"Hanna where are you going?"
Rachel and Sophie screamed in unison after the girl who had thrown open the van doors and run into the night.
Sophie was half out the door too when she heard her parents shout. She spun around to see a menacing youth waving a gun at them through the passenger window and shouting in German. The sight of the cold, gleaming metal of the barrel filled her with instinctive fear. The boy pushed away from the van with a final shout and sprinted after the others into the dockyard. Miles began to sob.
Desperately Sophie looked between her family and the night. She was terrified of those men but she couldn't leave Hanna. Trying to stop fear from taking over she flung herself out the door and hit the asphalt. As she pounded away from them she could hear her parent's screaming out her name.
Resolutely ignoring the tears that wanted to fall at the panic in their voices she sprinted as fast as she could in the direction Hannah had disappeared. The wet concrete caught the flickering lights of the dockyard. The result was an eerie yellow glow over everything. Somewhere nearby she could hear the low rumble of heavy machinery.
Gasping for breath Sophie skidded to a halt in a corridor created by shipping containers. They loomed three stories high on either side, casting long shadows on the ground. As she regained her breath she could hear a faint whistling. Wildly she spun around, trying to guess the direction. The shelter of the containers hushed all the outside sounds. All Sophie could hear was the sound of her own heart pounding in her chest and the steady footsteps that accompanied the whistling.
A thud to her left caught her attention. Something- someone- flashed passed at the end of a long corridor. It wasn't Hanna. The movement spurred Sophie into action and she took off in the opposite direction. She had guessed right- the whistling grew fainter.
She wanted badly to call out to Hanna. She had no idea what she was doing here. She had no idea what she was going to do. It had been pure instinct, compassion, friendship which had driven her out the van and across the yards.
Coming towards a wall of containers Sophie stopped. Timidly she approached the corner and peered around. It was empty. Glancing behind her and seeing that it was deserted she risked walking out into the wide road between containers. She began to edge forward, glancing around her.
Suddenly there was an explosion of movement in front of her. She stopped dead.
Three people whirled around each other, limbs connecting and bodies thudding against the hard metal walls.
It was Hanna.
In shock Sophie fixed on her friend's long blond hair as she spun and fought with the two youths. As she had one of them pinned up against the wall, her arms equally defending herself and cutting into the boy, she momentarily glanced over her shoulder. She looked right at Sophie and in the split second her eyes widened in shock and fear.
"Hanna?" Sophie called weakly. The angry eyed, violent fiend before her wasn't the girl she had befriended...was she?
One of the boys followed Hanna's gaze and spun around. Sophie knew she should turn and run but she couldn't move. She was equally terrified by and drawn to the events before her. The youth faced Sophie, a twisted grin spreading across his face as he took a step towards her.
Suddenly Hanna was there, firmly placing herself between Sophie and the boy, her body tensed for action. They danced around each other, one darting forward and the other skipping away. Then, the first move was made and Sophie could only watch helplessly as they matched each other, strike for strike, blow for blow. Soon though, Hanna had the upper hand. She hurled the boy towards the metal wall.
She glanced at Sophie again in the pause it took the boy to get back up. Sophie met her gaze with an expression of complete fear. Their communication was cut short as both girls were distracted by the glint of metal as it sliced through the air. The boy had produced a blade and launched himself at Hanna again.
It was all so fast that Sophie couldn't quite work out what happened. Somehow Hanna deflected the blade as it was driven towards her and the next second she was behind the boy, two angry red streaks blooming across his chest. Without hesitation or mercy Hanna pulled him towards her and slid the blade swiftly across his throat. Viciously she pushed him against the wall and drove the blade once, twice, three times into his gut. As his blood spread over her hands she threw a pleading, desperate look at Sophie.
A look that cried, 'please, you are the only friend I have ever had, please, understand...'
But Sophie couldn't understand it all. She had thought Hanna was just a girl like her, a little strange sure but not...a killer.
In a moment she would regret for the rest of her life she broke Hanna's gaze and turned, fleeing as fast as she could away from the girl.
Unblinking, with blood dripping from her hands, Hanna watched her go.
She had lost her only friend in the world.