Chapter 10

Footsteps.

I hold my breath and my body goes still. I fear the worst. The footsteps are coming closer and closer to my door, and I realize that I really, really don't want to go. I'm tired of whatever they're doing to me in there, and I just want to stay here with Peter. I want to tell him all of this, but I'm afraid they will hear us through the door.

The steps stop abruptly in the hallway. I close my eyes tightly, hoping that my door won't open. Please don't open.

"What do you think you're doing?" a harsh voice calls out, softened by the wall separating me from the person who the voice belongs to.

No, Peter! I sit up with a start when I hear Peter begin to defend himself.

"I fell out of bed, that's all. I'm sorry. Please-" a thud cuts off his voice. I have to clasp both my hands over my mouth to keep from crying out. I crawl away from the wall, tears falling down my face. Something hits the wall, hard, and I pray that it wasn't Peter. He hasn't said anything else. He must be unconscious. Please let him just be unconscious.

Slowly, the person retreats from Peter's room, and I scramble back to the wall.
"Peter? Peter, are you there?" I whisper through the hole. "Are you okay?" But there is no response. Either he's unconscious, or they took him. I cross my arms over my stomach and try to reign in the sobs coming from deep in my throat. The people in the masks are becoming more dangerous; ruthless. It would be suicide to cross them now. But that's exactly what I want to do. It's all I want to do. I want to storm out of here and yell at them and leave this place. I don't know what the world is like anymore. I don't know how I got here. But I do know that I don't want it anymore. I've been complacent for a long time now without asking any questions or fighting back, and it's worn me down to the bitter base in the pit of my stomach.

The tears are dry now. I rise and storm over to the door and bang on it with my fists, over and over.

"Let me out of here!" I shout, and hit the door with my shoulder. "I know you can hear me! Come on!" I hit it again and again until my hands are sore and bruised and my voice is scratchy and hoarse. I'm about to shove the door with my shoulder again when it suddenly opens and I stumble back, tripping over my feet, and fall onto the floor. I stare up at the body that towers over me, clothed in black and menace.

"What do you think you're doing?" he says. I push myself off the floor and charge at the figure who effortlessly grabs my wrists, effectively stopping me. I thrash and try to kick his legs, but he just drags me out the door. I scream in protest but he keeps pulling me down the hallway, like I'm nothing but dead weight. I hear people talking behind the doors we pass, and I know I've created a disruption. I want them to fight, to stand up with me, but nothing happens. These monsters have taken away our ability to unite, and I hate them. I hate them.

The End

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