The Pit

Charlie has turned 13, the lucky age. After being trapped in The Pit for 12 years, he is finally being set free into the world. But, is the outside world all it's supposed to be? Charlie discovers that people can mistruth, hurt you and that funny little thing called love might just happen...

The cover was made by @LillyAnna so all cover credits go straight to her.

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1. Before

shouldn't be awake. Not now anyway. They don’t me to be awake at all; they want me to be sound asleep, so when I wake up they won’t have to explain. My eyes are open at the moment, but if anyone looks at me, I’ll close them. I know the consequences. If they catch me, they’ll kill me. Literally. I can’t avoid this, it will always happen and anyway, it’s natural. I shouldn't be scared, or nervous or agitated. To be honest, right now I shouldn't feel anything considering I'm supposed to be asleep. I'm breaking the rules. Naughty me.

‘Are you sure?’ I hear someone say, and my mother turns around. I shut my eyes tight.

‘Look dear, I do this every night. It always happens, this feeling, every mother gets emotional about letting their kids go but it’s what the government want and that’s that. I promise when we get to The Pit, I’ll let you whisper goodbye 50 cm’s away. That’s lucky dear, usually we strap them into the crane and away they go!’ I open one eye’s just slightly to check if my mother is still looking. Nope, all good. I observe the man who was talking. He has a smart blue and white striped blazer with a white shirt and crisp black trousers. His shoes are brown and are long and slightly pointy on the ends. They look like leather. In his hands he’s holding a brown clipboard with several pieces of paper attached. I can hear my mother sniffing quietly.

‘Dear oh dear, please don’t cry on me! If you cry, I cry and believe me, tears ruin silk suits! It’s happened before you know. Now, now, let me get you a tissue. Dear oh dear,’ he says, smoothly whipping out a packet of tissues. He tried to look sorry and upset, but I can tell he’s gone through all this before. He hands it over with a smile. The car takes a sharp turn and we arrive.

‘Here we are! Now, we are in luck! They have already set up the crane, so we just need to give the little fella a quick injection and away we go!’

‘I-i-injection?’ I hear my mother stammer and the man in the suit laughs, throwing his head back so his voice went up into the black sky.

‘Relax dear, wow; you really are tense aren't you? It only works if the lad is asleep, and he is, so we’re fine! Basically, we inject it into him and it makes sure he stays sound asleep whilst we strap him into the crane and lower him down. Either that, or let him wake up and...’ he drew his hand across his neck slowly. My mother nods, her eyes wide with fear.

‘Ok dear, it’s best if you go get some water whilst we give him the injection.’ I watch as my mother nods, climbs out the car and look back before heading off to a small table. The man climbed out the car to and I watched as he walked over to two young looking men, both in bright yellow outfits. They looked oddly like two lemons. He was talking to them, making hand gestures and stabbing his finger in the direction of the car. Then the lemons start to walk over and as they neared, I shut my eyes. The door next to me opened. A sudden rush of cold air hit me, but I forced my eyes to stay shut. If I opened them, game over.

‘Alright Bert,’ said one lemon.

‘Let’s be quick. I have my eye on a ham sandwich which Dave might get.’

‘Calm down Andy, it takes two seconds, alright? Now, hand me the injection thingy.’

‘You mean the syringe?’ asked Bert.

‘Yes, the syringe.’ I felt arms move.

‘Right now, quiet. We can’t wake him. Three, two, one...’ A felt a sharp pain in my arm and the liquid move through. It circulates through my arm, and then the sensation disappears. I felt the needle withdraw.

‘There we go! Come on Bert; you grab the little blighter and let’s get those sandwiches you were talking about.’ I felt Bert’s strong and heavy arms coming towards me, his hard hands grabbing my hips and hauling me out of my seat. The cold air whipped my face as I bounced against Bert’s sweaty back. My eyes were still closed, and they remained closed for the rest of the time. Occasionally my eyelids fluttered, but they never opened fully.

‘Just drop him off with the crane people and we’ll go eat,’ said Andy and I felt Bert’s body change direction. The noises around me were loud and un-clear. The air tasted of dirt and perspiration.

‘Thanks Bert,’ I hear a voice say and I'm exchanged into a stranger’s arm. They stroll casually over to what I think is the crane. My mind is racing. I can’t think straight. I try to focus on keeping my eyes closed, but all I can think about is tomorrow, when I should “wake up” and be in The Pit.

‘Ok, people, let’s get going. Lower the crane down mate, yeah, that’s it, little bit further, perfect! Alright, quick, put him in!’ Yet another pair of hands grabbed me roughly by the waist and hauled me off and away. I feel myself being lowered into a seat, rather like the ones at the park, you know, the baby swings. My two legs stick through the holes and I sit, my eyes closed, praying nothing goes wrong.

‘Alright, baby sat and strapped, lower him down!’ yells a voice, and the command is done. As I drop lower and lower, down and down, I forget all about being asleep. My eyes are wide open and I stare up. All I see is my mother, peering anxiously over the edge, her big brown eyes staring at me. I lift up my arms, trying to reach her, even though I know it’s pointless. She goes to reach for me, than withdraws her hands from the air. With one final look, just as my legs touch the ground of The Pit for the first ever time, she drew her body away from the edge and that was going to be my very last glimpse of my true, dear mother.

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