33. The Buzz

The door is locked so Lye goes in through the broken window. Miranda’s shoes, still in their cubby. Miranda’s glasses, still on the windowsill. 

He pauses when a key turns in the locked door.

Two orderlies enter.

One unrolls plastic sheeting and holds against the window. “The way he just stares up at the house.”

The second tapes it in place. “Someone should tell Dr. Smith.”

The first snorts. “That the neighbor’s weird? Hiram would probably hire him to get ‘some real local flavor.”

Lye slips out the open door. 

“Ha! Like someone from White Haven would ever work here.”


Where to Begin

32. Breakfast, Sans Miranda

“Where is she?” Shou repeats. “Do you think something happened?”

Lye snaps his book shut, tucks it under his arm, stands. 

“Where are you going?” Shou’s chair squeals as it slides across the floor.

We, nothing. You stay here.” Lye points to Shou’s chair, until Shou sits. “I’m going to see if she’s in her room. New dosage might have her tuckered, you know how it goes.” He means to be comforting.

Shou bites his lip, looking undecided. Finally, he nods.

Lye slouches out. 

Alone, Shou’s hands shake. “It wasn’t me,” he mumbles, though no one asked. “I couldn’t have.”


Where to Begin

31. Miranda, Locked Up

Her head pounds. She cracks an eye and looks around at burred white walls.

This is not her room. 

Here at Oz, we take security very seriously, had been printed neatly in her brochure.

The room is layered with stiff, cushioning. Pale, calming light shines down on her. Her finger has been bandaged. There is no dirt under her nails. She is dressed in fresh pajamas. She reaches up for glasses that are not there, then stands on tiptoe to press her nose to the door’s tiny window. 

“Hello?” 

No answer. What time is it? What day?

“Is anyone there?”


Where to Begin

30. Miranda Gets Caught, Part 2 of 2

There is no nail on her left index finger and it is still bleeding. She is filthy. She is outside in her pajamas. She is not wearing shoes or glasses. It is almost dawn. She is standing in a hole about five feet deep and she is holding a dirty metal box.

“Over here! I see her!” Someone calls, “By the wall!”

Panicking, she covers the box in dirt to hide it and scrambles out of the hole and says, “I’m not going to resist! I’m not—”

But they bring her to the ground and jam the needle in anyway.


Where to Begin

29. Clarke Tries to Leave, Part 1 of 2

Miranda is not going to get them out. This leaves Clarke two options: Either wait and see or escape by himself.

Beating his way out would be easy, but Miranda doesn’t like it when he hurts people or breaks things.

So instead he is going to dig a tunnel by the wall in the far corner of the grounds. Dirt is piled high around him when his left hand jams into something hard. Miranda stirs. His control is slipping.

Before she can take over completely, he digs around the hard thing and pulls a long metal box into the light.


Where to Begin

28. Clarke is Afraid. Miranda is Afraid.

The only sounds are Miranda’s page turning and Lye’s banter with the volunteer librarian.

“So you’re from White Haven?” Lye drawls.

“Does he have to talk to everyone?” Shou hisses under his breath.

Miranda glares at Shou. “It breaks up the monotony.”

Shou winces, embarrassed that she heard him, and then is embarrassed that he winced. “Is there anyone he doesn’t like?”

“No, I’m from Riverdale.”

“What a commute!”

Miranda looks exhausted. Is she sleeping alright? Shou scratches his arm.

At last she says, “Most people, but it takes his mind off of being here,” and returns to her novel.


Where to Begin

26. Post-Breakfast Pill Distribution

“I don’t have all day,” snaps the Orderly.

She turns the cup slowly, buying time. Clarke won’t let her lift her arm. He doesn’t want the pills. She doesn’t know what to do.

“Miranda,” Lye says it like a warning.

Shou looks nervously between Miranda and the impatient Orderly.

Her hand shakes, Her grip tightens. Clarke hasn’t been loose in days. He’s mad.

“Please,” she whispers.

“Is this going to be another situation?”

She drops the cup.

Lye has just enough time to gather Shou behind his back before Clarke throws himself at the orderly with a howl of rage.


Where to Begin