Beyond These Walls

Coughing smoke and blood, she stumbled into a culvert.

A glance behind was accompanied by a prayer that she hadn’t been followed. Firemen were probably just arriving at the complex – her escape would be unconfirmed until they gained control of the blaze. The pillar of smoke attested to the difficulty of that task, but still – like a reversal of Hebrew fate – urged her away.

A soot-blackened hand slid over her rough scalp, missing the feel of tangled curls. Another thing they’d taken from her. The doctor seemed truly regretful when she’d been shorn. That was the first day.

The rest had been worse.

She’d never cared for crowds, but confinement was unbearable. The emptiness cloying, drowning her in the space of a comfortable, lonely room.

They assured her it was for the best – that they knew what she needed and could provide the care she required. There was no escape, until she found a friend on the outside.

As if summoned, the voice invaded her mind.

“Well done Timothy, but you’ve more to do.”

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