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Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Step Too Far - Chapter 8

Stephanie stirred slightly and felt the sensation of almost falling out of bed.  But she could feel the hard, damp ground beneath her, then a wave of nausea swept over her.  She almost wasn’t able to move in time, but she rolled to her side and threw up violently on the grass.  “Where the hell am I?” she wondered, confused, but not particularly worried.  Her eyes glanced past another person lying face down, just a foot away.  She was sure she was at a house party last she recalled.  Must have been really heavy to end out here.

She rose to her knees to look around and see who else was there, but the motion made her head reel and her vision blur.  She fell back to the ground and threw up again, as much on herself as on the ground.  She’d really gone overboard this time.

She took a minute to recover and looked around again, vision still blurry, memory almost blank, but she could see it was just her and that other person, a girl.  Long brown hair, jeans and a t-shirt, her right arm seemed bent at a very odd angle.  She must really be wasted.  They probably went for a walk to clear their heads or something and fell asleep.  Better check if she’s okay.

Stephanie moved closer and patted the girl on her back, “Hey, you still out?”  No response.  Her eyes focused a little on the side of the girl’s face that was showing.  It had blood on it.  And her eyes were open.  In the glint of the moonlight she could see the green eyes, surrounded by red, and tears still on her face.  The text message.  “Annie?” she whispered. “ANNIE?!” She turned the girl onto her back and saw her battered face clearly.  Without thinking she shook her hard by the shoulders.  “ANNIE? What are you doing here?  Annie!”  The right shoulder wobbled in her grip unnaturally, dislocated.  No response.  Stephanie felt panic rising through her, she was panting.  Annie wasn’t breathing.  She put a finger to her neck.  “Annie?  What happened?  Annie!”  No response.  No pulse.  Stephanie let out a quiet whimper with each gasping breath.

She looked around desperately, it was still night, no one to be seen.  Ambulance.  Her phone.  She dug into her pockets and pulled it out, still had charge.  Dialling emergency services, she rose to her feet, pushing down the dizziness that threatened to overwhelm her.  There was a main road just a few hundred meters away and she could see the lights of cars going past.  “Annie, please hold on!  I’ll get help!  I’m not leaving you, I’ll get help!”  As the phone rang she raced as best she could for the road to flag down anyone she could.  Annie couldn’t die, not her, nothing could stop her!  How did this even happen?  Stephanie asked for her help, now she was alive and Annie was dead, that’s how.  No, Annie couldn’t be dead, she couldn’t be…

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