Mos sighed. “Alright.” He turned to the wall of hostages, all pressed up against children’s books. “I’m going to release one of you as a show of good will.”
They were silent, all looked at one another without talking.
Dead silence still. There were eighteen of them, plus the little child whose life he was continually threatening.
“It might help,” said Rakel, “if you released someone who needs medical attention. I mean, release anyone who needs medical attention.”
“Does anyone,” Mos said carefully, “require medical attention?”
They all seemed fine. No-one stirred.
“Anyone with asthma?”
A man – the parent of the child, perhaps – held up his own inhaler and murmured, “I’m alright.”