A warm breeze squeezed through the barred window, making me wonder where that air had come from.
I closed my eyes and imagined it sweeping between the grandiose metal towers that kept watch over the city, towers that provoke fear in every intelligent citizen. I imagined that brief wind had blown through the sketchbook of an inspired artist attempting to capture the intensity of our never-sleeping city. Perhaps that air had rustled the gaudy dresses of rich politicians' wives, disturbing their evening tea and causing a beautiful ruckus.
At this, I opened my eyes. When I was younger, my brother, Thames, would tell me that the rich were stupid and not to be envied; sometimes, I think that it was more for his benefit than mine.
"Never trust someone who can count on his next meal being delivered on a platter," he would say.
His memory is becoming blurred, but I still remember his dark hair and eyes, identical to my own. He was always so much taller than me. I used to look up at him and smile because I knew that as long as we were together, we were safe.
Lost in my memories, I thought back to that time years ago when I was eager to prove myself to him. When I was desperate to be useful and stealing was the only way that I could see.When I was love-struck by a boy named Arthur and didn't want to be seen merely as his friend's little sister.
I saw the dart fly across the room and catch the discipline officer in the head. I saw Thames and Arthur's shocked expressions, and their backs as they ran away.
Bitterly, I snapped out of my memories and stared into the shadows, my back to the prison bars. Few belonged to this section of the prison, and all were isolated for murder. Unlike many, however, I was not lost to the insanity of silence.
No, I was not plagued by the rats or the lack of food; I had lived side by side with rodents and hunger on the streets for as long as I could remember. Nor did I usually waste my days and nights fantasizing about the wind. Instead, I planned to find my brother and eavesdropped on careless guards for news of the outside world.
"Someday I will get out of here, and I will find him," I whispered into the dark, pulling my knees to my chest, "I will be free."
- Rei Kinsley -