Chapter 13, Part 2
Mariah stared up at the ceiling of her room, trying to stay awake. The lights had been out for over an hour. She’d managed to sweet talk Dr. Sanderson into getting her a watch and she checked its glowing numbers under her blanket. She probably needed to wait another hour. But she was so tired. Kyle made sure she trained hard and had her in the training room for two long sessions each day. She was not about to admit that she had started to enjoy the exercise.
She rhythmically flexed and straightened her toes in an effort to keep her eyes open. She’d toyed with her current idea for the last few days and had finally decided to act when Dr. Sanderson mentioned they were making progress on figuring out what her abilities were.
Minutes creeped by with agonizing slowness. After half an hour, she could take no more and rolled over to face the wall. She tried to keep as still as possible. There was a camera high in the opposite corner. She slid her hand along the mattress towards the wall. Her fingers touched the brick and then slid through with the familiar tingle that came with using her power. She cautiously reached further. Whatever it was that allowed her to know the layout of the building told her that she was close to breaking through her wall and into a crawl space between her cell and the next.
Her fingers met air and she pulled back until her hand rested on the far side of the wall. Her arm was buried almost up to her elbow. Walls are fairly thick, then, she thought. She pulled back and tapped her chin. Did she dare?
Mariah let her feet go first, incrementally sinking through the mattress and bed frame to the floor below. When she got to her waist, she started to bunch the sheet up under the top blanket. She’d read enough books to remember to make it look like someone was still in the bed. Hopefully it fooled any security guard that might happen to look at her screen.
Her heart was pounding by the time she lay on the floor under the bed. There hadn’t been any alarms since she’d first reached through the wall. They probably aren’t expecting anyone to go through the walls. Hopefully.
She flipped to her stomach and crawled through the wall, finally standing up in the narrow crawl space. Wow. I’m a genius. No flashlight. She stood in the pitch black. Her senses told her the space extended to both sides with intersections for the cells further down. Exploring was pretty much out of the question until she figured out how to charm a light from someone.
Mariah stayed in the space for a few more minutes, reveling in the small freedom she had achieved.
Make a run for it now! Her more desperate side encouraged.
No. You have no idea where you are and no way to get anywhere. She rationalized. You’re only sixteen and surrounded by ‘roided up guys. You’re going to need help to get out of here.
Hopefully that help would be Kyle. He’d starting calling her Noodle routinely over the last few days and she thought there was a bit of a tease in his voice. She’d been unsuccessful so far in trying to make him show any emotion that resembled happiness. But she wasn’t about to stop trying.
She dropped to a crouch and slid back under the bed. She stared up at the bed above her. I should have thought this through a little better, too.
Grasping the bars she hauled herself back up through the mattress, adjusting her torso before bringing her legs up. She lay still for another fifteen minutes, waiting for any sign that her little stunt had been noticed. Nothing happened, so she made herself more comfortable and dropped off into a satisfied slumber.
Mariah bounced out of bed with the lights at 7 am. There were no frowning guards waiting to drag her before Amelli so everything looked pretty good. She waited impatiently for Mason to unlock her cell and trotted out, bouncing from one foot to the other while he unlocked Kyle’s door.
“Morning, Sparky,” she grinned.
“Sparky?” Kyle frowned.
“If you get to call me Noodle, then I get to give you a nickname,” she said, adding a friendly wink. “Sparky.”
He regarded her for a moment before the corner of his mouth tugged up ever so slightly. She flashed her best grin and she saw his smile widen a little before he turned away.
“You coming then…Noodle?” He started off down the hall.
Mariah gave a modest fist pump and hurried off after him.