231.03.18 | 6:56 p.m.
It was Alby, the dark second-in-command boy who opened the slammer door short after sunset. Just opened it and waited. Kat avoided to look at him as she left her prison cell.
“Kat. Need to show you something. You don't run, you don't fight, you just watch. Get me?”
Almost against her will she turned round and looked at him. In the fading light the white of his eyes shone bright against his dark face. He did not look particularly angry; the scowl on his face seemed to be permanent, not something to do with her.
She nodded and followed him as he started to walk.
Toward the eastern door, as it turned out. There he stopped, and so did she, though she couldn't quite see what was the interesting bit about this. She had seen the doors before. They were huge, just like the walls, and there was a Maze beyond. A Maze she was not allowed to enter. She had learned her lesson.
A wind came up, blowing dust from the Maze into the Glade. Then a grinding sound filled the Glade. It was amplified by the walls and jolted her guts. Probably jolted the whole Glade. And then she saw the wall move. The entire right wall moved toward the left one. She felt her heartbeat speeding up, hammering in her throat, panic rising. A quick glance around bore out what she had assumed: all four walls were moving at the same time. Slowly, but unstoppable.
With a heavy thump that rang throughout the Glade the doors slammed shut.
Kat swallowed. No other reaction. Alby watched her as she did nothing but stare at the now seamless wall for a good ten minutes. Then she turned and focused the intensity of her grey eyes on Alby. “They close every night. And open in the morning.” It was not a question. She had thought about it, and told him the result.
“And you should be grateful for it, Greenie.”
He just looked her dead in the eyes. “You don't know jack about this place. Just watch and learn. You are out on probation. Next time you break the rules, Slammer will be just the start, you get me? You learned your lesson?”
She gave a grim nod. “Can I go now?”
“Newt said to see him for your bedroll.” Alby turned and strode toward the Homestead. “Come.”
Kat did not follow, and Alby did not bother.
She turned and took the opposite direction.