Author’s Notes: Thanks again to all my readers for your support! I’m getting close to 4,000 total views for this blog which is just… wow! (for me!)
If anyone still wants to ask me any questions, please feel free! They’ll all be answered soon.
I hope you all enjoy this update, I worked really hard on the pictures and they’re the result of my pose folder exploding due to a pose CC binge, hehe.
“I don’t want to be doomed.” I didn’t know who the watcher was, but he had a familiar look about him when I’d seen him earlier. Who was he? Where had I seen him before? Had I seen him before? Who was he watching and why? What did he want with us? I remembered what Henri had said, just to sit tight and not do anything or things could get worse. There was something about our names that affected Miss Jane just after she’d seen The Watcher out. And Frankie, she didn’t know who the watcher was but he frightened her. Could things be about to be getting worse? Where would he take us? If he was going to help us then why would Miss Jane lock us up to prevent escape? She could have said nothing and we’d still have been here in the morning. So it must be something bad.
“That’s the thing, Miss, if you’re not happy where you are or where you’re headin’ you’ve got to take the bull by the horns and get yourself out. No one else is going to do it for you. Use your head and do what you can, that’s the trick. Just get out.”
The conversation I’d had with Tomas came back to me like he was beside me speaking the words.
I’m not happy where I am, that’s for sure. I don’t like where things are heading? But how to get out? Use my head.
I paced the room.
Get out, just get out. How to I get out? No stairs, they’re blocked with the trapdoor. No windows. Think think think! Frankie is right, we’re doomed!
“Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage,rage against the dying of the light.”
No, we’re not doomed. We’re not. I can’t give up. Think! I’m not where I want to be, not going where I want to b going, stuck in an attic room—
“If ever you find yourself locked in an attic room just remember that.” The words from Michael’s letter came to me and I tried to block back the rush of happy memories that caused my eyes t pick with teas. I had to focus on what my mind was trying to remember. If ever I found myself locked an attic room, well, that’s just where I was!
What did he say, think, Bobbie, think!
“But where did that leave us? I’ll tell you where, locked in an attic room. We were in a fix, that’s for sure! We’d been marched up there and escape was hopeless for it would rouse the teachers and that would take us right out of the frying pan and into the fire. Now, I’m not the sort of boy to panic and neither is Jimmy, but once we were all locked in there… well, we had an uncertain future that held nothing but trouble for us. Toulin, however, reacted differently. He worked his way around the small room, tapping at the walls and pressing his ear up against the boards.”
The words flooded back and I followed the directions, tapping the walls.
“What are you doing?” Frankie asked.
“I don’t exactly know, but I might be saving us both!” I said. Suddenly, my tapping sounded different.
“That’s hollow!” Frankie said, leaping to her feet for the first time since we’d been locked in.
“Soon he found what he was looking for and pulled out his penknife.”
“I need something like a penknife!” I said. Frankie took a knife from our meager kitchen supplies
“Jimmy and I soon joined him and together we pried the board loose…”
“Here, this will go easier.” Frankie fetched the fire poker and soon we’d pried the boards loose revealing the ceiling space behind.
“Many dormer windows aren’t windows.” I said. “They’re added on the outside so the house looks even but it doesn’t mean the entire roof space is filled with rooms.”
“If ever you find yourself locked in an attic room just remember that. Out the window, down the most obliging drainpipe I’ve ever encountered and the three of us (or Jimmy and I, at least) were safe in our beds before the waking Bell.”
“We might be able to get out.” Frankie said.
“Yes. With any hope. It’s all gone to plan so far.”
We slipped through into the space on the other side of the wall and I looked for a shimmer of light. Fortunately it was a full moon and we made towards it. Sure enough, we found ourselves face to face with a dormer window.
“Dare we?” Frankie said.
“Can’t stay here.” I said.
“Well, pardon me for sayin’ so but we can’t escape with nothing but what we stand up in. We don’t have much but it’s more than we’ve got on us.”
I agreed, and back to our room we sped and we pulled the sheets off our bed. Onto them we divided up what we wanted to take. Our clothes (such as we had.) and our food and a few other things besides. My book made it in, and my photograph of Mother and Father. We tied up the corners and made two haversacks then headed back to the window.
“There’s no turning back if we go out.” Frankie said. “It’s a harsh world out there, Bobbie, you have no idea.”
“Is it better to lie back and let The Watcher do with us what he will?”
“To do nothing or to be brave, both are a risk.”
“Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.” I quoted. To stay seemed to be to give up, to flee was action.
“Then rage we will.” Frankie said.
We were lucky, the window was one that opened, though we had to prop it up with a stick of firewood. Frankie climbed out first then I followed behind.
“Now how to get down.” Frankie said. “Escaping isn’t any good if we’re trapped on a rooftop! That’s just hiding.”
“down the most obliging drainpipe I’ve ever encountered”
“We need to get to the edge of the roof and look for a drainpipe to climb down.” I said.
“Well, lets have a look for one.”
“Careful!” I cautioned her as she moved towards the edge of the mock-balcony we were on. The railing around the edge was only knee hight, if she fell… I stood back and held onto her just in case while she looked down.
“No drainpipe here.” Frankie reported back. “But I can see a way to get lower down.”
To our left was another flat bit of roof but it was one story below. Fortunarly the sloped roof above us extended down below the level we were at now. Frankie tossed out bundles to the flat roof below then we swung ourselves up onto the roof abive and carefully slid down its slope until we were hanging off the edge by our hands. That left us only a few feet to drop as silently as we could next to our bundles.
“Well, that wasn’t so hard.” I said.
“There’s still no drainpipe here.” Frankie said. “But, see this sloping roof here? It goes right down to the roof of the scullery, that flat bit there. If we’re careful, we might be able to slide down to it.”
“I don’t know…” I said. “It looks like a long way—”
“Well, we can’t go back up. I’ll go first, you see how I do it and follow.”
My heart thumped in my throat as we approached the edge. Do not go gentle… rage… be brave Bobbie, be brave. I gripped Frankie’s hand, trying to keep calm. The last thing either of us wanted was sweaty palms.
I held her hands as she climbed over the railing.
She planted her feet against the wall below and slowly walked down as far as she could then jumped onto the sloped roof below. She slid.. Too far, no! She managed to stop just in time and while she skidden across roof tiles she managed to swing herself over onto the flat roof above the scullery.
“Nothing to it!” She called up to me. “Toss me the bundles. Then follow yourself.”
Tossing her the bundles was the easy part. My heart in my throat, I held onto the railings and swung myself over.
Can’t go back up, I repeated Frankie’s words to myself. I walked myself down until my arms could reach no further. Come on Bobbie, I said to myself. Where’s that bit of highland courage. Just let go. Right, now. Right, on the count of three, One… Two… Three…
With that I dropped. The roof slid from beneath my feet and I skidded—
“Bobbie!” Frankie held out her hands and I grasped them just in time for her to help pull me onto the flat roof.
“You’re right.” I said, heart still thumping in my throat. “Nothing to it.”
Frankie grinned at me.
There was no railing here so we approached the edge of the roof on our hands and knees and there was our drainpipe, looking not at all like a sturdy ladder against the wall.
“Do you think it will take our weight?” I asked.
“Looks sturdy, but there’s only one way to find out.”
“Well, if a boy can do it then so can I!” I tried to sound more confident than I was to trick myself as much as Frankie. Just a bit of the old Highland courage would do the trick.
“I’ll go first, I’m the lightest.” Frankie said and before I could stop her she swung her legs off the edge of the roof.
“Careful!” I called out.
“It seems sound.” Frankie said. Slowly she descended.
I swung over the edge of the wall. It did seem sturdy enough…
Slowly I began my climb down.
The relief I felt once my feet touched solid ground was indescribable.
We gathered up our bundles, took each others hands, and ran. We didn’t want to risk the gate so we went to the corner of the yard furtherest away from the house.
There was a brick wall that, when she took a running jump at, Frankie was able to pull herself up on.
She then turned and helped me climb up before we both jumped down to the other side. Then we were off running again and soon came to the fence that surrounded the school.
Frankie gave me a boost up.
I climbed to the top of the fence and threw our bundles to the ground on the other side.
I then reached down and helped Frankie up and we both climbed over and dropped safely to the other side.
“Well, we’ve done it.” I said.
“We’ve only just begun.” Frankie said.
“Where, what do we do now?” I hadn’t really thought this far ahead. “We need somewhere to hide until Jo and Henri can help us, and some more food to eat in the meantime.”
“We’ll need lodgings and a job, is what we need.” Frankie said. “And not too close because if people are looking for us…”
“So we need to get moving then.” I said.
“Yes. We need to get walking.” Frankie said.
And so we walked on into the night, not knowing where we were going or what would become of us.
Frankie was right, we’d only just begun.