My Soul To Take
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"Where will we go?" Eli tapped on the top of the suitcase. Oskar considered this question.
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"I do not know," Oskar respond. Morse code is useful, but lengthy. Our responses must be shortened. They could try to hitch a steamboat to America and start anew, maybe relocate to Stockholm where two kids could easily be lost in the big city. They also could go to a larger city, Rotterdam. maybe. They'd have to learn French or Dutch or both.
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"Leave Sweden?" Oskar asked.
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"Maybe," she replied.
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"Rotterdam," Oskar said. She did not respond. They would have to talk more once they put up for the night. Oskar stayed on the train until it was dark outside and he was sure they were far enough away that his mother would not find him.
He tapped out a lengthy explanation to Eli about what was going to happen. He was going to get off the train with their things and her box and then he was going to find some place to open to box and let her out.
"You need some help?" the conductor said as he offered a hand to help Oskar out of the car. Oskar handed him one of the bags filled with his things but handled Eli's stuff and her box himself.
"Good night," he saluted and hopped back onto the train. Oskar took in his surroundings and then made his way towards. It would be easy enough to ask Eli to just push the top back up.
He told her it was safe to come out and out she popped a few seconds later. She was so strong. He'd been working with those weights but he hadn't come too far. He could barely tread water after all.
"How was the ride?" Oskar asked.
"It was fine," she replied. "Where will we go?"
"I do not know," Oskar replied, once more quite honestly.
"You were thinking Rotterdam, we don't speak French or Dutch," she said.
"We might be able to blend in though," he told her as they walked away from the train station. There was a light snow but Eli never seemed cold so Oskar did not worry about it.
"We can blend with others in Stockholm," she pointed out.
"We could go to America," Oskar said wistfully.
"We don't speak English," Eli objected. "There's a motel right there, we should stop before the night."
"What time is it?" Oskar asked.
"Almost ten," she told him and abruptly changed course and took his hand in hers and led him. The lights that choked out a vacancy sign was cheap, but even so it still gave Oskar a little hope that maybe they were doing the right thing the right way.
"Hello, my name is Frej, how can I help you?" he asked. Wasn't it obvious? They came to a motel to rent a room. "You want a room?"
"Yes please. Do you have any rooms with an extra door that leads directly out of the building?" she asked. He raised an eyebrow to that but didn't question it. Perhaps he got a lot of weird questions around here. Maybe that was why he wasn't questioning two young children who asked for a room.
"How long are you two planning on staying here?" he inquired as he dug through some drawers for a key.
"Just a few days."
"A week," Eli corrects. The authoritative tone she commanded was impressive. He nodded and said he would charge half now and half the fee when they checked out. She carefully counted out the bills and then handed them over. He counted them again just to be sure and then handed her a key.
"Down that hall. Third door on the right," he said.
"Which direction does it face?" Eli inquired.
He considered this for a moment, and then said north. That was a relief. They quietly walked to their room. The door swung open to reveal a narrow hallway that opened up to a small room. There was a door immediately on the right which led to a window-less bathroom. That would be useful. The next door led the smallest closet Oskar had ever seen. There were two beds, Oskar was glad because they hadn't thought to ask him for that. Not that he would have minded to share a bed with Eli, but still.
There was a desk for writing and a window. Right away Eli set about to put up covers so she would be safe the following morning. Oskar sat on the bed and watched Eli flutter about the room. The sheets were scratchy. He missed his mother, but it was worth it to be with Eli.
"Do you think my mother misses me?" Oskar asked idly.
"Probably," she replied when she finally decided that the sun would not get though. "We should sleep…"
Oskar nodded and went to the bathroom to change. The small bathroom reminded him of that night when that man had tried to kill Eli when she had been sleeping in the tub. He shuddered and changed quickly.
"Good night, Oskar," she whispered when he was settled in bed.
"Good nigh, Eli," he replied and switched the light off. Maybe they really could make it.
Yay. Don't flame me for the morse code. I think it's right, though there might be a few mistakes...
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