GENRE: YA Sci-fi Thriller
There's a boy in the cell next to mine.
It is dark, but I know this because after each cough, he pardons himself. I want to speak to him. I want to ask him where we are and why are we here. But my lips are like a dam, the river of words catching on the cracked, tender flesh.
I pace the length of my cell again. My prison is small--about three bodies in length, two in width--but I'm tall, and I'm certain it was built for a smaller person. There's a cot in one corner, with a flattened mattress, no sheets. It smells more of stale urine than the relief facility, a steel bowl directly across the room.
A light in the hallway comes to life, flickers uncertainly a few times, then decides to remain on. I rush to my door and squish my face to the glass. There are two slots in the glass, just big enough for me to stuff my fingers through. I don't realize that a layer of finely ground shards is fashioned to the inside until blood flows from my fingertips and knuckles, trickling down the other side of the glass. I jerk my hands to my chest. Hurt myself even more. The fresh, warm blood intermingles with the dried on my wrists and forearms.
The cell next door creaks open, a momentary distraction from my stinging hands. Someone is speaking to the boy. Every few seconds, he answers with an "uh huh" or a snort.