Chapter 3 – Body Slammed
“Grandfather,” Aurora shrieked in shock. “What did you do that for?”
Aurora reached down to help Aaron as he rolled to the side and groaned. Grandfather grabbed her arm and pulled her away from him.
“Don’t you find it strange that the constable told you I was dead before anyone actually tried to kill me?” Grandfather growled. “Some coincidence.”
The girl looked up with surprise and confusion in her eyes.
“Good thing I’m sick and weak or I would have broken your jaw, punk,” Grandfather spat over his shoulder.
Aurora followed her grandfather with a backward glance at the constable, who was pulling himself to his feet. Aaron took a step forward and then stopped to put his head between his legs. It didn’t surprise her. Aurora knew her grandfather was a great warrior. He had once trained the younger generations for war and to protect their town.
Grandfather’s specialty was hand-to-hand combat. Though now he was a respected elder and only oversaw the training schools, leaving most of the training to his former students. But he still worked out hard himself and trained those in his home on a daily basis. That included Aurora, who knew how hard he could hit.
The elderly man’s strength seemed to return with each step, and he moved furiously toward his home. Aurora had to hurry to keep up with him.
“Slow down, Grandfather,” Aurora said. “What’s the rush? Shouldn’t we just go back to the hospital and wait for the sheriff or someone who can help? You can explain what happened and figure out who’s trying to kill you.”
Aurora rambled on until they came to the house. Grandfather paused after they walked through the door and locked it.
“Child, I know what’s going on and who is trying to kill me. Right now, we are all in danger. I need to collect a few items and we need to leave. They know you were with me, which means you are now in danger as well. Gather a pack with your things because you’ll have to come with me.”
“But where are we going? How long will we be gone?” she asked. “How should I know what to pack if I don’t know where we are going or for how long?”
Grandfather had entered his bedroom and begun throwing random items on his bed. The room was in shambles. It looked like a tornado had blasted through his room.
“Be prepared for anything, Aurora,” he said, stopping to look up at her sadly. “I don’t know when it will be safe to return to Bunbenong again. Maybe never.”
Aurora wanted to make him sit down and tell her what was going on. She wanted to ask him a million questions. But she had promised to respect him and be obedient. She knew from previous arguments with him he was just as stubborn as her. Aurora could also see that he was worried and in a hurry to leave, so she went to her room to pack a bag.
Her room was in shambles, too. Someone had knocked things off the shelves and torn everything out of her dresser drawers. She grabbed her backpack and began to fill it. It took several tries of packing and unpacking it before she managed to fit in everything she thought was important in her life. In the end, Aurora had to leave behind many of the items she had originally put in the backpack.
The girl laid everything out on the bed around her and repacked it for the final time. Then she put everything else back in its place. She hoped they would soon be able to return home. When she had finished, Aurora walked down the hall, looking for her grandfather.
He smiled sadly when she found him in his bedroom. The old man was putting the last of his things in his backpack. It wasn’t very large and didn’t even seem to be very full, which gave her hope that they wouldn’t be gone long.
Grandfather zipped up the bag and tossed it over his shoulder. He had lost some weight over the last couple of days, but other than that didn’t look like he had been in the hospital at all. The old man locked the door behind them as they stepped outside.
Aurora noticed a pack of boys playing with a ball in the middle of the street. She didn’t recognize any of them as they walked past the players. They seemed to be too old and big to be playing in the street, but they ignored her. As she and grandfather walked down the street, Aurora heard the patter of running feet.
As she turned to see what was going on, someone slammed into her from behind. Aurora stumbled forward and fell to the ground.
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