Ten

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Ten

"If we're not careful, the night will turn our fears and 

insecurities into living, breathing monsters ."

--Unknown, A note found in Medloy Village


Someone was in my room.

The door opened, barely a whisper of sound. I "slept" with my eyes half opened, watching the tall dark form creep in. The hallway behind his broad shoulders--because with the wide torso it was a he--had a small night light to cast a dim yellow glow from behind. I'd put that night light in myself the second night here for possible instances like this.

Keeping my breathing even was like trying to take deep breaths during an anxiety attack--hard to do as my lungs ached to pull in more air. The adrenaline spiking through my system did not help.

My hand found the hilt of the small throwing knife under my pillow. I had to take this guy out before he did any damage to me--or worse, to Marlee who soundly slept 3 yards away.

Memories flew to the surface. Memories of a childhood spent in tiny cramped rooms.


Bitter terror on my tongue as my foster father crept along the hallway. My little eight-year-old heart racing. Please keep going. Please. When he stopped at the door, my stomach dropped. Across the room, Shayla--aware and awake--whimpered...


The dark figure stepped forward. With a quick snap, the knife sliced through the air.

Thud.

I flicked on the light next to me. "Brayden! What the hell?"

Brayden, wide-eyed, looked at the knife embedded in the wall near his head. "Holy Creator, you tried to kill me."

Across the room, Marlee sat up with a small groan and rubbed her eye. "What's going on?"

"Do you always sneak into rooms?" Aggravated at Brayden's stupidity, I got out of bed and walked barefoot to the wall. The knife slid out with one strong pull. "Are you an idiot?"

"Are you a psychotic killer?" He shot back. His eyes were still wide. At his side, his hands shook slightly. It made me forget the psychotic killer comment--and how close it hit home.

"Why are you sneaking into our room at," I paused to glance at the red digital clock on my nightstand, "4:23 in the morning?"

"Captain wanted to see us."

"Wes couldn't wait until morning? Or--Creator forbid--come here and knock on the damn door like a normal person?" Anger coated my words. Stupid! Brayden was literally idiotic.

My gaze kept straying to the small slit in the wall. Four inches. It'd been four inches from getting him in the face. A fact that sent ice down my spine.

What if he'd been four inches to the right? Another teammate--possibly fatally wounded.

Focus on something else. "Did he say what he needed?"

He shrugged. "Some tech is here. For the data chip found at our last scene. Cap't wants us all there to meet him."

~~~

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