Sarah watched in horror as blood gushed from the wound on her sister’s neck. She lay there, motionless and bleeding. Her clothes were ripped and dirty, her hair in tangles. Nobody spoke a word as Sarah sank to her knees in front of Emma. Silent tears rolled down her face and splashed onto Emma’s blistered skin. She reached out a hand to brush aside a strand of hair that obscured her sister’s face, feeling misery sink deeper in the pit of her stomach.
“She didn’t even want to come in the first place,” Sarah whispered sadly.
“It’s not your fault, Sarah,” Chris said, looking down on the terrible sight. The ghastliness of the scene was tearing at him, making him feel that they would suffer the same fate.
“She didn’t want to come, and I forced her,” Sarah moaned.
The others didn’t know what to say. Vagan looked at the scene in revulsion. He knew who was responsible, yet he couldn’t do anything to confront that person.
They sat there in silence and dismay for a long time. Sarah didn’t know, nor cared how long. She couldn’t believe what she beheld. Her sister, her best friend, lay dead before her. All the time the tears never stopped streaming down her face. She wanted it to be a dream, a vision; anything that meant Emma was still alive. Her mind stood blank with despair as Chris put a hand on her shoulder. It was getting dark by now, and Sarah knew they should be going, but she couldn’t get herself to let go of Emma’s cold hand.
“Sarah,” Chris said gently, “we have to go.”
Vagan lifted his head out of his hands and looked at Chris.
“The hunters will be out soon,” he said, standing up and walking to where Sarah sat on the damp ground.
“I can’t,” Sarah said desperately. They don’t understand, she thought, more tears rolling down her face. Her eyes were swollen and red by now, same as her nose. They burned in protest to the horrid scene, but Sarah couldn’t look away.
“We have to, they’ll be out searching for us again soon,” Chris said, still in the gentle voice.
“I can’t leave her here,” Sarah cried, looking at Chris as though he was mad.
“I’ll carry her,” Vagan offered. He knew why Sarah didn’t want to leave Emma there. The hunters would stumble across the fresh body, thinking about the scrumptious feast it would become. Although Vagan was never that close to Emma, he felt that no one deserved such a cruel end.
Chris looked at Vagan. “Will you be able to carry her all the way?” he asked, looking doubtfully at the corpse. Vagan new it would be a struggle, but he couldn’t stand seeing Sarah so miserable. He nodded slowly at Chris.
“Okay, but we have to go, now,” Chris said, stepping closer to Sarah and helping her up. She was still crying, so Chris hugged her, feeling that the sorrow had just begun.
They walked in silence, only broken by the panting of Vagan. Chris still had an arm around Sarah’s shoulders.
“You okay?” he asked Vagan, looking back over his shoulder.
“Yes,” he panted, getting a better grip on Emma’s body.
They walked through the lush greenery. Sarah kept her eyes on the ground, to miserable to think. She felt Chris’s arm around her, and drew comfort from it.