Utopia -Caged

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He didn't talk much while guiding me up the stairs.

"Aldrich,my friend, is he already in his room?"
"He is in his room for the night, yes."
"Okay..," I said, blissfully satisfied with his answer. We were passing the floor where my room was.

"Wait, we went up too far, my room is down here," I tried to explain.
"You are not going to your room now. Come, I'll show you," he gripped my arm tightly.

"Where are we going?!"
"To the Don-Jon,a secured tower. You'll be spending the night there."
"Why,what tower?"
"Stop with all the questions, will you woman? If I were in so much trouble, I'd keep my mouth shut." We were still climbing higher.  I was losing my nerve. No more stairs.  Before us was a big, heavy wooden door. He started fidgeting in his pocket for the keys. Maybe Aldrich is here too. He unlocked the door, shoving me inside.

"Goodnight to you,my lady. Oh and if I were you, I'd drink that whiskey Mrs Pennington gave you. You'll need it."
The door thudded shut.

I could hear the key in the lock and his footsteps as he disappeared. It was quite dark inside, somewhat cold and a mouldy smell was lingering. It seemed like the dungeon at the Graycliff, but this was a tower.

"What are you in for?" It was a woman's voice. I jumped in shock.
There was someone in the corner. As I walked over to the window, the moonlight fell on her face. She was beautiful; very long, curly auburn hair and exceptional green-yellowish eyes.

"My friend and I went to the woods.."
I felt embarrassed.
"That was not a good idea. I'm Ethelinda. Forgive me,but you look like hell. You should drink that whiskey before you see yourself in a mirror." I shrugged.
"I'm Steph."
"You must be new.."
"How do you know?"
"Your clothes, dear. It's a dead give-away. Why are you all bloody? I hope Lord Pooler had enough restraint to keep his hands off you?"

"So you also know that horror man?" Ethelinda giggled.
"It's not funny. He treats a woman--"
"Like she's a whore? Yes I know him well."

I sank down next to her. "So why are you here? Is it Lord Pooler's doing? "
"No not this time. I was selling potions to the townsfolk, among other things."
"Is it against the law here? "
"Yes,against King Dwennon's laws. There are so many of them, I  can't keep track. I don't like being limited, it's my income. That's why I am here my third time."

"Third? You are an audacious woman!"
"Seems to me that you are too," she said,glaring into my eyes.
"I just believe in righteousness. "
She leaned forward, whispering, "Mm I think the problem is your interpretation of righteousness. It may be taken the wrong way here,especially by the men."
"That's ridiculous! It's 2016!"
"Not here,my dear."

I was astonished!
"But Carnell said --"
"That may be,but we live, as our forefathers did. It's the only life we know. Some of us have never been anywhere else."

I turned quiet. That explained so much of what I've seen. I was tired and glanced at my cellphone. It was half past twelve. The battery was slowly dying...Hunger and cold was dominating my thoughts now. I could feel her staring at me as I rested my weary eyes. The hours felt like days and I was growing restless and impatient in this restrictive pen.

We could hear footsteps approaching the door of the tower. I was terrified. Ethelinda seemed serene, this being her third time in captivity. What awaited me now?

The whole of my being was trembling, as if a gust of icy wind blew through the confinement we were sitting in. Nearer and still nearer the footsteps came and ended in an audible halt in front of the heavy wooden doors. As I intently listened for the creak of the rusty key in the lock, I closed my eyes and envisioned my family back home...so this is it now. They were going to torture me or whatever they do to people running from Utopia.

Ethelinda broke the stained silence.
"They will not kill you,you know? She said.
"Why wouldn't they?"
"Because you are appealing."

Two hard-boiled escorts walked straight up to me and poked me to stand up. Without a word, they crudely took me by my forearms and dragged me out of the cold,dark room and into the corridor. I squinted against the rays that boastfully entered the corridors. Ethelinda's hoarse voice followed us.

"What about me? When is Lord Pooler coming to fetch me?!"

They paid no attention, ignoring her reiterating echoes growing stiller as we moved away.

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