“No,” said George.
“Where else are we gonna go?” replied Sara.
“I hate you.”
With limited other alternative, George and Sara took each other’s hands and jumped of the cliff. Their pursuers were not so willing to throw their lives away and slid to a halt before they reached the edge.
“I HATE YOU!!” shouted George.
They hit the water hard.
The soldier’s commanding officer peered over the edge of the cliff to the rapids below. “Call it in, the fugitives are still at large.” He turned, clearly more angry than he wanted to reveal.
Below, George and Sara were struggling to keep their heads above water. George kept grasping at rocks that he sped by. Sara reached out to him. He was terrified. George couldn’t swim.
“Hold onto me! Keep your head up!” spat Sara.
They were clear of the soldiers but far from safe. They were struggling to keep in control in the river, being carried through the canyon at the mercy of the sharp bends and bashing against the rocks of the river.
“I can’t!” he began to slip under.
“George, no!” Sara tried to yank George out of the water, but in doing so she couldn’t keep her own head up.
George began to lose consciousness. Sara couldn’t do much to help him let alone herself. After two days on the run, with little food and less sleep, she hardly had the will to keep her eyes open. This really was the end.
Something grabbed Sara out of the water. She was only half aware of what was happening, but she realized that George wasn’t being pulled out with her. She reached out and grabbed George’s sinking arm from the water.
She was being raised higher and higher into the air. Within moments they cleared the water and were above the rocky plateau of the canyon. It hurt to hang on but Sara would not let go of George. Not while there was breath left in her lungs. She would not give up on her older brother. Only when she felt her body lay flat on warm earth again did she loosen her fingers from George’s wrist. And she passed out.
A long huff of air blowing straight into Sara’s face woke her with a start.
“Ahhhh!” She didn’t know what was in front of her. This creature’s skin was thick and leathery, its large, dark eyes were staring right at her. For a moment she didn’t know what to do or think. It huffed at her through its large nostrils. She tumbled backward.
“Ahahaha!” A man in a long trench coat and broad brimmed hat stepped forward and patted the creature’s crown. “Don’t you worry. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. Wouldn’t you, Hall?” He gently patted the creature’s cheek. Sara finally got a good look at it. The creature called Hall lifted his head with its impossibly long neck, high above them. His neck was attached to a huge, powerful looking body with a long tail. Every step Hall took away from them gently shook the ground.
Sara staggered to stand but she was dizzy. She fell right back onto her bottom. “W-what is that? Who are you?”
“Name’s Jarred, miss Sara.” He stepped forward and reached out his hand to her. “Glad to see you’re awake.”
Sara didn’t take his hand. “How do you know my name?”
“Your brother told me it, ma’am.”
“George?” Was it too good to be true?
Sara looked past Jarred and gasped. She tried to get up and move toward him but she toppled over her own feet. George caught her and rested down with her. “Take it easy Sara. You still need to get some food in our system.”
“George, where are we?”
“We’re safe. For now.”