Miranda Kate’s Picture Choice: 1
When the Jester found himself in the white corridor, he knew precisely where he was. It had taken him an age to get out of here, so he didn’t want to waste any time; he just wanted to collect them and be gone.
He glanced up at the corner of the ceiling and sure enough the little black squares were still there. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t seen on any of them, which meant he had to move fast.
As he had done during his escape, the Jester orientated himself by the number printed on the fire extinguishers - there was nothing else to define the different corridors in the labyrinth of white walls and white doors that made up the asylum.
He could have looked in the tiny windows set into each door, but that would cost time. Plus he knew exactly where they were, he just needed to reach them without being spotted.
When he found their corridor he hoped they were still there and hadn’t been moved. He had no idea how long it had been since he was last here – although he was reassured that with parallel jumping you always moved forward in time, never back.
He counted the doors and selected one. Creeping up to it he cautiously peered inside. Sure enough there they were sitting there on the white bench provided. Seeing the inside of the cells again and their blank whiteness made him shiver. He had quickly forgotten how isolating they were and their stillness, with everything muffled and sealed. His remember the claustrophobia that had clawed at the edges of his mind.
The girls looked so peaceful; one sitting slightly in front of the other, the one behind brushing the others hair. They didn’t appear anxious or afraid, but then they had each other, and that was a huge comfort in a place like this.
The blonde girl looked up at the window and paused in her brushing when she saw him. She didn’t seem startled, or even surprised, she just waited.
He smiled; the grin stretching across his parched skin. She didn’t blink. The dark haired girl joined her, her eyebrows half raised as though expecting something.
The door handles were only provided on the outside, so he knew he’d be able to access them. But he also knew that there was a camera inside so as soon as they came towards the door and disappeared it would be noticed.
He needed to get them to the nexus point to jump through as soon as possible and they had to understand that in as few a words as possible. Once the alarm was triggered their route would be blocked.
He opened the door a crack, and stuck his head in. They didn’t move, only watched. Then he whispered.
“Girls, don’t move until you have understood what I’m about to tell you. If you want to live again you need to come with me, but quickly – no questions. Follow my exact movements and I can guarantee your safety. If you’ve understood and are willing, keep brushing Annie’s hair.” Isabella didn’t hesitate and started brushing. “Good. Now come!”
They were swift, and soundless; their bare feet accommodating them as they rushed after the Jester. By the time they had turned into the fourth corridor the alarm bells started to ring, and they upped their pace, the girls clasping hands.
When they passed the extinguisher the Jester had marked, they could hear the heavy footfalls of the staff responding to the alarm, but the complexity of the building disguised the direction they were coming from.
The girls looked around feverishly, but the Jester remained focused on their destination. Just as some feet became visible turning the corner behind them, everything went dark, and the girls embraced each other as they felt themselves spin.
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