The first thing I became aware of was the pain. It felt as if something was clawing at the inside of my chest every time I took a breath, no matter how small it was. I didn't remember anything except for Miss Lilith shoving a huge needle into the soft skin under my ribcage, and my own screaming.
Since then, all I've known was black, black sleep and pain. A few times, I thought I heard some familiar voices, but I didn't know whose they were or what they were saying. Sometimes I wished they would speak more often; I felt really lonely.
As if the voices were reading my mind, they began again, softly. They whispered back and forth around me, discussing something I didn't understand. I could only pick up the few odd words, like "lost", "quick", and "hospital". I didn't know what they meant together, but I was curious. How was I to find out?
It's your friends, some voice in the back of my mind said. I hadn't heard that one before...was that me? You can't leave your friends without you, I thought to myself.
But the urge to just give up was so strong! It would be so much easier just to do that. But what about Jade? And Andre, Beck, and Tori? Even Robbie and Trina?
I couldn't. I couldn't just give up.
With all the strength I could gather, physical and emotional, I wrenched myself into motion. My eyelids fluttered open and I tried to speak, but at first a low moan was all I could get out.
I walked between Andre and Beck as we tried to find our way out of this maze of a forest. I was just about to suggest we take a break when I saw a tiny flicker of movement through Cat's red hair.
At first, I thought it was just the breeze moving her hair, but a moment later I heard a little moan issue from her mouth. "Cat!" I exclaimed, and I stopped walking. Everyone else halted just after me. Did no one else really notice that?
I stood in front of Andre, where I could see Cat's face. Her eyes were open, and she was looking at me, though she looked a little unfocused and confused.
"J-Jade?" she whispered. Her voice cracked, probably because she hadn't been using it. How had she suddenly woken up? In her condition, that had seemed almost physically impossible. I saw her gaze shift up. "Andre?"
Andre hugged Cat a little closer to him, and I saw tears squeezing out of his eyes. "I'm here, Lil' Red," he whispered.
"Are you okay?" I asked. "What did that freak demon do to you?" There were so many different things; if we knew how she'd gotten hurt, we might be able to help her.
"I...she had a really big needle," Cat murmured sleepily. "Sing me a song?" she asked. She sounded really drowsy, but that was understandable, I think.
"Um...what song?" I asked as Andre crouched down to lay her on the ground. It was a strange request, but I was going to let her have what she wanted.
"'Colors of the Wind'," she answered, closing her eyes. It was one of her favorite songs, from Pocahontas. Secretly, I liked the song too; it was powerful and beautiful. I wasn't going to start at the beginning though; I knew Cat didn't like that part.
"You think you own whatever land you land on; the Earth is just a dead thing you can claim.
But I know every rock and tree and creature has a life, has a spirit, has a name."
I cried as I sang, but I didn't let it mar the song. I was reminded of all of the times I'd spent the night at Cat's house, watching boring Disney movies like "The Little Mermaid" and "The Beauty and the Beast". As much as I hated watching them over and over again, I'd rather watch them every day for the rest of my life as opposed to this.
By the time I finished the song, Cat was sound asleep. I hoped that wasn't a bad thing. I exchanged a glance with Andre, then checked her pulse. It felt stronger than it was earlier, and I heaved a sigh of relief. Cat was strong; she was going to make it through this.
However, we still had the little issue of getting ourselves out of these woods. We'd been wandering on for almost an entire day, and there was nothing that signaled the fact that we were almost out.
The forest had changed since we started. Where before it had been thick and full of ferns and ivy, it had transformed into bare gray-brown woods without much vegetation. "How big can a forest be?" Vega asked after a while. Cat was back in Andre's arms and we'd been continuing on for another hour.
Nobody bothered to answer her. After another forty-five minutes, we came across a huge tree. It had to literally be at least a hundred and fifty feet tall.
"Is that a Sequoia tree?" Robbie asked. "Don't they only grow in California?" Beck ran a hand through his hair before answering.
"Yeah, I think they said something about that in my history class..." As everyone else stopped to discuss the matter, I wandered around a little.
I could see more giant trees scattered across the smaller ones. Weird...did they just start growing here? I reached out to touch the trunk of one of them, and proceeded to walk around it, trailing my hand on the bark.
I stopped in my tracks when I saw what was halfway to the other side of the tree. A huge hole was drilled right through the trunk. I hadn't been able to see it from the side, but it was seriously giant. That couldn't be natural.
A bare trail cut through the forest on either side of the tunnel. I walked through to the other side and found a couple bright sheets of metal nailed to the wood. I recognized them as the signs people put on nature trails. "No biking." "Horseback Riding." Those and an arrow pointing the direction we were going.
"Guys!" I yelled. Those idiots were still arguing with each other. "Guys, you've got to come see this!"
OHMIGOD! It's almost over! And don't worry, I never had the intention of killing Cat. But it was fun to see your reactions :D There's going to be one, maybe two more chapters.
ohsnapitzzhannah: Actually, those are my favorite couples too, but I didn't want Tori to be in the story very often, so...I stuck Andre with Cat. Haha XD