When he turned around what he saw confirmed his worst fears and caused the bile to come rushing into his mouth, he swallowed hard to get rid of the sour taste that had filled his mouth and leaned against the truck to support his legs that had suddenly turned wobbly.
Sprawled out on the tarmac about 50 feet away was a young girl. She lay on her back unmoving.
Simon took one step towards the lifeless form and stumbled when his weak legs almost buckled under him, he took a deep breath and walked shakily to where the girl lay.
“Hey you okay?” he called out to the motionless girl, ‘Stupid me’, he thought to himself ‘of course she’s not okay she’s freakin’ dead.’
Her face was covered in mud but even then Simon could tell that she was quite young, she couldn’t have been more than sixteen, her skirt had pulled up almost to her waist and even in his state of fright Simon couldn’t help but notice her smooth brown thighs, as if guilty of where his eyes were focused he looked away.
He knelt next to the body and closed his eyes “What have I done?” he whispered to himself, he had enough problems to worry about without having to add to that the blood of an innocent girl on his hands, this transgression was enough to cause his dad to ground him till he was thirty, the humiliation his dad had caused him in the past would pale in comparison to the grief he would have to go through every day should his father learn of this.
In that moment Simon made his decision, he would drive away and never tell anyone of the incident ever, it would be his secret, his closet skeleton, his ghost to haunt him for the rest of his life, As he stood up to head back to the truck he heard a whimper, quickly he knelt back down and prodded the girl on her shoulder, could his mind be playing tricks or was it the girl for sure. ‘she could still be alive’ he said to himself, ‘please let her be alive’ he prayed.
As he shook the lifeless girl she moaned, opened her eyes and looked straight at him with a glazed expression.
“You’re alive, oh! Thank god, Oh! My god you’re still alive.” Simon could hardly contain his relief, he held the girl’s hand tightly as if to keep her from slipping back to the dead.
He had to get help, she was definitely in need of urgent medical attention and he wasn’t even sure where the nearest hospital could be found.
He would get help from Kyalika, his grandfather would know what to do he, decided to carry her into the truck and take her to the village, as he bent down to lodge his arms under her legs and arms she let out a blood curdling scream, shocked and horrified Simon drew back quickly, he’d hardly touched her, ‘was she in serious pain?’ he had to get help fast. When he looked at her face, her mouth was wide open and her eyes were terror stricken she reached out a dirty hand and the words she spoke were barely audible.
They’re………..they…… coming..help…….help me…….they’re…..
Simon leaned forward and held her hand “I’m going to get help we need to get to my car and go to Kyalika.” he assured her.
“No,.. Kyalika ………not…… going back …”
Suddenly with the strength that Simon previously would have doubted she had, the girl wrenched her hand free and stood up in a movement that to Simon looked like a spirit rising from the ground.
“What are you doing? You’re hurt, you can’t walk.” He exclaimed.
She brushed past him before he could stop her. She looked around in horror as if expecting something to attack her any minute. “She’s dead…..I ….we…hide...” The mumbling was incoherent.
“Listen to me, we need to take you to a hospital” he offered.
But she was gone. He watched in astonishment as she raced off into the bushes and disappeared into the dense undergrowth.
Chapter 3 release date: 22 Jan 2009