I got up and walked over to the girl and kneeled down beside her. “Are you okay?” I whispered to her. She stiffly nodded and I knew that she wasn’t okay. She wasn’t wearing a whole lot; a ripped pair of already short shorts, and a black tank top that had holes in it. Her hair was a brown and natty, but it was somewhat up kept because it was back in a long braid that fell down to her waist. She had many bruises on her arm and wrists, and there was burn marks on her legs; they looked old, but a few cuts looked new. I stuck my hand out for her to take and she didn’t look or even recognize that my hand was out. I pulled my hand back in and sat down beside her. “My name’s Mystic…what’s yours?” I heard a sniffle and saw her take a deep breath.

“Annabelle,” she answered in a shaky whisper.

“Hi Annabelle,” I said as I looked over her. Annabelle’s hair was thick, dark, shallow-river brown with specks and streaks of light, but it lacked a certain amount of flow and health to it, and her skin a white cream color that seemed to look like she hasn’t been in the sun for a long time.  She had been here a while, which is why she had been trying to tell me to look down, she knew the consequences if I didn’t; the scars and marks on her back suggested that she knew exactly the extent of a punishment.

“Hi,” she said cut and softly as her nose sniffled. I looked down at her legs and saw a large mark on them, it was dried with old blood and puffy, and it looked like it wasn’t healing well. I could tell it was infected and if it didn’t get clean that it might get bad. I looked around the room and saw another door off to the side, it was open and I could tell see that it was a bathroom. I stood up and went to over to the bathroom, I knew I wasn’t really supposed to be snooping around, but that was really what was in the back of my mind. The bathroom wasn’t any better than the bedroom so I just started rummaging through drawers and cabinets figuring it wouldn’t really make a difference. I finally found a wash cloth in a cabinet by the shower, and some hydrochloric acid in the cabinet above the sink. I walked back into the bedroom and she was still sitting there looking down at the ground.

 I wondered what was going on in her mind, wondered what she was taken from; if she had a family, a boyfriend, friends, maybe even a cute dog back home. I shoved the thoughts from my mind when a lump formed in my throat and my eyes began to water, not wanting to cry because I knew I already did to much of that already and I needed to be strong from now on; in some way I felt I had to be strong for Annabelle. Even though I was sure she was older than me, and been here longer so she knew what would happen when we didn’t do things we were supposed to, but she reminded me so much of a little girl. She looked so timid and depressed that all I could see was a little girl in my head, a little girl that needed to be helped.

I sat down on the ground and folded my legs. I was sitting on her side and I went to touch her leg softly. She cringed away from my touch and I held my hand where it was.

            “I’m not going to hurt you, I promise.” I said in a reassuring voice. I waited for her to say something, and when she didn’t I reached out again and touched her leg; this time she cringe or pull away so I extended her leg out and set it out in front of me. I soaked the washcloth in the acid before I began to wipe the wound. I was getting the old blood off and only when I began to touch the wound that she cringed but she didn’t pull away. The wound was deeper than what I though it would be, and it was long too. It looked as if a wild animal had gotten a hold of her, but it was only one line and not three like the usual animal marks so I didn’t know what to think, but I continued to clean it. When I was finished cleaning it i looked more closely at it, I wasn’t sure if I was overstepping my boundary but I asked anyway.

            “How did you get that?” She finally looked away from the ground and at the wound, and then she looked at me. She opened her mouth to answer me but before she could a door was roughly opened and I could see that it was Finn. She shot up off of the floor quickly and hung her head low.

            “Good day sir.” She said loudly enough for Finn to hear her; but that was it. I stood up and Finn walked right over to us, eyes quickly glancing over Annabelle, and then they were fully on me.

            “What the hell are you guys doing on the ground?” Finn said sharply. I gave him a steady, evil gaze, and he faced it head on. When I didn’t answer he looked at Annabelle and I could see that she had cringed away form his stare. He looked down at the ground and I looked down also and saw that the washcloth was still there with the hydrochloric acid. I stepped lightly in front of it and knew that wasn’t the best thing. Finn looked right over to Annabelle’s leg as if he knew it was there. He took a step towards Annabelle and I could see that smile in his eyes. I stepped in front of Annabelle and I heard a small intake of breath behind me and I was met with a menacing glare.

            “Get out of my way girl.” Finn said. I matched his gaze, and tried to match his tone, but mine was no where near as fierce.

            “No,” I told him. But to my ears, and I am certain to his ears, it sounded more like an order. “She had nothing to do with it; she has been sitting in the same exact spot ever since we got here.” I was saying to him, holding my ground even though I saw him get angrier and lean closer to me with each word. “As soon as you got here she jumped right up and acted the way that this stupid place has it programmed in her head to act. She had nothing to do with it.” I said sternly to him. This was not helping with my case, or with trying to just survive, but I wasn’t about to let her take the blame for something that she didn’t do.

            Finn closed his eyes for a second, and the corner of his mouth pulled up into a smile with an evil laugh added to it. Suddenly he was right before me, eyes open and a gaze so intense and harsh that it scarred me; but they weren’t his ordinary green color, but instead the were a silver. I had a hand to my throat in a flash and a mouth next to my ear in just that same instant. I didn’t try to fight the hand at my throat, even when it began to block my windpipes and take the breath from my lungs. I just stood there and listened to the whispering in my ear. “Then you shall be getting the punishment for that…but since it’s your first day I would rather try something different on you.” The hand moved away from my throat but up to my chin instead, and whooshing breath came into my lungs, almost making me choke. Finn gazed into my eyes and that stupid, menacing smile came back onto his face. “Yes, something very different with you.”

 I was suddenly thrown across the bed, and across to the other side of the room, before I hit the wall and fell clumsily to the ground. I didn’t hit the wall with my head, it was more of a shoulder into the wall followed by the rest of my body, but never my head, the only thing my head hit was the soft carpet under the bed that covered the hard wood floor. I couldn’t get a grasp on things for a few moments, I mean I was just thrown across the room, that can be a whole dizzy making mess. I did get to see Finn walk closer to Annabelle and say something before he walked out of the room. There was a scuffling of feet and I felt a set of hands on my back.

“Mystic, are you alright?” Annabelle asked me. I rolled over and sat slowly up with the help of Annabelle. I nodded and rubbed my shoulder where I had hit the wall.

“You can call me Mist.” I told her with a smile, trying to put a good show on for her. She smiled back at me and nodded.

“Come on, Master Finn wants you to be changed before his…” Annabelle didn’t finish what she was saying. Instead she went over to the bed and grabbed something. I stood up slowly and saw she was laying two outfits out; from the looks of things, I didn’t like what was going to happen.

The End

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