“For fuck sake.” I groan looking down at my watch. I swear whenever I’m in a rush time seems to go by a hell of a lot faster. I put my foot on the gas a bit harder and speed down the empty road, hoping there’s not some cop hiding in a side road somewhere. Today I have a job interview at one of the most prestigious scientific research facilities in the country, I had to pull every string I have to try and get this interview today, and now I might miss it because of my fear of flying and some stupid traffic.
I crank up the radio and begin to turn onto the highway when I see a huge traffic jam. “No…come on.” I pull up behind a truck and hop out my car. I walk up to the guys window and give it a knock. “You know what’s going on up there?” I ask when he rolls it down.
“Huge pile up.” He huffs. “Looks like we’ll be here for a couple hours.”
“A couple hours.” I sigh rubbing my hands over my face.
“Got somewhere to be?” He asks.
“Only the biggest job interview of my life.”
The guy shrugs. “I don’t know what to tell you. I’d say look for another way or try to reschedule.”
“Thanks.” I nod and head back to my car. “Nope.” I say shaking my head and starting my car. “No way I’m missing this interview, no fucking way.” I back up slighting and take a U turn.
I drive a few miles down the road and see the signal on my phone is slowly dwindling. I slow my car down and decide to give my job interview a call, but I only reach the voicemail. “Hello, this is Dr Lauren Lewis. I’m due for an interview with Mrs Marquise about the head Scientist position. Sadly I’ve had some issues getting there, a big accident on the road so I’m trying a different route to see if I can get there tonight. Please send my apologies and I’ll try to get there.” I throw my phone onto the seat beside me and put my food back down.
A couple miles later I come across a little run-down little shack that looks like it might have once been a garage. I pull in and see an old guy sat there who looks like something out of deliverance, he looks at me with a half dead look as I walk up to the map he has on his door. “Excuse me I’m a bit turned around. The roads are blocked back there, you know any quick routs to get south?” I ask him.
“Nope.” He mumbles before taking a sip of his beer and pills half of it down his chin.
“Nope.” I sigh taking a look at the map. “What about this.” I say tapping on the map. “Bear Mount Road.”
“That’s a dirt road, they ain’t got around to paving it yet.” He leans over and stares at me.
I trail my finger down the map. “Looks like it wraps around the highway, about 20 or 25 miles.”
The guy shrugs and takes another sip. “If you say so.”
“This could work.” I nod heading back to my car. “Thanks so much for your help, you’ve been great.” I hear the old guy mumble something, but I set off back onto the long road.
I crank up my music and settle into the drive knowing there’s no way I’m going to turn back now. After a few miles I hit the dirt road and hear the small stone batting off the bottom of my car. Every five minutes I feel like I’m looking at my car clock, if I don’t make this meeting tonight I have no idea what I’ll do, this was supposed to be my fresh start away from all the shit back home…but I’ll make it, I have to make it.
The next few miles fly by as I think of how to grovel for a second chance if I miss this interview as I come up to a sign. Bear Mtn, Rd. The road is giving me to different exits. “Well this wasn’t on the map.” I huff. “Left or right Lauren.” I stare down both roads but all that greets me is more dirt and trees. A group of birds come flying down and block the right exit. “Left it is.” I shrug and head down the dark path. The road is completely empty and open in front of me, so I decide to press my foot down a little harder while turning the radio up and singing along.
It's always tease, tease, tease
You're happy when I'm on my knees
One day it's fine and next it's black
So if you want me off your back
Well, come on and let me know
Should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble…
“Oh shit.” Just as I’m turning round a corner I see a huge deer off at the side of the road with half its head hanging off. How the fuck does something like that happen to such a large animal. Just as I adjust my mirror to look back at it I see a large Range Rover appear in front of me. “Jesus Christ.” I slam my foot on the break but I’m slamming into the back of the car. I feel my neck snap back against my seat and my car bounces off the Range Rover and comes to a stop. “Fuck.” I groan while trying to catch my breath.
“WHAT THE FUCK.” I hear someone shout as I look at the front of my destroyed car through the cracked window.
I whip my seatbelt off and stumble out of my car. “Are you okay?” A concerned voice asks.
My vision clears up and I see four people appear from the woods with two of them running over to me. “I’m so sorry.” I pant.
“It’s fine.” The small woman says.
“It’s not fine.” A blonde woman scoffs. “Look at my car.”
“Okay Tamsin, calm down.” She says.
“Are you all okay?” I ask. “I was just coming round the bend.”
“How fast were you going?” A tall blonde man growls from his spot next to the blonde woman.
“I didn’t see…I..I’m sorry.” I stutter.
“Back off Dyson she could be hurt.” The guy next to the small woman puts his hand on my shoulder. “Calm down, we’re all fine.”
“Look at the state of my car Hale.” He huffs. “She must’ve been going at about 90.”
I rub at my neck and stare back at him. “Why were you parked in the middle of the road.”
“Because we blew our tires smartass.” The woman called Tamsin says with a scowl.
“I’m sorry okay.” I say massaging my neck. “I’ll pay for all the damage.”
“Yeah too right you will, this was brand new.”
“Okay Dyson, she said she’d pay.” The small woman says rolling her eyes.
“I really am so sorry.” I wince looking at both our smashed-up cars. “How’d you blow your tires.”
“Someone left barbed wire in the middle of the road.” Tamsin huffs.
I look down at their tires and see barbed wire wrapped around the wheels. “Who the hell drops barbed wire in the middle of the road.” I frown while trying to move my neck in circles.
“Nobody dropped anything.” A new voice says. I look up just as a brunette comes round from the back of the car. Wow…she’s stunning. “I found this tied to a tree, this was on purpose.”
“Probably some redneck prick.” Dyson says.
“I’m going to try and find a phone. There’s no signal out here.” The brunette piped up. “I say a gas station a few miles back, they might have something.”
“I’ll come with you.” The smaller woman says.
“There’s no phone back there.” I tell them. “I was there earlier. The guy that runs it is completely useless too.”
“Let’s just wait for someone else to come along.” Hale says form his spot still next to me.
“Like speed racer here.” The woman scoffs pointing at me.
“I’m not traipsing through the wilderness.” Tamsin says while crossing her arms.
“How about you guys go while me and Tamsin wait here in case someone come along.” Dyson shrugs.
“How romantic.” The smaller woman gags.
“Want some time alone?” Hale says wiggling his eyebrows.
“Yeah so what.”
I block out the group if friends squabbling and walk in small laps to stretch out my back. “Hey you.” The brunette calls out. I stop and turn to her. “What’s your name?” She asks.
“Lauren Lewis.” I say walking closer to her.
“You hurt Lauren Lewis?”
“No. Just a bit sore.”
“Good.” She nods before throwing me a backpack. “You’re our mule.” She winks before starting off down the road.
“Okay.” I laugh and head after her.
“Oh no.” Hale says running after me. “I can get that, you’ve just had a car accident.”
“Bye guys. Be good.” The smaller girl waves at Dyson and Tamsin as we leave them at the car.
“Be careful out there.” Dyson calls out before pulling Tamsin into the back of the Rover.
The two ladies walk ahead of us while Hale stays back with me at my own slow pace while I still try to get my head on straight. “I’m Hale by the way.” He smiles holding his hand out.
“Lauren.” I nod shaking his hand.
“The short one up there is my wife Kenzi.” He grins. “And that’s Bo.” Bo. It suits her. “We’re newlyweds actually.”
“Thanks. So are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine.” I nod. He looks at me unsure. “Really I’m good.”
“Okay, okay.” Hale laughs raising his hands. “So what are you doing out here?”
“On my way to a job interview.” Oh fuck my interview. I didn’t even think. “I guess I’m not getting the dream job now.”
“Sorry.” Hale winces. “We should’ve been by the road to signal down cars, we were just so shaken.”
“What’s done is done.” I shrug. “What are the five of you doing out here?”
“Bo went through a breakup a while back and has been throwing herself into her work for the past couple months, really working overtime. So my beautiful wife decided the best thing to do was bring us all into the middle of nowhere to get her mind off work.” Hale explains.
“I’ll bet she’s regretting the in the middle of nowhere idea.” I laugh. I know this isn’t a great situation we’re all in and they’re out here because Bo had a such a bad breakup that they had to get out of town, but I can’t help but feel giddy over that fact that she’s single.
“Keep up you two.” Bo calls over her shoulder.
The small woman Kenzi veers off to the side to where some flowers are growing. Hale cuts away from me and walks over to her, so I speed up and stand next to Bo. “Any luck?” I ask nodding to the phone in her hands.
“Nothing.” She sighs. “You?”
“Mine got wrecked in the crash.” Maybe if we find a phone soon I can beg my way into a day delay for the interview.
“So why were you going so fast back there?” Bo asks.
“Sorry again.” I wince. “Trying to get to a job interview.”
“Why didn’t you just fly?” She asks with a laugh.
“I’m not the best flyer. Thought if I left early enough this morning I could make it…guess it’s just not meant to be.”
“Must’ve been a hell of a job to go through such a long drive.” Bo says.
“It would’ve been.” I nod.
Bo gives me a shove when she sees my mood dropping. “Maybe it’s not over yet.” She shrugs. “There has to be someone out here with a working phone.”
“I’m not too sure about that. You didn’t see the guy from the gas shack. Looked like he had as little brain cells as he had teeth.”
“Nice.” She laughs. “So what was the job?”
“It was to be a part of this new scientific facility. A chance to finally get out of the clinic I work in.”
“You’re a doctor?” Bo asks with a grin giving me a once over.
“I am.” I nod proudly. “I want to move more into the research side of it though.”
“Thanks. What about you?” I ask bumping her shoulder with mine.
“I’m a private investigator.” She says bumping me back. “I work with Kenzi.”
“Impressive.” I echo.
“Yeah it’s alright. Pays the bills.”
We both walk down a narrow road, making small talk about our lives back home. I soon learn that Bo loves old school rock and hates getting flowers, she thinks they’re impersonal and lazy. As we walk down the road I find myself hoping it never ends so I can talk to her forever but soon we find ourselves in from of a small canyon with the rest of the road leading down into it. “They think we wouldn’t notice.” Bo says kicking the dead-end sign and looking down the 100ft drop.
I look over my shoulder and see Hale running down the path with Kenzi wrapped around his back. “Look at this Kenz.” He says letting her down and walking towards the railing. “Maybe it’s time for you to confront your fear of heights.” He tells her before falling onto the railing.
“Hale.” Kenzi shouts grabbing for his back.
“Got ya.” He laughs standing up straight.
“You ass.” Kenzi growls shoving him back and turning towards us.
“I’m sorry.” Hale mumbles walking up behind her and kissing her neck.
“Whatever. Just get me to a hotel room, order me some room service and be prepared to give me lots of orgasms.”
“Woah.” Bo laughs and walks away with me.
“I think we should leave them alone.”
“What do you expect.” Bo smiles. “They’re newlyweds.”
I look over my shoulder and see the two of them in their own little bubble. “They’re happy, it’s rare.”
“Yeah.” Bo nods looking me over before focusing on the road ahead.
The four of us start off again down the road we first started walking down. I kick at the dirt road under my feet as the late afternoon sun beats down on us all, thankfully we have the trees providing us with come coverage. We walk for a about a mile back the way we came before Bo spots small road through some trees. “This wasn’t on the map I saw.” I tell them while ducking under the branches.
“Maybe it’s private property.” Hale says as we walk down the road filled with tire tracks.
“I don’t care what it is as long as they have a toilet.” Kenzi groans.
We walk down the steep path and turn the corner to find a rundown shack. “That’s inviting.” Bo mumbles with a frown.
Hale and Kenzi lead us towards the house as I look around the land that seems pretty similar to a junk yard, rusting cars and pieces of tat scattered everywhere. “Maybe we should keep walking?” I suggest. Feels like I’m in an old school slasher film.
“You think the next place is going to be a palace?” Hale asks.
“If there even is a next house.” Kenzi adds walking towards the porch with her husband.
“Hey.” Bo says grabbing onto my arm.
I come to a stop and turn to Bo as she looks around, her eyes settling on a rusty child’s bike and a busted minivan. “What?”
“Nothing.” She mumbles rubbing at her bare arms.
“Let’s just see who’s home.” I smile and walk up to the door. “Hello?” I call out. I reach the front door and give it a knock. “Anyone home?” I knock again but get no answer, so I open the loud screen door before reach for the main doors handle.
“What are you doing?” Bo asks with wide eyes.
“I’m seeing if they have a phone. You can wait here.” I shrug.
“You can’t just break into someone’s house.”
“Yeah I’m with Bo.” Hale says. “This place has gun owners written all over it.”
“Hale I need to pee.” Kenzi begs but they both still don’t look convinced.
“Listen we’ve got two destroyed cars and no help, we really need a phone.” I tell them both with Kenzi nodding.
Bo doesn’t protest again so I twist the handle and open up the door. “Hello?” I take a step into the home and am instantly hit by a wave of dust and the smell of rotting meat. I walk further into the house and see the inside is in just as much of mess as the outside, but somehow there’s more fly’s in here. It seems to be a simple home, there’s a kitchen set up towards the back, with knives and bone on the countertop, along with three beds pressed up against the two back walls.
“Holy shit.” Kenzi gags from behind me. We look at the table set up in the middle of the room that has plates scatted all over it with some sort of grey meat festering on it. “What the fuck is that?”
“I don’t want to know.” The entire room is in such a state, dark wet stain on every surface. “Let’s just do what we need to do and get the hell out of here.” I tell her as Bo closes the door behind her and Hale.
“What kind of people live like this.” Hale frowns covering his nose and mouth with his shirt.
“I don’t want to find out, so lets hurry.” Bo says moving towards the far wall.
“Help me find a bathroom.” Kenzi says reaching for Hale.
“I think we’re in the bathroom.” He mumbles but follows after his wife.
“I’m not getting my hopes up about a phone laying around.” I say looking along the walls where all types of weapons are hung up, from spears and arrows to what looks like bone saws.
“Be quick.” Bo calls after them. I look over to her and see she’s riffling through a box filled with car keys, there has to be at least 50 in there. “Look at all this stuff.” She says picking up kids toys and digital cameras. “I’ve got a bad feeling Lauren.”
“Me too.” I nod. “But let’s just see what we can find.” I wander around the room and see a door. “I’ll check in here.” I tell Bo who just nods while looking at the collection on things these people have.
“Be careful.” I hear her mumble as I reach for the door handle.
I open the door and see a large room filled with fridges. All three of them making an annoying humming sound. I’m also greeted by another awful smell that causes me to take a small step back, I’m not one that’s often effected by bad smells, you can’t be when you work in the medical field, but this is like nothing I’ve ever encountered. Even though I can tell there isn’t a phone in here I can’t seem to pull myself away, instead I’m drawn towards the large fridge in front of me. I walk over to it and open it up to find about 20 jars, jars filled to the brim with some kind of flesh. I try to go through the catalogue in my mind but I’m not coming up with an answer as to what kind of animal this is. On the middle shelf there’s a dirty tub and for some reason I find myself reaching for it. I take a breath, open the lid and feel my breakfast almost come back up at what I see. “Fuck.” That’s a human brain.
“BO.” I hear Kenzi scream. “BO.”
I throw the tub back into the fridge and head back into the main room. “We need to get out of here.” I tell them.
“Yeah no shit, there’s fucking hand floating in the bathtub.” Kenzi pants.
Bo pops round the corner and looks at her with wide eyes. “What?”
“A fucking hand Bo, like a severed hand.”
“I found this.” Bo says holding up a roll of barbed wire. “These people are the ones that laid it out on the road.”
Hale grabs Kenzi’s arm and heads to the door. “We’re leaving.” Just as his hand reaches the door knob a loud engine roars and a truck pulls up to the house.
“There’s a back door.” Bo says. We all run to the back but soon find the door nailed shut. Hale and I try to push it down but it’s not budging.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck, we’re fucked.” Kenzi whispers. “They’re going to cut our arms off.”
“It’s not gonna budge, come on.”
“Go hide.” I rush out. Hale and Kenzi run towards a closet door, push aside a tonne of junk in their before slipping inside. “Get under the bed.” I tell Bo pointing towards the bed that’s pressed against the wall next to the front door. Bo shuffles under it and I slide in next to her just as the front door opens.
“Oh fuck.” I hear Bo whisper as three pairs of feet come into view.
I reach over my shoulder and hold Bo’s hand that is gripping tightly onto my shirt, hoping to give her some form of comfort. Two pairs of feet come slowly trudging into the room, while one skips in giggling like a maniac as he goes. Who the fuck are these people? A large pair of feet come to stop right in front of us, and a worry that he knows we’re here just before a body is dropped onto the floor in front of us. Bo jolts and quietly into my back as her friend Tamsin lays dead, wide eyes with barbed wire wrapped around her neck and face. I squirm away as Tamsin’s blood slowly runs along the dirty floor and towards me, there’s no more room for me and I feel her still warm blood coat the bottom of my hand as Bo continues to quietly cry. How the hell is this happening.
“Tamsin.” Bo whispers. “No.”
Tamsin is lifted off the floor again and roughly dumped onto the table in the middle of the room. The small crazy one begins to moan and giggle as the sound of a saw cutting into flesh and bone reaches my ear. I do everything I can to block it out, to put my mind somewhere else but it’s no use, all I can hear is a young woman being cut up.
I’m not sure how long me and Bo lay on the floor under the bed listening to them rip parts of Tamsin’s body off, laughing and grunting as they do it. Finally the three of them seem to tire themselves out and they collapse onto their beds, the one above us dipping the bed slightly as he lays down. After about 10 minutes Bo nudges me gently as only the sound of their snoring fills the room. I give her a nod and begin to gently slide out from under the bed. I drag myself along the dirty floor before raising to my feet and watching the three men sleep. I look as the disfigured monsters snore away in their beds, so I motion for Bo to come out, and do the same to Kenzi and Hale. As the three of them join me I look over to Tamsin who is now missing both arms and her leg. Bo almost collapses when she sees the state of her friend, so I take her into my arms and turn her away from the sight. Thankfully Kenzi and Hale join us, and we quietly make our way to the door. Hale quietly opens the door while keeping his eye on the three men sleeping, as we get it completely open he pushes the screen door and it causes the spring to stretch and make a loud noise. We all freeze as I reach my hand up and grip onto it. “Go.” I whisper.
Hale pushes the screen door again and I can feel the rusted spring ripping at my hand, already causing blood to run down my wrist. Hale and Kenzi rush out the door but Bo stops. “Come on.” She whispers tugging at my shirt.
“Go.” I quietly groan. She protests but I push her away with my free hand. “Go.” Bo gives me one last look before running away. I look over my shoulder back into the house to see how I’m going to get out of this, and I feel my heart stop when a pair of eyes are staring back at me. “Shit.” I release the spring, sprint out of the shack as fast as I can and up the mountain after the others. “GO, GO.” I shout climbing up the muddy mountain.
“Hurry.” Bo tells Kenzi and Hale.
“Come on go.”
“Fuck.” Bo almost slips back down but I’m right behind her and give her a push back up. As we make it to the top I turn back around and look to the bottom to see the three guys driving away in their truck, coming to hunt us.
We make it to the tree line and begin our sprint into the woods. “Come on.” I grab onto Bo’s hand as we duck through all the branches.
“Is this really happening.”
“Where are they going?” Kenzi cries out. “Do you think Dyson’s okay?”
“I don’t know. Keep moving.” I tell them, looking back every few seconds to make sure Hale and Kenzi are keeping up.
“Where the hell are we going?” Hale pants.
I keep running while looking around the forest, hoping to find anything that can help us out in this nightmare we’ve stumbles into. “There’s a break in the tree’s up ahead.” I tell them and head straight for it.
We all break through the trees and find ourselves in a large field that’s filled with cars. Cars that have been completely gutted, flat tires and broken windows but most of all the cars have blood all over them. “Jesus Christ.” How long have these people been doing this.
“Oh my god.”
“All these people.” Kenzi whimpers looking at a wrecked car that has a baby seat in the back. Hale pulls her into his arms and away from the bloody car.
“How the fuck do you get away with something like this.” Bo whispers.
“I don’t know.” I sigh sadly looking at the all the kids teddys and dolls littering the floor. “Maybe one of them still runs, look for a key.” I tell them trying to get my mind back on the task. They’re still out there and I bet they know these woods like the back of their hands.
“Look at the state of them.” Hale scoffs. “There’s no way we’re getting out of here in a car.” He adds just as I hear a familiar rumbling in the distance.
I look over towards the large bushes and soon see the top of their truck come into view. “Oh fuck…get down.” I whisper pulling Bo down behind me as I crouch behind the Jeep. The truck comes to a stop about 50ft away and I peek through the broken window the see the two of the men jump off the side of the truck and little guy hop out. The two big guys casually walk while scanning the area while the small crazy one runs around them. At first I wonder if we can just take them, but I quickly spot the multiple weapons they’re holding, including a rifle.
“What now?” Kenzi whispers as the three of them veer off to the opposite side of the field.
“They left their truck running.” I mumble watching them get father away from us.
“So?” Hale asks.
“We have to take it.” I nod keeping my eyes locked on the truck.
“How the fuck are we supposed to do that?” Kenzi scoffs.
“Maybe one of us can lead them in the wrong direction, while the rest of us make a break for the car.” Hale suggests. “They seem like the type of folks to fall for that.”
“Dibs not me.” Kenzi mutters.
That could work. “I’ll go.” I nod turning to them.
“Lauren.” Bo whispers looking up at me. “No.”
“It’s okay.” I pry her hands from my shirt and make a dash towards the trees. “HEY.” I scream waving my hands. “HEY OVER HERE.” I look over and see them all turn to me and begin running in my direction. I push myself faster when I see the small guy is a pretty fast runner, but as soon as I make it to the tree line I hear a gun shot and feel a searing pain in my thigh. “Fuck.” I groan falling to the floor. I roll onto my back and grip at my bleeding thigh just as the men let out a roar of satisfaction over hitting their target and begin to run at me again. “Go.” I say nodding towards the truck as they all stare at me in shock. Bo looks like she’s seconds away from running towards me but Kenzi has a tight grip on her arm.
I groan and put pressure on my leg, the pain dulling the fear of what’s going to happen to me when those freaks catch up with me. “HEY YOU FUCKERS.” I look up and see Hale running away from the girls and towards the opposite end of the trees. “COME HERE YOU INBRED FUCKS.” The guys with the gun focuses on Hale but thankfully misses this time. The small guy legs out a giggle as they all begin their chase after Hale, clearly wanting a hunt instead of an easy catch like me.
As they all disappear into the tree’s Bo and Kenzi head over to me. “Are you okay? Bo asks.
“I’ll be fine. Give me your belt.” Bo whips her belt off and I quickly wrap it around my thigh, cutting off the heavy stream. “Come on.” They both help me up and we run as fast as I can towards their truck.
“I’ve got her.” Kenzi says while taking my weight as Bo opens the passenger door. “NO.” She screams as her friend Dyson’s dead body comes tumbling out and onto the floor.
“Come on. We’ve gotta go.” I say dragging Kenzi towards the truck and over her friends body while Bo runs to the over side.
“I can’t.” She cries but I pull her in after me.
“Drive Bo.” I command. She quickly puts the car into reverse, pulls out of the field and onto the dirt road. “Go right.”
“We have to find Hale. We have to find him before those freaks.” She begs.
“We will.” Bo says. “Keep an eye out for him.”
We speed up the road, all of us looking through the dense forest for a glimpse of Hale. “Where the hell is he? HALE.” Kenzi screams out the window.
“Come on Hale.” I hear Bo whisper as we drive up a hill.
“THERE.” Kenzi screams pointing out her window. “HALE. WE’RE OVER HERE HALE.” I look over her shoulder and see a white shirt running through the forest towards us.
“COME ON HALE.” Bo shouts bringing the truck to an abrupt stop.
“COME ON BABY.” Kenzi cheers as he gets closer. All of a sudden Hale comes to a stop and falls against a tree. “Hale? Keep going.” He pushes himself off the tree and stumbles towards us some more.
“Hale.” I call out.
“Hale…what are you doing?” Kenzi whispers as he stops again.
“Come on Hale.” Bo cries out banging her hand on the horn.
“Hale…NO HALE.” Kenzi screams as a blood stain appears on his chest, slowly getting bigger, turning his white shirt red.
“Shit.” A second later a large arrow shoots straight through his chest. Hale still tries to move towards us but soon collapses on the floor face down with three arrows in his back.
“HALE.” Kenzi cries out and reaches for the handle.
“No Kenzi.” I wrap my arms round her. “Go…BO DRIVE.” I scream just as an arrow hits the window frame.
Bo slams her foot on the gas, and we make our way down the road at full speed. “Oh my god.”
How has this happened. He was so close to us. “I’m sorry.” I whisper into her hair as she struggles against me.
“No Hale.” Kenzi cries as I hold her against me. “Please go back Bo, please.” She begs.
“I’m so sorry Kenz.” Bo says with her own tears rolling down her cheeks. “We have to keep going.”
“Hale.” She sobs. “I want Hale.”
We’ve been driving on this dirt road now for the past 30 minutes, with still no sign of anyone or anything. I look over to Kenzi who is now sat staring right ahead in some catatonic state, she’s not said a word for the past 20 minutes, simply spinning the silver wedding band that rests on her ring finger. I can’t even begin to imagine how she must be feeling. It’s hard enough to lose someone that you love, but to watch them get murdered right in front of you must be devastating. “Do you think this was the road you saw on the map?” Bo asks pulling me from my observations of Kenzi.
“I’m not sure.” I sigh. “It’s got to lead somewhere though.”
“It better get us the hell out of here.” She says changing the gears to get us up the latest muddy climb. “Oh come on.” Bo groans as we reach the top.
“Shit.” In front of us is a large tree completely blocking the rest of the road. “No way around that.”
“Then I guess we’re walking.” Bo says shutting the car off and climbing out.
I climb out after Bo and begin to limp towards the tree to check there really is no way round. “Yeah. It’s walking from here.” I turn around and see Kenzi shuffling out of the car.
“Come on Kenz.” Bo urges and grabs her hand.
Kenzi snatches her hand away from Bo. “What’s the point.” She shrugs. “We’re dead.”
“Don’t say that.”
“It’s true. They’ll find us Bo and chop us to pieces just like Tamsin.” She sighs tiredly sitting down on the fallen tree.
“We have to keep moving.” Bo says grabbing her shoulders. “Hale died protecting us, we have to keep going for him.”
Kenzi soon breaks down and falls forward into Bo’s arms. “I want him back.” She sobs.
Bo hold Kenzi tight and rubs along her back. “I know.” She whispers and pulls back after a few moments to kneel in front of her. “And I’m so sorry that I can’t do that Kenz, but we have to keep going so we can find the police and make these bastards pay for what they did. I just need you to hold it together for a little while longer. I can’t do this without you.” Bo says while brushing away her tears.
“Okay.” Kenzi sniffs.
Bo leans up and wipes Kenzi’s eyes before placing a kiss on her cheek. “Thank you.”
I squeeze Kenzi’s shoulder and hold my hand out for her. “Let’s go.” I help them both over the tree and we set off down the path. “We need to find that road. It’ll be dark soon.” I tell Bo.
“You better use this then.” She says lifting a thick stick from the ground for me to use as a cane.
We begin our trek down the path, then slowly but surely it just turns into more wilderness with nothing to guide us. We’re back at square one and could be going in circles for all we know. I look back at Bo and Kenzi who are a few steps behind me, walking hand in hand with matching heartbroken expressions on their faces. I know that I’ve only known them for a few hours now, but I’d do anything to get them out of this. “Keep moving and we can’t go wrong.” I mumble to myself while trying to ignore the constant burning pain in my thigh.
I dig my stick into the ground to push myself up a small ridge and jump out my skin when it catches something. “LAUREN.” Bo screams running over to me and pulling my back against her chest.
I look up and see a bear trap now dangling above. “Fuckers.” I pant trying to calm my heart. I’d be completely screwed if that was my ankle in that. I look down when I feel a sting against my hips and see Bo still has a death grip on me while she rests her head between my shoulder blades. “Hey.” I whisper tapping her hands and turning around. “I’m okay.”
Bo looks up at me with fear painted all over her face. I rub my hand along her back to try and calm her. “I thought…” She trails off and brings me in for a hug.
“I know, but I’m okay.” I mumble against her shoulder, holding her just as tight, breathing her in.
“Well that was close.” Kenzi laughs pulling me from the spell that Bo has me under.
“Thanks for the concern.” I say but she just continues to laugh. I think I’ll just put that down to shock. “Let’s keep moving.” I walk a head of the pair of them again but now checking the ground as I go.
“Lauren stop.” Bo huffs.
“We can’t.” I say over my shoulder and keep hobbling up the hill.
“Hey.” Bo runs up to me and grabs my arm. “We can rest for a minute. You’re going to pass out if you keep this up.” She runs the back of her hand along my cheek, wiping at the sweat. “It’s okay.”
As soon as those words leave her mouth I fall to the ground and try to catch my breath. “Just for a minute.” I pant watching Kenzi lean back against a tree a few feet away.
Bo lays down next to me and pats my stomach. “We could all do with a break.”
“Hey guys.” Kenzi says after a few moments of silence. “Look.” She smiles pointing behind us.
I flip onto my stomach and gasp at what I see. “No way.” It’s a fucking watch tower.
“HELLO?” Kenzi screams but Bo soon quietens her.
We all pull ourselves from the floor and head over to it. “Doesn’t look like anyone is up there.” Bo says.
“Doesn’t matter. There should still be a radio up there and we might even see where the road is.” I hobble over to the ladder, throw my stick down and begin climbing up. My lungs burn and leg aches, but I keep pushing myself, this is how we get home.
After the long climb we finally make it up to the trap door. I push it open and see that Bo was right, no one on duty up here. The three of us make it inside and head over to the window. “Jesus Christ.” Bo whispers looking at the miles and miles of woodland in front of us. “I don’t see a road.”
“Let’s just look around.” I say wanting them both away from the window.
Thankfully after a couple minutes of searching Bo finds an old first aid kit. “Sit down.” She instructs and opens it up. It’s not much but I can work with it.
I take off Bo’s belt and pull my jeans down to get a good look at my thigh. It doesn’t look good but at least it’s a through and through, I don’t know if I could handle digging around for the bullet. “Hand me that bottle.” I instruct Bo. She unscrews the lid of the peroxide bottle and hands it to me. I take a couple deep breaths before pouring the bottle onto my leg. “Fuuuck.” I groan as quietly as I can.
“Lauren.” Bo whispers sadly while gripping rubbing my leg.
“I’m good.” I pant before handing Bo some gauze and pressing her hand to my thigh. I grab a roll of bandages and begin to tightly wrap my thigh. The pressure immediately helps but I know that I need to get this seen to.
“You okay?” Bo asks.
“Yeah.” I nod trying to breath through the pain. “I’ll be fine.” Bo reaches forwards to help me with my jeans, but I gently slap her hands away. “Hey now…take me to dinner first woman.” I tease hoping to calm her slightly.
I feel some happiness flow through me as I achieve my goal and a beautiful smile comes across her face. “Shut up.” She laughs. Even if it was only for a fleeting moment I’m glad I was able to take her mind off the shitty situation we’re in.
“Hey lovebirds.” Kenzi calls out. “I found a radio.” Bo helps me up and we head over to Kenzi. “Looks old as shit though.”
“Don’t touch anything.” Bo says. “It’s probably on the last frequency they used.” Bo flicks on the switch and the radio comes to life.
“It works.” Kenzi grins.
“Can anybody hear me? We have an emergency. Is anyone there?” Bo asks. I leave her to it and shuffle back slightly to look out the window, make sure we’re still along up here. “Please is anyone there, we need help.”
“It’s fucked.” Kenzi whimpers.
“Is anyone out there. We need help, please answer.” She begs.
I freeze as I look down to the forest when I think I see something in the darkness. After a few seconds my fears are confirmed when I see three fire torches lighting up the darkness under us. “Get down.” I whisper. Bo and Kenzi huddle together and keep as quiet as they can while I look back out the window. “I think they’re passing us.” I say watching the lights move past the tower and further away.
“Finally a bit of luck.” Kenzi breaths.
The next second the radio screeches and a voice comes through. “This is Ranger Base Emergency. Do you copy?” He asks. “What is your position? Over."
I look back out the window and see the three torches turning around and coming straight for our direction. “They’re coming.”
They both whimper and Bo picks the radio back up. “We don’t know our position, we’re in a watch tower and some people are trying to kill us.” I hop up from the ground and head over to the metal desk in the corner and begin to pull stuff off it. “I think we’re maybe north of Bear Mountain Road. Please come help, they’ve killed our friends and are coming for us.”
“Please repeat I’m having trouble hearing you.”
I try to push the desk, but I can’t budge it on my own. “Come help me.”
Bo runs over while Kenzi grabs the radio. “Please you have to help us.”
“Come on.” Bo helps slide it across the floor and flip it over to cover some of the trap door. We all freeze, waiting for any sign as to what they’re planning on doing. All you can hear in the tower is the three of us panting.
I think that maybe they’re still down there, waiting us out but suddenly a hand pops through the trap door. “Fuck you.” I growl stomping my foot as hard as I can onto the door. I hear him scream out in agony and the hand disappears.
“What’s happening?” Kenzi whispers after a few moments of silence. “What are they doing?”
“I don’t know.” I whisper back. “I definitely broke a few fingers so they might be going back down.” I hope that’s what they’re doing anyway.
We all wait with bated breath. I close my eyes to engage my hearing a bit more but it’s now completely silent under the door. As long as I keep my foot on this we should be fine, that ladder can’t take the three of them in the same spot. “Can we wait here until help arrives?”
“I don’t know, maybe.” Sadly it seems like these aren’t the type of people to just back off. I hear a gasp come from Bo’s direction and look over to see her looking down with wide eyes. “What?”
“Can you smell that?” She whispers.
I breath in deeply and am instantly hit with the smell of smoke. Oh no.
“We’re on fire.” Kenzi panics.
Bo and I head over to the window and see smoke floating up. They’re fucking set us on fire. “Oh my god.” I look down to the trap door and already see some flames poking through the gaps.
I hear a crash from behind me and see Kenzi moving to stand on the ledge of the broken window. “Kenzi.” Bo screams running over and pulling her down.
“No.” Kenzi screams back struggling in her arms. “I’d rather jump than burn to death.”
I look down out the broken window and see some high trees about 15ft down. “She’s right.”
“What?” Bo scoffs.
“We need to jump Bo.” I say pointing to the large branches. “Those branches aren’t far.”
“We’ll break our necks.”
“I don’t want to burn, and I definitely don’t want to be their dinner. We have to do this.” I say pulling myself up onto the ledge. “I’ll go first.”
“Lauren.” Bo gasps grabbing onto the back of my shirt. She looks deeply into my eyes but soon lets go without saying anymore.
This is fucking crazy. Okay Lewis, let’s do this. I breath out a few times before picking my spot and throwing myself out the window. After a few seconds of falling I’m immediately slapped in the face by a couple branches before I land harshly on a large branch, knocking the wind out of me. I have no idea how I didn’t just break my ribs. “Ah fuck.” I groan looking down at the huge fall below me.
I sit up slightly, look over my shoulder and give them both a wave down, I can clearly see the flames through the window now. Bo brings Kenzi in for a tight hug before helping her up onto the ledge. Kenzi hesitates for a few seconds before jumping, but unlike me she leads with her feet. “AHHH…Lauren.” Kenzi screams as she slips past the branch I’m on. She manages to grab onto a smaller branch just below me. “Help me.”
I move my body down and reach my hand out for her. After a couple missed grabs I’m able to grab onto her wrist. “I got you.” I swing Kenzi forward towards the tree trunk and let her find her footing.
“Fuck.” Kenzi pants while gripping onto the tree. “That could’ve been very bad.”
Bo’s turn. I look up to see her already on the ledge and she instantly jumps out. I panic for a moment when she falls past me as well but thankfully she lands harshly on a large branch just to the left of Kenzi. “You okay?” I ask her when she sits up.
“I’m good.” She groans quietly rubbing at her ribs. “Do you think they saw us?”
“I don’t know.”
“They probably heard us.” Kenzi winces.
“Maybe we should…” I’m quickly cut off by an arrow embedding itself in the branch right next to my head.
“Lauren.” Bo gasps.
“We need to move.” I hop down from the branch I’m on and join them.
“Shit, shit, shit.” Kenzi hisses.
“Let’s go.” Bo nods following behind me.
I move round the large trunk and see a long log leading towards another tree. If we can get over there quiet enough we should be good. “Come on Bo.” I use the branches above me to keep my balance.
“Shit.” Bo gasps gripping onto my waist.
I bring my hand back and grab onto her arm. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” She whispers back. “Just lost my footing.”
“Let’s keep going.” I take the next few feet slowly and steady while I try not to look down at the 50ft drop. “Almost there.” I whisper to myself and take a few big steps to get myself to the tree trunk.
“Thank god.” Bo pants falling next to me and looping her arm around her waist. “You okay Kenz?” She asks but we get no answer.
“Kenzi?” I ask turning round but she’s not behind us, instead she’s still all the back at the other tree. “Kenzi.” I hiss.
“Kenzi come here.” Bo begs.
Kenzi looks up at us with fear swimming in her eyes. “You can do it Kenzi, one foot in front of the other. If you can jump out of a window you can do this.”
She sets off along the branch and I can see her legs wobbling from here. “There we go.” Bo nods.
Kenzi only makes it a couple feet before an arrow hits the branch she’s walking along. “No, no.” She panics and take a couple steps back and presses herself up against the tree.
“You can do it. Come on Kenzi you’ve got this.” I whisper to myself.
I see Kenzi take a couple deep breaths and nod to herself. She’s about to take a step forward when I figure appears behind her, sending an axe straight for her face “KENZ…” I pull Bo back against me and slap my hand over her mouth just as she’s about to scream.
“Oh god.” I watch as Kenzi stays looking at us wide eyed while her body from the chin down falls to the ground below us.
“No…Kenzi.” Bo cries and whimpers against my hand as the sound of Kenzi’s body hitting every branch on the way down fills our ears. “No.” She sobs falling against me.
I keep Bo pressed against me as I see it’s the little crazy guy with the axe. “Shh.” I whisper into Bo’s ear. He pulls the axe out the tree, causing Kenzi’s head to follow her body. “Come on.” He tries to look through the trees for us. “Come on.” I take my hand off Bo’s mouth and lead her round the other side of the tree. As we move I can hear the other two under us somewhere shouting and cheering.
“What do we do.” Bo cries as we walk across another branch. “He’s coming.” She whispers.
“I know. I’ve got an idea.” I duck around a couple branches as we arrive at a new tree. I pull at a couple of smaller branches to see if one has any spring. “This will do. Can you hold this?” I ask Bo.
“When he comes closer we’re gonna knock this fucker out of the tree. Keep a hold of this.”
“Yeah.” She nods.
“Okay don’t let go until I call out.”
“Where are you doing?” She asks.
“I’m going to bring him this way.” I say going to hand over the branch.
Bo shakes her head. “You can’t move as fast as me with that leg. I’ll go.” She says ducking under the branch and moving away from me.
“Bo.” I hiss. “Bo.”
She moves across to stand in front of me on another branch. “HEY ASSHOLE. I’M RIGHT HERE. COME ON YOU UGLY PRICK.” Bo screams. I look around but I can’t see the guy anywhere. “HERE I AM.”
I hear a bit of rustling in the distance and see his little head pop up from behind the old tree we were on. Some moon light breaks through the trees and I can see the sick smile that comes across his face when he looks at her. “Come on you bastard.” I pull the branch back tightly and watch as he giggles and runs across the log towards Bo.
“Come on then.” She encourages walking wards towards me. He jumps from another branch to the one Bo’s on, causing her to fall backwards. He giggles and starts slowly walking towards her, a few more steps and he’ll be in the firing line.
“Ooooh.” He groans waving his knife at Bo before sticking his tongue out and wiggling it at her.
That’s it. “HEY.” I shout as he takes a couple more steps and I release the branch.
He spins towards me with wide eyes as the branch hits him square in the chest, sending him flying out the tree. “AHHHHHH.” He screams as he falls to his death, and even though we’re so high up I hear his small body hitting the ground.
“Nice shot.” Bo pants.
“Let’s go.” I whisper pulling us away from where he fell. As we move I can hear the other two screaming in agony and anger at the state they must’ve found him in.
We probably climb across 10 more trees before we feel comfortable enough to even climb down. As soon as out feet hit the floor we’re running again across the forest, knowing that now we have two furious men wanting to kill us even more. This time Bo grips onto my arm pulling me along as I try to ignore the pain in my leg, I know I can’t stop. After what feels like forever we come to a waterfall. “We should rest up here.” Bo says while helping me along the rocks to hide behind the water.
“This should work.” I nod shuffling along the rocks.
Bo quickly reaches out and pulls my body against hers. “Look.” She whispers pointing through the waterfall. I see through the water two sets of fire torches walking past us. “How did they get behind us so fast.” She panics gripping onto my shirt.
“They shouldn’t be able to see us.” I whisper over the sound of rushing water. We both wait and thankfully after about 30 seconds they move completely out of sight, heading back into the dense forest.
“Come on.” I lead Bo back a bit and we both sit back against the rocky wall.
“How’s your leg?” She asks looking down at the blood on my jeans.
“Good.” I nod keeping my eyes on her. “Bo.” I whispers grabbing her hand. “I’m so sorry about your friends.”
“Thanks.” Bo nods keeping her head down as the tears roll down her face.
“Bo.” I whisper reaching for my hand that’s resting on my leg.
Bo takes a deep breath and looks towards the waterfall. “I never really felt like I belonged anywhere growing up. I absolutely hated my hometown and everyone in it, so the week I turned 18 I left, and that same week I met Kenzi. I was trying to get a job in this bar, and I see this tiny girl with bright red streaks in her hair and a bottle of tequila in her hand. She immediately latched herself onto me and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I’ve never met another person like Kenzi, the funniest most loyal person there is.” Bo smiles. “Then Hale came along, the kindest guy you could ever meet. Him and Kenz were perfect for each other, he was the only guy that could handle her.”
“I didn’t know them for long, but I could see the love they had for each other.” I nod. “The love you all had for each other actually.”
“I didn’t even want to come on this stupid trip.” She scoffs wiping at her cheeks. “But they all felt like I had to get back into the real world. Even Dyson and Tamsin pulled their heads out their asses for the weekend to try and cheer me up…and now they’re gone. They all cared so much, and I can’t thank them now.” She cries.
“You can Bo.” I reach up and cup her cheek in my hand, running my thumb along her tear stained cheek.
“You can live, you can go on with their memory.” I lay back and open my arms for Bo. “Come on. Let’s get some rest.” Bo shuffles closer to me lays her head on my chest and wraps her arm across my waist as I run my hand along her bare arms. “We’ll get out of here.” I promise her before I can’t fight my eyes from closing anymore.
“LAUREN.” I hear Bo scream and I jump awake. I look around and see Bo staring wide eyed at the waterfall.
“What?” I pant.
“I thought they were here.” She sighs rubbing her eyes. “Bad dream I guess.”
I run my hand along her back to calm her down and look at the sun shining through the water. “We should get moving.” I say with a groan as I try to stretch my leg out.
Bo jumps up and hold her hand out to me. “Let me help.”
“Thanks.” I hop up and we begin our shuffle past the waterfall again and up the slight hill that it rests on.
“Where now?” She asks.
“I guess the opposite direction that they went walking in.” I suggest. “Maybe we’ll get some more luck in finding the road.”
“Better than noting I guess.” Bo sighs as we head back into the forest.
“There has to be something right. We’ve walked miles and miles since yesterday.” We start off up the hilly forest with Bo offering me her shoulder to rest on. Like yesterday I keep my eyes on the forest floor, not wanting any of us to put our foot in one of the bear traps that these fuckers have placed around.
“You think they’re back at their shack.” Bo asks after a couple of miles into our walk. We’ve been listening out for them but there’s been nothing.
“I hope so. They have to sleep sometime.”
“Yeah.” Bo nods looking around the dense forest. “How’s your leg?” She asks as we walk up a steeper hill.
“It hurts.” I groan forcing myself up.
“I’m sorry.” She winces.
“Don’t be. I’d be worried if it didn’t hurt, then I’d probably have to…”
“Oh my god Lauren.” Bo gasps dragging me up the hill. “A road.” She laughs pointing over the ledge.
“Finally.” I sigh taking a breath. “We can get down there.” I nod looking down the steep muddy slope.
“It’s high but I’ll happily slide down it.” Bo grins. “Will you be okay?” She asks looking down at my leg.
“Nothing’s stopping me from going down there.” I laugh just as a small axe embeds it’s self in the tree next to me head.
“LAUREN.” Bo screams and I spin around to find the freak with the arrows running at me.
“GO.” I shout pushing Bo back and grabbing the axe from the tree.
“What? No.” She shouts.
“RUN.” I shout raising the axe as he gets closer.
“AHHH LAUREN.” Bo screams. I turn around and see the other big guy wrapping his around Bo and lifting her away. “LAUREN.”
“BO.” I move forward but the arrow guy throws his fist into the side of my face, sending me tumbling down the hill.
“GET OFF ME…LAUREN.” I hear Bo continue to scream as I come to a skidding stop.
I pull myself up off the floor and look up the slope. “BO.” I call out. How the fuck am I getting back up there. I hear a rumbling from behind me and see a police car approaching from the distance. “HEY.” I shout throwing myself further down the hill. I reach the bottom just as the car turns the bend and I throw myself onto the road.
The car comes to a screeching halt and a guy jumps out. “Are you crazy.” He shouts storming over to me.
“You have to help me.” I pant. “They just took her. We have to go.”
“Are you one of those who called from the watch tower?” He asks giving me a once over.
“Yes, will you just listen to me. People are dead and they’re going to kill her next.”
“Dead? Who’s dead?” He asks just before he’s shot through the eye with an arrow.
I spin around and see the guy that knock me down the hill standing in the bushes. “Fuck.” I stumble over to car door and open it up only to find the keys missing. “Damn it.” I slam my hand on the wheel as an arrow cracks the windshield.
I dive out the drivers seat and roll myself under the car, watching as he makes his way over. A 3-fingered hand reaches down, picks up the keys and the police officer before climbing into the car. He can take me to Bo. Just as the car’s starting I hook my arms around the metal bars under the car and haul my body off the ground. I’m coming Bo.
The drive back to their shack only takes about 15 minutes. I guess we must’ve been going in circles yesterday. As the car comes to a stop I can hear Bo screaming for help from out here. “HELP ME.” She begs.
I slowly let myself down from the car, feeling my stomach muscles and back burn at the position they were stuck in. The guy gets out of the car, grabs the dead officer and heads into the house, now giving me the chance to roll out and hide at the back. “Okay. Now what.”
“OH MY GOD.” Bo screams. “SOMEONE HELP.”
I peak over the car for some idea. There’s bits of metal pipe everywhere but I’m going to need more of that to take both of them on, but I grab a sharp one just in case. As I look through the car window I see he’s left the keys in the ignition. “Another distraction.” I mumble noticing a lighter in the centre console. There’s three large gas canisters attached to the back of the police car but there’s no way I’d get these off without making too much noise.
I sneak off to the side and look through all the junk they have and find more gas, I grab one of the smaller canisters and an empty glass bottle. I fill the glass bottle with some of the gas before ripping the sleeve off my shirt and place it inside. As I tip toe to the door I see through the screen that the pair of them are cutting up the police officer. I quickly and quietly dump some off the gas on the screen door before lighting it on fire and racing back to the car. “Come on you fucker.”
“HEY.” Bo screams out just as a figure appears behind the fiery screen door. I start the car and floor it. Sending the car through the house and hearing the satisfying sound of his body bouncing off the hood.
I jump out the car and see the other big guy stood in the corner with anger written all over his face, as he makes his was towards me I grab my homemade Molotov, light it and throw it at him. He ducks out the way but as the bottle shatters against the wall his arm catches on fire. “AHHH.” He cries out while trying to pat out the fire on his arm.
“Come one.” I shout picking up my metal pipe and swinging it against the side of this face. It knocks him back slightly but a second later he’s charging at me again. I go to swing once more but this time he doges it and backhands me across the face.
“LOOK OUT.” Bo calls out.
I look up and find him towering over me. He bring his fist down to my face but I mange to roll away and hop back onto my feet. I get a good hit on his ribs with the pipe before I flip it over and dive the sharp end straight into his chest with all my strength. “FUCK YOU.” I scream in his face just as he collapses onto the ground.
“Lauren.” Bo calls from behind me as I stare down at his burning, bleeding body.
“Bo.” I run over to the bed and begin untying the belts that are wrapped around her wrists. “You’re okay. I’ll get you out.”
“Thank you.” She whimpers.
“We’re okay.” I promise getting one of the belts off. I lean over her body to start on the other one.
“LAUREN.” Bo screams just as I feel a pair of hands clamp down on my shoulders and I’m thrown across the room.
“Fuck.” I groan pushing myself up and seeing that fucker back on his feet. He grabs a large axe off the wall and brings it down towards me. I dive out the way just as the axe hits the floor. He swing at me a couple more times as I roll across the floor trying to dodge his attacks.
“LEAVE HER ALONE.” Bo screams from the bed.
I kick at his gut, jump up and dive under his arm just as he swings for my head. I notice the rifle resting against the wall and go for it. As I swing and take a shot he bats it out my hand, causing the bullets end up in the roof as he grabs my throat. “Ahh.” I claw at his large hand as he presses me against the wall, pressing forcefully at my airway.
“No.” I choke trying to push him off me, but my attempts are futile as he tightens his grip and lifts me into the air, completely cutting off my air supply now. I try to punch his arm as my vision begins to darken I see him pull back his axe for a clean strike at my head. Suddenly his grip on my neck loosens, he drops the axe and reaches for the back of his head. I hear him groan as I’m dropped to the ground. I cough and try to breath in as he collapses, and I see Bo sat up in the bed with the bow in her grasp. “Nice shot.” I rasp.
Bo lets out a small laugh and drops the bow. I pull myself up and help her get the last of the belts off her ankles. “Can we get out of here now.” She begs as we untie the final belt.
I go to help Bo out the bed when one of the doors swing open and the fucker we sent flying out the tree runs at me with a plank of wood. How is this prick not dead? He cracks me across the side of the face, and I go down. I try to kick him away but he lads a few more rough hits to me body. “Shit.” I groan feeling my ribs burn.
“Get off her.” Bo shouts hitting him with a burning piece of wood.
He turns away from me and shoves Bo to the floor. I crawl away to look for something to end this fucker with. I hear them scuffle behind me as I find some of their beloved barbed wire on the floor. I turn and find him above Bo with a knife in her face. “You prick.” I ignore the pain in my hands as I grab the sharp barbed wire and run over to wrap it around his neck. “KILL HIM BO.” I shout holding his struggling body against me.
Bo reaches for the axe, jumps up and swings it into his chest with all her might. I drop him to the floor. “Fucking die you bastard.” Bo growls pulling the axe out of his chest and bringing it down again, and again.
After three more times I grab the axe out of her hands and pull her into my arms. “You got him.” I say. “He’s dead.” I turn her away from his mutilated body and we leave the shack, but not before grabbing the gun.
“What?” Bo asks as I stop just outside the house.
“Let’s be sure.” I tell her while cocking the gun. I walk us back a few more steps before firing at the gas canisters attached to the back of the police car. The house immediately explodes and we both watch as it goes up in flames. They can’t hurt anyone else now.
I look around and see their yellow truck parked behind us, that’ll get us home. I turn to bring Bo over and find her staring at the burning building with a lost look in her eye as more tears start to fall from her eyes. “Kenzi’s in there.” She sobs before falling to her knees.
I fall down next to her and bring her into my arms. “I’m so sorry.” I kiss her head and rock her as she cries for her lost friends. I’ve tried to do everything I can since yesterday to help Bo and get her safe, but I know with this pain there’s nothing I can do except sit here with her.
“You’d laugh Kenz…I’m such a grown up now. I wake up a good time, eat breakfast, get some exercise and eat some veggies at dinner time.” I laugh. “I know we promised each other that we’d never grow old and boring, but I think I breaking that promise and I’ve got to admit I love it.” I smile brushing a fallen leaf off her headstone. “Lauren asked me to marry her last night and of course I said yes. I feel so happy Kenz and I can’t help but feel bad also, you should be here, planning this wedding with me.” I choke back the lump in my throat and wipe at my eyes. “But I know you’d be happy for me. You liked Lauren and you didn’t even know her.” I think back to that day. When the four of us went walking to look for some help Kenzi kept bugging me about Lauren, telling me that hot piece of ass was exactly what I needed to get back into the real world. “And you were right…you were always right.”
I hear a car door shut behind me and the soft voice of my fiancé fills my ears. “Hey beautiful.” I turn and find Lauren walking over to me with a smile. “Sorry I’m late.”
“That’s okay.” I stand up and greet her with a kiss. “I was just finishing up. I remembered about how Kenzi told me to get a piece of your hot ass the day we met.”
“Did she now.” Lauren laughs and looks down at the grave, the sun now shining on the scars on her face left behind from that day. “I can’t believe it’s been 2 years.” Lauren sighs shaking her head.
“I know. It’s flown in.”
“Seems like it was just yesterday.” Lo frowns.
Since we escaped that hell hole in the woods Lauren and I still struggle. Some nights we’ll wake up in cold sweats thinking we’re still there fighting for our lives, some days I find Lauren rubbing at her thigh or ribs remembering the horrific pain that she endued…but we’re getting there. Even though we’re struggling I know one day it’ll all just a distant memory. With Lauren by my side I know we can get through anything. “Come on. Let’s go home.”