I will be posting the first ten chapters of Wyld over the next ten weeks. I hope it will inspire and engage you all. Please share with your friends:)
Sylvia sat staring at the wall with her lip jutting out and maintaining her usual arms-folded defensive pose.
‘What are you doing?’ asked her father as he entered the room. He was wearing his combats and looked a typical outdoors type with silver-rimmed glasses and a chiselled jaw. His hair was greying around the edges and he had three claw scars on one side of his face. A playful baby lion, he had once studied, had clawed him when it pounced on him in jest.
‘I am pretending there is a television and trying to remember what it is like to be normal. I don’t want to be like one of the freaks here. Oh look how cool I am living out in the wild, not!’
‘Oh,’ said Dan, her father. ‘Er talking of wild. Have you seen Wyld?’
‘Nope. If I did I would just ignore him,’ she hissed. ‘He is sooooo annoying.’
‘Oh, he must be around here somewhere.’ Dan glanced into the main area.
Sylvia shrugged and chewed her ration of gum. She continued staring at the same spot on the wall. Dan rolled his eyes at his daughter’s behaviour. As per usual she was wearing another defiant black outfit and stripy white socks.
‘I reckon he went out. He has probably been eaten by some wild creature,’ she said mid-chew.
Dan jolted and adjusted his glasses, ‘What? But he was told in no uncertain terms not to leave the cave complex. There are creatures out there that he won’t have any idea of and he is hardly equipped to deal with them.’
‘Well maybe he doesn’t like the prison conditions either. You know what? I’m going to go for a walk too. I’m not staying inside because of yours and mum’s stupid jobs. Why did you bring us if you were planning on imprisoning us? Surely there is some law stating kids aren’t allowed to be locked up in caves in the wilderness for hours on end.’
Dan didn’t answer, he was too busy glancing over at Wyld’s things. Had he taken anything relevant? His main rucksack had been unpacked and his catapult was missing. Dan understood in that Wyld had definitely left the safety of the cave complex. He had left quickly too. Wyld’s ‘stuff’ was disorganised when usually it was compartmentalised and kept in a strict order; unlike Sylvia who threw everything everywhere. A sense of cold realisation ran through him: his son was out in the wild with ancient predators. None of those animals’ behaviour could be anticipated because humans had never studied them in close proximity before. With a jolt he realised he had to round up the other adults and find his son. In a couple of hours half-light would be upon them and the most dangerous beasts would be active. Wyld’s scent would be strong and the hunters would consider Wyld an easy snack.
Sylvia smirked smugly, ‘not such a golden boy is he now? I hope he gets eaten or trodden on. Then you’ll be sorry for bringing us to this stupid place… God there aren’t even any shops.’
‘I suggest you be quiet Sylvia otherwise…’
‘Otherwise what? Ground me maybe? Dad it can’t get much worse than this and you can’t ground me because I am living in permanent grounding state. Dad… I hate it here and that is it! I am going to find something poisonous and kill myself unless you send me back to the real world so I can hang out with my friends and go shopping!’
‘Stop being so dramatic Sylvia!’ Dan glared at his defiant daughter. ‘Anyway I think your brother’s life is more important at the moment. You can stay here or you can help.’
‘Oh I see… So the golden boy’s life is more important than mine! Thanks dad! So he is your favourite… Anyway I think I’ll stay here, stare at the wall and turn slowly insane. Being stuck here is like committing slow suicide anyway! Plus that bare wall is far more interesting than looking at those stupid animals! Oh and I would rather not see my brother’s body after he has been eaten by some weird wild beast with massive jaws and teeth!’
Sue, Sylvia’s mother strolled into the room. She had a running-lean physique and spent her spare-time rock climbing. Her hair was neatly tied back in a standard pony tail and if you looked at her and Sylvia together you would never guess they were related. Sue was natural whereas Sylvia was obsessed with being ‘individual’ and wore heavy black make-up and either black or purple lipstick.
‘What are the raised voices all about?’ asked Sue.
‘Wyld’s gone wondering out there with all the wild animals wanting to eat him and dad reckons he might have been eaten.’ Sylvia said in a malicious tone.
Dan gave Sylvia a stern look, which in no uncertain terms told her to be quiet. ‘I never said that Sylvia.’
‘Dan?’ Sue looked worried.
‘I think he is out there…’ He said with concern.
‘Think? We have to get out there now and find him now.’ A look of dismay filled Sue’s face. ‘Didn’t he listen to the expedition leaders? I can’t believe he would go against everything we told him. He knows how dangerous it is.’ Sue began to pace.
‘We thought you were making it up,’ said Sylvia smugly. ‘You know the whole adult control thing. Oh let’s tell the kids there are wild animals out there so they will do what they’re told for once. Well it didn’t work this time did it? It made us rebel. Ha and now you’ll have the golden boy eaten for your effort.’
‘Sylvia be quiet!’ Sue had a sense of urgency about her and glanced at Dan. ‘Dan can you please get the others together and organize a search party to find him. We can’t leave him out there alone. God why do we have such defiant kids?’
‘Oh so it is all about you now isn’t it? Anyway it’s your own fault. You’re the ones who trained us!’ Sylvia spat.
‘Keep your opinions to yourself,’ said Dan as he led Sue away. ‘Now Sylvia stay here.’
‘Yes, while you’re gone I might just do something teenage and unpredictable. You can call it a cry for help if you like,’ she replied sarcastically.
‘You dare!’ said Sue.
‘Go on… Dare me then?’ Sylvia sneered with a vicious look in her eyes.
Dan directed Sue away before she could react.
‘I can’t believe she is being like this.’ Sue glanced at her daughter.
‘Ignore it… She’ll calm down eventually.’
‘I heard that! And no I won’t calm down…’ Sylvia made a big huff and crossed her legs.
Outside the living area Sue gazed anxiously into Dan’s eyes, ‘now tell me the truth. What are his chances?’
Dan shook his head and glanced toward a wall of monitors decorating one of the cave walls.
‘What were we told in the meeting? We know there are herds of mammoth out there, sabre-tooth tigers and other types of wild cats. They will be prowling the woods and…’
Dan looked up, he noticed one of the cameras on the interior adjusted its position and was now directed at the pair of them. Dan frowned.
‘Nothing… Erm what was I saying? Yeh… erm the Canis travel in packs like wolves and could be anywhere. Then there are the elusive Panthera Leo Atrox who surprises its prey by following it and then pouncing on it. They are all animals in survival mode and they will all attack a human if cornered or if the human is unaware. Plus face it: we are easy prey. The truth is Sue, he is going to have to be very lucky to survive,’ Dan’s voice cracked as he spoke.
With a trembling lip, Sue looked horrified. The vision of her son’s tiny frame surviving against all the ancient creatures lurking amongst the forest made her burst into tears.
‘Come on, we need to be strong. We need to get out there…’ Dan wiped a tear from her cheek.
‘Sorry… we don’t have time for this… Oh he… is… so young. Please don’t let anything awful happen to him,’ she muttered. ‘Right we need to get going. We’re wasting precious time,’ said Sue taking a deep breath and swallowing her sobs. ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that. I’m just shocked. I didn’t think he would go against everything we told him- not just like that.’ Sue scanned the wall of monitors for indications of Wyld’s location. ‘I can’t see him out there,’ said Sue frowning. ‘I don’t get this Dan, why are there so many cameras?’
Dan shrugged, he wondered the same thing. ‘I think we need to prioritize. Let’s get the others so we can arrange search parties.’
Sue unclipped her radio. ‘Alpha 1 calling all team members, could we all assemble in the team room because we have an emergency.’
Sue glanced at her husband, ‘Dan realistically… How long do you think he’s been out there?
‘I reckon at least two hours.’
‘That means he could be anywhere within in a four mile radius. How are we going to find him?’ She studied a screen filled with maps.
‘Let’s hope he left some obvious tracks.’ Dan stood beside Sue glancing over the maps. Sue studied Dan’s hopeless expression. She knew what he was thinking.