Chapter 13

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   Both Winter and I had never had to hide in an attic before, because our mission was normally to kill. We didn't have to be stealthy as long as there were no witnesses.
   The main problem was that we had run out of food, and it was Saturday, which meant that no one was leaving the house. The kids were both upstairs in their rooms all day, so we couldn't leave the attic, and the parents were downstairs.
   There was a girl probably in her teens who really liked to play her music, and there was a boy, maybe 10 or 11, who really liked screaming into his video game headset.
   Winter and I had to wait until that night before I snuck downstairs. The entire hatch and ladder creaked as we lowered it. We waited.
   Each rung on the ladder bent under my foot. We waited.
   I stalked down the stairs and checked for the adults. No one was awake, perfect. I crept over to the fridge, and squinted when the light from the inside flooded the room.
   Quickly, I grabbed all the apples from a drawer, and a couple cheese sticks from another. I closed the fridge as quietly as I could before I skulked upstairs and to the ladder.
   Winter reached down and grabbed the cheese sticks from me to free my hand so I could climb up. The rungs creaked again as I went up.
   But this time I heard stirring coming from the girl's room. The door opened, and a teen girl with long blonde hair came out. Before I knew what she was doing, she took a picture of us, and before she could scream, I panicked and threw an apple at her head. I caught her before she hit the ground, and Winter quietly dropped down from the attic.
   I grabbed the girl's phone. Thankfully, it hadn't turned off yet, so I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of hacking it.
   The picture clearly displayed our metal hands, as winter was holding the cheese sticks with it, and I was holding the ladder with mine.  To be honest, it was a little freaky to see our metal hands in a picture. I had never seen my hand in a picture before.
   I deleted the picture and checked her recent messages. She had been texting her friend Lauren about weird noises she had been hearing these last few minutes. Lauren has been telling her there was nothing to worry about and was assuring her there was no one there.
   This girl, Jessie, was not convinced and went to go check it out. She found us, and I hit her with an apple. I deleted the messages and turned off the phone. Hopefully she would wake up tomorrow and think it was a dream.
   But the the phone lit up again with a message from Lauren.
Was there anyone there?
   I immediately typed back:
No, I guess I was just paranoid
   I purposely left off the punctuation mark because I was looking through the rest of her messages, and Jessie didn't have very good grammar.
Good. I told you there was no one.
   I shut off the phone at that and put it on Jessie's night stand. Winter tucked her in, and checked her vitals.
   "She's alive, but she may have a bruise in the morning. There's nothing we can do about that unless you have some kind of magic concealer."
   I shook my head, picking up the apples I had dropped. I thought we were in the clear when a light suddenly turned on downstairs.
   Winter and I looked at each other before silently sprinting towards and up the ladder. I went first, then him. We had just barely pulled up the hatch when one of the adults turned down the hallway.
   Neither of us breathed as Jessie's dad stopped under the hatch to the attic. When he started to tug at it, I leaped quietly behind a pile of boxes. The door opened and the hallway light showed through the floor. The man climbed up the ladder and poked his head through the hatch.
   I covered my mouth with my flesh hand, so as not to breath. He looked around, shrugged, and went back down the ladder. He closed the hatch, and I let out a breath. We waited to move before his footsteps went down the stairs and into his bedroom.
   He was probably telling his wife that there was no one there, he checked the attic and everything. Winter stood up from across the room and walked over to me.
   "Did he see you?" He whispered.
   "Yes, he's probably downstairs leisurely calling the cops right now."
   Winter rolled his eyes and went back to sit down under the window. He patted the spot next to him and tossed me the apple I threw at the girl. I caught it with my metal hand and shined it on my jacket.
   I looked around for my gloves and when I found them, I put them on right away, remembering how disturbed I was when I saw the picture.
   Winter looked at me, concerned. I sat down next to him and bit into my apple.
   "What?"
   He shook his head and looked away.
   "Nothing."
   No other disturbances happened that night, but in the morning, Jessie moaned in the bathroom when she discovered her bruise. Winter gave a low chuckle when he heard it, which in turn made me smile.
   Steve has texted us in the night saying that he should be there by Sunday afternoon. It was Sunday morning now, and Jessie and her family were going to church. This was good because that allowed us the get the address of the house, and get more food.
Winter went outside to find the address, while I went downstairs to get food. This time I went to the pantry for non perishable foods. Not that we would be here long enough for the food to perish, but I prefer food items that don't expire when I'm on a mission.
These people had like 200 granola bars in a bucket in their pantry. I grabbed around 50 of them so we could have food for later just in case we couldn't buy anything.
Winter came into the front door typing out the address in our group chat.
1235 Maples rd. That's where we are.
Natasha responded:
I'm on track to get there tomorrow morning. Before noon.
Winter laughed at all the granola bars in my arms and picked a couple I had dropped off of the ground. We walked upstairs together and up the ladder.
He and I ate two granola bars each and stuffed the rest of them in my backpack. It was so awkward because we had nothing to talk about.
Well, we probably had a lot of stuff to talk about, but since neither of us have very good social skills, we just didn't talk. The most conversation we had that day with each other was him asking me how old I was.
"Fourteen."
"Oh, cool."

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