And into the slaughter there is thrown another. And then another.
We wait and wonder and sit and wait.
Knowing that our time too will come, soon. But for now, wait
“It will be me next, you’ll see.” Saunders muttered to all and no one.
“If we’re lucky.” Rasmus muttered back.
I stay quiet. No reason to speak. It means even less than the words spoken. If I’m next so be it.
“Mother shouldn’t have been the first. He deserve better.” Saunders wouldn’t shut up. Ever. “Should have been him, the mute.” He gestured at me, sitting alone in the corner as I had for days.
Time was, I would have responded, violently.
But that time and the reasons for incense and anger and passion were gone, distant memories.
The door’s devilish creaky hinges began their swan song for another as the door was pulled open
In they stepped, the inhumans. Faceless, nameless, empty vehicles fulfilling their only purpose – death.
Two of them approached Saunders. At last.
He looked up, resignation written all over his coward’s face. And for the first time in what felt like an epoch, the guy didn’t say a word. Didn’t even mutter one of his ridiculous sayings. He merely looked up, ready to be the next one thrown to slaughter.
And then, for the briefest sliver of a moment, Saunders gave the impression that he would not go quietly. His neck pulsed with blood flow and straining muscle. But the moment passed and his resolution faded as quickly as it had risen from some recess below.
He dropped his head just before an inhuman grabbed a fistful of Saunders’ ginger locks. The man-monster lifted Saunders to his feet and pulled him close, giving what remained of the man the opportunity to do something, anything. But nothing. Here, at his end, he was resigned to his immediate fate.
The inhuman released Saunders’ head and shoved him toward the door. The other inhuman in the room took this opportunity to shove Saunders ahead and out the door.
And in that moment realization hit simultaneously like a bolt in the three of us. Saunders turned back to the room from outside the door. Rasmus and I looked to each other just as the inhumans did the same.
And as if choreographed, the next few second played out like a violent cataclysmic one act play.
Saunders reached out and grasped the door to start it closed on it’s menacing hinges. The inhumans started back toward the closing portal. Rasmus and I sprung to life, at least whatever passed for life in our limbs. We each grasped the leg of the inhumans. It slowed them down enough for each of us to risqué, to scale up the sides of the monsters and attack flesh and eye and ear and throat with a tenor none of us knew still existed within our drained bodies.
The surprise and violence and malice of our actions elicited something not heard from these rooms in months. The inhumans screamed as they batted at their attackers and then as they fell to the ground and then lastly as vital arteries were opened by tooth and nail.
And then silence returned to this place. But it was a different silence. Instead of the silence inspired by dread and waiting for impending slaughter, it was that silence that we all knew from the weeks and months and years before as the smoke rises and death settles across the battlefield.
For a few lasting minutes before others came to put us to our end, we celebrated a silence of satisfaction.
It was broken by those creaking hinges minutes later. And in stepped Saunders with a gift for Rasmus and I. It was a smile on his face. But even better, his mouth was shut.
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