The Screen Room

The door opened to the screen room. Cassandra walked in.

“QT, where is the boy? I thought that he would be here. I thought that he would not be fighting,” Cassandra said.

“He is not fighting. He is currently in your room,” QT replied.

Cassandra ran out of the room and down the hallway. She went up the steps two at a time. She went up both floor levels in a short time. She ran away from the living room and down the hall to her room.

“Cassandra, what are you doing?” Hema yelled down the hall.

Cassandra threw the door to her room open. She got down on the floor to look under the bed. It was empty.

She got up and went to the closet. She opened the door.

The boy cringed.

“We need to go. Men are here for us. QT is going to hide us,” Cassandra said to the boy.

The boy pushed further away from Cassandra.

Cassandra reached into the closet to get the boy. He kicked out at her; his shoes scratched the skin on her arms.

“We do not have much time, please come with me,” Cassandra said. “You are coming with me either way. You can either come willingly or I will need to make you come.”

The boy shook his head.

Cassandra sighed. She got up and started walking towards the door. She was in the doorway when she heard a sound behind her. She turned to see the boy standing in the middle of the room.

“We need to go. Are you going to come or do I have to carry you?”

The boy ran over to her. Cassandra ran out into the hall.

“Cassandra, get into the room now!” David yelled.

“I am working on it. I realized that we forgot something!” Cassandra yelled back.

“What did we forget?” Hema yelled.

Cassandra could not answer as she was already heading down the stairs.

Hema caught a quick glimpse of the boy as he followed Cassandra down the stairs.

Cassandra slipped, she tumbled down the last few steps. She came to rest on the floor. The boy was leaning over her when she looked up.

Cassandra and the boy heard gunshots from above. The boy looked up as Cassandra got up. Cassandra winced as she put some weight onto her left foot.

“Go on, I will be there in a moment,” Cassandra said to the boy. “We need to get into the screen room.”

More shots from above. The boy ran on ahead. Cassandra went as fast as she could down the hall towards the room. She tried to put a little weight as she could on her foot.

Cassandra hopped around the doorframe and into the screen room. The door closed and locked behind her.

“What now?” Cassandra asked. She was leaning up against the wall to keep the weight off her foot.

“Now you need to hide,” QT said.

“Hide where?”

The screen on the wall slid back from its position in the wall. The screen started its slow movement to the right. The screen disappeared behind the wall.

“Now you get in and come all the way back. The design plans for the house do not include my room. So, you should be safe there.”

The boy climbed over the ledge of the wall and into the space behind the screen. Cassandra slowly made her way over to the hole in the wall.

The sounds from the floors above could be heard through the walls.

Cassandra sat on the edge of the wall. She swung her legs over into the dark side of the wall. Cassandra found the wall. She used it for support. The light from the screen room dimmed as the screen moved back into place. The room went dark.

“QT, how are we supposed to know where to go when there is no light?”

“There is no light to prevent the room from being discovered. In a moment, when your eyes adjust, you should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It will help you get into the next area.”

Something touched Cassandra’s hand. She felt little fingers slide in between her own.

“It will be ok,” Cassandra said. The hand tugged on her, pulling her forward. Cassandra hopped along slowly using the wall as her crutch. After a few hops she did start to see some light.

The light got brighter as Cassandra moved down the hall. The boy was still hanging onto her hand.

At the end of the hall was a long staircase going down. Cassandra looked down, there must be a hundred steps, she thought.

The boy tugged on her hand again.

“All right, I am coming,” Cassandra said as she sat down on the top step.

She slid herself down to the next step, her hands and her right leg helping her. The left leg she tried to keep from bumping on the steps. Even extended out in front of her she could see the ankle was swollen.

The boy did not know what to do; he slowly walked down behind her. He tried to urge her to go faster.

“I am going as fast as I can. I might be able to go faster if you could help. I think if you hold my left leg around the knee to keep it from touching that it might help me to go faster,” Cassandra said.

The boy ran down the steps, Cassandra slid over on the steps.

They both moved faster down the steps. QT turned the lights off as they got further down the steps. The light in front of them grew brighter.

Cassandra pulled herself up near the last step. The boy ran ahead and opened the door. He came back out with a jacket for Cassandra. It was puffy and long.

Cassandra realized that the air was cooler; she could see some of her breath. The last of the lights in the stairway went out. The only light now was a few feet away through the door the boy had opened.

Cassandra slipped the coat on and then hopped over to the door.

There were machines in the room, lights flickering off and on. The light in the room was from the machines.

“Welcome, Cassandra, I am glad you made it here. I was hoping you would come and see me under better conditions,” QT said.

“I was as well.”

The boy closed the door. The full temperature of the room hit Cassandra, the door locked.

“Do you have a corner away from the door where we can hide?”

“There are a few,” QT replied.

“We need the corner that is the farthest from the door, one where the boy and I can fit. In addition, are there more jackets or blankets? We might be here a while and we should try to stay warm.”

The boy came back with a handful of other jackets.

Cassandra started to spread them on the floor in the back corner. She got down on the floor. She folded a jacket and put it on the floor under her ankle. She threw a jacket between herself and the wall.

She made herself comfortable. She held her hands out to the boy. “We will stay warm if we stay together. We do not know how long we will be here. Please.” Cassandra said as her teeth started to chatter. The boy crawled over to Cassandra. He crawled into her lap. Cassandra took the last of the remaining jackets and covered them better.