Paul isn't going to like this chapter. I apologize for anything that seems way too cliché. (behind the door scene ;) I also know that Paul trying to fake drowsiness while fully dressed in bed wouldn't be very plausible. It is actually possible to put on shoes with your hands tied behind your back. This is slightly unrealistic because it would be easier for Paul to escape with shoes on.
Warning: angst and violence.
Disclaimer of sorts: Hopefully none of these characters have been accidentally stolen. If they resemble someone else's characters too closely for your liking then please tell me. All events are fictional any resemblance to real life events, politics, or ideas are completely accidental. Thanks for reading.
All Paul's thoughts are in italic.
Paul woke with a start. It was still dark outside. He rolled out of bed and pulled on his clothes; listening at the window and at the door. He opened his bedroom door and walked downstairs to get a glass of water. His parents were in the kitchen. He paused outside the door hearing their voices drift past him. There was someone else with them, their voices hushed and urgent.
"You must take this shipment. The people need more. We are finally getting enough through that there is a chance we might make a difference." Paul heard the strange voice say.
"We can't. It is far too dangerous. Paul is still a child and we could be killed. Where would that leave him? The shipment can go to the other house and wait for pick-up." The voice belonged to his mother.
"We could send Paul to live with my friend in the North. He would be safe there and could find the training he needs to help with the work. He would probably also enjoy the company of Edvard's daughter. I didn't want to send him that far away so soon but if it is as bad as you say then it changes things." His father speaking.
"It is that bad. The others were killed last week and their stocks were raided. They questioned our people first tried to find out about the rest of the group. The goods must stay at this house. It is far too risky to take them to the other place." The voice insisted.
"I suppose we might take them this once. If something happens though… take care of Paul. He doesn't know about this at all. I would prefer if he learned after he became an adult." His mother.
"Let's start unloading then. Another of our people will come to help distribute tomorrow. That is; if you don't get caught." The voice.
"I would certainly prefer not to get caught." His father with a hint of sarcasm.
They opened the outer door and there was the noise of moving furniture. There was a scraping sound and a creak and then the heavy breathing of people carrying heavy objects. Paul couldn't see through the door. He figured that meant they couldn't see him. His thoughts turned to what his parents had said. Danger. Being sent away? What was going on? Paul slid further into the shadows behind where the door would open. He knew he should leave but like all those book characters he had read about who always stayed too long his curiosity held him in place and like all those book characters he would curse for stupidity he would soon curse himself for his own stupidity.
Paul was standing in the shadows behind the door when he heard a truck drive up. He knew by the sound that it wasn't a civilian vehicle. He heard the tramp of booted feet and the sound of their orders as they surrounded the house. Paul also heard his mother swearing.
"Open the door and come out with your hands up!" He heard someone shout.
"Not by the hair on my chinny chin-chin-chin." The little pig replied. Paul had always thought it would be amusing if someone had yelled that in reply. Forever after he would wonder why he was thinking that thought while the soldiers were outside.
Paul heard his parents kiss and then they both went outside. Paul ran for his bedroom. He jumped in and tucked himself under the covers. He heard more boots tramping up the stairs after him. The soldiers flicking on lights and smashing furniture that they happened to run into. Paul sat up groggily.
"What is going on?" He inquired in a voice that meant that he was sleepy and someone was making too much noise. It must have worked. Two soldiers burst into his room. One aiming the gun at him and the other flicking on the light and checking to make sure the room was clear. Paul slowly raised his hands above his head.
Eyes wide with fright; that wasn't faked, he was terrified. The second soldier; he was wearing a red bandanna made his way over to Paul and roughly twisted his arms behind his back. Paul winced at the pressure. Red bandanna proceeded to zip tie Paul's hands together. Paul didn't try to struggle as the guy who had pointed a gun at him jabbed him in the ribs and told him to get down the stairs with language that made Paul cringe. Paul got down the stairs without mishap. His wrists aching from the abuse and his eyes leaking tears. He knew his body was reacting strangely; he felt like he was in a dream, a nightmare that he would wake up from. He reached the landing. Gun dude reached over and gave him a bit of a shove and he realized that he had paused. He started moving again. Paul didn't realize he was barefoot until Bandana stopped and pointed. Paul put on his shoes fairly clumsily because his hands were zip tied behind his back. Then he was marched outside.
Paul's first conscious thought after the dreamlike state had worn off was angry and panicked. Here he was standing in his front yard, lights blazing. Then he started to slowly turn his head from side to side, afraid that a sudden movement might cause trouble. Where were his parents? What was going to happen to them? I hate whoever does this to my parents. I will kill them. Variations on this particular train of thought kept going through his head. Stop panicking. You aren't dead yet. He kept slowly turning his head until he finally caught a glimpse of his Da.
If it was possible to become more terrified Paul didn't know. Da's face was scratched and bleeding. His wrists were bound behind him as he was hauled onto the truck. He looked at Paul and mouthed the words "You are never alone. I love you always." Paul froze. The men holding Da yanked a black cloth bag over his head and marched him to the waiting truck. His Da always so proud and tall was jammed into the truck, shackled and blindfolded. Paul kept slowly twisting his body to see his Mom but he couldn't tell where she was. Tears dripped down his face. His fear and the guard with the red bandanna holding him in place. His wrists and ribs were hurting from the abuse. He watched as the soldiers slowly and methodically searched the house and the surrounding area. He watched as they drove away the truck holding his father. He heard as his mother was brought from behind him.
She stood upright. Tiny at her 5' 4" beside the soldiers. Her eyes and chin were set defiantly however. Paul almost expected her to kill the soldiers. He knew she could. Then she saw him standing there; frozen. Her face fell. The two men behind her tensed as she saw her son. They were afraid she would struggle. Her chains clanked as she kept walking towards what would likely lead to her death. Awe showed on Paul's face as he took in her courage as she opened her mouth and yelled hoarsely "Remember".
The soldier behind her jerked her chains sharply and even as she stumbled, she looked at Paul. They took her to the curb and yanked another black sack over her head securing it. Not before she had grinned at Paul though and mouthed the word "Fight". Then she was shoved into the truck and driven away.
Paul turned his face to the ground as a soldier approached. It was a mistake.
"Look at me" The approaching soldier said.
Paul looked up keeping his chin tucked; his eyes meeting those of the soldier. He didn't speak.
"What is your name?" The soldier in front of him demanded. Paul noticed he had an eagle Velcro patch.
"My name is Paul Amadi Garcia-Mora." Paul said. They already know my name anyway. There is no point in being stubborn even if Mom said to fight.
Eagle Badge looked satisfied and a bit confused. My name is a bit of a tongue twister.
"How old are you?" no harm in answering
"What are your parents' names?" they already know
"Do you they have any friends who come over regularly?" do not answer they will hurt them
"What is your best friends name?" not telling
"Where do they live?" I don't have friends
"Where do you go to school?" locally
"Do you speak other languages?" tell him what he expects. Eagle Badge's rapid firing questions stopped.
Paul spoke. "I am 15 years old. My parent's names are Eva Maria Garcia and John Reese Mora. I have no friends. I go to the local school. I speak Spanish and English."
Eagle Badge looked at Paul and then turned to Red Bandana and nodded. Paul felt Red Bandana shift and then stuff something in his mouth taping it in place. Then he yanked a hood over Paul's head.
As they walked to the car Paul wondered if he would ever see his home again. He kept repeating his parent's words in his head You are never alone. I love you always. Remember. Fight. Even as he was picked up and dumped in the back of the truck. Even as the truck started moving through the sunrise carrying his aching body away.