They padded downstairs. They brought nothing with them. They had nothing that really belonged to them. Even the clothes they were wearing were not really theirs. They had outgrown their clothes a long time ago.
Remy risked a quick scan of the area. The path to the door was clear. "Let's go." He darted through the room and out of the door, into the dark velvety curtain of the night. Sapphire followed suit. They continued treading on the path towards freedom, using their keeper's ignorance to their full advantage. With luck, nobody would know they were gone till daybreak. By then, they should be safely out of harm's way, perhaps even travelling across the ocean to America, to Sapphire's family.
The thought brought a rush of exhilaration to Sapphire. "YES! We made it! We actually got away from them!"
Remy smiled wanely at her. "Non. Not away. Not yet. We 'ave t' keep movin', chere, lest dey should discover our disappearance." Sapphire nodded.
They walked along in silence. "You sure you're going the right way?"
"Yah. I checked de map. De port is just up ahead. Can' you smell de sea?" Remy sounded irritated.
Sapphire fell silent and kept pace with Remy. He eventually slowed down a little. Sapphire looked at him from the corner of her eyes. What she saw worried her. Remy looked tired, his face was ashen, beads of perspiration trickled down his forehead. He wiped them away with the sleeve of his shirt.
Remy was ill. Probably was before they embarked on The Great Escape. Silently, she cursed herself for being too blinded by the hope of seeing her family again to noticed it. Pride would not let Remy admit that he was not feeling well. He would not abandon their attempt to escape just because he did not feel well. Sapphire knew him all too well, after all, he was almost her brother. If the years at the The Lost Horizon had brought any good at all into her life, it was the chance to meet, to know Remy. He was her second family.
"I'm tired. Can we rest a while before..."
"Non. We 'ave t' keep movin'. Dey be comin' after us."
"But you're sick."
He halted, turned and glared at her. "I can make it." He said stubbornly.
Sapphire held his long slender fingers in her own. They burnt. He was running a temperature. "Maybe we ought to go back. You need a doctor."
He scoffed. "Like dey'll get me a doctor. We won' ever get another chance like dis. If we go back, dey'll watch us so closely we won' be able t' even see each other. We 'ave t' go on. 'Sides we'll be punished for tryin' t' run away."
A beam of flashlight illuminated the alley they were in. Instinctively, Remy merged with the shadows, invisible to all.
"There she is! Get her!" A pair of strong hands grabbed her arm. No. Not now. Not when we're so close. This can't happen. She kicked out at her captor. He gave a yelp of pain and released her. She ran. They gave chase.
They caught up with her in ten seconds flat. She was pinned to the wall. The owner turned to the other men who were with him. "Find the boy." Catching her chin up roughly in his callous hand, he said, "Thought you could run away from me, eh? Well, think again, many have tried, none have succeeded."
"Y' leave 'er alone!" Remy. No. Run away, run away and never come back. Live. Be free. Don't throw your life away on my account. Sapphire pleaded silently with Remy.
The owner spoke to his men again. "Waste him."
"NO! Please. Leave him alone. We'll work for you again. We'll never run away again." Sapphire's pleas fell on deaf ears. She could only watch hopelessly as they advanced on Remy. He might have been a match for them, if only he was not burning with fever. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she witnessed first hand, the brutality with which they treated Remy.
They rained blow after blow on him. He was unable to defend himself. They were coming too quickly, from all sides. He was given no chance to get his bearings. He felt something break within him as they slammed him into the wall. They stomped on him when he fell to the ground, kicked out at him with their heavy boots.
He wanted it all to be over as soon as possible. He was so tired. It hurt so much. Then, when he thought everything was finally over, he felt something sharp plunge into his back. He heard Sappy scream. He wanted to reach out to her, to let her know that he would be fine. That they could always attempt another escape, it would be harder but not impossible. He could not find the strength within him to comfort and reassure her anymore. Tired. He wanted to sleep.
"Trying to escape? Know this, boy, no one who worked at The Lost Horizon ever left it alive. Not even you." A voice rasped in his ear before an agonizing pain shot through him as the dagger twisted. The darkness was so warm, so inviting. He sank into the blissful sleep of oblivion.
End of Part 11