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The Adventures Of James Taylor

By Sam S

Cannons ready, on my mark fire, wait, wait, for it get ready, Fire!!! The sound of cannons

ring through the air. Prepare to board, lower the plank board. I scurry from a hiding spot and

leap to the other ship, and land with a thud, push a guy over board, get hit in the head, and

everything goes black.

I find myself arms handcuffed. A month later we arrive in China and we´re handcuffed

and escorted to the Jade mine/prison camp. At the gate a guard asks for my name. “James

Taylor,” I reply and he hands me a pick ax and and two sets of clothing.

¨You're in barracks 7. Breakfast at 6:00 lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 8:00. Curfew at 9:30.

You are in the mines at 7:30. Get going!¨ yelled the guard.

As I walk to barracks 7, I see a few kids then I walk into the barracks and set my stuff

down. I hear the clink of a pick ax, then it stops, and all is quiet. A floor board moves and a

person pops that looks like he is in his 30s with a big beard. He's super skinny and is covered in

dust. ¨Keep your mouth shut. Give me your pick ax kid, and get down here.¨

I hand him my ax and climb down. It´s a hole in the ground under the barracks. I climb

down into it and find a ladder. It´s a tunnel system. I look at the guy who took my pick ax.

¨What's your name kid, and what did you do to get here?¨

¨James Taylor, I joined the navy and got captured . You?”

“Scott Arling”

“How long have you been digging?”
¨About two months, but it was abandoned by two guys who got caught for selling knives

and put on death row. That was what was happening when I got here.”

“How far from the prison are you?”

“Almost 60 meters. I want to get 80 meters and start digging at a 45 degree angle and I

should be at the tree line.¨

¨How many people know about this?¨ I ask.

¨Three people. You, me and shorty.”

“Who's Shorty?” I say.

“He’s one of the orphans brought in from the locals. He should be called Talkie instead

because he talks a lot, but he sure can keep a good secret. Can you?”

“Yeah.”

Scott shifted uncomfortably and glanced at his watch. “Dinner’s up soon, we should go

up before the others arrive.”

We back slowly out of the tunnel making sure to be quiet. As we climb out of the hole

and shift the floor board back into place a small set of dark eyes stares at me. He has long

shaggy black hair that covers his forehead. Dirty overalls and a stinky t-shirt stick to his sweaty

body. Scott turns and around and says, “Hi, Shorty.” He is met with silence. “This is our new

bunkmate, James Taylor.”

“Hi James. You here to help us with the tunnel?”

“Yes, I am.”

“We should probably head to dinner”, James said. “Stay close.”

As we walk to dinner I see a small village beyond the fence. As I walk into the dining hall

I notice that most of the guys are twice my size. Crossing the room to where Scott sits I see three
big guys walk up to him and steal his bread. They then take my bread, then Shorties. I start to

say something, but Scott stops me. After they leave I ask him why he gave them our bread.

“They run the place,” he chewed slowly.

“Who are they?”

“That's the toughest gang in the whole prison.”

We don't talk much the rest of dinner. The food tasted a week old, and smelled like feet

so I didn’t eat much that night. At seven we walked back to barracks 7. As soon as we returned

we went to bed. I couldn't sleep, it was a cold night.

The next morning Shortie woke me up at five. “Scott’s is already in the tunnel.”

I climbed down and walk toward the quiet sound of Scott hitting the rock. It reminded

me of home, when hail hits the roof of the small house we live in. A loud clank brings me back

to reality. As I approach Scott, he hands me a bucket of dirt. “There is a small cave behind the

ladder. Dump the dirt there.” I empty the bucket five more times.

“Breakfast.” Shortie calls.

Scott and I notice a small lonely strand of light. He turns around and says, “Get

everything ready to leave and go to breakfast. Get as much food as you can. There is a back

pack under the empty bed.”

Shortie and I go to breakfast and get as much food as we can, and head back to barracks

7. I put all the food into the pack, but three pieces of bread. I hand one to Shortie, put the

backpack on and climb down. I hand Scott the bread.

“I made the hole big enough for us to fit through it,” just as he finishes his sentence

Shortie runs toward us screaming.

“Go. Go. Go.”
“What is it?”

“I saw the three guys from dinner with guards following them.” Shortie gasps.

“They must have seen us with the food and thought something was up.” Just then we

heard a loud thud. It sounded like someone jumping down from the the surface. Seconds later we

scurry out of the hole

“Run and don't look back.”

I took Scott’s advice and I have been running ever since.

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