I smelled the fear. Not from the old man: this was his domain and his confidence shone brighter than the buttons on his coat. It could have been my stench, but more likely it was seeping from the abyss ahead.
‘We must pass some prisoners’ cells to reach my private quarters. This will be the only time. After today you will never be permitted access to the Penitentiary.’
What about when I leave? But the question stayed cradled in a pocket of worry at the back of my mouth.
‘Walk by my side,’ he said. ‘Don’t make a sound. Don’t even breathe.’
I nodded. It seemed my voice had packed up and left with Ishbel.
Emerging from the shadows at the other end of the corridor a Military style guard stood rigid. His uniform was flat black and he carried an old fashioned automatic rifle. A riot baton hung on his belt. His eyes never wavered from some fixed point above our heads, even when he clicked his heels in salute. My grandfather ignored him and poked me in the back with a sharp finger.
Blood thundered round my body and I put my hand to my chest to try to catch the pulse to quieten it. Could the prisoners hear it or did they have their own sounds? I imagined huddled beings, behind doors, ears pressed to cold metal, listening for our footsteps. The temptation to flop to my belly and crawl the length of the corridor was so strong I hunched to keep low, afraid of disturbing the pregnant air. The sound of my heels clattered like rocks on a snare drum. The locked doors crowded me, the corridor stretched, narrowed and with each step the guard seemed to move farther away. A voice from somewhere sizzled and singed the hair on my nape, Grandfather’s step missed a beat, I lost my footing and tripped. He grabbed my arm before I fell my length and jerked me forward like a naughty child to be punished and sent to bed early.
Sweat soaked my oxters and groin and by the time we reached the guard I wanted to pee, but to ask to pee at this stage would be impossible, I probably couldn’t do it anyway.
About The Book
Book 1 of The Sun Song Trilogy.
It’s the year 2089 and everything is altered. The revolutions of the early 21st century have created a world divided – between the Privileged few and the Native (Celtic) underclass. Sorlie is enjoying a typical carefree Privileged teenage life until it is smashed apart by the cruel death of his parents and he is spirited away to live with his ice-cold grandfather at a mysterious island penal colony. Sorlie’s discovery that the captives are being genetically altered to remove all trace of their Native origins triggers a chain of shocking events that reveal his grandfather’s terrible secrets and, ultimately, the truth about himself.