13 - Where There are Guiders

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(**A/N: Sorry to get your hopes up, people who've read Chapter 12 before June 13th. I decided to split that chapter into two, so...sorry if you were expecting an update! And for those who read it after the 13th, um, continue xD)

13

        “What is it?” I said, snapping my gaze down to his shoes. The same feathery flowers were tangled around his feet, climbing over each other, trying to get as high up his leg as they could.

         He murmured, “Come with me”, and when I didn’t protest, reached down and grasped my hand in his. He turned swiftly and tugged me along behind him. He paused only for a moment at the street corner. Without waiting for the cars to stop, he walked right into traffic. Cars screeched to a stop, the drivers honking their horns up and down the street, heads poked out of car windows.

         “Jacoby!”

         He shook his head and pulled me into the nearest store, 7-Eleven, which happened to be packed with high school students buying Slurpees.

         “What was that?” I said, hardly believing Jacoby Harold would do something like that.

         He let go of me for a moment, only to tuck his arm behind my back and lead me into the candy and junk food section.

         “That’s why,” he whispered, making me crouch down beside him and pretend like we were trying to decide which Maynards to buy. “Look out the window,” he murmured, his mouth a little too close for comfort to my ear.

         I crooked my arm like I was going to scratch my head, and peeked out the window. At first I saw nothing out of the ordinary. There were a couple cars parked in front of the stores, and the usual clumps of highschoolers buying lunch.

         “I don’t see what’s so different,” I was about to say, angrily, too, since Jacoby had walked straight into traffic and dragged me with him.

         He elbowed me between my ribs and I coughed, smacking the back of his head.

         “Just wait,” he said. “See the way they hold themselves? They’re different from the others of their kind.”

         I kept my eyes fixed on the window, still pretending to scratch my head. I was wondering how long I would need to stay in the same position when two people came into view.

         There wasn’t anything extraordinary about them. They wore normal clothes, had normal faces…but they didn’t act normal. Their heads were raised to the sky, tilted to the side, as if listening hard for something. They walked along the line of stores. When they stopped near the windows, they tensed up, the cords in their necks showing, and their eyes widening until it seemed like the whites went on forever.

         “Guiders,” Jacoby whispered to me, his hand finding mine, or mine finding his. “Relax, clear your mind…just don’t panic. They’ll sniff it out like dogs.”

         “Like dogs?” I repeated.

         “Just focus on something. Here.” He deposited a pack of Fuzzy Peaches into my lap and told me to read the ingredients.

         We stayed that way for a minute or ten, I wasn’t sure. When I got to the end of the list I started over again. I wanted to look, but very time I so much as glanced up, Jacoby nudged me.

         “My feet are going numb,” I mumbled.

         “Quick, get up.” He was on his feet the next moment, hand outstretched. “I can’t see them anymore. Up, Jasslyn.” He hauled me to my feet and pulled me into a crowd of boys near the fridges debating on what energy drink to buy.

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