Wordsmith Scene 2
Then, this happened!
Kate called to the youth:
“Um. Are you okay?”
She repeated the question after a few seconds of silence, but heard no response. She edged closer to the fence and the youth did the same, creeping out of the shadows.
“Look, if you’re okay, I’m going…” she tried. No reply.
She made to leave, but the youth’s next shuffling step brought him into the streetlight. He was crouched, moving hesitantly, his eyes fearful and round. He was very dark of skin and had closely cropped curly hair. He was topless, despite the cold, and wore ill-fitting jogging bottoms. He had nothing on his feet. Curling his fingers through the fence, he stood to his full height. She took a step back, realising that he was almost six feet tall and had a thick, muscled frame.
He was clutching his chest as if it pained him. Kate began to feel guilty. She considered walking away again, but couldn’t do it.
“Just answer me. Do you need help?”
The youth (she gauged his age at about 18) nodded vigorously, wiping tears from his face, but could only open his mouth dumbly.
“Can you talk?” she asked, realising that he might be mute. He slowly choked out a quiet word that sounded like ‘Obie’.
“Obie? Is that your name?”
He frowned and eventually shrugged.
“Obie, there’s a gate here. If you come out, I’ll take you to a policeman,” said Kate in a reassuring tone, feeling absurd for talking to the hulk like he was a child.
Obie shook his head and beckoned her inside instead. She sighed- that was not going to happen. He beckoned her again, more urgently, pointing at something behind her and rattling the fence.
Kate hesitated, afraid to turn her back on him. Then she heard clicking, like the sound that dog’s claws make on a hard floor. She turned.
On the other side of the street there stood a Hyena. She blinked, thinking that it was surely just a big dog, but a second Hyena emerged from the shadows. They had sandy-coloured fur with black stripes and thick shoulders.
They growled, watching her with vicious, intelligent, mocking eyes.
You decide! Should Kate:
- Shout ‘Shoo!’ at them (they must be ordinary dogs. Trick of the light, surely.)
- Get inside the fenced-off area
- Run down the street, in the direction of the town centre