The Rage: Part 17

XVII

Old machinery covered in grime and cobwebs fills most of the space inside the little building. The only other thing in here is hatch in the floor. Topi picked the lock, but we didn’t go through; beneath it, a long ladder descends into darkness as far as either of us can see. Emilia didn’t even look; she said it would make her sick.

One of us has to be brave. One of us has to do it. It will most likely be me. To even suggest that Emilia should go first would be tantamount to threatening to kill her and letting Topi go would be to remain with her. She still hasn’t forgiven me.

As soon as she’s asleep, Topi gives me the nod and I creep to the hatch. I wait for it to creak, but it is silent, even as I lay it open. Inside, it’s just black. I wish I had something to drop so I could guess how far down it goes. I take a deep breath and put my foot onto the first rung of the ladder.

“Wish me luck,” I whisper.

Topi smiles and I begin to make my way into the darkness.

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The Rage: Part 16

XVI

There’s a house ahead of us. I’ve seen no smoke around it, but it might not be empty. The high fence around it might be enough to keep out the Ragers.

We should reach it by sunrise. A week or two ago, we would have made it in a couple of hours, but Emilia is so slow now that even sunrise might be a push. She stops constantly, clutching her back or head. She’s even started talking to me again, but it’s only to complain that she’s tired. I’m not surprised; she even wakes us in the night with her constant moving.

I think what most irritates me about her now is that she refuses to eat. I suppose she feels guilty about the weight she’s put on. But more than that, when she does eat, half the time she is sick almost immediately. She’s not showing other signs of infection, but I don’t like being near her.

We trudge onward. There are no lights in the windows of the little building, not even the flicker of candles. Perhaps it will be safe after all. Perhaps our biggest problem now is how we will haul Emilia over the fence.

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So, I just finished NaNoWriMo and those lovely people have given me some goodies for winning. Yay! The less great bit is that I don’t really need all the prizes – which is good news for you, dear reader. Instead of letting these codes go to waste, I’m going to share them with you and if you’re fast enough, maybe you can use them instead! If they don’t work, then someone else beat you to it, sorry!

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