Chapter 10

I wanted to go help the glade, truly, but the thought the I might see or hear their screams from Homestead terrified me enough to stop me from leaving. Now and then one reached my ears. The voice came out so deranged that you couldn't tell which boy it belonged to.

For the first time since arriving here, I hated whoever put us in this place. I never liked them but when I arrived, the Glade seemed beautiful in its own weird way. The network of Gladers keeping it running. The maze was terrifying but it wasn't something I had to experience. The lack of memories was annoying, yes, but as I had pointed out to Nick, it wasn't something I worried myself on. It seemed as though coming up from the box was the first moment of my life, as though I was just created.

But now, a sense of reality and horror lingered in my mind. Instead of fearing the maze and keeping away, the Creators have found a way to bring the maze to us. How many boys will die this way before we escape? And to escape, we're going to have to go through the maze.

Would Gally be the same? The Changing is supposed to do just as its name says – change people. All I could imagine was all my friends, walking towards me as zombies, their veins protruding from their skin.

Maybe it wasn't as bad as I was making out. I just had to see Gally and assure myself.

I push up from the ground, determined to prove myself both right and wrong. By then, the sky was beginning to darken and I knew dinner would be called soon. The other Runners would be back, and I had been worrying about their safety as well, knowing a bloody Griever had been stalking the maze.

As the dense trees ended, the Glade came into view, the boys wandering throughout the Glade just as normal. But it would never be normal again to me. My feet dragged me to Homestead which soon had come into view. Standing outside was Nick, talking to Newt and Alby.

Thank heavens. They were standing and alive.

My pace quickens at the image of them standing there alive, to a fast jog to get to them sooner. Nick motioned to me and the boys turn around. They meet my pace, jogging towards me. I must have looked terrible, red puffy eyes and patchy face.

I met them both in a hug, which swallowed me up whole.

"I was so worried about you guys," I admitted, burying my face in their shirts.

"You were worried! Shank, we were worried. Came back from the Maze and you're not waiting at the door like usual. People acting weird then Nick came and told us that two people got stung. You're nowhere to be seen. We thought it was you!" Minho exclaimed, fists grabbing my shirt. I shake my head.

"I'm sorry; I just needed some time to adjust to it all. It's been a rough day."

"We understand. We're going up to See Gally and Craig now if you want to come up. You don't have to but I know Gally was your friend," Newt offered.

"Is. Gally is my friend," I replied sternly. Newt nods in agreement and we meet with Nick who escorts us up the second story where more permanent rooms were located.

"First door is Gally's, next one is Craig," Clint told us before going back downstairs. Nobody moved for a moment.

"Let's go shanks," Nick said, moving to the first room. He opened, the door, entering first followed by myself, Newt, and Minho. I was worried it might be a crowd but as I look to Gally's form which lay unconscious on the bed that worry leaves, a new one for his wellbeing taking over.

"Oh my god," I whispered, hands flying to my mouth. It was now I could see the state of him, bruised, veins protruding from him, a large bandage around his shoulder, which already had blood seeping through it.

"I can't believe the shank ran into the maze," Minho sighed, shaking his head in disbelief. Nick frowns.

"Alina said that Gally had told her that Craig had run in there, I'm thinking Gally was being a shank and ran in there after him. Tried to get him back to the Glade and their luck just wasn't with them that day," Nick stated, swallowing deeply.

"He knows better," Newt sneers. "He should've just left Craig to go in."

"Craig was his friend, Newt. He probably wasn't even thinking about the rules," Minho offered back, arms crossed. "But still, I think the Glade needs to be reminded of the rules, our order."

"We'll wait till they're better then we can have a gathering. Hear their side of the story," Nick stated, not to be questioned. This is why he was the leader.

"He's going to be different, Nick." Newt's eyes were dark and pointed. "Both of them will be. Unpredictable."

"When has the Glade ever been predictable," Nick retorted. 'For ages' I think in my head. Every day was the same to me, day in and day out. But these boys had been here much longer than me and I had to trust them.

"How long till he will wake up?" I asked, speaking up for the first time in a while. Nick shrugged, biting his lip.

"Don't know. Could be a week." He looked down, squinting his eye. "We don't know much about the Changing Alina, only that it happens and it ain't pretty."

Thanks for comforting me, I thought. The other three move onto Craig's room, but I stayed in Gally's for a little longer, just standing there watching him sleep. You could see the pain in his eyes. Clint told me I should leave because he could start screaming at any time as memories came back to him and I shouldn't be there to see it.

I didn't care if he started screaming. I think I would've joined in with him. Yelling to the air in frustration and anguish. I felt numb like this wasn't really happening. Before it all seemed too real, now I felt as though I was in a simulation and my brain couldn't process it all.

Eventually, I left to go get food, meeting Joey at his table, as I had passed Newt and Nick who were talking about today which I didn't want to listen in on while I ate. Joey naturally understood the situation, talking about random topics instead like a butterfly he saw. He managed to cheer me up somehow, forgetting today even just for a little while.

It was as I was going to bed that the screaming started. It didn't sound like Gally, so I assumed Craig was the one. Nick and Alby who had been walking in front of me had run off to Homestead to help Clint, the poor boy who was there by himself.

I think Clint ended up taking a bed in Homestead, as I have been told he has before for occasions such as this one. I felt sorry for the boy, but wouldn't want to take his place, happy that I was in the gardens, on the other side of the Glade.