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Pen Your Pride

I rolled over onto my back and groaned at the pain in my stiff neck. I opened my eyes and stared straight ahead up at the high beamed ceiling as I seen that the community center still surrounded me. It was dark and hard to make anything out since the lights had been put out for everyone to go to sleep. I reached for my phone absently as I wondered what time it was. After a minute’s search I couldn’t find it and it was then that I remembered that I had left it inside Clarissa’s car.

I stopped searching for it and relaxed with my hands crossed over my torso as I stared up blankly at the ceiling. Even though I had just woken up I still felt so tired…like I had only slept an hour at most, maybe two. I closed my eyes, determined to go back to sleep, but I found that the harder I tried then the more sleep deceived me. Finally I sighed in defeat and sat up as I realized that I wouldn’t be able to get lulled back into a peaceful sleep just yet.

Instantly the view from my movement changed and I was looking at the door and noticed the couple of heavy boards that were crossed over top of it in a criss-cross pattern. I frowned at it, to me it didn’t seem like the boards could hold the door if someone was really determined to get in. They looked loose and like they would fall down at the slightest touch like a row of dominoes.

I looked around (and though it was really had to see) I didn’t see a blacker part of the shadow that would indicate another door anywhere along any of the walls of the building. Then I had a worried thought, what if they did break in? We’d be trapped in there like a waiting buffet if there wasn’t another way out.

There had to be a back way out of here, there just had to be. There had to be some kind of fire escape somewhere and if I found it then I could be at peace. I stood to my feet (trying my best not to slide on my slippery hoodie) as I gazed around the room in quiet observation.

Cameron lifted his head to look up at me from where he was lying on the floor. I guessed he hadn’t been sleeping after all, or I had woken him up when I had been desperately looking for my phone.

“What are you doing?” he whispered peeking up at me through heavily groggy eyes.

“I want to look around to see if I can find a back way out of here,”  I said. “I’m worried that if something goes wrong then we won’t be able to get out in time.”

“You should come lay back down and go back to sleep and wait until tomorrow to do this,” he insisted and his words slurred in exhaustion. “We’ll be fine for right now. I’m sure the aliens are busy haunting other people at the moment.”

I shook my head. “That’s true but it’s not the point.”

“Then why can’t you just do it tomorrow?” he asked raising an eyebrow at me and I could tell that part of him was a bit suspicious of what I was up to.

“There are too many people that will be awake,” I said quickly. “I don’t want them to know what I’m up to; they’re already suspicious enough of us.”

“But they might be able to help you,” he pointed out.

“I really doubt it. I think it’s better if we just keep it between you and me,” I admitted.

Cameron yawned and I could see the exhaustion on his face as he struggled to keep up with my quickened words. “Want me to come with you then and keep you company in case you do find something?”

I shook my head again. I didn’t know why but I just wanted to do this errand on my own, and besides Cameron was still half-asleep anyways. “It’s okay, you’re tired. You stay here and get some sleep and if people start to wake up before I get back, come find me.”

Midnight Disaster ~FINALIST Watty Awards 2012~Read this story for FREE!