He noticed Kira reaching for her pack and spoke sharply to her. “What are you doing? We have to move on a minute. It’s dangerous here.” She hadn’t seen the deadly thing that had grabbed at Matty, but he knew there would be more; he watched the bushes for them.
It had come for him first, he realized. He did not want to be the first to die, to leave her alone.
To his dismay, she was removing her embroidery tools. “Kira! There’s no time!”
“I might be able to . . . ” Deftly she threaded a needle.
To what? He wondered bitterly. To create a handsome wall-hanging depicting our last hours? He remembered that in the art books he had leafed through at Leader’s, many paintings depicted death. A severed head on a platter. A battle, and the ground strewn with bodies. Swords and spears and fire; and nails being pounded into the tender flesh of a man’s hands. Painters had preserved such pain through beauty.
Perhaps she would.
He watched her hands. They flew over the small frame, moving in and out with the needle. Her eyes were closed. She was not directing her own fingers. They simply moved.
He waited, his eyes vigilant, watching the surrounding bushes for the next attack. He feared the coming dark. He wanted to move on, out of this place, before evening came. But he waited while her hands moved.
Finally she looked up. “Someone is coming to help us,” she said. “It’s the young man with the blue eyes.”