If they knew that I will never leave, would they keep banging? Thud. Thud. Thud. Each knuckle attacking the walls, the door, in a hopeless desperation to break in.
If they knew that the ground hurt, the walls hurt, that each granule of stone, of rubble, of concrete prickled my feet, each one holding the same hopeless determination to get to me, to hurt me – would they give up?
An old smell of must and dust hangs in the air. A smell of vile, forgotten objects left to rot, in an attic maybe. One that would bring back old times and old memories, ‘such good times we had back then’ someone would say – maybe your gran, your mum.
I can’t see into the dark corners of the room. I think it’s a room. It has a door, no windows. No sense of escape. I’m not sure what it is. I just ran. Ran away, away from the Family, away from danger, away from everything I’ve ever known. But they followed me. As I sprinted through the night, as I saw my breathe cloud the space before me, a dragon fleeing from its slayers; I heard their feet. I heard the pats of the soles of their shoes. Each one identical but louder with weight. That made me run even harder, even faster. I’d left my shoes behind in the Home, placed neatly under my bed, a folded note tucked inside, by the end right post, as every other child did at the very same time. But they would be going to bed. Falling into sleep, escaping from reality. Actually, this could be a shed or it could be a box. Wherever I am, it’s better than Home.
They just keep banging. Each fist a threat, a threat to stop, a threat to surrender, a threat of punishment. Just look down. If I look down and don’t move then surely they will give up. If I don’t make a sound, they’ll think they’re mistaken, that I sprinted off in the other direction. If I remain silent then they’ll think I’m not here. That I’m dead. Death – an overwhelming sense of calm, tranquillity, peace – seems much more appealing than life. But I’m not going to let them win. Not yet.
They might have found my scribbled note, which may still have my stains of sweat, may still be wet with fearful tears. Is that why they’re so loud? So angry? I would have activated the lights as I frantically raced to freedom, I would have awakened the dogs as I won my escape. Is that why they’re so frightening? Why this is so terrifying? We were told on our very first day, when we arrived at the Home that we were never to trigger the lights. We were never told how to or why. I don’t want to know why.
I can’t imagine a place quieter, so full of silence that you can barely breathe, barely move. A place that has been muted. Gagged with a thick cloth. I can hear a rustling outside, the bangs have slowed, they’re giving up. They’re still there, but they’re giving up. I want to smile; I fight the urge to hope because I know too well that they’ll be back soon, and if they’ve seen my note, they’ll be back with more people, who will bring more fists with more bangs.
All I have to do now is wait.
The body of one of Crawley Home’s children was found yesterday in the old warehouse, approximately half a mile away from the Home. A girl, around the age of 15 always ‘loved the outside’ and ‘decided to spend the night having an adventure.’ The Chief Parent of Crawley House continued to say, ‘Let this be a reminder to all Children. These foolish games and ideas never end well.’ He made no further comment. It is said that she remained in that warehouse for several weeks by herself and eventually her body just could not cope with the conditions any longer and slowly began to ‘rot’. There are currently rumours spreading around Crawley House that this girl left a note. Our blog, The Essential, requested permission to investigate this rumour, however were denied due to legal reasons. We send our condolences to Crawley Home and hope to expect a new Child in the coming weeks.