12. Facility Escape
When night falls, Shera and I wait until the lab guy's footsteps fade down the right hallway. Then we peer out the door, and the hall is deserted. Unless Louisiana had invisibility technology, there are no security cameras. I bump Shera's hip with mine to get her attention. She looks at me. I point to the left, which is the route we need to take. We slip out of the room, silently shutting the door behind us, and tiptoe down the left hall. We get all the way to the dining hall when we hear the unmistakable sound of grey Oxfords click-clacking towards us. I grab Shera's arm and yank her into the dining hall. I dive behind a trashcan, and she follows suit. We sit, not daring to breathe, until the click-clacking fades down the hallway. We then rise from behind the trashcan and continue as planned down the left hall. When we reach the restroom, I nod to Shera, and she steps in front of me and takes the lead. Only she knows where the weaponry is. We walk some more, then turn a right corner and she whisks me into another white room. It's filled with more weapons than I ever knew existed. We find a sizable sword and a small knife, and I use the knife to remove the rope from the hilt of the sword. It's just long enough to do the trick. I tie one end around my waist and loop up the rest, carrying it in one hand. I hand the knife to Shera and she carries it in case it comes in handy. I lead Shera back to the restrooms, and right outside the door is the weak spot held by particleboard. There's a metal bar suspended from the ceiling just barely overlapping the particleboard. I don't know what it's for, but it's perfect. I toss the end of the rope that isn't around my waist over the bar, and Shera catches it on the other side. She's going to pull it to raise me up. I take the knife because it will probably help break the board, and Shera pulls as hard as she can on the rope. I lift a foot. She steps backwards and keeps pulling until I'm up at the ceiling. I punch the board, then kick it, which results in a loud wham, and I hear fast footsteps approaching. I flail my arms violently at Shera, trying to get her to lower me, but instead out of pure panic, she lets go entirely. I crash to the floor and land on my right arm, and a disgusting crack occurs. Excruciating pain radiates through my arm, and it's bent awkwardly. It doesn't take a doctor to figure out that it's broken. Even so, I leap up and scramble into the restroom, dragging the rope and knife with me. Shera is already in the shower stall, all curled up, so I lie down in the bathtub. A man's mutter sounds from outside the door. "I heard something... of one of those dumb bastards is out, I'll kill them here and now." Shera's tear-filled eyes widen. I stiffen in the bathtub, but I don't cry. The footsteps retreat, and I push myself up on my left arm and stand. Shera flings herself at me, sobbing uncontrollably, and I dodge her embrace because 1. I have a broken limb and 2. I am currently in possession of a knife. She crashes into the tile floor, but stands up unharmed. "Emily, I'm so sorrrry!" she wails. "Shhh!" I hiss. "I'm fine. We need to shut up and focus." I only said we so that her feelings wouldn't be hurt. We do the rope thing again, and this time I silently slice through the board with the knife. I almost weep with joy when a piece gives way and I see the night sky. I haven't seen the outdoors in what seems like years. I cut until my good arm is tired and there's enough space for me to shimmy through. My arm objects, but I pay it no attention. I'm on the roof. I'm out. I want to screech with giddiness. I untie the rope from my waist and pull a still glassy-eyed Shera up and out. We are on the roof now. We're out.