Lost Boys

A group of youngsters attempt to hunt down a mysterious man who has kidnapped one of their own.

Whilst the others slept, Harley listened for the tell-tale signs of an intruder. She knew exactly what to listen for. Heavy breathing, loud steps, perhaps even delirious mumbling. People were dropping like flies. People that had been outside when the Blast hit.

Harley had experience in protecting herself. For the first eight months she was left to her own devices, forced to fend for herself, a difficult task as a fifteen year old, especially in such a hostile world. But she had learnt quickly, and before long knew what to be wary of, and what not to worry about. Gangs didn't venture this far out. They rarely ventured at all. The only real threat in this area was raiders, and they often operated alone.

But the night was still it seemed, and Harley was able to relax and think about what she wanted to do now. Having stayed with Reed and his 'Lost Boys' for a month and a half, she had already acquired their trust. She brought knowledge and experience to the table, and as Reed had put it himself, 'You can never know too much.'

But things were changing. Reed seemed to have an agenda of his own, and he wanted to stick to it. As the newest, oldest and possibly the most knowledgeable member of the group, Harley knew it was not a wise choice to follow through with what Reed wanted to do. But he was going to do it no matter what the dangers. And they would follow him to the bitter end.

Harley was a survivor, and she knew what was necessary to achieve her goal. All she needed to do was stay alive for as long as possible. Strategic, she thought. Be strategic. Stay put in one place, travel only when necessary. A concept of safety that Reed and his friends hadn't managed to grasp, no matter how many times she had stressed it.

A sudden thump alerted Harley to the presence of somebody else. It had come from the direction she was facing - the street. Certainly not from inside the burnt out bus that everybody else was resting in.

Getting to her feet, she reached to her back pocket, pulling out her slingshot which she had crafted when she was first thrust into the streets alone. Now stood up completely straight, she picked a small pebble from her other pocket and held it to the rubber band that had never failed her.

From her vantage point on the roof of the bus, she could see three-hundred-and-sixty degrees, but dared not move for fear of making a noise against the roof and giving her position away.

She had not heard anything else since the initial thump, but she knew that whatever was out there was still nearby. If he or she or it had attempted a getaway, she would have heard them. Or seen them.

A small change in her vision gave Harley all the positioning information she needed. An abandoned car about fifty yards ahead was obviously acting as a shield to this intruder. Pulling her elastic band until it was taut, she waited several seconds more, knowing the stranger was going to move again. Sure enough, a figure suddenly darted from behind one car, heading towards the alley that would act as a refuge. Not fast enough, however, as the stone shot from the catapult, soaring through the air and connecting with the mysterious figure, making a satisfying thud against flesh and bone. A loud thump as the body hit the floor acted as a trophy to another attack averted. But this one was still alive.

Gathering her belongings and sliding down off the roof of the bus, Harley walked around the bus, then entered, where Reed was sleeping. He would want to know that their position was compromised.

The End

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