“Lakota!” a shrill female voice pierced into the small boys daydreaming “Get back in the house this instant!” If you listened carefully, one could hear a small voice utter “Drat, she’s found me” Lakota was a small boy, about 7 years of age. “Commiinngggg” Scurrying over the rooftop the boy leaned over and peered into the alleyway. Rhian looked like a tree planted firmly in the doorway of their home, her grey hair was tied up with a short piece of rope and ‘naughty’ boys like Lakota knew that there was a knife enclosed in her ponytail. Her face didn’t look old, plenty other old women in their area had wrinkles on their face but not one could be found on Rhian’s face. “Boy, you get down here now!” Her sharp voice reminded Lakota only of her knife and whip. Shudders ran through his body as he jumped down from the roof and slid down the neighboring warehouse wall. As his bare feet hit the dirt he saw Rhian’s head jerk toward him. “Lakota, here, now.” As soon as he was in arms reach she grabbed his wrist and yanked him inside slamming the door behind her. Her dark glasses bothered him on a daily basis, but at this moment he was glad for them, the way she was examining him made him feel nauseous. Everything about the way she moved reminded him of the machinery he was used to operating, except for her cruelty, though it sure wasn’t human. She gripped him by his long black hair and threw him against the wall. “You know you’re never supposed to leave the home Lakota. You know the price you must pay for shirking your work.” She reached back into her hair and Lakota braced himself for the pain. It had been four days since he last had been marked by her knife, the scars on the back of his neck had all but faded. “You know why I keep all of you miserable rats here Lakota?” She was breathing down his neck “Because I need my machines running” she presumed to walk around to face him “If you’re not in the house, you’re not running your machine, if you’re not running your machine, you’re of no use to me” She pressed her knife to his throat until he could feel blood trickle down his neck “Get the picture?” Her smile made him want to throw up, “yes ma’am” his voice sounded unshaken, that bothered her. “You worthless slime, I should just get rid of you now” two slices, one under each eye, dripping steadily ” a tear mingled with the blood under his eye but Lakota held his composure. If only she’d just send him back to the machines he might make it out without breaking. “Back to work worthless pig, no food the rest of today” He eased himself towards the metal doorway, slightly satisfied until in his peripheral vision he saw Rhian reach for the heated whip resting in the fireplace. As it collided with his back the 7 year old boy collapsed into a pile and weeped, only to feel the sting again before scampering off back to the machines.
“Lakota?” Jen’s soft voice caused him to turn toward her a little quicker than he had planned. It had been 2 years since he had felt the whip the first time now, and he had felt it many times between that time and this moment, in fact he had just been running back to his machine when Jenny caught him by the arm and wiped the tears from his face. She had fairly new scars on her upper right arm. “Be strong Lakota.” she gave him a quick hug and helped him into his machine, her blue eyes sparkling like nothing could be better. He watched her turn into the hall, her blonde hair floating behind her. Fingering through his own hair he contemplated running away, the machine started grinding and he began turning the gears accordingly. “If I never had to lay eyes on Rhian again…” His muttering was drowned out by the machine, as were his daydreams.
Lakota saw his chance, Jen was running back to her machine with fresh blood on the side of her face. He had reached the age of 15 and had successfully sneaked out and back in without getting caught 8 times in a row, he was ready. Jenny collided with her brother Dedric and she burst into tears, thankfully for Lakota’s sake Dedric was one of his best friends in this horrid place “Jen, Dedric, over here” They both turned his way “C’mon guys we don’t have much time” Dedric picked up Jenny and moved over to the boxes Lakota was hiding behind. Behind the boxes was a small hole in the wall Lakota and some other boys had carved out for an easy escape. “Here’s our chance” Jenny and Dedric went through first with Lakota barely behind them. They were finally free. They exchanged glances and with a nod of the head took of running, the further from this workhouse they got, the better. As they were running Lakota locked eyes with Jenny, she always had adored his brown eyes, but he never had any idea. They had all grown up in that mad house, orphaned or kidnapped, nobody really knew. The only thing they knew was that Rhian had lost this round, no matter how many times she’d won in the past, it was their victory now. Eventually with the help of these three over 400 kids were evacuated before Rhian got nervous and burnt the place down. Nobody knows what happened to everyone else, but these 403 teenagers rebuilt the town. At the age of twenty Jenny married Lakota, and Dedric became the pastor of the group. 9 years later they managed to arrest Rhian and free the kids she had with her. Every single one of them carried their scars for their entire lives, with those scars they carried remembrance of what He had rescued them from. Most of us have stories, scars, memories, but most of us forget about them, or don’t really care anymore. Jenny and Lakota never forgot their scars, when their first boy turned 7 Lakota watched him run around like he used to, but without scars or fear.
Live long and prosper, Tori Lynn.