Incredibly late this week (it seems to be a trend, I know), but Monday’s will be on time.
I tried to give Silas’ narrative the air that he’s intelligent, he just speaks like a hick. He’s not stupid, but he doesn’t articulate well verbally. Mentally, he’s pretty freakin’ sharp. Enjoy.
“You need to be alive to help me crush my father.”
Felix made it clear to me that he had no intention of giving in to the ‘treatment’ these jackasses were shoving down our throats. It was getting to me. I thought I could weather it, but day after day… beating after beating… they were going to break me, and I knew it wouldn’t take long.
Felix wasn’t a strong man. Ambitious, but not strong. For some reason, I felt like I had to protect him from them. How could I when they were getting to me?
Sliding along the office building wall, I trudged through the mud as silently as the schlucking of my bare feet in the sludge would let me. Thankfully, the cold water treatments the guards liked to give the girls was offering plenty of screams and hysterical crying. I don’t think I’ll ever getting over the guilt of being grateful for that. My stomach was in my throat, and my hands were shaking; out of fear or hunger? I didn’t know, but it didn’t seem to matter. My hand, shaking or not, was sliding up to the window as I raised one foot to hoist myself up on the ledge. Quaking, I peered through the window, heart racing–
Empty. Just like Felix said it would be.
Heaving a sigh, I shoved up the window, and pulled myself over the ledge. Funny how we got bare wooden pallets with thin straw mattresses to sleep on, lucky for a blanket that was more blanket than holes… Just in this bastard’s office, he had cushy chairs, gold plated fountain pens, furs… Furs! We’re freezing to death, half of our barracks had pneumonia that no one bothered to treat, and this son of a bitch had furs and a whole stack of fire wood!
Shoving my anger down to smolder, I set to the task that Felix gave me. He said “Look for maps of the camp. Maps with marks.” Hell if I can read… I started rummaging as quickly as I could, my feet leaving mud-smears on the carpet.
He had carpet! Augh.
Yanking down one of the curtains, I started throwing papers, and rolled up things that looked like maps, and a bottle of wine from the whole gods be damned rack that the overseer had onto the curtain. Gathering up the corners, I dragged it the window and hopped out, yanking it down with me.
The girls were still screaming… I hated that I was relieved. They didn’t deserve that. Drawing a steadying breath, I trudged along, trying to move quickly, but without being noticed–
I froze and my knees went weak. Venturing a glance over my shoulder, my heart thundering in my ears, I almost dropped the makeshift sack. I saw a girl running, pale and naked, crying…. in the opposite direction. They were chasing her.
“Fuck.” I drew a breath and hurried through the mud, only to burst into my barracks and toss the curtain to the floor.
Felix bounded to his feet and– hugged me. Blinking in surprise, I hugged him back. “I think I got them.”
“More or less.” I laughed. It wasn’t funny, but after all that stress, I felt like I deserved it.
Felix nodded, and we awkwardly stood there… averting our eyes, shifting… and, finally, Felix dove into the curtain, tugging out the mess that I’d thrown in there. It was his turn to laugh when he pulled out the bottle.
I grinned. “I did a damn good job, and I wanted to celebrate.”
“You’re going to get us caught.” I was lucky that he was still laughing as he thrust the bottle at me, only to return to the rolls of paper. When he opened them up, he smiled and nodded. “Perfect. What’s the rest of this?”
“I dunno. They had seals on ’em. I though they looked important.”
“Great. Great job, Silas, honestly. Burn the fabric. Hide the bottle… Well, when we’re done with it.” He rose and I stared at him as he grabbed the tin cups from the crate under the leak in the roof. He emptied the murky water onto the floor, and held them out to me. “I think this calls for a toast.”
Damn right it did. I dug the cork out with a bit of broken metal we’d been using for a knife, and poured us each a cup of the fragrant red liquid.
“You’re supposed to let it breathe,” he scolded.
“If I’m not allowed time to breathe, then I think the wine will get over it.”
We shared a grin, and Felix raised his cup, and I tapped the rim of mine to his. “To not dying here.”
“Morbid,” I muttered, “but I’ll take it.”