dette er for min venn Izzie, som møtte meg på skipet
“Legemlig Refselse med Slag af Birkeris, intil 12 Slag paa den blottede Bag”
(corporal punishment with 12 birch strokes, until blood appears)
—actual instructions for the punishment of boys at Bastøy reform school, Norway, 1915
The ice underneath was cracking faster now, and the smooth chilled surface gave Olav no traction. He could only press his body into the ice sheet and grab Erling’s hand with all his might.
«Take my hand! »
Silence. A faint gurgle rose from the water, and Olav felt Erling’s grip loosen, until his hand was grasping a limp wrist. Fear rushed into Olav’s heart, and anger.
The harshest words he knew stole out of his throat. «Coward! What have they done to you?!»
From the abyss, he felt a pulse quicken.