Richard Pierce


Day 223

The price for having a normal day yesterday was obviously having a dreadful day today. I woke up feeling fine (I even allowed myself a lie-in as M is still on hols, and my commute isn’t really very far – 10 metres; all after waking at 05:30 and feeling wide awake). Within an hour of getting u, my body just basically rejected everything, including, it feels like, my soul. I have dragged myself through the day, and even passed the Greek possessives test I’d failed three times before.

So I’m late writing this, and have nothing particularly in my head that I want to write about.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. It has to be. I’ve got radio to do, and a whole load of other stuff. I hate feeling weak and feeble.

Onwards and upwards. At least my brain is still (partially) alive.



Lilibet puts her arms round Aggie. ‘None of this has to be true.’


‘And you haven’t seen this before?’

Aggie mutely shakes her head.

Katharina and Marit stand there, statues. Don’t know what to do.

Lilibet doesn’t let go of the trembling Aggie. ‘She must have known you were going to see this. Why would she do this.’

Aggie relaxes into Lilibet’s grip. ‘I don’t know.’

‘It must mean something,’ Lilibet says. ‘Or maybe nothing.’

‘I’d never been down here before Zav got here,’ Aggie says, her voice hoarse. ‘And agreement, like we had for their bedroom, that I’d never go into here or there.’

‘It doesn’t explain the key.’

‘How many albino children did they kill?’ Aggie says.

‘Who says they killed any of them.’

‘Even those who didn’t die there were terminated.’

‘It could just mean the experiment was terminated,’ Lilibet says.

‘No!’ Aggie pushes her away. ‘Then they wouldn’t have kept doing the experiment. Which one am I? Which one.’

Katharina rediscovers motion. ‘You’d have to go through all the folders to know.’

‘How? How would I know? It doesn’t give any names. Nothing.’ Aggie’s eyes are blazing now, as she faces the room.

‘Perhaps there are more files somewhere. Or the file.’ Katharina doesn’t come any closer.

‘I’m not real, am I?’ Aggie says. ‘Just some child they found somewhere, some time. I don’t even know how old I really am.’

‘I’m pretty sure you’re not old enough to be any of those children in those files,’ Lilibet says. ‘You’re not old enough.’

Aggie takes a deep breath, holds it, exhales forcefully. ‘So be it. If I ever find out, I’ll kill those who did this. I’ll forget my vow to myself and the world, and I’ll kill them, make them pay.’

‘Don’t say that,’ Lilibet says gently, her hands seeking out Aggie’s face. ‘You’ll only destroy yourself if you break that promise. You won’t be you without that promise. Punish them some other way.’

‘I want to read every one of those files,’ Aggie says. ‘I want to find out what this was all about. And why the Americans were involved.’

‘And the key?’ Marit says.

Aggie turns back to the shelves, reaches out, and pulls them off the wall with a shrug of her shoulder. The noise of the collapsing edifice is deafening, and the metal of the shelves bends under the rage of her huge hands.

‘Feel better now?’ Lilibet says.

‘Much better,’ Aggie says. ‘Even though I’ll have to clear up the mess.’ She looks at the wall where the shelves have left their mark. The light of their torches throws an uneven shadow across the wall, just a tiny impurity in the fabric. She reaches out, her smooth skin touching the white wall, runs her fingers across the surface, feels a slight unevenness, and pushes down on it. A part of the wall springs out at her. She grabs at the protruding element, and rips it open. It’s the shape of a door. And behind another door, a row of silver locks all the way down the right side of its metal solidity. A row of locks, ten in all, with a slot in each that only a tiny key will fit into.

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