I got behind, didn’t I? I’m writing this story as a way to experiment with POVs.
If you need it, here’s Chapter 1.
Down the Hole
Dirt smells like heaven.
You’ve gotten used to the smell of blood and puke and excrement and sweat and metal and straw and rodents and rot. You’ve grown to hate the smell of tobacco while you were in that place. Once, when you were young, it reminded you rocking chairs and porches and warm summer nights. You filed it away as something to do when you were grown. But now it reminds of you of that place and everything that happened there.
You take in slow, deep breaths of the dirt and you think of water and sky and plants and growth and life.
“We still need to hurry.”
You lock your good eye on the girl. She reminds you of dirt.
“I’m going as fast as I can.” You inform her. “Besides, it’s best that we conserve energy just in case.”
She shakes her head at you, but doesn’t turn around. You follow, picking up the pace as much as your groaning muscles allow. You stare at what you can of her by the light of the lantern. A female. You’ve only heard stories. Sometimes, between the check in times of the guards in the evenings, the men would talk about women.
Some of it you believed, and some of it you took as pure fantasy.
You wonder what females are like. This one is almost a male. Does she count?
“Have you seen one of me before?” You ask without shame.
“Not up close.” She replies. “You?”
“I’ve only heard stories of females.” You hurry to her side and look at her face. “Is it true?”
“Any of it?”
She snorts. “How am I supposed to know?”
Neither of you talks for a long time after that, thought you both look at each other out of the sides of your eyes now and then. Everything about the girl is brown. She is confident and direct and you wonder what she thinks of you. You can’t help the grin that spreads across your face. Someday, you will have real stories to tell. First hand stories. Stories that aren’t faint memories.
“How did you get here?” You ask when she stops much later. “Are you alone?”
“I’m alone. This passage. brought me to the settlement. It is the only one I know.” She slows a little. “Before that, I traveled by ship.”
“Both. Sea first. Air second.” She scratches at her nose and narrows her eyes. “Had you even been out of your village before you were imprisoned?”
You shake your head no and walk past her.
“It’s not your fault, you know.” She calls out to you.
“Why are you here, and why am I with you?” You ask the questions that have burning burning under the surface questions.
“We needed a male.” She shrugged. “Your lot is dying off. So is ours.”
“Does your lot have the babies they bring to the villages?”
She shakes her head. “They deliver babies to us, as well.” She stares at you for a moment.” Nobody knows where the babies come from. At least not yet.”
You listen to the sounds of your feet against the dirt floor of the tunnel. You wish you knew what was going on above you. The girl looks at you more frequently now, so you finally say the unspoken words between. “You want me for my body.”
“Well, we want you for a specific part of your body, yes.” She nods. “How do you feel about that?”
“Do I have a say?”
She rolls her eyes at the smirk you couldn’t deny yourself. “I’m just the delivery girl.”
“Have you taken other males?” You try to force the words out casually.
“Yes, but none have made it out successfully. I hope you are tougher.”
“Don’t you like the girls they give you?” You ask to change the subject. “They separated us for a reason, you know.”
She stops again. “Haven’t you all noticed?”
You have no idea what she’s talking about, but you feel like you should.
She shakes her head at you again. “Do the ones they give you even survive?” She doesn’t even give you time to reply. “We are getting closer to a safe house. We both need a bath and clothes and supplies before the next part of the trip.” She looks you firmly in the eyes. “And you might need some education.”
“What if I don’t want to go?” You didn’t like her tone. Of course you’ve been educated! Being in the deepest part of the prison had nothing to do with your intelligence.
“Then you’re an idiot.” She snaps. “I didn’t go through all of that work for an idiot, did I?’
“No.” You take another deep breath of air. The truth is worse. You scratch at embedded tracking device in your arm. This might be her mission, but it is also yours.
That’s all for today! Look out for another installment later.
Bravely Go Down the Hole