Chapter Sixteen: Leader of the Lambs.
Word count: 684
“Where are you taking us?”. The words left my lips before I could stop them. But he merely sent me a condescending smile and bent down in front of me, like an adult would before a little child.
“To the docks. Then you'll be shipped like cattle to wherever the blood is needed” he replied, a big smile on his face the whole time. He reached out and ruffled my hair and I had to stop myself from pulling away and shivering. As his hand returned to his side I saw something glint in his eyes. I suddenly realised I was supposed to pull away. I'm not sure why, but I was sure he was watching me more intently than the others after that. I thought back to that girl. I hadn't even known her name before today. She was just a quiet girl who sat in the back and did her work. Never misbehaved or got sent out of the class. And now she was dead. How was that fair? How was any of this fair?
“We're here little lambs” Aldrich announced, spreading his arms round him. Behind him the empty, dull sky burned into my retina, like a cruel crown taunting me. Because I knew the sunlight was there, but something was filtering it, stopping the UV and visible light from entering our atmosphere. Letting these creatures roam when they should be hiding in graves. Least if they are completely like the stereotype. Aldrich motioned to a giant mental box. They looked like the big cargo holders you see stacked up on those huge boats. We hesitated but began to move forward and I felt my feet slow with every step, until I was the last to trail towards the entrance. That was when a powerful grip snapped at my hair, yanking me back.
“Don't try the tough act kid. It doesn't end well”. The words were a rushed whispered and a very clear threat. He released me and gave me a calm smile. I knew my eyes were as wide as a doe caught in headlights. My hands immediately reached up to my roots where the hair had been nearly ripped from. I gulped, visible shaking before I walked in. Not wanting to turn my back on him but knowing I had no choice.
“Good girl” he said in my direction as he began to close the doors.
“Act scared like every other human and you'll avoid being used as an example”. That time the words were barely audible and then the doors were slammed shut and what little light there had been was swallowed up.
“Oh god” it was whispered by one of the made-up blond girls from class and it began a colossus wall of noise as everyone began to utter terror into words. Most panicked about younger siblings or parents. I watched every face and wondered if something was wrong with me. I should be like them right? Scared out of my wits.
“Shut up”. I meant it to be a whisper, but it came out louder and all the kids faces turned to me. I expected yells or dirty looks. Instead the eyes were shiny, expectant.
“Panicking won't get us anywhere” I said, feeling the hint of nerves shake my voice. I'd never had people expect much from me before.
“So what do we do?”. I glanced towards the boy, he was a big kid, one of the bully types. He'd slammed past me on a few occasions but I'd always shrugged it off.
“We wait. We don't act brave. We don't act shit scared. Because if we act brave. They'll kill us. If we act too scared. They'll think were weak and kill us”. The objections didn't come. Some looked unsure for a second before nodding. Suddenly the girls who used to tease me and the boys who used to shove past me were looking up to me. Expecting me to lead them. I wasn't sure how comfortable I was with their choice of leader.