Sunday, 8 November 2009 - 9:25 pm

A wealth of bad ideas

All day yesterday, I was waiting for the fallout from Jersey’s fight with the madams to fall on us. It never did. No-one mentioned Nadine’s swollen-shut eye or the purple mess that is Mama Prusco’s flattened face. Jersey’s fat knuckles weren’t commented on, either. Even Jonah was silent on the matter when he escorted me to and from the infirmary.

I don’t think the madams reported it. The cutouts let the women govern themselves for the most part – internal matters remain internal unless someone makes it an external issue. I can see the wisdom in that; if the women are enforcing the rules, there’s less chance of them rebelling against the General’s leadership. It’s the kind of politicking I despise. Why can’t everyone just be reasonable enough to work together and not hurt each other? It’s not like we don’t have enough danger outside of these circles to worry about.

The good news is that Jersey is still free to move around the compound with her cleanup crew. She’s still able to make contact with the boys, and to secret stores away for us. Right now, she’s the thread that’s holding the escape effort together, so the lack of repercussions is a blessing for us.

Today, I was able to slip her the medical pack that I’ve been quietly putting together. Since the food stash went missing, I haven’t been doing much of anything to help the Seekers’ escape, desperate to keep my nose clean in case someone is checking. But as the person who spends the most time in the stores, folding sheets and rolling bandages, and trying to clean what pieces I can for reuse, putting a little of everything aside is easy. A little of this, a smidge of that, over in this cupboard instead of that one. Get a sheet too soiled to use for anything else, fold it over into double thickness and sew up the sides, and we have a makeshift duffle bag. Pack the siphoned supplies in there, then hide it outside in the trash, but make sure to give Jersey the nod in the morning so she knows to look for it.

I’m not completely sure that she managed to get it, but the trash has been taken away, duffle and all. Hopefully it’s nestled up with the food stores next to enough water to keep us alive for a while. Otherwise, the rain that is pattering against the windows is currently eating it away into nothing, washing it all over the concrete and seeping it into the dirt. Bandages, dressings, antiseptic, pills, needles, and everything.


There’s a part of me that hates the theft. It’s not just the stress of it, of wondering if the duffle will be discovered, tucked in a cupboard like it should be there. Or picked up by the wrong person. Or if it would just disappear like the food did. I had to stop myself from checking on it every five minutes, reminding myself that I would only wind up drawing attention to it if I did. Be casual, Faith. Act like nothing could possibly be going on.

It’s not just that that gets to me. It’s how drawn Simon is getting. More and more of the girls are getting pregnant and one or two are growing big now. I’ve seen him reading books on pregnancy and birth methods, boning up on the possible complications he might face. It’s easy to forget that he wasn’t fully trained, and unlikely to have been taught obstretics for an army medic position even if his training had been finished.

The other thing that he has been fretting over is the supplies situation. The infirmary is low on many things, particularly drugs. Taking anything from those thin supplies was difficult for me – too many times, I stood there with my fingertips almost touching the vials, asking myself if we had any right to be doing this. Sometimes, I was so ashamed of myself that I closed the cabinet and walked away. It was easier to come back after events had been particularly difficult or unfair; it was easier to take supplies when I was angry at Haven for something.

Sometimes, I feel like a terrible person, taking things that I know they’ll need to save lives. But so will we. We came to Haven with vehicles, equipment, and supplies, and it was all taken away from us. Now we’re taking something back before we go. It seems like that should make it square, but it doesn’t feel that way. I know they won’t see it that way.

I’m tangling myself up again. It’s done with now – I’ve handed my part of the stealing on. They won’t catch me with it, not until we leave. I can breathe. For a little while, I can breathe and pretend I’m not a thief.

In my honest moments, I’m scared. I don’t have any idea about what the cutouts will do if they catch us trying to leave, never mind what the General will do to us if we survive a failed attempt. I am sure that we’ll only get one chance at it. If we’re not shot during it, we probably will be afterwards. I’ve never done something like this before, and I doubt any of the others have either. How will we know if we’re prepared enough? How can we give ourselves enough time to get away before the cutouts notice what we’re doing and open fire?

I just had the worst idea. Now I wish there was enough bleach to burn it out of my memory.

The rain’s stopping. I have to go. Maybe all of this will look better when the sun comes up again.