I have always lived here. Full stop. All my life- as far back as I can remember. They call this place eagle centre.
There are long, crooked corridors tangled through the building, making the place almost impossible to leave. Various rooms are sprinkled along the centre many of which so secret no one knows about. But all secrets fall. My room is just like every other. It has whitewashed walls that listen to my every secret intently and stare at me cruelly not wanting to talk; a small bare bed that sleeps in the centre of the room; a sink that every so often spits a bit of cold water and a silver camera tucked in the corner of the room.
I don’t know how I live like this. They used to let us out every so often. We would eat together and have various lessons (maths, English, science and combat). One day they said they were finished testing us and that we would be locked in our rooms in solitary until they had decided. I hadn’t quite understood what they meant by that and still don’t. Since when had they been testing us and most importantly what did they need to decide.
Someone is knocking on the door. I jump up on my bed startled by the sudden noise. The door opens slightly. Quietly i sigh. It’s only Isla.
I guess Isla is a mother to me. One night when I was quite small, i had a terrible nightmare. I still have those nightmares at age 12 but I’ve learnt to contain my emotions and hide them from the workers. She came to me that day and at first I thought she was there to scold me for putting on such a screaming- she is one of the cleaners. I used to think everybody here was very mean but she made some adjustments to the camera and came and hugged me. I guess our relationship built after that. We see each other every night now.
“Are you all right?” She asks me with eyebrows frowned at my blotchy red eyes and tear streaked face.
The thing with Isla is she listens patiently to my ranting and actually cares.
“No! When are we going to be let out of here? I’m sick and tired of having to use the wall over there as a friend. It is extremely boring.” I moan like a child and humph really loudly just to add to it. It is true. My entire body feels useless, wanting to do something and craving to be free.
Raising her eyebrows at me, Isla whispers, “I’m going to tell you something, something you must never tell anybody i told you... The workers they... they are... testing all the children here.”
“I don’t understand. For what?” I ask loudly then realizing my mistake.
She hesitates just slightly and whispers “I don’t know but only one person is going to pass the test. I’m so sorry but the rest they are going to kill. Tonight.”
Fear invades my veins as my heart pumps increasingly fast. All my thoughts enter an overdrive, my mind not strong enough to take them. I try my best to be strong but the idea of what is to come for me is too hard for my body to take. Collapsing on my bed, Isla hurries to me to help. I push her away. There are 70 children here all my age. That means there is a 69/70 chance i will die. The thing is i am not one of the ones the workers particularly like rather one they hate. A lot.
A sob wells up inside me. I am going to die. The sound of the words is too hard for me to believe. I am going to die. I sniff and turn myself to face Isla again.
As i am about to say something to isla, the door bangs Open. I stare curiously and avert my gaze again. It’s one of the wretched workers- one of the ones i really hate.
He smirks at me (obviously ignoring the fact that isla is in here when she shouldn’t be) and mumbles “I will be glad to get rid of you.”
Grabbing my arm, he pulls me out of the room and leads me into the grand hall. Inside all the children are sat in rows on benches yawning after being woken up from sleep naive of there fate. I never sleep.
I wriggle out of his arm and run to the door rapidly punching the other workers before escaping. Those lessons in combat came in handy. I twist myself, take a right and sprint off through the dark corridor. Beads of sweat trickle down my forehead. My heart pumps hastily. They should have known. Like i was going to let them kill me without a fight. Will i ever be free?
Isla once told me a story about outside about how there was something called a sun and sky outside and how there was a thing called a government and they had put us here. Many times i had asked myself what did i do so wrong that i was forced to be imprisoned in The Great Eagle Centre. Did i deserve it?
I slide my foot along the floor until i reach a handle. Slowly i pull it up and jump inside. Huh. I saw one of the workers sneak here once. Lets see were it leads to.
I look ahead of me. It’s a tunnel. Mud (I think its mud) slivers like a whip on the floor. Water drips to a steady beat on my head. I continue walking, jumping to every bang- fear plastered over my face.
Hitting something, I brush my hands in front of me. It feels like a door covered with cobwebs and rusted. Only for a second, I hesitate. As I grab the remaining courage inside me I turn the doorknob and push it open.
A flash of light darts towards my eyes. While I blink a few times I remember how Isla once said how little light they give our eyes. This must be light. Adjusting to my surroundings, I take another step out. I am finally outside. I push my head up to see the very thing I always dreamed about-the sky. Luscious in colour sprayed with dots of white and purple conquered by a blob of yellow.
I turn around and see an enormous grey building trouble painted all over it and on its roof is a statue of a magnificent eagle. I turn again and look at the sky and breathtaking green hills ahead. I am never going back.