His chains rustled.

The little girl shifted in her chair to look at him more closely while pretending not to look.

He wore the same bright orange jumpsuit the other prisoners wore, the men who bagged her mother’s groceries at the Commissary. But he had shackles around his ankles and his wrists. The shackles were held together by lengths of chain welded to a metal belt that cinched around his waist. Two soldiers, heavily armed with giant guns, flanked his sides.

Her own chains were less visible and very quiet. Her guard was her mother, heavily armed with abuse, who at that very moment was pinching her arms with deep purple bruises and whisper screaming that she should not stare.

She wondered if the prisoner would be willing to make a break for it with her.


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