Color Of Blue

Chapter 16 - The Thirst

Taylor groaned turning onto his back as he started to shiver as he slowly woke up. He lifted his right arm and ran his hand through his wet hair. He turned his head and looked through the waterfall noticing that the aliens didn't seem to be in the area anymore. He sat up feeling scared as he cautiously slid near the rushing water and glupped hard. His left shoulder felt stiff and sore. He looked down at the wound and saw that a scab was forming over the cut.
"Where are they?" Taylor thought fearing that maybe they were still around. He slid back to afraid to leave the cave. He sadly bowed his head, drawing his legs up near him as a shiver went up his spine. He hated the feeling of being wet and cold.
"Dad?" Taylor jumped when he heard his father's voice speak to him.
"Tay it is okay to come out from the waterfall. They are gone now." Walker answered sounding happy.
"But are you sure? I mean maybe that creature is out there. I... I..." Taylor moaned pitfully resting his head against the stone wall.
"You're safe now Tay. You can't stay in that cave forever. Just listen to me. Come out and head north again. Just keep walking in that direction." Walker expressed as Taylor shakingly ran his hand over his forehead.
"Dad? Please... please don't leave me. I'm so sca...scared." Taylor murmured choking back a sob as his eyes filled with tears.
"I won't. I am going to keep talking to you. They can't detect me Tay." Walker explained in a soothing voice.
"Why? We have to be careful. I can't go back there Dad. They are trying to find out why Nodrow and I are like one. They want to....."
"Taylor we know."
"Why can't you just come to me?" Taylor pleaded blinking back his tears.
"This area that they brought you in has a weird magnetic pull. We have to walk to each other."
"I hate this! Who are they Dad? Why do they want to hurt Nodrow?" Taylor asked as he slid toward the waterfall.
"They are called the Faction. They are malformed beings who want to take over this world. But Nodrow stands in their way and they want to find out his source of power Tay. And that answer is in you." Walker tried to explain watching Taylor stop with his face turning into a look of shock.
"How?" Taylor questioned still not understanding.
"I can't explain it now Tay. Just start walking again to the north." Walker declared as Taylor nodded his head, finding the courage through his father to leave the cave. Taylor sucked in a deep breath and dived through the rushing water as it hit violently against his body. He spun and landed in the lake sinking deep as he kicked hard to reach the surface. He broke through sputtering for air. He cringed feeling a jolt of pain go through his left shoulder.
"Oh God! My arm!" Taylor screamed as he fought to stay above the water.
"Taylor calm down. You're not far from the shore. Just swim Tay. I know you can do it. Everyone is here Taylor. Ike and Zac are watching you. We all are." Walker stated trying to give Taylor encouragement.
"My stuff is down there. My food and water." Taylor exclaimed seeing it through the water just below him.
"Taylor it is to deep to reach. You can't do it."
"But I need it Dad. I can try."
"NO! Listen to me Taylor! You are to weak to try to attempt that. Just get out of the water and come to us now!" Walker declared as Taylor sadly looked down at his bundle. He hesitated but knew his father was probably right. He was already so tired and just wanted to get to shore. He kicked and reached out his right arm pulling himself through the water. Finally he reached the shore and plopped down face first sucking in deep breaths.
"Are you okay? Try to stand up Taylor." Walker expressed as Taylor rolled onto his back looking up at the sky.
"I'm so tired. I just need to rest a bit." Taylor whispered closing his eyes still panting for air.
"Just take it easy. You're going to be alright." Walker said giving Taylor time to regain his strength.
Taylor opened his eyes suddenly realizing he just heard Ike's voice.
"Can you walk now?" Ike asked in a caring tone. Taylor's bottom lip started to quiver.
"Ike?" Taylor rasped in a whisper wishing he could hug his brother.
"Zac is here too. We can't talk long, but we want you to know that we are pulling for you." Ike expressed with his voice full of emotion.
"I... I... love you." Taylor cried trying to sit himself up but still felt so weak and layed back down.
"Just take it easy Tay. Take your time." Zac advised as Taylor's face turned into a wide grin hearing Zac's voice.
"Yeah. Yeah I will Zac. Oh man... I want to go home." Taylor exclaimed as his breathing was now coming out slow and even. He sat up and took in a deep breath.
"Just take it slow Tay." Walker instructed with concern in his voice. Taylor finger combed his hair back away from his eyes.
"I think I can stand now." Taylor stated lifting himself up and rocked a little, but regained his balance.
"Go north Tay. I will stay with you all day. Okay?" Walker declared as Taylor looked around him.
"Which way is north Dad?" Taylor asked crinkling up his brow.
"Start behind the waterfall. There is a river up there. Just follow it... okay?" Walker said as Taylor looked back toward the water and then slowly started to head in the direction his father indicated. He climbed a steep embankment and saw the river. He walked for several minutes in silence with a sense of calm filling him, knowing his father was with him.
"Am I on the right side?" Taylor asked wanting to hear his father's reassuring voice again.
"Que told me she wants you to walk next to the river until you reach a area that is more calm, then she wants you to cross over to the other side." Walker instructed as Taylor nodded and started to look at his surroundings. He noticed all along the river it was full of rich life, with trees and plants, but only a short distance away on each side the land looked barren and dry. He wondered why. As he continued northward, he noticed a change in the river and terrain. The land was becoming drier and more desolate. He started to grow tired and felt like sitting down, but something inside him pushed him forward.
"Tay? Cross the river about a few paces up. Okay?" Walker said breaking the silence.
"Yes. Then can I rest for awhile? I'm so tired." Taylor announced seeing a area of the river where some stones were sticking out of the water. He stopped as a shiver ran up his spine. The sounds of nature were suddenly silent. Taylor fearfully gluped and stepped quickly onto the first rock wanting to hurry across.
"Dad?!" Taylor moaned sensing danger.
"Taylor get to the middle!" Walker declared with fear in his voice.

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