Accursed Memory

I sat bolt upright in a darkened room, panting and drenched in cold sweat.  I could’ve sworn I heard my leader and mentor Pat shriek my name. I must’ve been dreaming of that first encounter.
My first encounter.

I’d just joined our cause against them, against the Secretists; I was innocent & naive. Pat decided to show me some of the ropes, figuring I was ready. We ventured into one of their main warehouses to do some "poking around," as Pat called it

We strolled innocently inside, but I had the strangest feeling of deja vu. Why did I have the feeling it belonged to-?

“Lily, my niece!” I turned, facing my Uncle Lex. I’d never gotten used to this uncle, so I wasn’t sure how to react. I nodded, glancing to Pat for guidance.  His eyes wandered to Pat, whispered something to one of his cronies, & tried to lead me away in an avuncular fashion.

“Sir, she’s with me,” Pat said, trying to ease me toward him.

“I beg pardon but she’s my niece,” Lex retorted, jerking me closer. 

An aide tried to guide Pat away while Lex steered me towards a back room of the warehouse.

Lex shoved me roughly into a safe. Just before he closed the door on me, he muttered to someone outside, who came in in full welder’s gear with a chain in his hand. My eyes widened as the flame was ignited.

I never could forget the searing heat, or the permanence of that tracking necklace welded around my neck.

I’d fainted after that, too.

I was still breathing heavily, frightened eyes darting this way and that, taking in the room: square, light walls, wooden floors. Almost like a dance studio.

I was on one of the higher floors of whatever building this happened to be; the huge window overlooked the twinkling city.  Who knew something so perilous could look so beautiful from above?

My ankles were loosely bound, but oddly my wrists were free. I immediately clasped to my necklace.  As much as I hated the thing, clutching it gave me some kind of comfort.  The contour of a traditional 3cm-triangular Celtic knot, the pendant was originally embossed with the oppressively scrolling "S" of the Secretists.  Since its institution into my life I’d added a Resistance homing chip to one side of the pendant, and had also made an "R"-emblazoned magnet to latch onto (and scramble) the front side.

“Awake, are you?”

I jumped. A young man was kneeling next to me, his astutely concerned green eyes peering into mine of frightened brown.

The End

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