I wake up in rags. The last time I was put to sleep, I awoke in riches and gowns, but not I am nothing. My normal clothes are gone, without any sign that they ever existed.
I shake my head to try to make my eyes adjust better to the darkness. I am in a room....no a cabin. There are many bunks, but only one person, and she stands above me.
Her eyes are more pupil then white, her lips, tight and dry. I open my mouth to speak, to ask where I am, but before I make so much as a sound, her hand swipes across my cheek. A burning sensation erupts where her palm hit.
"You do not speak," Her accent is foreign but harsh, " You are a nothing now. You will have a new name, new clothes, and a new attitude. You will be a new person. Do you understand." I nod sheepishly. No. I don't understand. Not at all. "Good. Here is your schedule. Follow it closely." She hands me a piece of manila paper.
5:00 AM: Wake up, get dressed.
5:15 AM: Breakfast
6:00 AM: Fitness
9:00 AM: Labor
3:00 PM: Reconditioning
9:00 PM: Sleep
"What time is it?" I ask. Her second strike to my face comes so fast, I don't even have time to brace for the pain.
"You are no one. You do not speak. Because of your sloth, breakfast has already happened. So you will just have to join the others in fitness. I will walk you there"
Fitness and pain are synonymous. My legs are sore, my arms ache, and theirs a pounding in my head. I'm not used to running, not this much. I manage to choke a laugh, but blood comes out instead. How ironic, I wanted to run before, run from my life, and now I get to. I stop. I need to stop. My legs crumple beneath me. A girl with ugly shorn black hair looks at me with disdain as she passes me by. I feel I tug on my arm.
"C'mon girl. You can do this. They'll hurt you if you can't." I look up. A boy, no a man, my age or older is staring at me. Desperation in his deep brown eyes. Brown....Brown....Brown, the world is getting swimmy. "Stay with me." He drapes my arm around his shoulder.
And we hobble down the path. As soon as we exit from the trees, he shakes me.
"What's your name?" He asks.
"Remember that," He says with cryptic intonation, "It's only half a mile, but now they can see you. I can't help. Do you think you can do it?" He asks. I nod. Maybe it's the fact that I'm still groggy, and tired, or maybe I'm desperate for something, but I whisper my lips against his. First, his eyes open wide shock, but then he pull me closer. Now he's desperate. kisses me with more and more intensity and then.... He stops.
"No...I....We can't do this. Go, finish running. You have too." I nod. Why did I kiss him?
"You're late," I hear as I cross the finish line. I look over to see an attractive man with cold, dead eyes.
"Go to laboring, now. Unless you want to be punished."
Red hot blood boils in my veins. I will not go silently, yet the world is still swimming.
"You can't do anything to me, not now. Everything's been taken away from me. Everything."