Chapter 62

331 31 46

The Naming of Cats by T.S Eliot. Who knew a poem could get stuck in my head? Josh's soft, gentle voice is glued to my mind and I can't get him out.

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,

It isn't one of your holiday games,

Of course it's not. Angie's gone. Zach's gone. This isn't a game, Sarah. I swear it's not.

You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter

When I tell you, a cat must have three different names,

You're as mad as a hatter, Sarah. Maybe I am too. We're mad, Sarah. We're driven to insanity but for different reasons.

I'll stop the poem right there. Maybe that'll coax you to read the rest of it. Or maybe you won't. I'm guessing you have a lot more important things to be getting on with, right?

I'm next to your tent now. And who knows what will happen next? Maybe you'll end up dead tonight. I'd like that. I can be the one to see the life leave your eyes.

Hide, Sarah Miller. Even though this isn't a holiday game, we can still play hide and seek, can't we?

I have the recorder in my hand. A lightweight thing about the size of a matchbox. Push a few buttons. It beeps, turns on, tuck it into my pocket. You're being recorded. You have nowhere to hide now, kitty.

I lean forward to open the flap now. You're in there, sitting down at the table, stirring your cup of coffee like you have no other care in the world. We'll see about that. We'll see very soon.

I walk in. She looks up—you. Why am I addressing this to you? Maybe it's because I can't get you from my mind, just as I can't get Josh's beautiful singing voice from my head. You both poison my brain, turn it black, bitter, worthless, Josh and you.

I try to smile but it feels fake.

"Oh, Amelia. Hello."

"Hello," I say back.

You seem surprised. Of course. You didn't expect my arrival.

"What are you doing here?"

I curl my finger around the chair opposite you and slowly ease myself down into it.

"Oh, I just wanted to talk."

"You're not allowed in here, you know—"

"Yeah, I know. But this is really important."

You frown and I bet you're wondering now. I bet you're thinking about what could possibly be wrong with me. But let's leave that for another day, shall we? I want to get to grips with you, Miller. No one seems to want to pierce your many secrets.

"Okay," you say. "What's wrong?"

I lean forward, slowly, carefully, making sure every movement is clear and that you'll get the message before I say the words.

Mouth open slightly I whisper, "I know."

You look more confused than ever. Maybe you didn't get the message the first time round. Maybe you're stupider than I thought.

"You know what?"

"I know everything, Sarah."

You're looking scared. I can see it in your eyes.

"You know... everything?"

I nod, slowly, in a small way but you understand. "I know, Sarah. I know where the trucks go. I know that you feed lies to the people of your Camp. I know that you're leading them to their death."

Winter Has Come | ✔ #1 Winter Series Where stories live. Discover now