Sunday, 2 August 2009 - 8:37 pm


I haven’t seen Ben today. In a way, I’m glad – I wouldn’t know what to say to him if I did see him.

Matt found me fumbling over breakfast and made me sit down. I was pale and shaky, more than I like to admit. The cuts on my arm ache, as if they want to remind me why I feel this way. My friend made me something to eat and waited while I put it away before he asked me what was going on.

I couldn’t fob him off any more. He had the look in his eye and the set to his jaw, the ones he always gets when he won’t take no for an answer. He took my hand, as if he might need to hold me down, and asked me what Ben had done.

I think it was the way he put it that got to me. I tried to form an answer, but it cluttered up behind a sudden wave of tears. He put an arm around me while I broke down, and he told me that I didn’t have to do this on my own. I’m not alone. I’ve offered those three words to others so often, but I had forgotten what they sounded like.

And he’s right. This isn’t my secret to keep. It’s too big for me, and it’s not harmless. I keep trying to make the right decision, but it’s not up to me. It never was.


So I told him. I unloaded what I knew and what I feared. My mind tripped over everything that has happened since Ben recovered from the Sickness, and my tongue tried to keep up. When I fell down, Matt filled in the gaps with his own suggestions.

All those who have gone missing, starting with the first Wolverine we met. Dennis entered through a broken window and was last seen running towards the room where Ben had been lying sick. He disappeared and then Ben was on his feet again. I think he scared himself so much when he fed off Dennis that he left to keep us safe, because right after that, he left.

And after he came back, there were more disappearances, like Iris’s Norman. What happened to him before the rain got to him? And was Caroline’s death really the accident he claims?

“Jones,” added a voice. We looked around to find Nugget watching us. I felt my innards contract, knotting up into a tiny ball as if trying to hide. I opened my mouth to deny that possibility, but the words wouldn’t come.

“You did say that he ate animals too,” Matt said.

I almost broke down all over again. I didn’t think it was possible to feel worse. Jones was the first one to go missing after Ben got back. But maybe it wasn’t him. Maybe it wasn’t him at all. Maybe none of it was him.

“I’m so sorry, Nugget,” I said anyway. She climbed into Matt’s lap and leaned on him, looking sad. I think she has known that Jones wasn’t coming back for a while now, even though she kept asking for him.

Matt asked me what I was going to do, and I had no answer for him. I don’t know. I’m afraid to tell everyone, because I’m scared of what they’ll do to Ben. I’m scared of what he’ll do to them, too. I don’t think I’ve felt so helpless since we were in the city and buildings were falling on us.


I thought it would feel better after I told someone else. It didn’t.

I didn’t want to tell the rest of them, but once Matt knew, it was only a matter of time. I’ve lost count of how many times I went over it, and that was only to a few of the others. I wanted to curl up and pretend it wasn’t happening. I wanted to deny everything, tell them I made it up and laugh.

I didn’t. I did my best to look them in the eye. People I’ve come to know so well: Thorpe, Sally, Conroy, Dillon. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

They didn’t shout at me. Masterson wasn’t there, so that’s probably why. I could feel the disappointment rolling off them, though. I could feel them all shifting away from me, though no-one moved physically.

After I was done, they all–

Something’s happening. I have to go.