PanicA Chapter by MoonAngel
Kate groggily awoke the next morning.
It could barely have been dawn, considering the light blue colour still streaming through the window.
She wanted to roll over and go back to sleep, but her stomach was growling.
Knowing Camille, she was probably already up and cooking a boar.
She slunk out of the sheets and down the ladder.
The first thing she noticed was that Ben wasn't there.
The first thing she thought was that he was out eating the boar joyously with Camille and the others.
The second thing Kate saw was a note pressed into the edge of her ladder.
After reading, the second thing Kate thought was that she wished none of this had happened.
'Give yourself up to the undead as an eternal slave or your friend Ben will die'
Her head swam.
She knew instantly that she couldn't tell anyone else.
They would have forced her to have them as back-up - and she wasn’t risking more lives.
Kate had to go alone.
She knew it.
You don't know Ben that well, she thought.
Why waste your entire life being a slave when you could still have it and his end will be painless?
Immediately she chucked the thought out.
Poor Ben had been put in this mess because of them. Because of her.
Why should it be his life that would end? Perhaps, just perhaps her servitude to the undead would give her an advantage.
Either way, if she wanted Ben to live she had to give up her life.
Way one, she is an undead slave for the rest of her life.
Way two, she is wracked with guilt for the rest of her life for letting Ben die in her place.
There was no option for Kate.
She was leaving.
Quietly she opened and closed the hut door. She hoped this was Camille's idea of a sick joke and that now she would find them sitting around eating boar.
This of course didn't happen.
She stepped out to a gloomy morning, barely light enough, and an empty, cold fire.
She panicked as she remembered she didn't know where Varjak was.
What if he saw her and followed her? Unfortunately that was a risk Kate had to take.
She padded delicately across the twig ridden ground and peered into the distance, where they'd walked from yesterday.
Presumably, this was the direction she was to take.
She couldn't even bear to stare round at her friends' huts as she began walking, feeling like she was walking to the gallows.
“You came,” said a voice in the lightening dark.
“Of course I f*****g came,” she snarled. “I'm here - you can let him go now.”
“You want to serve us?” hissed the voice, echoing loudly.
“Who said anything about want?” said Kate. “I have to serve you. I won't let an innocent person's life be thrown away when I'm the cause of everything.”
“Indeed you are.”
“Shut up,” she barked. “Give me Ben right now. Let me see he's okay.”
“Kate no! - ” came a despairing, echoing French accent, which made her whip round at once.
“Ben!” she called back in response.
“Kate - ” The voice became opaque and thick instead of wispy - he was close now.
“Ben?” she rasped, staring round. “I'm here. I'm here!”
“Kate!” he screamed. “No, go back now! They're going to kill me anyway!”
Shuffles in the dark. They were hopefully Ben's shuffles - they were close but unseen.
“What are you talking about?” Kate asked, recovering from her panting but not daring to move from the tree.
The voice spoke into her ear.
“I'm going to die anyway. They tricked you.”
She turned round in a wild flash, but there was nothing behind her.
“You won't do it,” she snarled, staring into the blue-tinted nothingness. “You won't kill him!”
There was a dry chuckle.
“Won't we?” hissed the voice, and she was surrounded by what appeared to be thousands of undead.
In reality, it was only about twenty - all of them were male.
Nineteen were undead. One was being held in between two undead, and familiarly human.
“Ben,” Kate said, weakening at the sight of him.
He wasn't hurt, but clearly he was traumatized. His head hung despairingly as the undead grasped both arms.
He had given up.
Good thing Kate hadn't.
She stepped away from the tree, feeling a rush of power flow through her as she did so.
She stopped a small distance from the undead and Ben, staring into the dead eyes as they stared back, with hatred on each side.
“Give me him,” she ordered.
“You are not in a position to give orders,” said one undead holding Ben's right arm.
He hadn't said it with any hateful tone - it was like he was stating a fact.
“I'm not,” Kate admitted, sparing a glance for the undead that surrounded her, in tree tops, branches, canopies and small rock falls. “But that doesn't stop me trying. It was part of the deal. I serve you and Ben lives. Killing him is of no benefit to you.”
“It’s not but, why let an undead hunter live?”
She could only watch in horror as the two undead holding Ben wrenched his head up.
He was still conscious, which made Kate feel sick.
Whatever they were going to do to him, he was going to feel.
“Ben,” she wept, staring at his gray expression.
He had resigned himself to it.
“Ben!” she shrieked, face screwing up and her body heaving. “No!”
“Hurry up!” ordered the undead, and instantly the one on Ben's right whipped out a long steel knife.
“Kate - ” Ben started, but something strange had happened.
She hadn't even seen the knife move, but somehow it must have - a deep, sliced line of blood red now decorated Ben's neck - directly across his jugular.
He started like a car motor, face white with shock, and clutched at his pouring neck as the undead threw him onto the ground to die out.
Ben went into a seizure, unable to cope with the extremity of what had happened to him.
That, in Kate's opinion, was what quickened his death.
He rolled on the ground, body twisting and turning in unnatural positions, his eyes rolling to the back of his head.
Blood stained the ground underneath his dying body.
“Transform him,” Kate sobbed, unable to cope with the horror. “Bite him! Transform him!”
“He is too long gone for that,” said an undead, tonelessly.
Kate tried hard not to look as Ben wasted away.
But she couldn't.
She'd caused this, it was only her duty that she should be forced to live with this for the rest of her life.
Not that she'd have much of one now.
When she looked back Ben's body had stilled, on the very brink of death.
She only knew he was fully dead when his eyes rolled back into their normal position - this time, they were empty.
“And now, you will serve us,” said the apparent leader, a delighted sneer in his voice.
Kate was in shock.
She didn't respond for a long moment.
She only just registered his words.
“I can't serve you for eternity,” she said, voice like sandpaper. “I'm a pathetic human, remember?”
“Yes,” the undead agreed, eyes sharp as they fell hungrily on her.
She hadn't the energy to muster a flinch.
He stepped towards her, eyes flashing.
Kate couldn't deny their beauty.
“But you will not be for long,” he said.
“What?” she breathed, looking up at him blankly.
He smiled. “One day, Kate Adams, you will not be pathetic any longer.”
“Let us go now,” he ordered. The undead hoisted Kate up into his arms, where she lay dejectedly.
And that was the last anyone saw of the alive Kate Adams or Ben Lambert for a time.
© 2012 MoonAngel
Added on July 3, 2011
Last Updated on April 24, 2012
Light After Fire
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
About“Kiss me and you'll know how important I am.” I'm a 19 year old English student. I'm quite dedicated to writing and I've been working on the Light After Fire series officially for ei.. more..