Chapter Twenty-EightMature

The bitter sweet December air cut through the warmth of the warehouse as Hayden held the door open for me and Red and although it was winter, the sun was blazing in the light blue sky being blocked every now and again by am astray dark grey cloud.

I was not used to being outside so the sun's rays hit me like a gun shot and the sudden warmth made me feel queasy under the new strain. My legs wobbled underneath me and I fell to the ground, only to be caught in time by Hayden, who smiled weakly at me as he pulled me back to my feet.

"This next's bit tricky to walk through." He informed me as I looked out across the vast savannah of overgrown vines and nettles that had razor sharp thorns. I mumbled under my breath and tried to back away from the danger. I had suffered enough recently.

Red pushed me forward. "There's no other way through." That was it then. My skin would have to be broken even more as I slowly had to work my way through the overgrowth, fighting back against the clawed spikes and extreme heat flowing through my body.

A white blur pushed my vision out of focus. "H - Hayden..." I mumbled, tapping on his arm to get him to stop. My head was begin to spin and a deafening ringing noise was blaring through my ears. My legs were getting weak as a tumbled forward. I tried to attracted Hayden's attention again but he was too focussed on reaching the fence on the other side of the ever-going field of nettles and Red was watching behind us.

I took a deep breath and surged forward with Hayden's help, trying to block out the ringing, the aches, the pains and focus on the goal. I knew exactly what was causing this; the simple fact that I had not had anything to drink since before I was even given my mission or so I could remember.

As my legs gave away again, Hayden pulled me back up. "Come on." He urged, his voice smooth and calming. "We're almost there Nieve." I couldn't walk another step, but Hayden wasn't slowing either of us down. My head was pounding and being sick was defiantly soon to follow. Through my blurred vision, I could faintly see Sparky hovering by a possible fence and Red was right next to us slashing away at the weeds.

Eventually, we reached the chain-linked fence at the side and Hayden rested me against it, even though I had to change my position frequently to stop the links digging into the back of my head and neck like pins. It began to rattle as Hayden opened the small gap and made it wide enough for him to fit through. Red grabbed me under my arm and half carried, half pulled me towards the gap and placed me on my knees.

"It's not big enough for both of us to go through at the same time." She whispered in my ear. "So just take it slow. Hayden's on the other side ready to help you out."

Right. It's just crawling towards a fence and threw a hole. Not exactly difficult. I moved my weak hand closer to the gap and pulled the rest of my body forward, my legs shaking wildly as I removed the weight from them.

The frosty chill countered the warmth of sickness and a icy breeze trailed through my muscles, tensing them so tight I felt like they would tear and break with every movement I made.

Quickly, Hayden glanced over his shoulder as I could faintly hear the sound of footsteps crunching on the gravel. He beckoned for me and Red to duck in the weeds as he replaced the fence just in time to deter another member of the AFB from his actions. I leant to the side to try and see if they had passed far enough way for us to move back through the fence.

Unfortunalty, as I shifted my weight onto my supporting arm, a large thorn cut deeply into my arm and I let out a scream, drawing the attention of Hayden and the other, who although was out of eye sight, was still within ear shot of me.

Hayden and the other male shot their glances through the fence, acting as though he also had no idea as to what had made the noise, making sure that he didn't make eye contact with any of his siblings as we ducked lower and lower into the grass.

The male called out to the harsh winter wind. "Who's there?" He questioned. He knew they were there and it was just a matter of time until either me or Red gave up our position.

"I have no idea..." Hayden retorted, also looking through the thick, dense weeds trying to stop his lips curling into a smile. "Are you sure it didn't come from inside?" The other male looked around to the door and shook his hand, stating that the sound would have been muffled by the walls.

This is is. I thought to myself. We're done for. I sighed deeply, but quietly, knowing how much trouble I had already got us into after what Hayden and Red had done for me. I tried to crawl back deeper into the weeds but the large spikes dug into me like needles and I had to resist the urge to shout out in pain again.

Hayden turned to the boy. "Elliot, no-one can get in there. Don't you remember why they built the fence around it to start with?" Elliot shrugged but didn't move from his spot, glaring eyes were scanning the dense maze of overgrowth. Slowly, he put a tanned hand onto the fence and shook it wildly, sending the sound of rattling wire shooting into the quiet, foggy air that lingered over our heads.

I shivered as I felt a small chill run down my back and onto my legs. I looked behind me slowly and saw another droplet forming on the tip of a spike extremely close to my leg and it froze my leg as it splashed softly onto it, soothing it from the intense heat that was roaring throughout me. Slowly, I tilted my head as another as another drop landed on my nose. Just in time, I cowered my head under a large leaf as I began to hear rain drops pounding of the ground, soaking the mud . I used the broad leaf as a defect to stop myself from being soaked through whilst I tried to look through the weeds at Red.

A quick scan left my search for Red inconclusive as I turned back to peer out at Hayden from the side of the leaf.

"We best go inside, mate." Elliot playfully hit Hayden on the arm as he turned towards the door, Hayden responding by gently rubbing where he had been hit. "Come on." He called to him as Hayden continued to look out to where Red and I were; hiding, waiting, slowing becoming sodden by the freezing rain.

The End

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