The After: ch. 8
The mud squishes like a sponge beneath their feet, expelling brownish-grey muck as they scurry along the back of the motel. There will be no way to hide their tracks, Scully thinks as their boots pull from the mud with a *pop*, like the smack of a kiss. They need to move quickly, put as much distance between them and Bobby’s boys as possible.
Their feet slide to a stop when they come to the edge of the moat. The ten foot wide body of water puckers under the Wash with ecru ripples colliding into each other, the chaos of the surface creating a milky film along the shoreline.
Mulder whistles. “Looks pretty deep. Want me to carry you-” he begins to offer, but she pushes past him. The water splashes around her boots, up to her knees as she trudges deeper, her backpack held above her head once it circles her waist.
The numbness in her legs spreads to her chest as she propels herself forward, even the smallest cells in her body recoiling at the frigid water, and she breathes through her nose to keep it from getting in her mouth.
“Come on, Mulder,” she tosses over her shoulder through gritted teeth. She hears the splashing and feels the rush of his waves against her back as he follows, and she works quickly to lead him to the other side.
“We need to change into dry clothing,” Mulder says as they step up onto the shoreline. “We’re at risk of hypothermia.”
Scully positions her backpack on her shoulders, grabs his hand, and pulls him towards the treeline. “Right now, they’re a greater risk.”