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(No title) Chapter 1: The Secret Tracks
The darkness was overwhelming. The small bowls of watery soup and rock hard bread were inedible, so hunger gnawed at their bellies as they tried to go to sleep. The impending doom of what they knew would come in the morning was a constant reminder of how alone they all were. Even with each other they couldn’t find any comfort in the gloomy confines of their jail cells. The only thing audible in the echoing dungeon was the breathing of the other prisoners. The breathing was slow and rhythmic almost like a drum roll for the looming pain and death to come. The otherwise silent dungeon was a room where nightmares came alive. You could almost taste the fear in the air mixed with a smattering of “what ifs” as the occupants of the dungeon imagined what they could have done with the rest of their lives given the chance to live past the morning sunrise. But their hopes where shattered at what they knew would come at dawn. The only two who were not thinking of what was to come in the morning were 16-year old Killian and 15-year old Avani; they were trying to do what they did best, escape from situations where escape seemed impossible.
They had done it many times. They escaped from basements that supposedly only had one way out, and that way was guarded. They seemed to just disappear and reappear in another place that was halfway across the city from where they were locked up. They did it effortlessly and with the ease of long practice. They could pick locks with their eyes closed and would steal a rich merchant blind without a single thought as to what they were doing. No one had succeeded in keeping them trapped somewhere for more than 20 minutes, and having been trapped in the dungeons for a whole night, they began to panic. The jail cells weren’t made of wood, so they didn’t have loose boards; they couldn’t seem to pick the lock either because it was so old and rusted. Along with this, the guards were on constant watch over the prisoners and were willing to whip anyone who even looked at them sideways.
“I can’t seem to get it open,” said Avani.
“Oh just give it up Avani, we are never going to get out of here. We’ve been trying for the past 3 hours,” replied Killian with a sigh of defeat. “We’ll never make it out, and you know it.”
“I guess you’re right. Oh, what am I saying? We can’t just give up now Kill. We’ve got to get out of here before we’re executed. Just think of Finn. What will happen to him?”
“I don’t know, but we taught him almost everything we know, and that should be enough to keep him alive and well fed. If it isn’t, let’s hope he has enough sense to go join a gang. They would at least share their food with him and would help keep him out of trouble.”
“Kill, I just thought of something. What if he tries to come rescue us and gets himself killed? What will happen then?”
“I don’t think even Finn would be stupid enough to try that even though he is only twelve.” They both sat in a gloomy silence for a few minutes as they soaked in the gory sight they might see in the morning. They both imagined walking out onto Executioner Hill to see Finn already hanging there with his throat slit. The horror of this thought turned Avani paler than she already was. Just then they heard a swish and a gasp of air, then a click as a lock turned. Whirling around, Killian prepared to fight and choked. Finn was standing in their cell. He wasn’t bruised or harmed in anyway, just standing there. “Hi Kill,” he whispered, “do you want to get out of here?” Avani rushed over to Finn and in a sobbing whisper gasped, “Yes. Get us out of here!”
“Alright, follow me.”
“Let’s just hope you know where you are going,” Killian growled under his breath. Finn led them over to the back wall of their cell. He felt along the stone wall until he seemed to find what he was looking for. With a sigh of air escaping, part of the wall slid back to reveal a secret passage way.
"How did you find this?" Avani gazed in amazement at the secret passage.
"I'll tell you once we get out of here. I don't want to stay here any longer." Finn shivered and sped up. The passageway was a long winding tunnel that led deeper into the jail. As they moved on, they started to get uneasy. There seemed to be no end to the tunnel, and they felt like they were going in circles. Finally, they saw an end to the tunnel and ran on silent foot toward it. When they came to the opening they peered in, and Killian let out a low groan. They had arrived back in the jail cell!
"How could this happen?" Finn exclaimed in a frantic whisper. "I was sure that this was the tunnel, and it didn't do this when I came in. It led me right to you guys. There can't be multiple tunnels. Could there?"
"I thought he would get us lost, at least. Instead he leads us right back to where we started," Killian cursed under his breath. They didn't notice that Avani had gone inside the cell and was looking at the opposite wall with a mixture of terror and fascination. Finn saw Avani and whispered, "Avani we have to get out of here," She didn't answer. "Avani, let's go!" Killian marched into the room and grabbed her arm and tried to drag her away. She resisted.
“What are you even looking at?” Killian looked over her shoulder and froze. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Finn came over to join them and stared with astonishment. It was the weirdest thing he had ever seen.
“Why is there a slide in the jail cell?” Finn whispered.
“This is just weird, really weird,” Killian muttered to himself. Avani shook her head.
“It’s our way out. I’m sure of it.” With that she leaped into the hole and shot down the slide.
Apex, North Carolina
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Impossible is not a word, just a reason not to try.~Kutless
I'm going to smile and make you think I'm happy, I'm going to laugh, so you don't see me cry, I'm going to let you go in style, and even if it kills me - I'm going to smile.~Anonymous