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In the darkness I hear the purr of the engine, purring like a cat. A cat. Luke had called our cat an it when he killed her. He needed to think of her as an it in his mind, and then speak the words aloud, to transform it into a reality, so it was easier for him to kill her. I wonder if the two Eyes think of me as an it, perhaps I am no longer a person in their eyes. The van is empty, with only a cold, damp floor and four blank walls keeping me enclosed. There’s a crack in the corner of the walls; the moonlight is pouring in, powdering the dark ground with a snow of light. The moonlight dances across the floor, illuminating it as a small shape is formed. The shape of an egg. The moonlight is an artist; in the way it’s created the egg shell to look impossibly smooth, like craters on the moon. The egg begins to glow, like a little light bulb, making the dark walls shine with hope. But hope means nothing, hope is only a word, embroidered; the egg abruptly disappears, leaving me alone in the darkness once again.
It stinks of bodies. Not dead bodies, just bodies, as if many others have been here before me. Perhaps they have. I can still smell the sweat, of whoever was trapped in here before me. What happened to them? I wish it smelt like cigarettes, the kind that Moira used to smoke. I wish it smelt like Mothers just as it had in the kitchen when Rita and Cora had baked bread. I wish it smelt like anything but life.
I sit on the floor, wishing for the moonlight to stream back through the crack, but I know it won’t happen. The moon has abandoned me. I wish they’d hurry up, what am I waiting for? I've become bored of waiting, wishing that whatever my fate is will hurry up. I sing to myself, not in my head this time, I whisper the words aloud; no one can hear me;
I feel so lonely, baby,
I feel so lonely, baby,
I feel so lonely I could die.
I wonder who turned me in. It couldn't have been Nora; she’d tied the noose around her neck before the Eyes even made it to the door. It couldn't have been Serena Joy; whatever she’d had in store for me was much more private. It could have been Nick. I’d made him my own cardboard cut-out, and told him things I shouldn't. I’d told him about Moira and Nora, I’d even told him my own name, just so I could feel known. It was a mistake though. I know that now.
It’s still dark outside when the Eyes open my cage. They pull me out, and I can see from the darkness in their expression, that I am no longer a human to them. I am an it. I don’t have to ask where we are, I recognize it at once. Moira had told me about it, she’d told me about the video she’d watched where you only get three years maximum before your nose falls off and your skin pulls away like rubber gloves. I am in the colonies.
Here is what I’d like to tell. I’d like to tell a story about how I escape the colonies and find Luke still alive. I’d like to tell you that we get our daughter, and maybe Moira on the way, my mother too if we’re really lucky. I’d like to tell you we all escape and that we’re planning to move on and live happier lives.
I’m sorry there is so much darkness and pain in this story, but there is nothing I can do to change that. It hurts me to tell this story, over and over again. But I want you to hear this, I want to believe you’re there, that I’m not alone and that if I escape, I will hear your story too. So I will go on. After all you've been through; you deserve to know what happens to me, even if you don’t like the ending.
Here is how it goes:
The Eyes lead me through the darkness, towards a small building. They knock on the door, and quickly throw me inside the faintly lit room.
A desk, a chair, a candle.
The candle is the only object that radiates life. I watch as the flame on top of the candle dances, the flame is so tiny and yet it fills the room up with light. A dim glow, but at least it’s still light. A cough comes from the dark corner, and I realize I’m not alone. I turn around. Nick. He’s in his shirt sleeves, his shirt hanging loose; he’s holding a cigarette, lit, as if he weren't expecting me, as if he weren't waiting. A man made of darkness, I can’t see his face clearly because the dim light restricts it but I can smell the smoke clinging to him. I wish he’d put his arms around me, and stroke my back in comfort, promising that this is just a huge mistake and he never betrayed me. I wish he would undo my dress and make me alive in my skin. He does neither; he says nothing, unsmiling as we stare at each other, his eyes watching my face.
“Why am I here?” I ask. You s***, is what I want to say.
He remains straight, not answering me. Instead he calls me by my real name, as if it should mean something.
“What happens now?” I ask. I’m not as angry at him as I should be. I still have it in me to feel sorry for him, for he too is human, more than just a seedpod. Moira is right, I am a wimp. He steps out of the darkness, his shadow casting against the wall. What is he thinking? Maybe he’s thinking of how we used to talk; like faded paper flowers, faded music. I begin to cry.
He moves forward, strokes my back softly. “We haven’t got much time” He says. He steps away from me, reaching over his desk. A gun. Dirty work is done by dirty people. I don’t need to ask what’s going to happen to me.
You wanted an ending and I promised you one.
The candle flame dies and we are stood in the darkness.
Noilte te bastardes carborundorm.