“He was my brother.” Jake tells her.
“Is.” Aileen presses. “He’s still alive.”
“It doesn’t matter whatever happened to him cannot be undone by words. He wanted to look for our parents and I wanted to go with him. He started talking to the guards and they ask their boss, when his answer got back to us they said that the answer was ‘no’. He came to me that night and told me of his plans to run away. I asked to go with him and he told me that he ‘came out first’ so ‘it was his place to go’.” Jake shakes his head and does air quotes.
“He left after that…” Aileen plays with the food on the plate.
“And still hasn’t come back, then one day you showed up taking his place…” Jake finishes and meets her eyes smiling weakly. “I’ll go with you.”
Grace nods and smiles, then she turns to Aileen whose eyes are trained on her plate. She glances up before nodding. “Fine, come get me right after night falls.”
“And then, you can get me after.” Jake nods.
“Okay, we have a deal.” Grace smiles at the two.
Grace waits until the guard cuffs her wrist to the bedpost and shuts the light off. Soon, his footsteps fade and then the sun goes down. Grace reaches into her jacket pocket and with her free hand and retrieves the key. She unlocks the cuff and rubs at her hand as she stands up. She reaches into her drawer and shuffles through it locating the bag she got when she moved in here. Everyone got one, the guards handed them out as a safety precaution.
Once Grace filled her bag with clothes and food and water she opens the door looking back and forth hesitantly. It only takes her a few minutes to find Aileen’s room in the pitch black and she pulls it open the girl is sitting bolt upright in her bed and it surprises the other girl.
“I was waiting for you.” The woman whispers and Grace squints trying to see her in the inky blackness. Grace smiles and unlocks the woman’s cuff. A few minutes pass and they are off.
“Jake!” Aileen whispers fiercely shaking the boy, who stirs into consciousness.
Jake blinks at the girls the lifts his head up, he rubs at his eyes the looks at his now free hand in surprise. “You actually did it.” He smiles and reaches under his bed to retrieve his already packed bag.
Once they are in the hallway, Jake smiles and looks a little queasy. “I don’t mean to be a ‘doubting Thomas’ but how on earth are we supposed to get out of here?”
“I’m glad you ask. I wanted to leave you for last because you have a window in your room. Let’s get out through there.” Grace mutters and pushes past the two. She reaches into her bag and pulls out something she picked up on the way… a crowbar.
The girl switches the lock on the window and pries it up using the crowbar. She drops the crowbar back into her bookbag and then pulls out some rope. She ties it to Jake’s bed and then turns to look at the others.
“Are you ready?” She asks.
“Ladies first…” Jake mutters and Aileen sighs.
Grace looks between the two before saying. “If you don’t want to, then go back.” She grabs the rope and shoots them a wink before jumping.
Soon she feels the rope jerk meaning that someone else has also jumped. When she hits the ground she rolls in order to make the impact easier. Grace lays flat on her back and watches as Jake becomes visible and he too falls to the ground and soon after comes Aileen.
Jake looks around and he is suddenly more pale than usual, the man starts to tremble and he whispers. “Esau is dead, he’s dead, he’s is dead.”
The last of the three lands on the ground with a soft thud and looks off into the distance. In the faint moonlight, Grace can see her eyes widen and the girl looks terrified.
For the first time, Grace looks at her surroundings and she understands the look of fear on Jake and Aileen’s faces. There was nothing but inky darkness in front of them. If there were trees, she couldn’t see them. There was nothing for them out here… nothing but open space.
Word Count: 745