Fuzzy eyes adjusted to the light. Sound bled in like water through raw sewage. Her head bumped against the glass, grey lines blurring by as the car grumbled at the fast moving bitumen.
Stale cigarette leaked out of the side door’s upholstery, stuffing her nostrils and twisting her stomach with a cold sickness. She closed her eyes again. Memories clamoured together in an attempt to reorder themselves. Muffled senses grasped at the hint of soil in the air and held on.
There’d been a boy and a man with no face. And a woman.
She could still sense the woman. That vile thing was sitting next to her in the car, rocking with the same rhythms of the road, void of sensation behind the professional veneer of her steel grey business suit and starched skirt. She was scanning a list.
The two people in the front of the car didn’t speak. One drove and the other remained motionless; the dull roll of the radio the only noise between them.
The boy. His face resurfaced in her mind. He was the boy from school. He’d moved there less than a week ago.
They’d been running.
Her gaze dropped to her muddied nails. She’d fallen near the pond, the blue light cast by the tree canopy making it difficult to see the skid path. He’d yanked her to her feet and pushed her on as torchlights stabbed through the dark bushes.
She hadn’t wanted to trust him, but even the best liar couldn’t hide his intentions from her. And he’d known things that no one else could possibly know.
Her head knocked against the window again, dizzying her vision some more. “Slow down. You’ll damage the merchandise,” the woman muttered from her papers. The speed of the vehicle eased, tarmac crunching instead of screaming.
She remembered the needle and how it had dug into her arm when they’d caught her. That had happened after the wall but before the man with no face. It was so difficult to piece it all together. Concentration pricked her brow with cold sweat.
First came school. The boy had told her that they were coming and they needed to go before they arrived. After that was a blur of hasty preparation. Then there was running.
They’d been running.
The boy had told her that there was a teacher helping them find her. He hadn’t come to her school to learn. He’d come to help her.
Then there was the garden and the dark trees and the mud. It was like piecing together fragments of a dream. Maybe it was a dream and nothing more. So why did her brain feel so mashed up?
They’d run to the garden wall. It was too high yet he’d managed to scale it. He’d reached down and grabbed for her. Voices had crashed through the bushes, scraping her mind with their thoughts. She’d grasped for his hand.
The mud squelched between them.
His eyes rounded as she fell. They’d caught her in mid-air, releasing bullets that had ricocheted off the stonework as Adam had disappeared.
Then there was the needle and the man with no face. Did he want her dead or did he want her psychic powers for himself?
Or would Adam try to save her again?
Continues in Putrid Fume.
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