It wasn't the sirens that woke her, or Twitch frantically shaking her that made her regain consciousness. Rather, it was the freezing, calloused hands pulling off her mask.
When she opened her eyes, Amber was looking up at the darkened silhouette of an aging homeless man. More specifically, the one that opened the door to Chad's truck less than half an hour earlier.
He examined her for a moment with wide eyes and a gaping hole for his mouth. "Oh shit. You're... Just kids." The man muttered incredulously.
In a reflex, Amber tried to bolt up and crawl away. Upon lifting her head off the ground, she immediately regretted her decision; a bolt of pain shot down her spine and she fell back to the cold, sticky pavement. It was then she became aware of the warm sensation of blood pooling under her clothing at various parts of her body. Her knees, chest, forehead, neck...
The horrifying part of it was how comforting it felt against the steadily-falling snow.
A look around showed they were in a separate alley from the one she fell in. This one was dark, with the only visible light coming from a street lamp obscured by the brick wall. Both sides of the alleyway fed out into connector streets, populated only by the almost nonexistent 5:00 AM traffic.
Amber caught sight of Twitch, who was pacing frantically a couple of feet away, mask in-hand. "God, what are we gonna do..." He whispered to himself over and over again.
She tried to get up once again, but her body wouldn't let her. Amber settled for turning her head in the direction of the homeless man. "Where are we?"
Twitch immediately turned to look at Amber, a shocked smile on her face. "You're alive!"
The homeless man pointed at Twitch. "That boy over there dragged you across two cross streets and down a block before he stumbled upon me." He snorted. "Stronger 'n he looks."
Twitch threw his arms up in the air. "The fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"Can you move your legs, darlin'?"
Amber tried, but couldn't feel a thing. She shook her head.
"Shit, Amber. You've got to." Twitch ran over to her and knelt down. "We're only four blocks away. They're gonna comb half this district. You hear those sirens? They'll be here any minute!"
Suddenly, another siren began blaring, much closer. The homeless man looked up and sneaked up to the end of the alley, poking his head out. "No, kid. They're on this street right now."