A Dream for the Ages

The girl woke up in a cold, dark cell room the only light coming from a torch somewhere on the other side of the door, peeking into the cell through a slit within the door. The light was sparse so she could barely make out her hands as she held them in front of her face. She was lying on a mat encrusted with dirt and who knew what else. She couldn't tell what kind of clothes she wore but she knew they were shorts and some sort of shirt even if she couldn't exactly pinpoint the material. She gagged when the smell in the room finally made its way up her nose. It was a mixture of rotting meat, feces, and sweat. A combination she would have never dreamt.

The smell brought tears to her eyes but it wasn't just the smell. It could have been related to the fact that she didn't know how or why she was there or perhaps it was due to the faint tortured screams she heard coming through the rectangular slit in the door.

As the tears fell silently she deduced she was in a prison or dungeon. Could they be the same, she questioned herself. What confused her though was that there shouldn't be a place like this in the 21st century, not in the U.S. No way, she thought.It shouldn't be possible, couldn't she corrected herself.

As she went tit-for-tat with herself she didn't notice the silence that was now existent where the screams had ruled even if it was faintly. There was the sound of a metal pipe scraping along the cell doors and wall. Every few minutes there would be a loud sequence of banging on a particular door but those were the only sounds. It was quiet and still and she began to hear herself breathing.

The girl wiped her tears as she listened to the pipe and the accompanying footsteps which were now audible. Whoever it was had reached her door and banged on it then continued on. The banging and scraping continued on for at least two more doors then stopped and backtracked. There was a boom-boom-boom on her door and she jumped. A red line appeared through the slit within the door and a voice rang out.

"Face the wall." It barked at her. She jumped again not out of fear but sheer surprise. The voice was deep, baritone, it was nice she thought. "Face the wall!" the voice barked even louder. "Damn it" she whispered to herself. I'm thinking about the wrong things, she admonished herself. She did as she was told and placed both hands on the grimy walls, they were coated in some kind of slime and as soon as she her hands on them they stuck refusing her even a little inch. What the hell? Even if it was dark she could imagine her hands on the walls stuck on some type of green slime. Way to go idiot. She shook her head as the door opened and two sets of feet bounded into the room. The room became unmistakably lighter as the people entered. She craned her neck trying to see the two but was stopped by a slap to the cheek.

"Face the wall. If you try to turn around I'll do more than slap you." The man with the nice voice told her. She stared forward tears springing back to her eyes. What the hell is going on?

"Check her." Mr. Baritone ordered. The other man who was with him dropped the pipe he had in his hand then proceeded to frisk her. His hand moved quickly, deftly, he avoided her danger zones only checking to mid-thigh and to the middle of her torso.

"She's clean." He reported as he stepped behind Mr. Baritone.

Mr. Baritone stepped forward and glanced her over as she stood facing the wall. She was exactly what the customers would want. A little out of the ordinary but that would only make her price go higher. She had curly reddish brown hair that contrasted with her honey colored skin and even though she was a little thin there was a hint of muscle beneath her unmarred skin. The crowds would marvel at her he thought. As he was mentally taking notes the other man was making a few observations of his own. He wasn't really a man but a boy, perhaps a young adult is a better word for him. He had dark black hair cropped at his neck and a strong jawline. His eyes were black like coal and his lips were set in an uninterested thin line. He was akin to a ghost what with his translucent skin through which you could see the blue of his veins.

She was just like him he thought. She was different but he couldn't tell if it was in a good way or bad, not yet anyway but he would know soon enough.

"Turn around." Baritone barked after he had finished making his mental notes. The girl did as she was told. When she turned around she was face to face with what she had to admit was two handsome men. She was caught off guard by the second man. His skin was pale almost see through but his hair and eyes looked like black ink on a white paper. There was something eerily beautiful about him. The other man who had to be Mr. Baritone she thought was handsome in his own way. He looked to be in his late 20's and he had dark brown hair slicked back into a ponytail. She couldn't tell how long it was but it suited him. She noticed they both wore what looked like a military uniform. It was all black with little gold buttons, and tassels. They both stared at her.

The two men who had both been observing her hadn't taken the time to look closely at her face but as she was fully in the light now they saw something else. They were drawn to her eyes. One was a light gray while the other was a mixture of green and blues a combination of the grass and sky. She was beautiful.

The girl didn't like being stared at. It had always happened back at home and she had always felt uncomfortable but more importantly where exactly was home. She still hadn't figured out why or how she had ended up there, all she knew was that it was a foreign place. She snapped back to reality or whatever it was she was in when the ghostly guard hooked silver bracelets around her wrists then proceeded to her ankles, they looked like handcuffs but they didn't have the little chain in between.

"W-Wai…." She began.

"Quiet." Baritone growled. The second man finished then moved behind the girl. "Bring her with us and make sure she doesn't try to escape. Even if she did those silver bracelets would send a painful shock through her body, it could even kill her." He added as he served her a sinister smile then proceeded to walk out of the room. "Come along, Lark." He ordered. This guy was good at giving orders. As the guy behind her gave her a soft push she made a mental note that she didn't like Baritone and that his voice although nice couldn't mask his stank attitude.

"Hey." She jumped at the hot breathe on her neck. "What's your name?" Lark asked. She looked back at the boy. He gently guided her as they followed the winding paths within what she called the dungeon/ prison because she still wasn't sure. She looked ahead ignoring him. She wouldn't acknowledge him. "Do you have a name" he whispered into her ear. It was ticklish his breathe on her skin.

"Please don't do that." She asked as they began their ascent up a stack of stairs. "Do what?" he asked as he breathed on her neck. He did it again. That mother**she thought about it. "Well?" he asked.

"It's Emaris." She said as they reached the top of the stairs and broke into the daylight.

Emaris Farina Penn.

"Emaris" he repeated to himself. He almost hated himself for what he was about to do but it had to be done, there was no fighting it. He led her onto a stage, the curtain was drawn and there was no light, no sound it was like being back in the holding pen he thought.

"Hey, Lark. It's Lark isn't it?" she asked. He ignored her as he gave her one last gentle push to the center of the stage into the red circle.

"Be brave." He whispered on her ear and then he disappeared.

"Lark. Lark. Guy. Lark." She whispered alone in the dark, she was getting scared. Be brave, what did he mean. Just then the curtains opened and her eyes were assaulted with a blinding light while her ears where assaulted with the thunderous chatter of the croud somewhere off in the distance she could hear Mr. Baritone.

"We start the bid at 500 joker pieces…"

What the hell is going on! She screamed in her head.