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Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Rising - Chapter 73: Crying

Skinner walked back up the long corridor from the training room towards the entrance hall. He was worried, but not just about whether Roxy believed him about Tom.

He was worried about what was happening to Tom. From the first day that Skinner had started to turn into a vampire, he had been able to resist his hunger. Even before he knew what changes were going on inside his body, he had trained himself to ignore the voices inside telling him that drinking human blood was the only way to stay alive, no matter how much pain he felt in his stomach.

But Tom seemed unable to resist, even for a few minutes. It was a well-known fact that great irresistible hunger brought with it great power. But at what price?

Skinner also thought of Jane and Doctor Owen. He had no way of contacting them and no way of knowing if they were being successful in their mission. Have they been killed? Have they been captured and are they on their way here right now?

His thoughts were interrupted by a sound from behind one of the wooden doors that lined the corridor. He stopped and put his ear to the door. Inside, a woman was crying. Not wailing, but sobbing like she had been crying for hours and had run out of tears.

Skinner looked up and down the corridor. Confident that no one was around, he knocked on the door.

Hey, are you okay in there?’ he asked in a hushed voice.

There was a brief silence inside, followed by the voice of a tired and emotional woman. ‘Yes, I’m okay. Who are you?’

I’d rather not say. What’s your name?’


Emily Owen?’

Yes. How did you know?’

I’ve seen your husband.’

With that, Skinner heard her get up from wherever she was sitting and run to the door.

Is he okay?’ she whispered through the door.

I believe so. I haven’t seen him for a few hours but he was fine when I left him. He’s in good hands.’

Can you help me?’

I’ll see what I can do. I think almost everyone here will be leaving just after midnight. I’ll do my best to get you out. Then we can go and find your husband.’

Thank you. Thank you so much. Can’t you tell me who you are?’

I’m a friend. It’s best if I don’t tell you any more. Just try and stay calm for now. I’ll be back.’

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