The shotgun blast sounded through the field and everyone flinched and froze at the sound. On the other hand, Katya was blasted off of her feet as she took a full load of shot to her chest. She tumbled into the corn and rolled face down and she was not moving. I moved first and ran toward her, ignoring conventional wisdom and rolling her onto her back. Her shirt was torn open and there was blood everywhere and all at once everybody started to shout. It sounded so distant to me as my fingers fumbled toward her neck to try and check her pulse. I had the experience of one Health class under my belt but I thought I could feel a faint tremor in her neck.
“I didn’t mean to hit her!” Farmer McCutcheon was yelling. “It was a warning shot! I slipped!” The gang started to close in around him as I held on tight to Katya.
“Lay off of him! He’s an asshole, not a murderer now one of you morons better call 911.” I yelled. He held Katya’s hand as she writhed a little and mumbled a completely incoherent mess of words. None of it was close to English and that worried me deeply.
“Oh shit!” Helen yelled as Ricky struggled to dial his cell phone. “She doesn’t look good, Ewan. What do we do?”
“We need to get her to the road. They’re not going to be able to do crap out here.” Jase said. He had scared away Farmer McCutcheon and was currently in possession of the farmer’s shotgun.
“I really don’t think we should move her, Jase. Get rid of the stupid gun too. It’s gonna scare the ambulance away.” I said, all but growling. I knew I was glaring at Jase as I said it. Katya was in my arms and I knew she must be slipping away toward death.
“Who’s in charge of this gang? Me or you? I’m not so sure lately with that sword on your back!” Jase had fully revealed the chip on his shoulder at the worst possible moment.
“You want to call the shots? You want the sword? Come get it!” I yelled and I grabbed the sword and plunged it tip first into the ground next to Katya.
The sword started to glow and I reached for the handle to pull it away. Before I could, that light started to leach from the sword and floated through the air toward Katya. I started to panic but as the light touched her she did not react like it hurt. In fact, she seemed calmed by the energy and then I watched as the wound in her chest started to knit itself back together. The sword must be healing her. Her eyes fluttered open and she struggled to her hands and knees, grabbing her tiara from the ground before she stood up. I stood up and after a few seconds, she started to glare at me. It was at this point that I realized that her shirt and bra had been destroyed.
“Stop staring, you jerk. Give me your shirt.” She said.
“Right,” I said. I did not have to think about it. I gave her the shirt off of my back before I grabbed the sword and pulled it out of the ground. I sheathed it on my back again.
“What the hell was that?” Jase asked. In the heat of the moment, I had completely forgotten he was there. I had also briefly forgotten having lost my cool which felt a little awkward and silly now. I wanted to apologize. We had known each other too long to hold grudges. Of course, Katya had other ideas.
“Shut up, you little pissant. He obviously saved my life,” She grumbled.
At that point, we started to hear the sirens coming closer. It sounded like the Sheriff and an ambulance and I looked around at all of us trespassing and Katya’s bloody clothes.
“Scatter?” I said and I looked at Jase for confirmation. “Right?”
He nodded. “Scatter!” He called out.
We all took off running through the corn. Jase tossed the shotgun into the dirt behind him as he ran. Everybody took a different direction through the field as long as that direction was not toward the sirens. Before we could separate, Katya grabbed me and pulled me toward her direction. The two of us ran high speed through the corn, leaves and stalks slapping me in the face as we ran. It stung but no good could come from sitting in the back of a cop car just so we could end up back with our parents. They had no solution for the problem at hand. My friends and I could be dead if we were split up for too long. This was the only alternative.