Here is the final part of “The Escape.” If you would prefer to read the entire story, click this link.
I gasped for air. I had been running for hours, so you could guess that I was out of breath. Operetta was on the ground, her leg twisted in a way it shouldn’t. Her face was hard, though I could tell she was in pain. Frankie had stayed behind with her brothers, so we only had ten people.
“Livia,” Operetta gasped. “Take the…girls to a…safe place…. Leave me if…you have…to,” she whispered.
I shook my head. “I told you I would drag you out of here, and I meant it.”
I wrapped her arm around my shoulder and helped her limp toward the hovercraft. I laid Operetta across the seat and climbed in beside her. Cleo, Stevie, Mia, Merrill, and Mara took the back seats and Norri drove.
“Wait,” Mia said. “Were are we going?”
“We’re going to the only place we can,” I said. “Home.”
“But we can’t,” she argued. “Our parents are, well, gone.”
She was referring to the fact that our parents have been taken to work in the processing plant just like we were taken to the mines.
“We could live with my mother and father. The government didn’t get a chance to find them before they took me,” Stevie whispered. She was a lot younger than us, but she was just as brave.
“No, little sis’, they can’t,” Cleo said. “We don’t have enough room.”
“But mother used to own an orphanage, couldn’t we live there?” Stevie said, just loud enough to sound strong. Cleo sighed, but nodded. Stevie smiled.
* * *
“Cleo! Merrill! Mara! We’re back from picking up Stevie from school!” Operetta yelled. She laid her crutches on the floor and slid into the nearest chair. Stevie scurried over to the kitchen for an after-school snack. Norri and Mia sat on the couch and turned on the T.V. We’ve all been living in the old orphanage for about a month now, and we’ve managed to turn it into a full-on house. We still have to hide, but that doesn’t bother us. The only bad thing is we can’t get good jobs. We lost the war, but that means we get to live in a place where the government doesn’t rule. Before he left, Papa said we’d better get ready for a world of change, but I think I can live with it. ;’)