chapter _; book i
working chapter title: this kind of silence
word count: 296
She hadn’t moved from her position in over nineteen hours, and it was beginning to worry him. He sat on the bed, one hand gently sweeping across the hair splayed out around her. She was facing away from him, her face against the quilt on the mattress. She was on her knees, staring at the wall, hunched over the side of the bed.
Judah frowned deeply.
He sighed and pulled his hand from her hair. She hadn’t spoken since the night before, whether he addressed her or not. He took one last concerned glance at the markings on the wall, right above where her fingertip touched the paint. Jagged lines. Tally marks. Ten rows high, three fee wide. As far as her arms could reach from that very same spot on the floor.
Every night she would sit there, as if for a ritual prayer, and scratch another tally mark into the rows with her guitar pick. 468, he counted.
Tonight would be 469.
He left the room and went in search of her webcam. It buzzed to life as soon as he moved in front of it and he settled himself into the plush desk chair. The timer was already running on the monitor, the eye of the webcam shifting with his motions.
When he spoke, the sound of his own voice startled him. He sounded weary. ”Pilot,” he started, sighing, “I don’t know how to help her, anymore.” He couldn’t even bring himself to look at the webcam, to meet the eye of the lens. He hated how cowardly he felt.
He’d been entrusted with her. How much could he have done wrong? He shook his head, trying to clear his mind of the thoughts. ”I did everything I knew to do. I’m sorry.”