A dim street lamp unveiled ahead of me like a dream, the surge of relief that I had expected, however, failed to overpower my unease. The closer I came in that direction, the louder I perceived the sentry's harsh interrogations with this day's group of refugees. Watching from afar as they cowered on the brick ground, I felt my unease die down a bit, my determination increased. Sentries were guards who monitored the every entrance and exit of people from the town. It has been like this since I was a child. I considered the chain-linked fences with razor wires on top as part of my home.
With faltering steps, I reached the fences situated between two towering buildings. Placed beyond the fences, was the housing community. Long, identical rows of houses, one of which belonged to my family. It was quarter before eleven, other than the ragged group of refugees, I was the only one awaiting admission. An armed sentry, I've never seen him before, approached me immediately, he held a clipboard in his hands. His Identification tag read: Sentry 093; Johnson, Gil.
"Name," He grunted. I made no response, it was inappropriate for us townspeople to speak directly to sentries. We were taught to respect them with fear. And I did so, for the greater part of my life. It was only recently that I overcame it, influenced by the speeches of the Dark Moon society; the resistance. Looking at Gil with false apprehension, I waited for him to eye the thick, metal Identification tag pinned heavily on my left chest. "Name!" He repeated with an impatient force, after a blank glance at my tag. I gave myself the chance that he probably could not read. It was not at all uncommon, majority of the sentries and patrol guards were selected for their muscles, rather than their brains.
"Lilian Clark, sir." I said. As I gripped my briefcase tightly, Gil strode around me, inspecting with narrowed eyes.
"What're you doing out at this time, eh?"
"I....erm" Swallowing, I once again averted my eyes facing the ground. "work. Yes, I came from work."
Almost to himself, Gil murmured. "Are you sure? " Lifting a brow, he said with a louder, mocking tone."Work, eh? And just how old are you, anyway?"
Border interrogations nearly never lasts with more than one sentence from a sentry. Sweat started forming on my forehead. Closing my mind from the echoing alarms in my head, I recited the alibi that has been planted in me the whole day, "erm...Eighteen, sir, I work at the Publishing house across town hall."
"Working at eighteen? Interesting." Slowly, he continued to circle about me, hands clasped behind him. The hairs on the nape of my neck raised, my mouth went dry as Gil said his next few words, "What's in that?" Gesturing to my briefcase with a frown.
Eyes still set on it, Gil halted. "Give it to me."
"There's nothing inside but empty papers, really." I held the case in a protective embrace within my two arms, trying hard not to look away from Gil's cold, dull eyes. In a twinkling of an eye he attempted to seize it from me, with my hands still clutching onto it's handle, I grabbed it back with a force that caused me to stagger backwards. Onlookers, mostly refugees, gasped around us, but none did a thing. Gil stormed towards me before I had the time to think, he gripped my shoulders as soon as he reached with such strength making me choke.
"Now I'll tell you something, missy, there is no 'Lilian Clark' in this list," he spat in my face, whilst shoving the clipboard from earlier in my face. "Unless you want things to get messy you better give the right answers!"
The violent thumping of my heart caused my next words, "Check it again!" A second later, I added desperately, "please?"
"You don't give the orders here, I do!" He growled. "Name! Now!"
"Johnson!" A man I knew all too well came dashing in our direction. His olive uniform, with it's pinned heavy medals, and heavy armor, gave an impression of superiority in contrast to Gil's.
Gil spun around, and gave a mechanical salute. "Officer Lawson, sir!"
"What in the name of God is going on in here?" Officer Lawson demanded, between clenched teeth. Gil snatched my right arm in a firm manner.
"This girl lied to a sentry, sir, to me, about her name." Pounding veins were visible from his neck. "It's not in this list!" Lawson's expression changed not one bit. Although, as I gazed into his stony face, the surge of relief I've been searching for came down in an instant.
The urge to smile was tempting.
"Your name?" Lawson coldly asked me .
"Lilian Clark." I stared at him pressingly. Gil, in a fury, opened his mouth to speak, Lawson, however, interrupted him and insisted on checking the list himself. Within a significant amount of time, he finished,
"You fool!" Lawson hissed. "How could you have missed this? Let her pass!"
Gil's face, and grasp, fell flabbergasted, he reached back for the clipboard, which Lawson inserted in his coat. "But...but..."
"Take the night off, Johnson, you need it. I'll see you in the morning." Turning, he said, "Go. Now." I gave him an obedient nod, and, avoiding Gil's glare, shifted towards the gate at last.
Hardly a step after the gate, though, a brushing touch startled my fingers, in between my fingers was a folded piece of paper. I glanced around anxiously, the closest people to me was the ragged, huddled group, underneath a watch tower, awaiting their fates. I opened it, and smiled, amused. "Typical." I pocketed the scrape. It read: block 12, 5th row. P:Crockett's a Twat.