Chapter Twenty-One ~ Part Four

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When Mac was fourteen years old, she’d thought that she had met the end of the world when her period had arrived, ten days early, right in the middle of the Harley Independent School’s swimming carnival medal presentations.

Of course it wasn’t actually the end of the world, but for about three weeks, until the teasing and whispering behind her back had died down, it had certainly felt like it. However, the end of the world back then, paled in comparison to the end of the world right now, because now, things literally could not get any worse.

“So, you’re saying first aid for a snake bite is pressure and immobilisation?” Mac asked. Her voice, like the rest of her, shook as a result of both a frenzied dash back to camp, dragging Adam behind her, and also the discovery that in doing so, she may have just sped up the effect that the bite could have on him.

“Yes, Mac.” Felix answered a little shortly, as he concentrated on working in synch with Zeb. They were wrapping a bandage so tightly around Adam’s leg that it made him wince.

If only she had recalled this piece of information from the brochure she’d been given in Darwin, and not the fairly useless, yet terrifying fact that, of the ten most venomous snakes in the world, all ten were found in Australia.

Therefore, it’s possible that I may have just killed him? Although she kept this question a silent one, Mac was pretty certain that she wasn’t alone in the thought. Around her, where the group had all gathered, several others looked to be thinking the exact same thing.

Sat cross-legged, on the ground beside where Adam had been laid down with strict instructions to keep still and stay calm, Tora and Phoebe kept looking at Mac as if she had brandished the snake at his ankle herself, while William, more worryingly, continued nodding like a car’s parcel shelf ornament and making notes in his notebook. The click, click, click of his pen, as he wrote, irritated her to the point of wanting to shove it up his nose.

“What did it look like Mac?” Felix’s voice broke her chain of thought.

“Umm…”

“The snake, Mac. What did it look like? Colour, length, distinguishing marks?”

“I, umm… I don’t know.” Mac felt tears of panic begin to prick at the corners of her eyes. “I killed it.”

Click, click, click.

“Where?” Clearly agitated, he stood up and ran his hands through his hair, waiting for her answer.

“The umm…” She pointed in the direction of where they’d come from. “Go right, past the big mud thingy.”

“The Termite mound?”

“Yes.”

“We were in this sort of, umm…” What should she say? Secluded area. Private den. Secret hiding place. Whichever she chose, it wasn’t going to sound good.

“Your toilet?” Felix raised an eyebrow.

“How did… It’s not my… Yes.” Mac blushed. He’d obviously seen her trekking out there on their previous visits.

“You have the toilet?” Tora looked incredulous, as though she had missed a vital piece of information.

“No, don’t worry, she doesn’t,” Phoebe placated her. “She poops in a hole just like the rest of us.”

Click, click, click.

“Stay here with Adam, and don’t do anything that will get his heart rate up.” Felix looked at Mac pointedly.

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