The front door is closed, Truman pointed out as he walked around to the passenger side. Toby said he left it open when he ran out.
She crawled a few feet and dropped to her stomach, scooting forward. Her boots dragged behind her.Jesus Christ. Watching her belly-crawl into the narrow opening made him light headed. How far will she go?
It’s wider back here. Her voice didn’t echo through the tunnel; it sounded muffled by the rocks and dirt.He knelt and looked in the hole. A faint glow from the flashlight in her hand outlined her head and shoulders. Her boots were swallowed up in the dark.Be careful, he repeated. Fuck. What if we’re suddenly hit by the once-in-a-lifetime earthquake they’ve been predicting for the last fifty years?
Maybe you should come out now. His voice cracked.Mercy? He estimated she was a good fifteen feet down the tunnel. What if there’s not enough oxygen? Can I crawl in and pull her out?
Mercy, he said firmly. That’s far enough.
It took a lifetime for her to back out of the tunnel. Once her boots were within his reach, he grabbed one firmly. He didn’t pull, but he kept a solid hand on the leather because it calmed his gut. Her calves were covered in fine rock and dust. She awkwardly backed out the rest of the way, her dark ponytail covered with the same debris.He yanked on the back of her jeans waistband.
Something erupted deep inside her and she arched back, leading with her elbow, determined to find his face. Her elbow connected with his eye socket and he screamed, slapping his hands over his eye. Mercy scrambled out from under him, kicking frantically, wishing she still wore her boots. She tripped and lunged, barely keeping her balance, to get back to the den to Rose.Her sister was on her hands and knees; blood trickled from her nose and mouth, and her dress was torn down the front. Her bra and stomach were visible. Mercy stopped in shock and then rushed to help her sister. Rose cowered back and rose to her knees, one of their father’s handguns in her shaking hand, pointing at Mercy.
The gun immediately lowered. Mercy? Rose’s voice wavered.Give me that. Mercy snatched the gun from her hand and whirled around to glimpse the back of their attacker as he vanished around a hall corner. Don’t move! she ordered Rose, and ran after the man, adrenaline pumping through her limbs.