Evening duties mainly consisted of cleaning our new refugium. “Barracks duty”, as the laminated note pinned to the door called it. Said note informed us of our daily (and I mean daily) schedule. A strict and unchanging routine was the first step in bending the minds of errant kids back into shape.
DACC Participants’ Schedule
06:30_____________Fall-in (all groups)
06:35_____________Activities or duties I
09:30_____________Activities or duties II
12:15_____________Activities or duties III
15:00_____________Activities or duties IV
18:30_____________Fall-in (all groups)
19:00_____________Barracks duty / private tasks
The last time I’d got up at five o’clock had been when my flatmate had OD’ed on Red Bull and decided to re-arrange the furniture in her room during the early morning hours. Yet the whole graveness embodied within this lists dawned on me as I saw breakfast to be only at fifth place. The further I read the more obscure the schedule became. I had a general concept of “duties”: laundry, kitchen, maybe working at that barn I had seen. But “activities”? Most likely sports, although “morning exercise” was listed separately.
Barracks duty was a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other better. This was especially welcomed as nobody, including me, felt up to discuss what had happened “out there”, right in front of our door. To shorten things: There were sixteen other girls in my group, and I couldn’t stand any single of them. Thirteen-Zero-One was a cute read head, bound to be the teacher’s pet (I reckoned she secretly got off on the “01” on her shirt). Thirteen-Zero-Two had auburn hair like me, which was the only characteristic of hers I liked. She was ranting and complaining loudly and without pause, but only when Miss Cuntling wasn’t around. Zero-Three could be a blend of the two aforementioned, and I took her as an opportunistic snitch.
Do I need to continue?
After having conveniently stereotyped all other girls, I ended up with Sixteen, whose real name was something starting with a “D”. Over the evening she repeatedly insisted on telling me her story, whether I wanted to hear it or not (I wanted not). She had been stopped by the police whilst driving around in her posh Jaguar roadster – obviously, coppers have a weak spot for girls in sports cars, stolen or not. They also had had the right touch, though, for Sixteen had stashed some cocaine in the glove department and some more up her nose.
I only half listened whilst putting the bedding on I’d found in my chest, yet I caught her indignant overtone. As if driving with her head full of paradise white was a fashion statement. Then she annoyed me just a bit more:
“Have you got anything to eat?”
“Why would I have anything to eat?”
“I’m just asking. I’m hungry.”
I slammed my chest shut, causing her to jump.
“Believe it or not, we are all hungry. This is due to the fact that they didn’t give us dinner, in case you are wondering.”
“But I hadn’t lunch, either.”
“And whose fault is it?!” I hissed at the end of my tether. “Now you have to wait till breakfast like all of us.”
Sixteen opened her mouth, but seemly did not know what to say. Luckily, I did:
“And a word of advice: Knock that vegan stuff off, or they’ll serve you rare steak next time – just for the fun of it.”
She looked at me with a mixture of shock and disgust, and I was positive to make her cry with just a wee bit more effort. But I would safe that for one of the other eighty-nine evenings.
As announced, Kandrin inspected our chests. I had followed the instructions how to fill mine to the very last letter – just to annoy her by giving her no reason to take away my pillow or whatever harassment is suitable for night times. Seeing the result, Kandrin just smiled, a classic “sooner or later you will fuck up again, and I’ll be there”-smile.
21:30 came, and with it lights out. The last colours of dusk seeped through the windows in the building’s long sides, and the rushing Deepfall was all that could be heard of the outside world. Lying in my bunk, I tried to decide whether I was tired. I finally arrived at the conclusion that I was tired indeed, but restless, and that the normal way of calming me down was out of question. The last time I had touched myself inappropriately had been yesterday night, before my transfer. But even if a month had passed since, I wouldn’t have been in the mood, not after that display some mere hours ago.
What had I got myself into…?!
Maybe it was my rumbling stomach that woke me up. I had no way to tell how much time had passed, but I was at once under the impression that most if not all of the girls around me were awake, too. Somebody was moving down the aisle, slow yet determined. I think it was Eleven, whom I had categorised closest to bearable. The girl hesitated when reaching the east end, listening for any sound. Then she opened door a bit, careful to not make a single noise.
“What do you see?” someone whispered.
Eleven closed the door and tiptoed back to her bunk. Only after she had tucked herself safely in she whispered back.
“She’s still chained to it.”
No one whispered again after that.