Secret Shores Storybook Series: Escape.
[Continued from Chapter Two]
Aerya couldn’t believe it. Neither could Jed. They stood there, stupefied, embracing one another as firmly as they could – neither uttering a single word, both sobbing faintly. The two were in total shock. After weeks of sorrow, each worrying that they would never see the other again, the siblings were reunited at last.
“Aerya,” Jed whispered, “we have to go now, it’s” – he stopped mid-sentence, interrupted by a faint whirring sound that seemed to be fast-approaching. Aerya turned around to face the valley opposite the stream. The silhouette of an object seemed to be moving towards them, barely perceptible in the distance, but appearing to be moving at breakneck speed.
Surely, it couldn’t be, she thought to herself… She squinted to look a little closer – her nightmares had become a reality; indeed, it was. Jed’s sudden piercing screams confirmed what she had already gathered: it was them, the village-destroyers and harbingers of death.
The two grabbed their belongings in a frantic rush, sprinting off towards the mountains through the grassy hills. The moving object – no, objects, in what now seemed to be a fleet of vehicles – continued to advance at an alarming rate, kicking up a trail of dust behind them that billowed into the sky as smoke would from a raging fire. The sound of running engines became louder and louder as the fleet approached speedily.
The moving vehicles, now visible but obscured by the darkness, looked like machines of war – ones that were highly sophisticated, and unlike anything Aerya had ever seen before. A jolt of adrenaline kicked in as Aerya and Jed forced themselves into another gear, desperately attempting to cover as much ground as they possibly could. With panicked fervor, the two continued to move hurriedly, although it was clear they were losing ground.
Finally, though, it seemed that they had, at least momentarily, lost sight of the fleet. Aerya and Jed let out a deep breath, panting and heaving as they struggled to regain their breath. The whirring sound had now stopped entirely. Jed looked back – out of the corner of his eye he spotted a human-like figure no further than 500 metres away. It was dark out, only the moon illuminating the landscape around them, but he caught a glint of what looked to be a sniper scope. “Oh no,” he thought to himself, “they must have gotten out of their vehicles…”
No more than a few seconds later, deafening crashes rang out as bullets whizzed over their heads.
The two sprinted further into the mountains as shots continued to ring out, some landing mere inches away from them. The sound of a running and shouting group was now distinctly audible behind them, echoing in a way that made it seem as though the attackers were approaching from all directions at once.
“Over here!” Jed yelled. “If we can make it to the base in time, we may be able to lose them!” Jed grabbed Aerya by the hand as the two darted towards a pitch black crevice in a wall on the side of a mountain. The two inched their way into the wall and laid still as they heard the group pass by.
As soon as the attackers were out of earshot, Jed looked up and turned the corner, exposing a faint light. He murmured with dry wit: “Welcome to your new home; 5-star arrangements here.”
. . .