Chapter 46

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CHAPTER 46

I did not have any idea where I was going. I left in a dash of blinded madness. My finger had been curled around the trigger, I felt the empowering kick of the escaping bullet, and suddenly there was an oozing dark hole in Norman's knee. It had happened so quick, so suddenly that even now the events weren't fully clear.

But he had not been killed. So I had to run and get away from the sound of the gunshot where dozens of guards would no doubt be in seconds. It seemed like the best option at the time. Not now, though, when I was wandering the dark halls alone. Yes, I still had the gun, but I really did not want to pull the trigger again.

So I ran, my eyes squinting as I franticly searched for Harry in the dimness. I wished I could've dragged him with me into that closet. We could've sat there together while I waited for him to wake up. But the destination had been too far away and the guards rushed to the hallway within seconds; there was no way I could've gotten him there without getting myself caught, too. So I had to just run and trust him, like he had said.

But he had also said to stay put in that closet, which I obviously failed to do, considering I was out here in the vacant corridors of the institution.

The pounding of my heart hadn't subsided but instead sped up as the horrid fact dawned on me; I was completely and utterly alone. I had no idea where he was or if he was even conscious, so the most I could do was recklessly search until I found out. By myself.

I desperately looked around every corner for him, realizing that this was the first time I've had to truly face the horrors of this place by myself. Ever since he had set foot in this building I confided in Harry, whether I knew it or not. He had been my shield, putting Wickendale's heavy burden on his own shoulders while mine had been left nearly weightless. He'd taken solitary confinement, whippings, and even electroshock therapy while the only hardship I faced was having to watch it all. But now I was left without my defensive armor and only an offensive weapon, alone.

And then suddenly I wasn't. Out of nowhere came somebody else, identified by only a small sound. It was far away, the sound, but drawing nearer. They were around the corner. Just so I wasn't seen, I stepped behind the corner of an indent in the wall. It was only a few feet in depth, the hallway exposed on one side and a large door on the other. It was just enough to hide me.

I was silent as I listened, trying to decipher the sound. It didn't seem like a guard. There was no rattling of keys and the pace of the noise was too slow. But it didn't sound like a patient, either. There were no distinguished footsteps and none of the mumbling or heavy-breathing you would here from most.

Instead it was a dragging sound. As if someone were dragging an unconscious body, cloth and shoes and skin scraping along the ground.

Harry.

No, it couldn't be him. It wasn't possible. Because if what was heading in my direction was an unconscious body, there would have to be someone dragging them. And I did not hear that second person. No footsteps. Just that strange, off-beat dragging along cement. But either way, it was getting closer. I pressed my back further into the wall and laid my palms flat, completely out of sight. They were only a few yards away, now, and would see me any second. I made sure the bags were still on my shoulders and the gun was still clutched in my hand, tightening my grip on the weapon.

Soon the sound was so close, I was sure that if they took another step I would be revealed. But suddenly the noise stopped just around the corner. The person had stopped, right next to me. I held my breath and forced my body to be still. I listened. But there was still only silence, not even the sound of someone else's breath in the air. There was nothing. Only the static between myself and the anonymous person merely feet away. I could feel it, that presence of someone else. And I felt like any movement in that static would be noticed by the other person, so I stayed still.

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