Chapter 2

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One more day. One more single day left in this place, this hell. Kyle receives his freedom in just five minutes, and then I'll be alone. All children turning sixteen receive their freedom at ten o'clock on their birthday. Kyle is spending his last five minutes in this prison with me.

"I heard we get our stuff back," he says.

"We should," I groan.

When the Childcare Department takes kids in, they confiscate belongings. They took my money, phone, and purse when they took me in.

"I'll be here to walk you home tomorrow," he promises.

"Good," I say. "That's a long walk to take by myself."

"I gotta go, babe," he says.

"Okay," I sigh. "Happy birthday."

"Love you," he smiles, kissing me before being escorted out by an official.

I lay in my bed, staring at the ceiling.

"Did Kyle leave yet?" Natalie asks.

"Yeah," I say.

"I didn't get to say goodbye!" She whines.

"Why does it matter?" I snap. "You're not his girlfriend."

"Not yet," she smirks.

I sit up on my bed.

"What did you just say?" I ask.

"Oh, come on," she smiles. "Everyone knows Kyle and I are meant to be."

"Kyle hates you," I roll my eyes.

"Once I talk to him, he'll hate you," she says.

My hand flies out and hits her in the face, knocking her off her feet and onto the floor.

"Get out of my room," I say.

She lifts herself off of the floor, holding a hand to her bleeding nose as she scurries away.

I take a seat on my bed and stare at the little drops of blood on the floor. If she tells anyone what I did to her I'll spend my last night here in the block. I've never been there, but I've heard the stories. It's a torture chamber to punish the misbehaving inmates.

And if Natalie tells, I'll be next.


I sit at a table by myself for lunch. Who doesn't love charred pizza and burnt fries?

Natalie passes me with nothing more than a dirty look in my direction with her bandaged up nose.

I finish my meal in solitude and get up to discard of the trash. As I reach the garbage, a hand wraps around my wrist.

"Would you be so kind as to follow me please?" A man asks.

He's an official, one of the keepers here.

I look up at him and softly nod.

He leads me down a dark stone hallway and we round some corners before coming to a stop in front of a small crack in the wall. I wouldn't have noticed it if I wasn't able to inspect the rocks so closely due to the standstill.

He stays there, unmoving. I use the time to further study the halls.

Gray rocks, mossy in spots. All of them look like they were pulled out of a rainforest, damp all over. I can hear a distant leak when the official's breathing is quiet enough.

This corridor looks more like a cave than the Department.

"Where am I?" I ask.

"The block," he answers simply.

She told.

The rocks start to move, splitting at the crack I noticed. It's a door. The heavy rocks grind slowly against one another as the gap widens, revealing the space where I'll spend my night.

I take a look inside and instantly wish I hadn't.

Metal objects line the walls, there are chains to hold me to the chair, and I notice a bucket of something ahead of me. Acid.

I hope they don't find my sin worthy of that.

I feel myself being nudged forward by the guard. He pushes me along to the chair, shoving me down into it. I'm too scared to move so I sit still as he tightens the chains around me until I'm stuck.

I could've walked away from Natalie this morning, I could be in my cell, I could be dreaming of returning to Kyle. Instead, I'm sitting a chair, stuck in the block, dreaming of anywhere else.

"You enjoy hitting people?" The guard asks.

"No, sir," I say.

"You hit a girl today," he points out.

"I was provoked," I defend. "But I did take it too far."

"You nearly broke her nose," he says coldly.

"I'm strong," I shrug.

"Then you should be able to handle this," he says, pulling a lever.

I feel the chains tighten, digging into my skin.

It's okay, I tell myself. I can do this.

The guard goes over to the wall of weapons, choosing a rod with a sharp claw on the end.

He walks to my chair and slowly circles around it.

"Do you know what this is?" He asks.

I shake my head.

"Then I guess I can show you how it works," he smirks.

He presses each prong of the claw to my upper thigh, slowly beginning to apply pressure.

I try not to make a noise as it breaks through my skin and draws blood. I shut my eyes as he drags the device down my leg, stopping at my knee. I open my eyes when I feel that he's lifted the metal off of my leg, blood and pieces of skin going with it.

I look down at my leg. Blood is dripping down the sides of my thigh, oozing from various places of the three cuts.

"Had enough?" He asks.

"Yes," I squeak, trying to hold in the tears.

"Alright," he says, hanging the claw back in its place.

It's over, I tell myself.

The guard takes hold of a pair of pliers, turning them over in his hand to inspect them.

"Round two," he smiles.

He uses the pliers to slowly peel off one of my fingernails. He does this to each one, being less gentle as he advances.

"Have you learned your lesson?" He asks when he finishes.

"Yes," I sob.

"Since it's your last night here I'll be nice," he growls. "You can spend the night in your room. Just don't do anything stupid like this again."

"Yes, sir," I whimper.

He undoes my chains and helps me walk through the halls back to my cell. He tosses me in and closes my door behind me.

I wait for him to leave before grabbing the first aid kit from under the bed. I take care of my fingers before bandaging up my leg.

I lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling.

How are they allowed to do this to us? If we act up shouldn't we be locked in our room instead of tortured? There are children here who were brought in shortly after birth and are now only five. What happens to them when they act up?

Natalie walks in, interrupting my thoughts.

"What are you doing?" I ask.

"Getting my stuff," she snarls. "And getting the hell away from you."

One more day. Just one more.

Chapter 3 coming soon!

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