Chapter II - Escaping to the unknown [part1]
Chapter II - Escaping to the unknown [part1]
Written by Tadi
I walked down a stone path, the moon was the only bright light guiding me. I shivered in the cold. I heard a noise and stopped. I slowly became aware of my surroundings. I could hear my shaky breathing, leaves rustling, animals running. And then there was a strange noise, coming from somewhere above. I looked up but saw nothing. I continued walking. I started getting a strange feeling like I was being watched. I picked up my pace and hurried down the never ending path. It was getting closer, I could feel it. Something was pulling me to it but I wanted to run away from it. I was scared. I stopped and turned around. I closed my eyes and focused on the sounds around me. I heard a thump and felt a light cold breeze hit my face. I slowly opened my eyes and there it was standing on the path no too far away, just close enough so I could see it. Its bright grey eyes staring right in to my soul. Every movement I made, it copied. It was as if we were connected in a way.
“Who are you?” I whispered but got no answer. I turned around and started walking. I could still feel its presence as it walked behind me. I stopped but this time it didn't. I looked over my shoulder and saw it still walking towards me. I started walking faster, occasionally glancing back. It was getting closer and suddenly it became harder to breathe. I started running. I felt dizzy and my vision started getting darker. I couldn't focus, I could barely breathe. I took another step before collapsing to the ground. I looked up at the moon and took heavy breaths. I closed my eyes and opened them again and I saw it leaning over me, watching me carefully.
“This is why I need to stay away from you” was all I heard before everything went black.
I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. I’ve been having the same dream over and over again but this time it was a little different. I’ve never understood what it means. Is it just a silly dream or is it something else. And what or who is the other person in it. His voice was still stuck in my head. So deep but yet so beautiful and soft. I looked around and saw that everyone was still in bed sleeping. I haven’t overslept today. I sat up and closed my eyes. I tried to imagine his face. But all I saw were his beautiful bright eyes. I heard someone walking and I opened my eyes. It was Anna. She was tiptoeing to the bathroom. I smiled at her awkwardness and closed my eyes again. I leaned back on the wall and smiled. I don’t know why I was so afraid in the dream. The thought of his presence made me calm down. And the funny thing is that I can still feel him, like he was in the room with me. I rubbed my eyes and laughed at myself. I’m going crazy. It’s just a stupid dream. I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom. I knocked on the door and waited for Anna’s answer but I heard nothing. I knocked again. Still nothing. I tried opening the door but it was locked. I knocked harder.
“Anna, are you in there?” I leaned closer to the door to listen for any sound of movement but there was nothing. Complete silence. I tried pushing the door. Nothing. I banged on the door and yelled her name. The girls were starting to wake up from all the noise. I heard a whimper from inside the bathroom. She was crying. Something’s wrong, I thought. I called Lacey to come and help me. We pushed the door but couldn't get it to open.
“Anna open the door” said Lacey in a calm voice. I looked at her with fear in my eyes. I didn't know what was going on. What if she fell and is hurt. We need to help her. I ran outside and straight down the hall in to the janitor’s office. I searched through the drawers and closets. There had to be an extra key somewhere. I opened and searched every corner but found nothing. I ran back to the bedrooms and banged on the door harder.
“Anna please let me in, I can help you” I practically screamed at her. I used all of my strength and ran in to the door. And this time it gave in and opened. I found Anna sitting and crying in the bath tub. She was holding a razor with her bloody hands. I ran to her and held her. She had cut her wrists.
“It’s going to be okay” I told her while helping her get up. I put her hands under the warm water. I cleaned her wounds and put on some bandages. I guided her back to her bed and hugged her. I looked at Lacey and she nodded, knowing exactly what I was trying to tell her. She told everyone to go away and act like nothing happened. No way are we going to let the keepers know about this. I dug out a sweater from her trunk and helped her put it on. It covered up her wrists nicely so we wouldn't have to worry about anyone seeing them. I didn't need to ask her why she did it because I knew exactly why. Besides me, she’s the only one that the keepers like to bully. She’s a sweet, shy girl which makes her a weak target here. She’s only fifteen, two years younger than me. I think of her as a sister and I feel like I need to protect her all the time. She looked at me with sad eyes filled with regret. I just smiled at her to reassure her.
“Lauren is coming!” whispered Lacey. We got up and Anna ran to the bathroom to clean her face. I walked back to my bed and put on my ripped jeans and a black tank top. I was putting my hair in to a ponytail when I hear Lauren behind me. I turned around and looked at her. She gave me a folded piece of paper and left. I opened it and read it. It was my chore list and all it had on was ‘clean the owner’s office’.
This is it.
This is the day we’ve been waiting for. Our plan will finally be fulfilled. We can finally escape this shit hole and be free of everything; all the pain, the suffering and all the nightmares. Lacey walked over to me and gave me a questioning look. I threw her the piece of paper and started gathering my clothes. She laughed when she realised what it meant and called Anna.
After we got everything ready; all the things we’ll need for getting out, I went upstairs to the owner’s office. I knocked. A deep voice told me to come inside. The owner was sitting behind his desk going through papers as usual. I started with the cleaning. Just ten minutes after, we heard a noise, something breaking. Just on time. The owner went outside to see what was happening where Anna and Lacey were waiting to distract him. As soon as the door behind him closed I dashed for the desk, opened the drawer and looked for the map. It wasn't there. I searched everything but couldn't find it. The door was opening and I held my breath. I could see Lacey through the opening and waved her to stall longer. The door closed again and I let out the breath. I searched through his coat and found keys. I opened the drawer with the lock on it and searched through it but it wasn't there either. I found a little piece of paper with five numbers on it. A code. But for what? A safe! That’s it. I looked around, opened the closet, and moved the pictures until I finally found it. It was behind the exact same painting that was in the hallway. The one with the devilish figure. I took it down and turned it around. Unlike the one in the hallway this one had a name tag on the back. It said Eurynome, the Prince of death. Eurynome? That’s what the orphanage is called. It’s named after a demon. I suddenly got a strange feeling in my stomach but there was no time for that. I used the code on the lock and opened the safe. Inside was my treasure, the map. I took it out and hid it under my top. I closed the safe and put the painting back on top of it. I put everything back in its place and cleaned my fingerprints. The perfect crime. The door opened again and the owner came back in. He sat on his chair and I continued cleaning, like nothing ever happened.
When I was done I returned back to the bedroom where Anna and Lacey were waiting. There were pacing around, nervously waiting for my arrival. When I walked in they came running towards me.
“Did you get it? Did he see you? I was so scared. What if they notice? What if, what if…” they both talked over each other and I couldn't keep up with either.
“Calm down guys. I got it and he didn't see anything!” They sighed with relief and hugged me. We sat on the floor next to my bed. I made sure no one was watching us before laying the map on the floor and opening it. It was old and dirty. But you could see everything clearly. The orphanage was bigger than it appeared to be. There’s another room under the basement that leads to the tunnels. The tunnels are our only way out without anyone noticing. There’s only one problem, the tunnels are old and therefore may not be safe and they don’t all lead outside.
“I think this one leads outside” said Lacey while pointing to the one on the right.
“How can you be sure?” asked Anna. Lacey studied the map again and shrugged. I kept staring at the map. There has to be a clue somewhere to which is the one leading outside. I looked closer at the tunnels and they all had different marks on them.
“I've seen these somewhere before” I got up and opened my trunk. I took out the book I found in the basement and brought it back. I opened it and flipped through the pages. I stopped once I found what I was looking for. I placed the book on the map and showed them what I found. The book had the exact same symbols in them. Someone has written translations next to the symbols in the book. I searched for the ones that matched the ones on the map. The right tunnel had a symbol that looked a little bit like some sort of an animal and the book said it means dungeon. The one on the left had a deck of cards and a dagger through it which means show room. And the middle one had a bird for freedom.
“That’s it. The middle one will lead us outside!” I said closing the book quickly. I hid the book back in to my trunk while Anna folded the map and stuffed it under my pillow.
“We’ll meet in the basement at midnight. We can’t go together because they might suspect something. I’ll go get us some food and water. Lacey you gather up some clothes and Anna you make sure no one is watching us” they both nodded and I turned around and walked away.