“And Captain Crimson saves the day again, right Farid?” Hassan lifts his head, breaking into a grin.
“He saves the day again.” I ruffle his hair gently.
“Can I color your drawings this time Farid? Really?”
“Course you can.” I lie back on the rattan mat, listening to him working away with the crayons.
Heavy footsteps kick sand against the door. Hassan flinches and turns to me, eyes wide with panic. I scramble to my feet.
The door bursts open and the man’s fist hits my jaw with a sickening crunch.
“Found you.” Sadique looks down and wags his finger, mocking. I take a breath, and now the pain hits me square in the face. “I told you there’d be no trying to escape.”
He turns to Hassan.
“As for you, the little thief – a carpet weaver doesn’t need his legs, no?”
His men come in now, dragging him out.
The door slams shut.
Khasta. I snarl, eyes watering with the effort.
Hassan screams my name from outside. I turn away, shutting my eyes tight.
A crimson bolt shoots across the sky.