Run Away with Me an Excerpt from Escape from St. David’s
Wylder, Nala, and Cinder had developed a routine. Each month, when the moon was full, the girls would meet at the stone benches and Nala would lead Wylder through The Silence to see Cinder. This went on for a decade. Every so often, when they were out riding, Wylder would try to talk Nala into running away. Each time Nala would say ‘no’ and that was that.
When Wylder returned to St. David’s yet again, she had a heaviness about her. After all this time, why can’t I convince Nala to leave this place? There was nothing here for them. Well, not for Wylder, anyway.
When the others in St. David’s were up and around, Wylder decided to ask if anyone was interested in exploring. Maybe they had never considered the idea before. She had to be careful; she didn’t want to upset Nala. She would just take a little survey, a social experiment like back in school.
I’ll start with Patty.
“Hello sweetheart, what are you up to today?” Patty asked with an upbeat voice that did not match Wylder’s mood.
“Nothing, Patty. What are you planning to do today?”
“I’m just sitting under the tree talking with Guy,” she said with a soft smile.
Same thing you do every day, thought Wylder.
“Don’t you ever want to get out of here?” Wylder asked.
“Well honey, that is not possible, and even if it was, where would I go? Guy is here, and we’ve made friends.”
“What if there was a way out. Would you go?”
“Well, I never thought about it. I guess it would depend on where there was to go and who went with me. The key to happiness is wanting what you have and not wanting what you don’t have.”
Status quo: 1; fun: 0
“Anytime sugar.” With that, Patty went back to sit with Guy under their tree. Wylder saw them talking and she knew Patty was asking Guy about Wylder’s question. I wonder what Guy would do.
Steve walked by on his way to see Tom and said hello to Wylder. She had a similar conversation with Steve who assured her there was no way out and even if there was, he would not leave. He was waiting for his partner to join him, and what would happen if he arrived, and Steve was not there? “Pure chaos!” he’d snickered.
Repetitive days: 2; fun: 0
One by one, Wylder asked the residents she knew what they would do if they could leave. One by one, they told her it was not possible, and even if it was, they would not leave. All of them had a reason to stay, except Wylder.
Unbearable boredom: 5; fun: 0
She looked all over for Michael. He’d want to go, I’m sure of it. He is like me, thought Wylder, old enough to know what we lost and young enough to want an adventure. She could not find him anywhere, not even in the place where he liked to watch the sunset.
Where could he possibly be? If he found a way out and didn’t take me, I’m going to kill him.
The last person Wylder talked to was Jeanette. She was what Patty called “a spitfire.” She didn’t take shit from anyone and her stories from life confirmed this.
Wylder went to the wooden bench that Jeanette liked to sit on each day. Jeanette was there, of course, as she probably had been each day since the early days of St. David’s. Wylder wanted to ask her the same question that she had asked the others, and she crossed her fingers, hoping for a different response.
“Hi, Jeanette. Do you mind if I sit down?”
“Not a bit, dear. Have a seat and soak up the sun with me.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Wylder began. “You just did.” Jeanette laughed. “What’s on your mind, dear?”
“I was just wondering, have you ever thought about leaving this place?”
“Why, yes. I sure have,” replied Jeanette thoughtfully. “Where would you go?” Wylder asked, shocked.
“I’m not sure I could go anywhere with these old bones, although I would like to see the ocean again.”
“What if you could go to the ocean?” Wylder asked.
“Why are you asking me this, dear?”
“I want to try. Do you want to go with me?”
“Well, now that is the best offer I have been given in a hundred years, to run off with a pretty little thing like you.”
Wylder smirked. “You’re funny, Jeanette. You seriously make me laugh.”
“I’m flattered, honey, that you would ask an old woman like me. I’ve seen the world. I stood up for myself and those who could not stand up for themselves. I’ve fought the good fight and won. I’ve known love. I have my family here and that is enough for me.” Wylder sighed.
Stay for eternity 6; GTFO: 0
“This ‘life’ we have here at St. David’s, it’s not enough for you?”
“Not for a hot minute,” Wylder replied. “I have not done any of the things I wanted to do or seen the things I wanted to see. I have not known true love or fought the good fight. I have not fucking done anything; I was only eighteen when I died for fuck’s sake!” Wylder didn’t realize she was still angry after all these years.
Jeanette looked at her with a bit of surprise but not with anger or judgement. Jeanette turned Wylder’s questions back to her.
“Do you know how to leave St. David’s?” asked Jeanette. Wylder checked to see if anyone else was around, she did not want to hurt Nala or betray her trust, but if anyone wanted to escape from St. David’s, it would be Jeanette. She had been here the longest, and from all Wylder knew of her, Jeanette would be the type of person who would want to explore.
Even though Wylder was satisfied that she and Jeanette were alone, she lowered her voice to a whisper and said, “Yes.”