blindly. But whenever I turned they were always there. Following. I stopped. “It’s no use. We’ve got to hide.”
Tom nodded. We were both out of breath.
“There.” He pointed. “Behind those trees.”
It wasn’t much of a hiding place, but it was something.