Pain seared through my chest as I tried to pull in air. A weight crushed me, holding me down against the rough wooden slats. I felt warm liquid ooze down my shoulder, fallowed by a throbbing ache that seemed to resonate through my bones.
"Kyle!" The boards beneath my back shuddered as Sky crawled over to me. I could just barely make him out from under the Creature.
When the weight was finally lifted off me I breathed in relief. The pain, however, suddenly increased tenfold. I cried out and clutched my stinging shoulder,curling in on myself. Everything burned; my skin, my brain, even my blood seemed to be on fire.
"Oh..." Sky's gasp trailed off and I peeked my eyes open to look at him. He was staring intently at the wounded shoulder, eyes wide. When he finally met my gaze my gut tumbled. A blank look slid over his features, hiding whatever shock had been there before.
"What?" Voice catching, I cleared my throat nervously. "What is it?" I couldn't bare to turn my head and look myself, unable to face the reality of it quite yet.
Sky remained silent, staring at me with those steel eyes. Tears threatened to spill and a ball of fear knotted in my stomach.
"What?" I asked again, louder. When Sky refused to answer once more I let the tears fall, tumbling down my cheeks in fat drops. "Oh god..." I sobbed and looked to my left.
The arm of my jacket was nearly torn off, giving way to the bloody gore of a shoulder. Obvious bite marks littered the skin, blood gushing from them steadily. Panic tore through me like wildfire, igniting the already throbbing pain pulsing through my body.
I doubled over and screamed. It echoed through the forest, sounding sickeningly similar to the calls of the Creatures that attacked us. It went long and steady, tapering off to an aching gasp.
Sky let out a shaky breath, making me study his form through watery eyes. He'd slumped against the tree, head cradled in his hands. I stared at him and let out another cry, turning my attention back to the bite.
Red painted the flesh. My brain couldn't seem to wrap itself around the fact that my once fair skin was now a horrid scarlet, viciously standing out in the fading daylight.
Gulping, I clutched my stomach as another wave of pain washed through me. I knew what was happening. I knew I didn't have much time. But oh, how I wanted this moment to last forever. Just so I wouldn't face the hellish end so many others had.
"Do it," I muttered, pressing my hand against my forehead. When my request was met by silence, I looked back to Sky. He stared at me mournfully, shaking his head. "Please."
"I can't," He rasped and for the first time I noticed tears in his eyes. "I can't Kyle. I just can't."
"Why?" I screamed so loud my voice broke at the end, leaving my outburst lacking in hostility. I hugged my knees to my chest and fell to the side, crying out when my body crushed the wounded shoulder.
I stared at the body of the Creature I'd killed, the stick poking out of its throat jaggedly. Blood pooled around the beast, a thick, dark liquid. The syrup stained my skin and jacket as well, leaving me in the mess of our gore.
I pulled myself to all fours and shuffled over to the Creature, left arm hanging limply at my side.
As I approached him, the Creature looked even less human. It's face was contorted into a gruesome snarl, his thick canines protruding outward violently.
His flesh sunk easily beneath my hand as I shoved against against a grayish shoulder, grunting with the effort. The body inched slowly to the edge of the platform, limbs lolling clumsily in its wake.
The wood creaked as Sky stood and came towards me. He stuck a big black boot out and helped me shove the Creature over the side.
We watched him tumble to the ground, staring silently at the spot he landed.
"I owe you my life." Sky murmured, breaking our silence. Saying nothing, I continued to stare at the ground, watching as snow began to fall and cover the Creature's body. "That's why I couldn't leave you."
I turned to look at him then, ignoring the pain that continued to radiate through my body. I didn't have much time. "You saved me too. Let's call it even?"
Sky shook his head and squinted up at the white clouds. "In my clan, when someone saves your life you're pledged to them forever. No matter how many times you save them, you still owe them."
"How so?" Sky confused and irritated me, but in that moment I was thankful for the distraction.
"You saved me without any motivation. You didn't know me. Didn't owe me anything. That's a true act of bravery. And among my people, its an act that is honored forever."
|Imogen Poots||as Kyle|
|Jeremy Sumpter||as Sky|
|Dakota Goyo||as Slater|
|Zoe Saldana||as Robin|