I bind up Davids wounds as best I can. We haven’t eaten in nearly three days. My hands are shaking and I feel sick. We’ve been trying to hide but they found us on the road, they dragged him off into the field and kicked him until he couldn’t stand. I need to go and find us some food and water but I don’t want to leave him. He keeps falling asleep and doesn’t seem to know where we are or what’s happened. I try to keep him comfortable as much as I am able, he lost a lot of blood.

I kiss him and ask him to stay still until I get back. After about an hour a find a farmhouse, I knock the back door. A very old woman answers. She is about to speak when she sees the brand on my arm. She grabs me by the wrist and pulls me inside. “Are you hurt?” I’m shaking so badly I can barely stand. “David.” Is the last thing I remember saying.

I wake under a thick quilt. A man I have never seen before is sat watching me. “David is safe and so are you. We gave him some painkillers and water and left him to sleep.” I sit up, I feel horrible. “Thank you. How did you find him?” He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. “Before you passed out you managed to tell us where he was.” He nods and pats me on the shoulder. “Now my Mother, she would have sheltered you two, wasted food on you, I on the other hand would very much like the reward money. So I called the police. They should be here any time soon.”

I barely have the strength to stand. “Please. We will just leave, you don’t have to…” He punches me in the face and I think I must have passed out.

I keep passing in and out of consciousness. We are in a van, then there is a corridor, then a large white room. David looks groggy. He is handcuffed and bleeding. He is trying to focus, I know what he is going  to do and I try to shake my head.

When the laws changed after the Church took over, we started being dragged out of homes and beaten to death in the street. We both know we are never leaving this room alive. I smile at him and he smiles back I mouth the words. “I love you.”


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