At one point I had tried to keep back a couple of the utensils when the women brought me my food. I was not successful because the women counted the utensils before leaving my cell. They had probably seen the same movies I had where the prisoner had attacked another prisoner with a sharpened spoon. Or even used such a utensil to jimmy the lock and get away.
I just wanted to have a something to protect myself. After finding out that I was pregnant, Seth didn't talk to me again. He kept his distance, which made me grateful. As the weeks slowly passed, I asked for some knitting needles. My surrogate mother, who raised me after my mother died, or was killed, taught me how to knit. I had thrown the needles when I had first become a favorite of the creature who possessed my father.
It wasn't a great surprise when the women came back with the answer of no. As if the great book I had to read every day was not a weapon. I could give one of those women a concussion with just a hit to the head. What the women didn't realize was that if I hurt or killed one of them, a black shadow would attack. I wasn't sure if I could hold off one of those attackers. They had been enhanced by demon magic. I tried not to think about what they could do to me.
So I was good. I guess I wasn't good enough. They did give me a crochet hook and some yarn. I asked for a book so that I could figure out how to crochet since it was different from knitting. Once again they had to ask the authorities. This time they said yes. So after reading the book, and taking my walk and nap, I would sit on the bed and crochet a baby blanket. The crochet hook was easier to hold once I became used to the rhythm of crocheting. The women knew that the hook was blunt so they were not worried about it as a weapon. I hadn't told them that even a blunt weapon would hurt if thrust into the eye.
I hoped I didn't have to use it as a weapon. I hoped my brother was making plans. I wanted out of here before the birth of the baby. I patted my tummy.
AS I WAS BEGINNING TO SHOW, close to three months, the attendants started to ask if I wanted to sit in the kitchen. The kitchen was the center of all female gossip. I had stayed away from the kitchen when I was in power. It had probably been a bad mistake on my part. Because of my actions, I did not have allies.
I had gotten to know my attendants. There was Mary who had born three sons and had been allowed to drift into obscurity as one of the servant women. There was Susan, a quick-smiling woman, who was old enough to be my mother. She was the one who came into the cell and wrapped me in a blanket. When I learned it was her who had cared for me, I felt some warmth toward her. I didn't know what it meant, but I knew that if the time came, I wouldn't be able to kill her.
There was Nonie, who was fully in lust with my brother. Sometimes on our walks she would ask about him. The guard ignored our chatter. Nonie heard from the grapevine that Seth spent a lot of his time in the outer world. His job was to recruit disaffected youth, male and female, to become part of the church. There had been some grumbling because Seth was not bringing in the numbers that would help the church sustain itself.
The church had gotten its roots into several cities, but if the recruiting of politicos and restless youth didn't grow, then the church could die. It wanted to be a powerhouse, a force to be reckoned with.
In my mind I added that if the demons didn't have enough bodies, then they couldn't take over the world fast enough. I didn't even mention the idea to Nonie because no matter how well she treated me, she was still a church member. She would still report whatever I said or did especially if it was detrimental to the church.
When Susan invited me to come to the kitchen, I was curious, a little nauseous from the baby, and nervous. I was escorted into the kitchen. The guard left to go about other duties. Men were not comfortable in this all-woman bastion. I figured he would come back when I needed to be escorted either outside or to my cell.
It was a busy place. The chef, a female in a white poufy hat, directed the other women to cut, roast, fry, and cook the food for the entire compound. I hadn't realized how much work there was for feeding the people here. There was a lot of work and no one was talking. I had more gossip from Nonie during our daily walks.
Someone handed me a peeler and a large bag of potatoes. I picked up the peeler and tried to peel a potato, but the peeler kept slipping in my hand. One of the women stepped beside me and showed me how to use this tool, I had not used before.
After a few tries I started to peel like a newbie. The woman who started to help me could peel three to four potatoes to my one. I kept trying.
An hour later Nonie and the guard came for me for the afternoon walk. Susan rushed towards me before I left. "Will you come tomorrow?" she asked.
I nodded, yes.
"Would you like to come earlier?"
"Okay," I answered her and then I was out the door.
I didn't realize that it would be easier to escape the kitchen when everyone was busy than any other place in the compound. It would take a few months before the women considered me something new and strange.
Hopefully, my brother would know where I was and take it into account for the rescue. I still had hope even though it had been weeks since I had seen my brother. I couldn't give up—not now, no way.
AFTER MY WALK, I TOOK MY normal nap after my afternoon tea. Instantly I started to hear the murmurs of the shadows. I could hear all of the shadows. They sounded agitated as I slipped to the ceiling. I looked down at my body. It was still breathing and looked peaceful.
The shadow that I had not been able to convince to talk to me was wandering around the room searching for something. "What's going on?" I asked.
"There is a bug," the shadow that had peeked at me the first time I had the nightmare answered. They shadows were watching the roaming shadow intently.
It burbled and hummed louder and louder. Suddenly there was a screech that pushed me back into my body. I tried to wake up, but whatever they put in my tea, kept my body asleep. I held my hands around my metaphoric ears until the screeching stopped.
The fourth shadow was in its corner eating something.
"What did he find?" I asked again.
"A bug," said the shadow. I could hear a tinge of impatience in its voice.
I went closer to the fourth shadow, trying to see what it had in its mouth. It looked round with legs.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," said the shadow. "It eats things."
I pulled back. I didn't want to be eaten. I wondered if someone had made an organic bug that could transmit. It would have been the least of the magical tools I had seen. I did know that it would be impossible for a cockroach to get into the room. Someone had put the bug there. Was it friend or foe?