Chapter 16

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This wasn't the first time Hailie had been locked in a room but all the other times she'd had more to work with. She at least had her knife, and she had been able to stand. Her eye roamed the room. It was dark and completely empty. The chickens were clucking around her. One perched on her leg, another on her head. She was too tired to hit them away. Her clothes were ruined by now. Mrs Gregory would be so disappointed in her. The lack of tools would make things infinitely more complicated, along with the chickens using up all the air in the shed.

She could hear movements and talking outside the door. They must be keeping guard in case she tries to escape.

Hailie held the cigarette away from her and tapped the end so the ashes fell onto the ground. It fell out of her hand. She didn't worry about it. The floor was covered with chicken poop. Even if that was flammable it wouldn't matter much if she was going to be hanged. She had to think of a way to get out and soon. If she didn't, then the Captain leaving her behind would be the least of her worries. She would die before the day is up. She couldn't allow that to happen. She had more important things to do than lie in a grave. If she remembered properly, she was supposed to be whipped then hanged. In her state she would probably die from the whipping alone. Hailie moved her head enough so she could see the door. She might die from being locked in this room before they came for her, or the injuries themselves would do it.

Hailie didn't have any weapon. It may be a chicken coup, but she could tell by the shine of the wire and the lack of holes in the zinc roof, that it must be fairly new. She wouldn't be able to break down the door in this state. Her eye could barely focus.

The pain in her face and in her side was getting worse. The adrenaline must be wearing off. The other bruises on her midsection were starting to throb. She forced any thought of what she had seen just moments before, out of her head. She needed to focus on the task at hand. There was no room for distractions.

She couldn't focus.

All she wanted to do was sleep. No amount of force would keep her eyes open. Even if she did manage to escape there was no way she would be able to rescue Benji in this state. It would take her too long to heal. She was wasting time when anything could be happening to Benji at the moment.

There was a commotion outside the door. Her eyes snapped open. They were coming for her. This was her only chance. She pushed herself up using her last bit of strength. She leaned her shoulder against the wall. She would strangle the first person who came inside. Then she would have to run. This was her only option. No one would be coming to help her.

The door opened. A man in a rumpled uniform stood before her.

"This is the one who killed them?" he asked.

"Yes," He answered.

"Are you sure? She can barely stand much less fight."

"We saw her do it."

Hailie was dragged out by one of the men who had caught her and thrown to the ground. Her face landed in the dirt. She wanted to fight. She didn't have the strength to even get up. She cursed under her breath. The sun was much brighter now, than when she'd been locked inside the chicken coup. At least now she could breathe. She thought she was going to die in there.

There was a shadow over her then a hand in her hair. Her head was pulled up.

"Why did you kill those soldiers?" the man in the rumpled uniform asked. She guessed that there would be more soldiers around but she couldn't see them.

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