I'm brought to a bright room, an elegant room, with chandeliers and lush carpeting that I sink three inches into. The ceilings are high, and the walls are shelves. All around me is an assortment of shoes, jewelry, pants, blouses, dresses, you name it, it's in this room. What amazes me is the fact that there are two benches in the room, which is really an oversized closet. The mere idea that one could put furniture in a closet is profound to me. Back home, we're not allowed to even have our own choice of clothing. We're assigned our own set of government-issued clothes that have the same bland look as everyone else, except that I get a 'fancy' yellow strip on mine, just another 'protective' measure, to help keep everyone aware that I was a Creative.
Here, however, the clothes were vivid, screaming, loud in their various colors and fabrics. Dresses that I'd only seen in pictures hung from hangers made of polished wood. The shoes were polished to perfection, my reflection gleaming in them.
Everything was priceless, and I paled in comparison, blending into the white walls, with only my eyes signifying that a person was in the room. The people who had taken me exited the closet, and I was left alone for a few seconds. I wanted very badly to disturb the carefully folded skirts and to smudge the shining shoes, but I held myself back. I didn't know whose closet this was, after all. Though I had an idea.
Suddenly, someone entered the room through a door I had never noticed. I didn't recognize the type of person. I couldn't pinpoint whether she was a Normal or Intellectual. She had ginger hair and green eyes. She also had something that was incredibly peculiar. Freckles. Ever since the revolution, and the new way of birth, freckles had been eradicated. They were an undesirable facial feature, the mark of something cursed. And then I realized.
This girl was a hostage. She was someone who was taken from her home country by us. Her home country probably pissed off our Leader, and so she's holding this poor girl at ransom, most likely an exorbitant amount of money that the ginger's country would never waste on a single girl. As I look into the eyes of the foreigner, I know deep down that she's going to wind up dead. And yet, I can't detect a bit of sadness, or grief in her eyes. In fact, she even looks happy.
"Hi," she says, giving me a grin. I'm perplexed, confused. If I were in her situation, I'd be terrified. It occurs to me that this girl has the same mind as I do. She's what Felicity doesn't want, a person who can think for herself. In any other world, I wouldn't be special, I'd be normal. Strange.
I don't return the greeting. The girl moves around me, with some sort of measuring device. She wraps it around my waist, my chest, my neck. "What are you doing?" I ask her, harsher than I intended. She doesn't even flinch. Probably used to people talking down to her, I suppose. "The Queen wants you to look nice for the Gala, and God knows you don't know how to dress nicely, the things she makes you guys wear," she says, not looking at me in the eye, but instead drifting over to the selection of gowns.
I don't know what or who the redhead is referring to when she says 'God', but I'm assuming it's someone important. Usually the word 'god' is reserved for when we're learning about the ancient religions of yonder, but it's never used casually. The girl chooses a dainty cherry red number with sequins, and I'm about to gag from the overdose of stimuli the dress carries, when she tosses it aside to grab something behind it.
What she grabs instead is a silky black dress that has a slit on its left side, and gathers at the hip. It's long-sleeved, with silver pendants holding the seams together. It's a powerful dress, modest but with just enough fierceness. It seems to say ''Pay attention to me,". It subtle yet attention-grabbing. She throws the thing at me and tells me to put it on. I do, somewhat clumsily, because well, I've never worn a dress before.
The girl then gives me a pair of high heels which might as well be two story high buildings because I can't manage three steps before tripping. "Oh good Lord," the girl exclaims, rushing over to the tower of shoes and giving me a pair of black shoes without the heels.
After getting dressed the girl pretty much shoves me into a chair, and proceeds to take my hair down and twist it in ways that hair isn't supposed to twist. It hurts, and I try not to complain, but I do anyway, and the girl doesn't even acknowledge that she's hurting my scalp. After she's done mangling my hair, she puts some sort of powder on my face, and cakes my eyelashes with a substance that reminds me of wet cement. She coats my lips with a cream that makes my lips feel three times as heavy, and to top it all off, she sprays me with a sickly sweet liquid that makes me smell like a living, breathing, flower.
"What was all of that for, anyways?" I ask afterward, feeling like a doll, or rather, a completely different person. The girl spins me around to face a mirror. "You tell me," she says.
The person in the mirror is not me. It can't be. This person is strikingly beautiful, powerful, radiating. My face has become sharp, smoky, mysterious. All I can think of is that if I met this person I would be afraid of them. This girl has done me a favor. She's made me intimidating. She's made me influential. She has made me unforgettable.
All I need to do now is take my chance.