I feel like I need to hurry the action with these blog segments, like I’ll lose my audience (or never gain an audience) if I don’t. I have to remind myself that everything comes in its own good time and that I’m doing this for me, not for others. Sometimes I want to hurry myself along merely for my own instant gratification.
It’s never a good idea to hurry things and this is no exception.
Here’s installment #5 of The Path of Moonlight.
======== The Path of Moonlight ========
My mother picked me up from school and was shocked when she saw the dark purple splotch blossoming around my eye. The ice had kept down most of the swelling so I could see, but the tenderness was painful. She was furious when I told her what had happened and I panicked that I had overshot my goal.
I hadn’t intended for the girl to elbow me in the face. I thought our legs would get tangled and I’d fall again like before. I’d come home with scraps and grass stains. We did fall but she fell on top of me and my black eye was the result.
My mother locked me in my bedroom when we got home and gave strict orders that my homework be done by the time she came back. She didn’t say when she was coming back. Hours later my homework was done and the sun was down. My empty stomach had been rumbling and twisting in pain for some time before she came back and pronounced my sentence.
I was to have no dinner and would go straight to the crawl space for the rest of the night. In my shock I blurted out, “Till morning?” Her smile was slow and unkind.
“You’d better put on some warmer clothes,” she said. “The weatherman said it’s going to be unseasonably chilly tonight.”
Her advice surprised me – I hadn’t thought her kind enough to think to give it. But it occurred to me that she wanted to see my dread of the coming night. That sounded more like her. It also would’ve looked bad if I died from exposure.
My clothes weren’t all that warm but I managed with jeans, a long-sleeved shirt, a hoodie and a jacket. I was thankful holey, threadbare clothes would’ve raised unwanted questions and attention. Even if my clothes weren’t the most fashionable or the best quality, at least they were whole and not drafty.
As I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark of the crawl space, the realization that I was going to get out made me dizzy and sick. I crawled on my belly to the hole that I had dug out. I would have to go through headfirst on my back and that didn’t thrill me. What was waiting on the other side? How would I survive on my own? Where would I go? How would I stay hidden? It occurred to me that I had no money and no food but it wasn’t likely that I’d have another chance like this.
I hesitated, staring at the hole I’d made, the moonlight shining through it. Then I stopped thinking and began to shimmy and slide my body through the hole. I had to take off my jackets in order to fit through and even then it was tight. While going through on my back allowed me to bend and curve at the neck, along the spine, and at the hips, my knees didn’t bend that way so I almost got stuck. But I still had my trowel and fumbled enough dirt aside to get my legs through.
It was a difficult procedure and it took some time, but I wasn’t worried. The whole night was open to me. With that hurdle crossed, I was able to take stock of my new surroundings. They looked much like my old ones. With no flashlight to guide me, I had no choice but to follow the original path of moonlight. But where was it coming from? The more I crawled, the farther away the source seemed.
I heard a noise behind me and stopped. My heart was beating in my ears; I held my breath as I listened.
“Charlotte, get up here. Your father and I want to talk to you.”
It was my mother’s voice. Fear paralyzed me. Panic swirled my thoughts into an incoherent mess.
“Charlotte?” she called again. I heard movement, a scraping of shoes on concrete. “Charlotte!” The call came louder. Then the glimmer of light from a flashlight peaked through the hole I had made and there was a gasp.
“Harold!” my mother screamed. “Harold! She’s gone! Damn it, Harold! Get over here!”
There was a pounding of feet nearing the opening of the crawl space and the sounds of scrambling through the dirt.
“Get back here, Charlotte! So help me, if you don’t get your ass back here right now, you won’t be eating for a week!”
When I saw her head poke through the hole, the flashlight illuminating me, fear released me and I struggled forward as fast as I could.
“I can’t get through. The hole needs to be bigger. Hurry up! Come on! She’s getting away!”
My mother was screeching like I had never heard before. There was a growl of frustration behind me and a sound as if she had punched the wood. She probably had. Fear of capture now spurred me on and I refused to look back, even when her voice floated to me as if on a spiteful wind. It sounded like a far-away echo but I could hear the venomous words and they filled with me with ice.
“You haven’t won,” my mother said. “There’s nowhere to go, Charlotte. No one has ever escaped the Dosanya. There’s nowhere you can hide where we won’t find you. And we will find you. Believe me, we will.”
======== End of 5th Increment ========
Thoughts? Comments? I’m a little worried about calling them the Dosanya because Dothraki popped into my head the moment I started the moment the letter D entered my head. It felt right to have them start with D and be 3 syllables long but I’m worried GoT fans will be reminded too much of the Dothraki.