Skip to content
May 22, 2012 / Daniel

Trial and Error 8: Waiting

(Read the complete Trial and Error series in the GSU: The Wastes section.)

[792 words, rated PG]

Kella, Toby, and Jayce waited by the door, looking at it as if an opening were certain.

Toby stepped up one more time, knocked. “LIAM!” No reply.

Jayce shouldered past Toby and pounded both fists hard against the door. “OPEN THE DAMN DOOR, WE KNOW YOU’RE THERE AND WE’RE NOT LEAVING.” He bashed at the door twice, three times.

Toby laid his hand on Jayces shoulder, he could feel it shaking.

With a quiet shuffling sound, a folded paper slid out from under the door.

Kella picked it up, unfolded it, and read. “It’s Liam.” She read, “I’m okay. Just go. You can’t be here. Things you can’t know. He doesn’t know I’m writing this. I’m okay.”

Jayce fell to the ground, pushed his face flat up against the threshold, trying to get his left eye as close to the floor as he could, to see under the door.

Through the slit, he could make out a pair of feet in the far corner, propped up on the bottom wrung of a chair; nothing more upward was visible. The shoes were mostly rags of leather, worn, torn, beaten soft. Nearer the door, the alternating footfalls of another person. Had to be Liam. Those feet were busy. They walked to one side of the room and waited, walked to a central table and shuffled a bit. They walked over to the other side of the room, then back to the table.

Jayce pushed his mouth up to the dirty threshould and yelled, “I CAN SEE YOU BOTH IN THERE, WHY WON’T YOU LET US IN? IF YOU’VE GOT HIM PRISONER, OLD MAN, I’LL PUNCH YOU DOWN MYSELF.”

“Jayce, stop,” said Kella, “He’s there because he wants to be.”

Jayce jumped up, glowered at the door, spit the dirt from his lips off to the side, “This is messed up. I don’t like it. Neither should you. Either of you.”

Jayce walked away in a stomping stride.

Kella and Toby run after him to catch up.

“Now what.” demanded Jayce.

“We wait.”

“So what does that mean, I dont know this guy or what he’s doing to Liam. It’s not right.”

“It means what it means. It means we wait.”

“I’m not real good at that,” said Kella, fiddling with the oath band around her upper arm.

“Me either,” said Jayce, “Is there another way in? Just that one door?

“Not sure,” said Toby.

“We should try, tonight,” said Jayce.

“That’s like…. we cant, I’m too sacred,” said Kella.

“Why, how, you dont know what goes on in there; probably nothing. We do this.”

Toby does not disagree.

“Later, we meet up, explore around, see what we can find.”

“I dunno,” said Toby, “I think this is a bad idea. He doesn’t trust us inside as it is, or has specific reason to keep us out. Maybe we should respect that.”

“And Liam? Let him rot? Glad it’s not me in there. Not sure anyone out here would care.”

“Is this about liam or is this about you, Jayce? I’m just as curious as you are, but that’s just a selfish motivation for sneaking around to find out. Won’t help Liam.”

“What if liam NEEDS help?”

“You think he’s in danger?”

“Not saying that. Not saying he is or isn’t. We just don’t know, and I’m not going to abandon him.”

“I think maybe he’s safer than us right now.” Toby let that hang for a moment. “Think you need to do this to expunge your own conscience. So this isn’t about Liam its about you.”

Jayce said nothing, leaned against a rock, arms crossed.

“That, and I dont think we could mange it anyway; we’d be heard.”

“By what? That old fart can’t hear us battering his own door down from the same room.”

“Can’t hear, or refuses to answer.”

“Now you’re inventing excuses to not sneak in. Make no sense at all.”

“Listen, Jayce, I know more about this guy than you do, and more than you think I might.”

“Figures you’d be holding out.”

“Where do you think this headgear came from? It’s not magic that it can hear the tones of stuff, guide us to it; if there’s anything this old guy knows, it’s sound. He’s probably listening to every word we’ve said out here. I wouldnt be surprised at all.”

“Horse-shit; if he can hear us, then he knows we’re concerned, and he’s ignoring it and that makes him a complte bastard.”

“Or, he’s working and needs to not be interrupted. I know you want to make something happen right now, but I think maybe this time, the best thing we can do is just let things alone

Jayce he storms away angrilly.

“He knows you’re right,” said Kella.

[To be continued…]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *