When the rain finally came, it came down hard. I was sitting in the Deadheads for all of ten minutes when a droplet of water dampened a page in my notebook. I took my time packing up my things and making it back to the Homestead, which ended up being a mistake. The sky seemed to open up and slam buckets of water onto the Glade in sheets of rain that made it nearly impossible to see. The sky turned grey, making me squint.
I had my notebook tucked into the waistband of my jeans with my coat over it so it wouldn't get wet. That wasn't the case for me. There was no barrier between me and the forces of nature that were currently being slammed upon me while I hurried to the Homestead. If we hadn't had lights on in there, I wouldn't have been able to see if I was going in the right direction.
I opened the door with a gasp and heaved myself inside, dripping wet and shivering. All eyes turned to look at me as I leaned against the door and breathed heavily through my mouth. My leg was aching from the strain I had put on it to get inside so quickly, and my brace was weighing it down. Instead of lifting the pressure, it made it somewhat worse.
Nick came pushing through the packed foyer with two towels in his hands. They were the thin, worn kind that should probably have been thrown out long ago. I made a mental note to ask the Creators for some new ones as I accepted them from our leader, whose hair was also damp. Quickly, I wrapped one around my body and used the other to wring out my hair. It was all I could do until I could get upstairs and change.
I slid the water off of my watch, which was luckily resistant to liquids. The time on the face read 11:34. Some of the Runners should have been coming back to the Maze by now. It was the protocol for a rainstorm as bad as this one. It was either navigate your way back or find somewhere that'd block the oncoming water and wind. Most usually chose the second option.
I was worried for Minho. I couldn't help it. He had to deal with two Greenies on their first trial run with a demonic storm surging through. The stones on the ground were slightly slippery, but the soles of Runner shoes had much better grip than your average sneakers. However, it was a pain to see with water everywhere in such a confined space.
"I need to talk to you."
I turned to see Gally heading toward me with an urgent expression on his face. His eyebrows were pinched together and he seemed genuinely troubled.
"About...?" I trailed off the question, confusion written on my face. It was slightly alarming to see Gally like that- he usually didn't have much of a facial expression besides a scowl.
"Not here." He beckoned me through the crowd and to the back of the Homestead, where there weren't many people. I didn't have to push through the crowd like he did; people avoided me because I was still dripping water all over the place.
We stopped beneath one of the dimly lit bulbs in the ceiling that was sure to go out soon. The light illuminated him in an eerie glow, but I wasn't scared. There was no need to be afraid of Gally.
"Listen," he commanded, voice hushed. "One of my Builders, Harvey, told me that he was up bright 'n early and saw Alex run into the Maze."
My eyes widened. Alex? In the Maze? "That's against the rules. But why on earth would he go in there? And nobody else noticed?"
Gally shrugged. "It was the split second the Doors were wide enough to fit him that he went in, apparently. But listen here. I'm sayin' this as a Keeper to a fellow Keeper- I don't trust that shank one single bit. If it were any of us who'd screwed up as much as he has so far, we'd be in the Slammer for months."
"I see where you're going with this," I sighed as I squeezed more water out of my hair with the towel, "but I'll have to have more proof than Harvey's claim. Are you sure nobody else saw?"