The very first strike of lightning on the very first night in camp had taken Amber’s breath away. Every one else from The Company were in their tents attempting to rest. Amber on the other hand was out in the open with Freddy and I. We were standing just outside of our large centralized tent. I can still see the gap form between her lips, and the spark light in her eyes. Her body never flinched at the crash of the following thunder. She remained steady and completely mesmerized. “Beautiful,” she whispered under her breath. I was equally transfixed but not by the sky or earth in reaction. I was unable to take my eyes off of her. The way her hair fell across her face in the light of the storm, and the way she grinned with every crash was intoxicating. I was absolutely bewitched. I stood beside myself, in a trance as I watched her. Amber in that very moment was perfection. I couldn’t help myself as I reached over to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. I wanted to see every morsel of her face in the light.
We quickly formed a routine. We ate in shifts and ran the outer circle of the camp, avoiding the trip ropes leading to the hidden nets. We lucked out in dodging the lightning as it crashed around us at night. During the day we would sleep while The Company men took turns standing guard and resting themselves. By the third night we were less cautious in wait of the Lamian. We were more prepared for a regular old night just like the previous two. We had expected her to show up less and less. We could not have been more wrong. Amber, Freddy, and I, were all outside of the camp running and listening just as we had done several times before when it began. Freddy was running an outer circle about a half a mile further from camp as Amber and I.
The screams came as a sudden shock. They cut into my ears like a serrated knife. My inner drums pounded and my heart sunk instantly. We had anticipated for her to surface outside of the camp, tripping the nets on her way in. This would have given us a great advantage. Rather than the expected, she burrowed her way above ground directly in the center of camp. I remember every detail of that horrifying night. The sounds of death are forever burned into my memory. As we ran towards the commotion, the screams grew louder. Lightning crashed about a half a mile away from us. The ground shook under our feet. I felt the electricity of it surge through out me. I continued to push forward. My fingertips and legs tingled, but I was powered by the screams ahead. I looked over at Amber as we run. She pushed forward the same as me, shrugging of the effects of it. She shook her arms to her sides as she ran. Freddy was on the other side of camp, and was invisible in the dark of the night.
The camp momentarily lit up with each strike allowing us to see in flashes where we were going and what lay ahead. Screams of pain and confusion were coming from all directions in camp. It seemed she was everywhere. I remembered Freddy’s exclamation of the Lamians scream when we had first found her hole. I briefly wondered in my quick run why I had not heard it yet. Were the men not fighting her? Amber and I hurdled a trip wire in unison, being sure not to set it off as we ran. Gaining ground and increasing in speed we made our way between the first few sets of tents. A few men ran past us in the opposite direction. They were fleeing away and panicked. With weapons in hand they were not fighting but rather scattering the wrong way.