What would happen if we don’t make it? Shh…Be quiet, the driver shushed them. The van travelled through the fogged mountains. Trees on both sides made the road dark and the grim atmosphere made the family shudder. Sam kept looking at the horrific picture outside. Anger took over. He clenched his fists.
Ryan and his wife Rita were happy for the kids. They were escaping. Escaping from the prison, the hell with a dark room sprawling with cobwebs and spiders everywhere. Cold walls that came down every night to eat them up. The room smelled of something rotting as if their flesh.
They would hear if any sound broke the unexpected silence. None! They could only hear their heartbeat. Ryan had taught the children to remain quiet. Cut off from the world, they awaited their final destiny. They had given up. Sam Their son, and Riya, their daughter, had stopped eating.
Would you call it food? children slept on an empty stomach to dream about homemade meals. The parents did not sleep at all. The stench of the toilet in the same room minus the flush made things horrible. Why? the question each of them had in their mind. “Why us Ma?” Riya asked one day. Tears flowed down Rita’s eyes. She looked at Ryan with burning eyes.
The van travelled down the winding, bumpy road. Now paving its way through the forest and fog, visibility almost zero, Ryan wondered how the driver, unknown to them, was driving at all. If asked Ryan could not even tell the make and model of the van. Elated to get on the road and out of that hell. Who was he and why was he helping them? Questions like these had to wait. For now, at least.
“Dad I hear some sound. There is someone in the next room”. Sam had said one night.
Rayan had to shut Sam’s mouth to hear it. Yes, there was someone.
“Who could it be Ryan?” Rita clutched his hand and with the other, she pulled Sam and Riya close to her.
Sam was fifteen now and could guess most of the things happening around. Anger was taking over. Lost in thoughts, he always looked as if planning something in his mind. Revenge, an escape maybe. He became red sometimes, clenching his fists and never answering when asked. He never said, but his expression showed bitterness.
The family soon realized that the sound next door was of a prisoner, just like them. He was a rebel. Would not take anything offered and fought. He was tortured and his cries made the family shiver. One day they heard someone whisper to them. The prisoner! Through a small square cut above the wall. The family never noticed it before.
Here they were with that unknown prisoner, driving them, towards escape.
“Someone is following us, look” Ryan alerted the driver. Speed increased and the van tumbled into the deep valley.
“Get up Rita, were you dreaming?” Ryan asked.
“Thank God. It was a dream”. Sweat soaked Rita looked at her two children sleeping on an empty stomach in the same hell prison.
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