Ch.26—The Worst

I didn't know whether to run or creep along silently and slowly. The thought that a dangerous man was in each of those houses was too scary to even stop and think about. I clung to Josh. His warm hand guided me to a safer sanity than I was prepared to accept. I knew he was scared to, but I think it helped having both of us together.

"Why did you come here?" I whispered.

"Shh," he whispered back, tightening his grip on my hand. "We'll talk later."

I nodded hesitantly. "We're almost there," I said.

Both of us were beginning to breathe a little easier. All the houses filled with graffiti appeared to be watching us. Every step we took was a step closer to safety, but it was also another movement that the men inside could've been watching. What had they done? Bought out a whole neighborhood for their little gang? I sighed. It's not very little I guess, then.

We passed another house, and yet another. I glanced over to the next house, which looked very ragged and had a house that said "Beware of the dog", except the word "dog" was crossed out and replaced with the word "danger". I gulped. Josh's hand tightened on mine. I nodded, and faced forward. We were now just a block away from the car. I was so relieved, and I think Josh was too. I thought I even sensed him smiling slightly.

We were so close and I felt my pace quicken, Josh seemed to stay slow. I almost thought I saw warning glance cast across to me, but I ignored it…or didn't notice. I knew how close we were.

"Mindy," he warned.

"What?" I mouthed.

He nodded to behind us, but I didn't see anyone.

"They're following us," he said.

"There's nobody back there," I said. In the back of my mind I thought I heard silent footsteps, even though we had stopped, but again, I didn't take notice.

"Keep still," he whispered. I could see fear in his eyes, probably better after the fact, but my mind was so aware of the closeness to safety, that I could not sense the danger coming in around us.

"Come on let's go," I said, turning to walk away. He was trying to pull me back, but I began to run. Something or someone caught my by the collar of my shirt and shoved me against an abandoned garage.

"Mindy!" Josh shouted, trying to run for me. But stopped as the man put a gun to my head. I shivered. Suddenly, everything had gone all wrong.

"Son, come with us or this witch dies," the man said.

As much as I could see from the corner of my eyes, he looked practically identical to the man who had captured me before. I shivered. His hand gripped harshly around my wrist and he held the gun steadfast and ready at the side of my head. "Josh," I mouthed, quivering in sight.

Tears were rolling down Josh's face. "She's not a witch!" he shouted at the man.

"It's nice you take pity on the criminals of this world," a man said, coming up behind the first.

Josh gasped as more men appeared around his father. "What is this? A conspiracy?" he asked, in shock.

"Son?" the first man asked. "Decide."

He was torn. Josh looked back and forth between me and the men and began balling. He mouthed, "I'm sorry" to me, kissed me on my temple and nodded to his father. "I'll go," he just barely made out.

He released me and I looked back.

"Go," Josh whispered.

I hesitated.

"GO!" he shouted.

I ran, tears streaming down my cheeks. I ran to the car where my mother was waiting, quite surprised to the expression and the liquidation running down my cheeks.

"What happened?" she asked, once I had gotten in the car.

"They took him," I said. "They were gonna kill me."

"What?!?" she asked. "Oh, I'm gonna kill them," she said, getting out of the car, but I stopped her.

"Don't go, mom. Their whole gang is out there. There's at least twenty of them if not more, and they all have guns," I quivered my seat. "Mom, they've got Josh! They're gonna take him away and do who knows what! I'll never see him again! They might even—" I stopped. I couldn't even say it. It was too painful.

Mom held me and attempted to comfort me, but she never said it would be alright. Never once did she utter the words that had come so easy out of her mouth before. I sighed. This was a real hell on earth.


A/N: Again…I know that it's short, but work with me here! I couldn't really add much else! So…please review and read or whatever…and I'll update soon.