Hold my hand, hold it tight.
Don’t walk too fast, just saunter along as if we’re going to the market. Don’t look back, keep looking up at me and smiling. Laugh – pretend I’ve said something funny. That’s a girl.
Don’t worry, keep hold of my hand. Let’s skip for a bit as if I’m playing with you. No we can’t run – people will notice.
You’d think we’d be invisible wouldn’t you? All these crowds, all these twisting alleyways. But there’s always someone watching, always someone who will remember. Don’t worry, here, I’ll put my arm round your shoulder.
Let’s go this way and then we’ll double back a little bit along. Come on.
Don’t look down at the shadows and the dirt, look up at me. Look up at the sky. Can you see how blue it is? Isn’t it lovely?
Here, let’s slip through this way, we’re not so far from the edge of the settlement. Don’t tremble sweetheart, don’t look back. No-one is following now. We just keep walking.
Look! Can you see through that gap? Can you see the mountains? Look at the sun on them, turning them golden. Let’s pretend it’s a friendly dragon waiting to protect us. It’s not so far.
I know your feet are tired lovely, but you can walk a little further. We’ll be safe there, I promise. There’s a place on the mountain side and they’re waiting for us. Hold my hand, we just need to slip out through here and into the shadows again.
I promised I’d save us, little sister, I promised we’d get free. We’re nearly there… hold my hand. Soon your smile won’t be pretend anymore.
Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission