"Nea, wait," Meg gasped, as the other girl was about to pull her off the hook. Her voice was muffled behind the bear trap, and her hands were trembling as she reached out for Nea. "I'm scared," she mumbled, tears in her eyes. "Of what's going to happen when-when(more) you pull me off. It's going to start."
Nea swallowed back the deep-set anger that crawled up her throat. It wasn't Meg's first time against the Pig, but it was the first time she'd been caught and trapped. Nea could feel the ghost of the trap on her own head, and shuddered when she remembered just what Meg would have to do to take it off.
"Just tell me what to do before it begins," Meg whispered. "Where do I go?"
"The cages. There...you have to put your hands in there. One of them has a key," Nea said. She heard a squeal off in the distance and turned back to Meg, reaching up to take hold of one of her hands and squeeze as tight as she could. "You're a lucky girl. It'll come off in the first or second trap for you."
It had taken four for Nea. She hoped Meg couldn't see there was dried blood on her hands. "I'm going to unhook you now," Nea said. "As soon as I do, run like hell for those cages. Don't stop until you find the key."
Meg only nodded this time.
Nea closed her eyes for a second. As soon as she pulled Meg off, the timer would begin and then the Pig would know, because she always somehow knew when a person was pulled off the hook no matter how far away they were.
It wasn't fair.
Nea set her hands underneath Meg's arms and lifted her up.(less)