Slavery, 39

Not All Those Who Are Lost Wander

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Greg couldn’t stop moving.

Ever since he’d run away from Theodore’s house he’d just been moving, moving, moving. Moving to get back to Darwin’s. Moving when he realized that the cart driver had no reason to protect him. Moving to cut the cart driver’s throat and moving to walk back on his own.

Moving, he’d moved around the house the whole time he’d been here. He’d walked through all the rooms, unable to sit still, shaking and bouncing and pacing and walking and moving and moving and moving.

Darwin had two housekeepers who Greg had never seen before. They’d seemed like nice ladies. Greg hadn’t asked their names before he’d killed them. He couldn’t risk anyone telling anyone he was here. They’d kill him if they knew where he was. He’d killed people. Greg had killed people. Greg was a bad person. He deserved to die.

Would it really be so bad if they killed him?

Probably not, Greg decided. He didn’t matter, so it wouldn’t really matter if he died. But he kept moving anyway, just moving, all the time. They couldn’t find him if he kept moving, couldn’t kill him if he kept moving. He didn’t even want to survive, but he kept moving anyway.

How long had he been moving for? A few days, a few years? Greg didn’t know, but he hadn’t stopped. He hadn’t changed his clothes or really eaten much. Some bread and cheese and whatever was there, and he’d drank some wine that he’d found. A few times he’d drank a lot of the wine because he’d found out how much he liked the way it made his head go dark and stop spinning. He’d slept a few times but only because he’d passed out after drinking too much wine, and he’d learned that he didn’t like the headaches he got after, but he could live with them. He’d dragged the bodies of the two housekeepers down to where he and Roderick had killed Chance so that they wouldn’t smell bad in the kitchen.

Darwin and Roderick probably weren’t moving, Greg knew, so he moved for them. They were locked up somewhere or dead, though Greg was pretty sure that Darwin at least was still alive. They would want to question him, to ask why he’d done what he’d done. They would want answers.

Theodore and Daniel. Together. Working together, the two of them. Greg was scared of them. He was scared of how calm and collected Theodore was, and of how cold Daniel’s eyes had been while he’d attacked them. Greg didn’t think he could ever be like that. He could never be like them.

And he didn’t want to be. They were monsters, both of them. And he hoped they never found him. As long as he stayed here, stayed in the house where they didn’t know where he was, and as long as he kept moving, they wouldn’t find Greg and Greg would be safe.

Darwin wouldn’t be, though. Roderick wouldn’t be. They weren’t with Greg, they weren’t moving, they weren’t in the house. They weren’t safe. They weren’t safe because Greg had left them there. Because Greg had left them in the house, with the monsters. He’d run away and saved only himself.


Greg didn’t know how much time had passed before he realized that he had to go back. Eventually, exhausted from moving unceasingly through the house, Greg had come to that conclusion. He had to go back. He had to go back and get them. And if they weren’t there, he had to find out where they were and get them there. And if they were dead, Greg had to kill Theodore himself. Or die trying, because Greg couldn’t be the only one of them who survived, he couldn’t be.

So still Greg moved, searching through the house now. He ate all kinds of food to get his strength up, then got sick because he’d eaten too much and then tried to eat more, but not as much. He picked or broke open all the locks in the house, looking for anything helpful. He took everything out of drawers, everything off walls, moved all the furniture. He was still moving, and now he was moving everything with him.

In a room with two locks on the door Greg had found Darwin’s bed and a desk with a lot of paper on it. He could only read a few words, so he had no idea what the paper was for, but it was probably Darwin’s orders. One of the papers had Greg’s name on it in big letters. He wondered why, but he couldn’t find out until he could ask Darwin.

There was also a big bag of money in that room, and a small box in a secret compartment in the floor with a ring and a carnival mask in it. Greg left all that there, he didn’t need any of that.

In another room he found more clothes like what Darwin had given him and Roderick, and he changed into fresh ones, trying on half of them until he found a set that fit. Another locked room held a lot of knives, and Greg took a whole bunch of those, taking them in sets and practicing with them and throwing them and making sure he liked them before settling on the ones he wanted. He put holes in a lot of the walls in the house, but Greg didn’t care. It was just a house.

Finally when he was ready, Greg went to sleep. He had to, as much as he wanted to move he knew that he had to because if he went back like this, he’d just die without accomplishing anything. And Greg already knew he was going to die, but he didn’t want his death to be as worthless as the rest of him. So he slept, for a few minutes or a few days, and when he woke up he ate again, but only a little bit. He drank water instead of wine. He wanted the wine, but he didn’t want his head to be dark when he went to Theodore’s house. So he had water, and he told himself that if he didn’t die he could have wine after.

But he was going to die, so it didn’t matter.

And then when he was ready, when he was all clothed and armed and fed and rested, Greg stopped moving for the first time since he’d left Theodore’s house. He sat perfectly still in front of a window and watched the sun move across the sky. He sat there all day, not moving, not moving, not moving.

And then when the sun started to set, Greg stood up, calm.

And he went.

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