Down Below

I sit, blinking slowly behind my glasses. The concrete is dull and cool beneath me. I scuff my shoes miserably against the hard ground, and wait for the reprimand that always accompanies the action.

There is only the shuffling quiet of people trying to stay still, and some of us are crying.

“Teacher?” I find the tall form, pacing between the rows of bunks. As she slowly recognises that a voice called for her, I notice her eyes are red and her face pale.

“Oh, oh, yes. Alex, what is it?” She moves closer, a wan, distracted smile on her lips. She crouches in front of me so our faces are level, like always. “Do you need something, dear?”

I shake my head nervously, “I was just wonderin’ when we was going back outside?”

“I’m afraid it’s a bit longer. I know, how about I get everybody a juice?” She raises her voice to include the others and smiles.

I scuff my shoes again as she moves to the boxes stacked away.

There is a short rumbling from high above us, then something cracks and warmth floods in.

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