Chapter 1 ~ I need a pretty face

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Hey there,

Sorry it's short, I don't have much writing time on my hands anymore. So most chapters will probably be short, but I'll write as often on this story as I can. I have to make sure I keep uploading on my other ones.

The dedication of this chapter goes to: alexiswolfe

She's the one that made my amazing cover. I can't say 'thank you' enough! Please check out her story: I'm Still Here...

Hugs,

Rue

Chapter 1

“She's puny! Take her back and get a better one.” A demanding voice called from the corner of the room. I peaked through my greasy hair while calming my heart only to feel it start back up. His stance held arrogance and cockiness, his dark eyes offering coldness to anyone who looked his way, the air around him made the men around me stiffen. His long brown locks danced against his cheeks as he gracefully stepped forward.

“She's the healthiest looking one.” The man coward behind his desk before clearing his throat and straightening up. I was confused by his actions, but soon learned why. “I will not let you patronize me anymore Mr. Carthwrite. What happened to the last five we branded for you?”

“Lets just say, 'my sharks had quite the feast'.” My mouth gaped open and to my horror, he grinned in my direction.

“You better cherish this one because it will be your last from me. I'm tired of your games.” Everyone within the room flinched when Mr. Carthwrite's hand came crashing down on the desk.

“I pay you good money and this-this is how you repay me?! With a girl who can barely stand on her own two feet, let alone her looks?” A frown took over my face as I glared at him profusely. How dare he say that! My Mom always told me I was pretty...or maybe I took her words for granted. “I need a pretty face, a pretty face I say!” His eyes studied me from afar. I trembled under his stare, looking at the floor for comfort that didn't come.

“Send the next girl in.” A guard at the door nodded and shouted 'next'. A timid looking girl, no younger than eight, walked in. Her eyes stayed glued to the floor as the man known as 'Mr. Carthwrite' stepped forward to examine her. I watched, cautiously, through my dark locks. She let out a few ragged coughs leaving my heart hurting; she was sick, as were many of the children that came in before me. His hand gripped her hair, pulling her face towards the ceiling, a cry left her lips.

“Her features are far more prettier than the other girl's, but she's too weak and sickly for my liking.”

My eyes darted to the floor as his shoes clacked against it, making their way in my direction. Each step made me want to curl back in fear, but my body was held captive to my locked bones.

A hand pulled at my chin, lifting my head up. I shut my eyes, not wanting to feel the coldness from his gaze. His hand left my chin as soon as it had come, a rough sigh escaping his lips. “I guess she'll have to do, but I'm only paying half. She's not even a fourth of what I wanted, so don't argue the price.” He commanded.

“Just take her.” The man waved a hand at the door, a sign with the word 'Exit' in bold letters hung over the top of the door frame.

“Come.” His command jolted me upright. I bit my chapped lips, preventing me from screaming in pain while I stood. My body wavered, threatening to fall back to the floor. “Healthiest my foot.” He scowled, pulling me towards the exit. Even through the pain I was experiencing, I was excited to leave this place. This place of torture and pain; the only thing they let you experience was sorrow and pain. The scars they placed on your back were enough to make you forget who you were.

“Stop dragging your feet!” He growled in annoyance. “It's bad habit, but I assure that it will soon be broken.” The smell of peppermint, made me guess that he let out a silent sigh. I reminisced on the smell, remembering my Grandpa and the peppermint sticks that he always gave to my brother and I.

“Master Carthwrite.” A man in a black suit called in recognition and bowed, showing the balled spot on his head. I stared at him while he straightened his back. His eyes crinkled in pity at the sight of me. He opened the metal door with a grunt and held it open for us, well, for Master Carthwrite.

“Yes, yes. Let's get a move on Lyle, we've spent as much time here as is and got little in return.” He scowled in my direction and tugged on my arm, pulling me through the doorway out into the open. I cringed into him, the sunlight becoming too much for my eyes to handle. He hissed and pushed me away from him. I held in a cry as something sharp attacked the bottom of my right foot. “Open your eyes and get use to it!” He barked.

I held my head down, opening my eyes. The ground was pure white for a few seconds before colors of brown and grey took its place. I slid my right foot off the rocks onto the dirt with my left foot, blood covering the place my right foot just was. Ignoring the increase in my pulse, I checked my surroundings. My eyes widened at the sight of colored leaves falling from the trees surrounding the building. The rocks led a trail big enough for a car, through the trees, just off to my right.

“It's fall.” I muttered to myself, drawing in as much of the colors into my memory as I could. Fall meant that I hadn't been here as long as I had thought. A fresh wisp of wind blew around me, making the burn above my chest smart.

“Stop your staring and get in the car.” I gasped feeling a light push on my back, just enough to make me fly forwards, crashing into the rocks. My whole body felt heavy and wet, not doubt I was beginning to bleed. My face got the worst of it, I could tell just from the amount of fluid dripping down my face, blood trailing down my neck at a steady pace. My chest hurt the worst though, the burn was still fresh and the rocks were grinding into the wound mercilessly. “Clumsy too.” Mr. Carthwrite's voice filled my ears. “Lyle, get the blankets from the back.” He called with a sigh and made me sit up, facing him. I could feel my eyelids getting heavy. “Go to sleep, at least I know you won't be doing more damage to yourself in the meantime.” Following his command, I let my eyes close and drifted off.

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