The first man leapt at the other, fists flying, while the second man fell on his back and kicked the first in the chest. Since the prisoners were all chained together, this caused a great pileup and commotion, and soon nearly everyone was hitting and spitting and kicking each other in a rage. Santiago was silently relieved that he was not chained with the rest and merely had a guard over his back.
This guard, and all the others, however, forgot all about him in the chaos. While they poked and prodded and shouted themselves hoarse trying to get everything in order again, Santiago saw his chance and slipped away into an alley nearby. Immediately, keeping to the shadows, he began sneaking towards the sounds of the fighting, knowing as soon as the guards got things in order again, they would notice his absence.
A small part of his brain tried to reason with the rest of him, listing the risks and dangers and why he should return to the safety of the guards. But he was only a child after all, though he readily denied it, and a curious, impulsive one at that. Santiago pushed that logical part of him deep inside a closet in his mind and locked it away.
“I have no time for that sort of thing,” he muttered to himself determinedly. “I must press on and find my family!”
He did not say which family member he was talking about, for truly he did not know. His first instinct was to find his father, but his second one, equally as strong, was to find his sisters. The part of him that he had locked away screamed from the mental closet that he was wrong, that he should turn back, that he should look for neither party and should just consider himself.
If only he had listened.