Outside of Ash Shatt

46 hours after Ellinor, Alexander and Monifa left Cairo

Something had been bothering Alexander ever since they left Cairo. After a restful night, they hitchhiked to Suez, then hid on a boat crossing the river. From there they'd walked for who knows how long. Now the sun was setting, turning the sky a fiery orange, and Alexander could not figure out what was wrong. They walked in silence for a while longer, then he remembered.

"How do you know Greek?" he asked Monifa.

She looked up. "Huh?"

"I said, how do you know Greek? You know, my mother language? The one you spoke when we just met?" he prodded. Monifa's face lit up. "Oh! Well, my mom's a linguistics professor at the college," she said. Then she was quiet, realizing her mistake. "I mean, she was."

All three remembered the awful day. The smoke, the screams, the blood. Monifa wanted to cry. She shook her head, trying to clear it. "Speaking of foreign languages," she spoke up, startling the others, "the song you sang the other night, Ellinor. I couldn't understand it. Aren't these bracelets supposed to translate everything?"

Ellinor looked confused. "I-I had no idea. Maybe it's because it only rhymes in my language. In any other, it wouldn't make any sense."

The younger girl nodded. "I can understand that." For a long while, no one said anything. Finally, just as the last rays of light disappeared, Alexander broke the silence.

"So, where do we set up camp?" he asked. Glancing around, he noticed a large silhouette stalking towards them. "Never mind. We have company."

The girls narrowed their eyes at the stranger. It was too big to be human, and walked on four legs. As it drew nearer, they could see that it had large spots and a long, serpentine neck. A snarl echoed through the air, and it started bounding towards them.

"RUN!" Ellinor screamed. The others needed no other encouragement. The three teenagers sprinted through the flat-ish terrain, but the creature was gaining on them. Ellinor made decision right then.

"We must fight!"