Chapter 18

I decide to catalog the days by watching the guards pass outside of my room. I know they're simply guards, glorified hall monitors, and not coming to collect Denizens because there aren't any doors opening and closing. Every four hours two of them, walking in step, patrol my hallway, up and back. Even at nighttime their pattern is habitual. I lay parallel to my door and use a stone I found fallen next to the wall to scratch marks on the floor. One mark for each patrol.

I'm up to 30 marks when a new pair of shoes halt outside of my room. I hurriedly throw away the stone and wipe away the dust marks with my hand, and then back up to the edge of my bed before the door opens. In walks two guards who waste no time in collecting me and dragging me down the hall. I risk a glance back at my door, at the mysterious black X, and Peter's room. Peter hasn't returned. I've thought about him more and more, increasing in intensity every day he's been away. I'm going crazy having no one but myself and my thoughts to converse with. In some sick way, I'm even grateful for the guards, simply for their physical presence.

Between the periods of craving human interaction, sleep, and feeling sorry for myself, I've also thought a lot about the X on my door. Blue-eyes- who've I have written off as an unfeeling coquette not worthy of my time- said it wasn't an alphabetical thing. What else could it be? It has to be a symbol, a mark that says something about me. As far as I've seen, mine is the only room with a similar marking. But, I realize as I pass room 4, I never had reason to notice marks on other doors. Now I look side to side, really noticing the details of my surroundings. Most of the gray doors are plain with a keyhole at the edge, like all the others. Nothing special, or telling.

But as we reach door 9, an unusual black mark catches my eye. Written there are two vertical, parallel lines written in the exact same form as my X.

The End

2 comments about this story Feed