Tara Gumpper, Staff Writer

Make sure to read chapters 1, 2, 3, & 4 before reading this! Find them under the name ‘Tara Gumpper’ in the Staff section of the Falcon Press website!

Chapter 5

“We’ve got to run.” I said, in an unnervingly calm voice. I couldn’t let Meia get even more scared than she already was. 

“Where?” Meia asked. “The police cars are way faster than we are on foot, so there’s no way that we’ll ever be able to outrun them.”

“That’s true,” Nurse Rita said. “But you don’t have to run…”

Minutes later, Meia and I had barely made it past the waiting room before the police stormed into the hospital. I could hear them barking orders at one another — a sort of move that only bad police would do — before running into the ER.

One of the police officers yelled in Aixali, the official language of Zlitovich. Unfortunately, I’m not a linguist, so I always have a hard time translating.

“What does it mean, Kara?” Meia asked. I bit my lip. Like I said, I’m not that great at translating any foreign languages. But Meia couldn’t speak it at all, so I had to figure out the meaning of the words. 

Shabdion, tipor ofuris! Iodagune meknapash, tipor bhioronanel, Meia rti Kara! Klis tipor ofuris!” 

I translated bits and pieces, until I finally figured out some parts of it. “Look, the thieves! It’s them, the fugitives, Meia and Kara. Catch the thieves!” I told Meia. “It’s not good news. We have to find a way to get out of here, fast.”

Nurse Rita was able to bring us to the door. “I have a bike,” she said. “But you kids can’t drive. And it’s only for two people.” She bit her lip. “This is against my sense, but here are the keys.” 

She plopped a set of keys into my hands. “Don’t crash it please, but it’s ok wherever you want to leave it. I have a tracker placed on it. Now go.”

“Thank you so much,” I started. “It’s so—”

“It’s fine.” Nurse Rita said, and closed the door. She opened it a little bit, and said, “Good luck.” And with a final click, the door closed. 

I paused for a moment. Within the door, I could hear the nurse’s calm voice arguing with the harsh curses of the police. 

Meia pointed a bit to my right. “I see the bike. It’s over there.”

“Quickly,” I said, and jogged over to the bike. It was sleek and black, which was good for camouflage within the night. Meia climbed onto the driver’s seat, but because she was short, I could climb on behind her and still drive. 

I revved the engines, and sped off into the night. Unfortunately, I heard the sounds of police sirens behind us. Meia glanced in the direction of the wails, and gasped. 

“Kara!” She whimpered. “They’re almost here. They’re going to capture us. It’s too late! We won’t make it too much further.” 

As I looked behind me, I realized that my sister was right. The cars were speeding up, and Rita’s motorcycle wasn’t enough to stay ahead of the guards. 

“What do we do?” I said, mostly to myself.

“Surrender.” Meia looked so strangely determined that it was nearly impossible to oppose her. “Surrender,” She said again.

“But we can’t! We have to get away from this country, and we must meet our parents near the statue! We can’t give up!”

“But we must.” Meia said, and she took the key out of the bike, immediately stopping it. 

“Meia, what’s gotten into you? We need to meet our parents!”

“Nothing. We must surrender.” 

Within seconds, the police had surrounded us. “Lower your weapons!” the chief of the force said. 

“Weapons?” I asked. “We don’t have any weapons!”

“Er, just hands up!”

“Fine.” I brought up my hands in a ‘surrender’ gesture, and so did Meia. 

The chief grabbed Meia and I by the wrist, and forcefully shoved us into the police car. He drove us to the nearest station, and locked us up in a jail cell.

“Hey!” I yelled. “We need a fair trial!”

“Kids don’t get fair trials.” The officer said gruffly, and barred the cell. 

Meia slumped against the stone walls. A green, contaminated water was dripping down through cracks in the ceiling. A couple of rats scurried around. I heard wailing coming from my knapsack. 

“Jenny!” I said. I picked her up out of the bag. She clawed at me, trying to make a dash for the rodents. 

I let her do as she pleased. It had been a while since she last ate, and who knew when she would get to eat again. 

But then, a blue glow surrounded our cat. Jenny screeched and a blinding light flashed in my eyes, and Jenny was not there anymore.