Sanimir Lightmist sat alone on his cot in the dark basement. He rubbed his sore shoulder. Again, he had run for his escape. Again, they had caught him. If it wasn’t his cousins, it was the hired help. Someone always seemed to be nearby. He had thought that maybe if he cooperated with them, they would lower their guard enough for him to escape. However, two days into cooperating, one of the hired hawkstrider trainers winked at him and made a few lewd gestures. Being silenced, Sanimir did the only thing he could. He stopped cooperating and ran. The things that the man had whispered to him after tackling and pinning him to the ground made Sanimir’s ears burn now just thinking about it.
He glanced up at the door at the top of the stairs. It was, no doubt, bolted. He didn’t think the hired help would be allowed in the personal homes of his aunt and cousins. He was safe here.
Safer. Between his cousins’ roughing him up and his aunt’s switchings when he misbehaved, he was sorer than he ever thought he was before.
It was clear that running wasn’t working. It did get him promptly put back in the basement, and he supposed that was just as well. There weren’t any ugly old hawkstrider handlers hitting on him down here. That, and it gave him more time to work on plan C.
He got up and walked to one of the corners where some of the rocks forming the basement wall had crumbled. He reached up between the ceiling and the wall and took a spoon out of the small space. He had smuggled it away from breakfast a few days ago. It was the only meal he was sure to get, as it seemed he was often forgotten in the basement for the other meals. The spoon was bent and dented. He straightened it as he knelt and put it on the floor next to his foot.
Plan C was slow work. He had to replace the loose rocks anytime he heard someone in the building. He had gotten three of them separated from the cement holding them together, and it was just big enough for him to crawl through. He just needed the space to crawl through to now. He slid the rocks carefully out of the wall and placed them off to the side.
He picked the spoon back up and began to dig.