Chapter 3

Kaelan

I awoke to find myself firstly: alive and secondly: staring into Lena's milky brown eyes.

"Time to get up!" she chimed.

She was smiling but it didn't reach her eyes, I wondered when she was going to tell me whatever the problem was. Mick chatted to me animatedly throughout the morning shooting glares at Lena whenever he got the chance, as if daring her to get through to me. After a few hours of enduring this I couldn't take it anymore.

"Will you just stop it!" I shouted as Mick moved onto the subject of toothpaste. "Lena what is it you want to tell me?"

Mick stared at me in surprise. Lena wasn't bothering to retain her confident smirk.

"Don't you look so smug, you could've talked to me this morning when you woke me up." I scolded.

The smirk abruptly disappeared but Lena approached me all the same and we kept walking.

"Our town was hit by a nuclear bomb." she announced.

Then she paused, giving me a few moments for this to sink in before continuing.

"This particular bomb was no ordinary one however; it is now responsible for the third world war. Nowhere is safe anymore. I don't know why Mick and I are kidding ourselves, acting as if we can get away. We can't, it's a world war so everywhere we could go has been affected by it. There's no way out. Your powers and the ice surrounding Leisure are results of radiation poisoning. It's been known to do all sorts of strange things to people."

We continued walking and did not say another word for the rest of the day. I was speechless, not only had this bomb killed my hometown but now it was responsible for the deaths of thousands of others.

The next day the anger nearly overwhelmed me, but we arrived at my hill and I forced it to bury back down for a while, I could never properly be angry on my little hill. It was not an easy task though; we had a clear view of the town, of the destruction in it. I knew there was no way my family was alive now. I looked at Leisure; I wondered where her family was.

"Oi!" shouted an unfamiliar voice.

I looked down. A torch was flashing up in our direction - somebody was in the town! I glanced at Mick and Lena; they started running down to the person talking to them. But I could not move a muscle. A cold wind was hitting me from behind harder than ever. I slowly turned.

"So we finally meet." I whispered.

But I was not afraid, now was the time for my anger to overwhelm me.

The monster before me stood on one highly muscled leg covered in strange yellow hairs, but those stopped growing on the creature's grotesque torso, it was similar to a human's chest, except it had spikes sticking out its sides. If the monster didn't squash you to death then it could pierce you till you bled to death instead. I felt sick at the sight of it, as if it had been made from corpses. But the head was the worst part, the head was made of a jagged piece of metal, wedged into its "neck" and on that sprouted red eyes. It didn't need to have a mouth to explain what it was capable of; its claw-like hands were bloody already. It was a crude, yet dangerous creature that moved with the wind. As I watched it the monster began to spin, turning into a small hurricane and then disappearing. The only evidence of its movement were the fluctuations in the air around it. So this was its way of hunting? I smiled. Two can play at that game. I focussed on my anger and looked down at my body, it was not there. The creature materialised again, confused. I remembered that Leisure was still next to me as its eyes locked onto her. So I did something very stupid, I pushed her down the hill to the others.

"KEEP HER SAFE!" I yelled.

Then the monster turned on me.

Just as I turned on it. I felt no remorse as I grabbed hold of the metal that made up its head. I pulled and that was the end of that.

I joined the others by the radio, now I knew we weren't the only survivors. There was only a small group of us and as we swapped stories it was clear we'd all been through too much. As we huddled round the fire in the cold I made eye-contact with everyone, none of them looked scared, just determined to live through this nightmare. We'd all used up our time of fright and now all that was left was our perseverance. I wasn't really listening to the radio, but everyone else was clinging to every fact thrown at them. I just overheard snippets.

"Millions killed...no survivors...turmoil..."

The others had families in foreign countries, I had none that I knew of. I knew that they were hoping beyond belief to hear their names, to know that they weren't dead. But what were the chances of that?

What would a hero do on doomsday?

Leisure

I felt warmth. It felt like it had been years since I last felt it. True warmth, not the ice cold chill that had surrounded me, my hand was dripping. It felt like the everlasting weight was finally falling from my shoulders. The ice was sliding off; as my ears were uncovered and my head de-frosted I heard a strange noise. I turned my head slowly to see a hair dryer aimed in my direction. I glanced over to see a group of maybe 10 people surrounding a radio, debris and wreckage surrounded them. Then I saw him, my saviour. His back was turned to me but I could tell from his hunched figure that he was not happy. I smiled. I couldn't remember much of the ordeal, sometimes I heard voices but that was virtually it. However, sometimes the gradual melt of ice around my face had allowed me to open my eyes at night. I'd had to endure a painfully cold slush that stung my eyes so I didn't do it often, but I'd see a boy and I'd know that he was going to do whatever it took to free me.

I tried to stand, but fell over; it had been so many days since I'd last walked. Now I no longer believed that my legs had the strength to carry me. My teeth were chattering violently, I instinctively knew my lips would be blue by now. The boy turned, and I saw his face properly for the first time. His young brown eyes widened in shock. A hysterical laugh escaped my lips, I was free! I uttered one word to him in a short gasp.

"Hello."