Chapter 50

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Sorry this is such a short chapter. It's more a filler than anything else. :)

We sleep on the truck, only stopping for dinner briefly before setting off again. The man complains of tiredness so my Dad takes his place and they swap over every hour.

No one really goes near Josh and I feel sorry for him because of that. Well, he did save our lives, didn't he? Violent or not, we should be grateful because if he hadn't stepped up like that, my brain would be oozing along this floor.

I can't get the image of him from my mind. His body pressed close to mine, his lips close to my ear, whispering those words and then lingering on my neck. Close. So close.

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

The sun falls, leaving the air chilly and goose bumps rise on our skin. The man opens a small cubbyhole at the back of the trailer and hands out blankets. There are enough for three each and I guess the large amount is probably for keeping the cattle warm.

They reek of cow poo.

Well, guess I couldn't escape the cow farts, could I?

"Oh well," Zach mutters. "It's better than nothing."

"Yeah," his sister agrees. "It's definitely better than freezing to death tonight."

Josh just grunts as he bundles them all on top of him, only leaving his dark hair visible. I snuggle down too, bringing it right up to my face, trying not to breathe in too deeply since, if I do that, I will probably become a pile of cow poo myself.

* * *

I wake up to shouting. They're not screams of fury or anything like that, they're calls, like people are trying to get someone else's attention from five metres away.

I slowly open my eyes, blinking away the crustiness and peering around me. Surrounding the truck there are loads of trees with faint traces of moss winding up the bark. The floor is coated in mushed wet brown leaves and various bushes are scattered around here and there.

This is a pretty forest.

I turn round to the front of the truck. There's a wire mesh that runs all the way along the trees, sometimes turning into barbed wire, sometimes into mesh again. It seems to act like a barrier.

When I think that, something in my brain clicks. Wherever you are, get a compass and go North and eventually you'll get to one of their barriers. Dad had said to me yesterday. Their barriers.

Before I can confirm my findings, Dad appears round the edge of the truck. He smiles at us, almost grinning.

"I just talked to the guard. We're allowed in."

I feel a rush of confusion at his words. Guards? Why would there be guards right in the middle of a forest? And allowed in? Where?

Dad sees my look. His smile gets wider as he realises he has the joy (apparently) of telling me exactly where we are.

"Come on," he says. "You honestly don't know where we are?"

I tiredly shake my head into the blanket.

"Amelia, we're at the Camp."

Oh. The Camp. Yes. Finally.

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