Efforts to escape

TRIGGER warning – Forced sedation.

This is out of context unless the blog has been read in a chronological order.

The bedroom door slam open inwardly. Eric’s father steps in, staring us down:

”No escaping today!”

Eric calmly walks out, followed by me and the other children. If we can we’ll run when we’re outdoors, because then the neighbours might see us. ”Don’t run before I do”, Eric told us. I see Grandfather and Grandmother have arrived. As I wave hello everything feels normal for a moment. I want to pretend it’s Day. Grandfather won’t let any of us do so:

”It is Night”, he tells us and we nod submissively. I’m holding my breath as we traipse towards the hallway. In the living room Eric is stopped by his mother.

”You’ll need to drink this”. She tries to pour the contents of a small, transparent plastic cup (the kind used for medicines) into his mouth. He covers his face with his hands.

”No thank you”.

”It’s non-negotiable”, she avows. 

”I can drink it”, I volunteer. Coughing medicine tastes good.

”Not you. This is only for Eric.”

”I said no thank you”. Eric throws a glance at those surrounding him. If the adults try anything suspicious while we’re indoors, the plan is Eric and Philip will wreak havoc. Camilla, Lucio and Victoria will help me slip away while the grown ups are distracted. As soon as I’m out the door Philip and Eric will come after. It’s my opinion Eric should flee first, but he wouldn’t listen to me. 

It’s time to throw a riot and things happen very quickly. Philip darts across the room like a bouncing ball while Eric starts jumping from one piece of furniture to another. I cheer Eric on as he flies fast like Zorro from the sofa to the bureau. His parents race after him. I can’t hear what they say, but I hear Eric shouting:

”Never! NEVER EVER!”

Camilla and Lucio have hooked their arms through mine and backed us against the wall. Camilla is leaning her head dejectedly on the wallpaper.

”I don’t want to live”, she sighs, closing her eyes for a moment. Seconds later she opens them, smiles at me and Victoria and hug our arms hard.

”Time to go”, I breathe.

”They’re still looking at us”, Camilla whispers. I try to break free of her but her grip is too strong.

”None of you are going anywhere”, she states. ”You’re gonna obey so they don’t hurt you”.

”You’re just like mother now!” Lucio accuses.

Camilla’s eyes tear up, she looks furious and hurt:

”Can’t you see I’m doing this for your sake?”

Victoria stands frozen, staring ahead blankly. Getting across to her is impossible when she’s like that.

”Philip!” I yell as Uncle attempts to sneak up on him. Philip cleverly evades his father, but only for some minutes. It feels unreal as I see Uncle tackle Philip to the floor, jabbing a syringe in his leg. Philip tries to crawl out of the room but falls asleep on the way. Uncle sighs as he lifts his son onto the sofa.

”How much?” Eric’s father asks.

”The right amount. I always carry one with his dose, just in case”, Uncle replies. 

Philip said I had to leave even if the adults get him. ”It’s not me they’re gonna kill”, he argued. ”You must get out or Eric won’t follow”.  

”Now”, I whisper to Lucio. We see Grandmother and Grandfather blocking the hallway, but there’s no guard on the windows. Lucio dashes towards the closest one. I’ll need help to climb out. I run after him – wait, he’s out of the house already? I turn around and it’s then I see it. Eric slumps to the floor. There’s a syringe in his upper arm and two adults catch him. One of them utters:

”It is for your own good”.

I can’t leave without Eric. Seeing him collapse scares me every time. I scream at him to wake up.

”Bianca, he’s only sleeping”, Eric’s father says. I insist on walking by Eric’s side, hugging his waist as they carry him to a car.

(On a side note: the neighbours believe Eric is a sufferer of narcolepsy – even though Eric told them he’s not. ”Please don’t speak with my son of the disease”, his mother begged. ”It’s a sensitive topic, he can’t handle weaknesses! He still denies being sick”, she sighed. The neighbours nodded their heads sympathetically.)

Eric’s parents are hesitant to let me ride in the car with them and Eric. They would like me to go in the van with the other children.

”He’s a lot to handle, even by himself”, they reflect. I threaten to scream really loud if they won’t let me be with Eric. There are people – normal people – walking by. Eric’s parents relent and let me sit beside him in the car. I immediately lean my head against his heart. I can feel its comforting beat, his chest rising and falling with every breath.

”Never be afraid when I sleep”, Eric told me before. ”Listen to my heart. Listen to me breathing. I am ok, I’m always ok when you hear this.”

The car rumbles so I can’t hear him, but I can feel him inhale and exhale. It makes me drowsy, but I have something important to say.

”Harry will kill Eric today”.

”No, don’t worry”. Eric’s parents shake their heads.

”Philip said so. Harry came to Uncle’s house. Harry said Eric will obey or die. If he doesn’t obey he will be an example. Uncle says Eric will obey but I don’t think so.”

Eric’s mother regards me solemnly.

”Then you better make him obey”.

”But what if I can’t?” I’m close to crying. ”I don’t want Eric to die!”

”I won’t let him”, Eric’s father says. ”He’d be a martyr, God forbid.”

Then he adds, with real feeling:

”Don’t worry. He’s my son.”

I feel soothed by this. Leaning against Eric is so relaxing, I fall asleep.

Bianca:

I’m in a moving seat and someone on my right is stirring. I squint through my eyelids. I’m in a car with Eric! Last I remember I ate breakfast. Was I carried here? Grown ups always carry me around when I’m sleeping. Oh, there are no other children here! The other kids always want to speak with Eric. They’re bigger, won’t budge when I push them and shush me if I interrupt. But it’s only us! (I don’t count his parents, they don’t compete with me for Eric’s attention.) Today I won’t have to jump up and down screaming in order for Eric to see me. I feel excited!

”Daddyyy!!” I poke Eric with my elbow. ”Daddy wake up!” Calling him Daddy should irritate him. I’d like a play fight!

Eric groans, mumbling something. I listen intently, but don’t hear words – he slurs too much.

”You need to sleep more”, I observe. He rests his head on the car seat, drawing me towards him with his arm. I lean on him and gaze out the window. Only green fields and forests, same everywhere. I don’t recognize this road. I thought Eric wanted us to sleep, but he whispers almost inaudibly in my ear:

”Next intersection, when the car stops, we get out. I want you to run.”

”Ok”, I mumble. It’s one of those fun games! We’ll give his parents a chase. I can’t wait. 

Eric’s knees give way once we’re out of the vehicle. His parents doesn’t even have to hurry as they approach us. Eric’s mother jabs him with a sharp pointy doctor thing.

”Not too much”, Eric’s father cautions.

”I know”, she retorts.

”Don’t hurt him!” I shout.

”Bianca, Eric is sick. He needs medicine. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of him.”

”I’ll take care of him”, I announce.

I watch over Eric as he snores in his seat. I keep hoping he’s only faking it, but he doesn’t wake up. I feel anxious now. I’m not happy anymore. I ask where we’re going but his parents only say:

”You’ll see.” After what feels like a long time the car stops. I step out, suddenly I’m hit in the back:

”Guinevere!”

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