What’s beyond the Pits?

Submitted into Contest #74 in response to: Write a story that takes place across ten days.... view prompt

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Fantasy Adventure

Life in the pits has always been tough for Nona and as the New Year comes nearer and nearer it brings Nona closer to her real goal.

Markus Antin was the 58th King of the kingdom Durnskull and the wicked King that had ever lived. King Markus had created islands commonly known as the pits where his poor subjects lived and served his and other elite’s wishes. Of these poor and miserable people on the island was Nona who at the start of next year would turn 18. On the islands children as young as 10 would start working and pay their share to the king, those who opposed were hanged without trial.

At the end of each year a batch of children would be taken out of the pits for 5 days. This batch would be those who would turn 18 the following year but it was a tradition and the poor saw it as the King’s blessing, they never questioned it even when the children who returned acted differently. This year it was Nona’s turn to be taken out of the pits and she started her preparation days ahead of time.

Day 10

When the day comes to be taken from her home Nona knew that they would only allow her a small bag for her cloths and that the bag would be checked for any sort of weapon. Nona packed her bag ahead of time putting in cloths that that were clean and didn’t stink of trash. Then she went out to get to her job on time. She worked at a trash collecting factory and was paid 10 silver coins everyday for her work, it wasn’t much but Nona had to live with it. The people at work were all nice to Nona and sometimes gave her a coin here and there and she appreciated them with helping them with work.

By night Nona had finished her work and had helped of 8 to 9 other people which made her wage up to 18 coins. She had hurried home without stopping and placed the coins in a secret place. She had crossed today on her calendar and had eaten a heavy dinner before heading to bed.

“Tomorrow it will all fall into place” Nona said under her breath

Day 9

Today the royal guards had sailed to the pits and placed themselves all over the island. They made sure that no one made an attempt to escape as well as kept an eye on the year’s batch. Nona knew she couldn’t try anything with them since they would put her down in an instant but she had a trick up her selves. Nona went to work as usual in the morning as to no arise any suspicion to her. She did her part of the job and then did some extra work for extra coins. She hurried home again this time guards all watching her. After placing her money safely Nona closed the lights to her house and pretended to be in bed. The guards had seen the lights go out and went back to their posts.

Nona took the back door out of her house and made sure she remained in the shadows at all times. After years and years of working in the trash factory and then stealthy hiding things of value she found, Nona had developed a useful skill. She walked further away from her house as she possibly could and closer to the dock. Here there were more guards and these guards had knifes that Nona needed. Nona walked towards a small restaurant building where a guard stood on patrol but was half asleep. Nona remained few steps behind him, concealed in the shadows. She reached out her right hand for the knife in the guard’s belt, he flinched and Nona took her hand back. She tried again and this time she got her knife.

Nona had taken a different route back home and hid the knife with the money.

Day 8

There was no panic today, no guards searched houses and no one was questioned. Nona knew this meant that the guard had not reported his knife missing. Nona went to work and did everything like clockwork until she arrived home. She had the knife and by the next 7 days enough money to do what she needed.

Tonight Nona left her house for the other side of the island further from the dock. She had seen the guards carrying crates which looked as if they contained explosives. According to Nona’s plan she needed them but she would have to take every measure to do this without being noticed. Nona had reached a small one floor building opposite to the one that contained the crates. Nona stood in the shadows and counted the guards she had to pass. There were 4 of them, 2 at the front gate and 2 at the back. Nona saw a half open window too small to go in from. Nona ran to the window used it as a stepping stone and climbed up to the roof. All houses in pit had a way in to building through the roof. Nona put that knowledge to use and climbed into the building.

Nona opened the crate in the corner. “I need them but I will not hurt anyone here” Nona said to herself in a low voice. Nona took 7 explosives, closed the crate and left. The guards hadn’t noticed her. At home she placed everything in her secret hiding place.

Day 7

Nona didn’t do any stealth work today or went out to find other thing necessary to her plan. Nona had gone to work today as usual, came home on time and had a heavy dinner. Nona had to make sure she had enough energy and strength to pull this off.

Day 6

Nona followed the same routine today as well. Doing everything like clockwork made sure that the guards saw her as the obedient citizen that they want.

Day 5

Today the guards had searched her house after she had left for work. Nona knew this would happen on the 5th day so she had hid the money, knife and explosives in a different place, a place no guard would ever look. She hid them in a hole in the wall. She had purposely made that hole the night before, placed the things in it and reconstructed it. The guards had left before Nona had came back home. She didn’t make a noise when she saw the mess, as long as the hole was in tacked she didn’t care about the rest.

Day 4

Today everyone leaving the pit had to get checked medically. Nona had left work early for this. The medical checkup was in a ship the guards came in. Nona made a mental map of the ships, where they were and which ship was used for which purpose. After the check up Nona was sent home like everyone else.

Day 3

The journey from the island to the main city was estimated to be a day so today the batch at the break of dawn was assembled at the docks. The guards made a thorough inspection of each individual and their belongings. Nona stood behind 5 others who were to be inspected before her. Nona was certain that the guards would discover her money, knife and explosives if they searched her belongings. To avoid this Nona discreetly took out an explosive and covered it with her long selves. Under the rising sun’s light Nona looked for an opportunity when all the guards looked away. At that instant Nona threw the explosive towards a ship further along the dock. It landed away from the people and exploded. The guards tried to take control as the people started to run off. The ones near to the guards were pushed onto the ships, Nona included. When everyone was on the ship the guards ordered the captain and the started to sail towards the city.

The guards after they set sail hadn’t checked the remaining bags allowing Nona’s weapons and money to remain hidden.

Day 2

They reached the docks around 3 in the morning. The docks in the city were brighter than the docks on the island which made it hard for Nona to hide in the shadows. Even then Nona tried to slip away but the guards kept a strict eye on everyone.

The guards had escorted everyone towards the buses which were supposed to take everyone to their new houses for the next 5 days. This area to darker then the whole dock, Nona had found her opportunity.

The guards had started to push people on the buses and when a bus was full roll call was made to count everyone. Nona had been pushed into the first bus and she sat in the front. After the roll call the guards moved to the next buses leaving them without a guard. Everyone in the bus started to doze off but Nona stayed awake. When the guards were out of sight Nona got off the bus, staying in the shadows she hid around the nearest building.

The guards hadn’t noticed her gone and the buses left. Nona moved out of the shadows and ran in the opposite direction of the buses.

By day break Nona had made it half way across the city by remaining on the outskirts, never venturing into the city.

By night fall news of her disappearance had reached everywhere. Nona had stolen cloths from different houses she found along the way and burned her old cloths to remove all traces of herself.

When the sky had turned dark blue and stars came out Nona made fire and camped in a deserted place. She had fallen asleep as soon as she put her head on the soft grass.

Day 1

The next day Nona got up as soon as the first ray of sun hit her face. She walked until she finally reached the border. Here Durnskull ended and her freedom started.

What lay beyond the border was a new world for Nona to discover and new place to call home. It was the time to discover what lay beyond the miserable life of the pit.


December 30, 2020 18:30

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