Other enemies have a different strategy. Once they take you, they dress you up in fine clothes, accessorize every inch of your body in sparkly jewelry, and constantly shower you with attention.
These same adversaries were my worst fears.
And when I felt their hands grab me from behind and I heard my sister Avnita scream, I knew had failed in our attempt to flee.
We had become the captured.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The paper gave a sharp ripping sound that seemed to echo in the silent library. In my haste to turn the page, I’d torn it. Hoping there were no official “book destruction” fees at this particular library branch, I continued Valleri’s journey. She told of her captors, their brutal tactics, swarthy looks, and endless questions of their name, age, and connections. I found myself studying anyone, especially men, who casually walked by my station on the floor. Imagining they were the agents from the book, I pondered how I would get revenge on them, escape from them, and save a beloved family member all in one night.
It had been four days and five nights since the enemy had brought us there. Sounds from a temple that stood miles away carried into the concrete warehouse we had been secluded and stored in. Nearly fifty girls with varying ages (the youngest being of six years) were piled in a single room, with only a locked metal door keeping us from freedom. A single cup of water and handful of undercooked rice were our daily rations.
Hard were the days when the meals never reached our section.
Avnita was weak. Unhealthy and even thinner than before. Neither of us had dared to move from our seats of concrete we selected when we first arrived. No girl was allowed to move unless she was being summoned. The first day, when we learned what a “summons” consisted of, we were satisfied sitting with no occupation for the rest of our lives.
If only it could have been that simple. But the enemy did not capture us to sit us down. We were considered slaves that lived for the summons.
When the metal door scraped open, and two men delivered the call of the evening, the world began to go white. Then, slowly, a fading black. My fingers and lips trembled, and a girl behind me pressed her hand into my back to keep me from fainting.
Check back tomorrow for Part Four.