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I didn’t dare look down at my leg, for I feared that I would see bits of bones. I just layed there covering my ears, so that I couldn’t hear the screams and gunfire. Where was Jc? What about Kevin? James? I knew we all had fled in different directions when we heard the guards, but I was hoping we weren't too far from each other.
A few minutes passed when the gunfire and screams subsided. They would pass through soon looking for survivors. I knew they would find me. Possibly kill me. I laid still, trying my hardest not to breath. It seemed like forever when I finally heard the crunch of boots on leaves. Soon I would be found, but even though I knew this, I took a deep breath and tried harder than ever not to breath.
The sound of footsteps got louder until they were directly behind me. I started to panic, which made trying not to breathe impossible. A shout sounded from the distance and the footsteps stopped. Whoever it was turned and walked off. I let out a sigh of relief and waited until I was certain I was safe. I opened my eyes and looked about me, making sure the coast was clear. When I was certain it was, I sat up and looked at my leg. Relief coursed through me. It was only a bullet wound, I was fine.
I got to my feet trying not to wince from the pain. Jc always said, “If you don't act like it hurts, your body will believe it.”
I took a step, testing my leg. It hurt, but I could walk. I looked around searching for Jc, Kevin, and James. Where were they? Were they all right? Calm down Taylor, deep breaths, I said to myself. I took a deep breath and then walked onwards in search for my friends.
The battlefield was covered in bodies and deep holes from the bombs. It would be near impossible for me to find all of them, but I was going to try. An hour or so passed when I finally found Kevin. He was laying in a pool of blood, both legs gone.
I rushed over to him.
“Kevin!” I cried, his eyes weakly fluttered open.
“Taylor, you're okay!”
I nodded my head and took his hand. I knew he was going to die. I willed myself not to cry, but I eventually did anyway.
“Taylor,” he said. His voice quiet and raspy. “You need to get out of here. Understand me? Get out of here.”
I shook my head. “Not without you!”
He looked down at his legs. “As you can see I’m unfit to walk.”
I laughed quietly at his attempted joke. “Even in death, you stay positive...”
He nodded, “You have to go, Taylor- quickly!”
I looked behind me. “They’re gone- I’m safe.”
He shook his head, “They’ll come back! They’ll kill you!”
Just then we heard the pounding of feet- they had found us!
“Run!” Kevin hissed.
I dropped his hand and got to my feet. I saluted him and ran as fast as I could into the woods. The footsteps grew louder- they were chasing me! I willed my feet to go faster, but my leg ached with pain. I stopped and chose the tallest and most covering tree to climb. The pounding of boots grew louder as I stumbled up the tree. When I was sure I was high enough, I stopped and pressed myself against a branch. The footsteps stopped directly under the tree I had chosen.
“Where’d she go?” Someone said.
“You lost her Jacob...” Someone said grouchily.
“Naw, she was ‘ere.” The same voice said.
“Naw,” The grouchy voice said mockingly.
“Shut up idiots! She’s probably hiding” A female voice hissed, “We can wait her out.”
An hour had passed, and in that time, the soldiers had started a fire and made a tent to sleep in. When I heard the soft snoring, I cautiously climbed down the tree. Taking care not to disturb their slumber, I stepped into the shadows, dodging the crunchy leaves and twigs that broke easily.
What will I do if I get away? I pushed that question out of my head and continued walking through the woods. I had to find Jc and James- I just had too. They were the only reminders I had left of home.
No, Taylor, don’t think of that!
I sighed... Hopefully Jc and James were okay- I don’t know what I will do if they aren’t.
I rushed onward, seeing nothing but trees and bushes.
Where was I? Hopefully I was close to my friends.
Suddenly, I stumbled on my bad leg and tumbled down a steep hill. Once I stopped rolling, I listened for any signs that the soldiers had heard me. Footsteps sounded from close by me- they couldn’t be that close, could they? What if they followed me?
I kept still, thankful for the bushes that I had fallen behind. Minutes passed when I finally decided it was safe to come out from behind the bushes, but I immediately regretted it when a hand clamped my mouth shut.
I struggled, fighting my attacker, but he wouldn’t relent. I sunk my teeth into his hand, and he cried out in pain. I pulled from the attackers grasp and tried to flee, but more people came. Suddenly someone grabbed me and I felt pain as a needle was jabbed into my neck. This was it- I was caught. Would I ever see Jc and James again? Would I ever get back to my family? Would I even survive?
Questions raced through my mind as wave of tiredness coursed through me. I couldn’t fight it, so instead, I embraced it.