The story so far:
His tears slowed to a stream, then a trickle. There was nothing he could do to save her now – that time had passed. Perhaps the man was right, had he thought clearly in the moment, had he been able to make decisions. That was an unfair judgment. He was only eleven. The girl was in pain and it terrified him.
He shouldn't have dared her to eat the berries. They looked like something out of a horror movie – black, a tint of red, more square than round – which is what made it more tempting. He face contorted the minute the juice flushed into her mouth, fruit smashed between the roof of her mouth and tongue. She swallowed. He would have spit, he told her to spit. But she swallowed.
That's when it started, everything moving in slow motion. The twisting of her jaw, the curling of her body, the spasms. Frozen, he stood there, leaving him with images he'll never forget. Then the wink. He was sure of it. He body seemed no longer in her control but he was sure she winked. Had she wanted to die? Was she done with the life they were living? Stuck here in this hell – the agency controlling every minute.
It was some kind of plan, living all the pain in one moment instead of spreading out over a lifetime. That's what they did to you, the agency. First they tore you from your home and family, then made you learn skills meant for martyrs and spies. It all started to make sense. There were operations, scars, strange bumps under the skin, and the occasional slight beep – something radar related.
“Get out of here,” said a poster of the Incredible Hulk.
He went to the door, but the lock clicked just as his hand touched the knob. It was locked. It hadn't been. He could have left sooner; he should have put it together sooner. But they knew what he knew the moment before he knew it. He sat on the bed to think. He had to do the most insane thing he could think of; the way she did it, without warning.