Chapter Three, Page Two (Mai)

There is the knife again. Jed comes closer and he pushes up my sleeve.

"Going to leave the Commander a little reminder," he said. I try to ask him what he meant but my voice does not work. He presses the tip of the knife into my upper arm. I scream - this time my voice does work.

The pain is white-hot, like a branding iron. It follows the path of the knife but spreads out from it, engulfing my arm, my upper body, my entire being.

What is he doing to me?

The blood starts to flow, held at bay by skin for only a moment under the hot metal of the knife. Is it really hot? It feels so to me, but I cannot tell. The warm liquid trickles down my arm, every drop a reminder of the fact that I do not belong here.

At Home, I would never have bled like this, because at Home I could heal myself. Here, I cannot. Here, I will be taken by pain, just as I would if I were human.

Jed drops my arm.

"Goodbye, Mai," he says. So soon? I glance at my watch and I realise. I have not been here for a week. I have been here for a month. I must have misread the date, but how? I have had this watch for so longer that I understand it perfectly. My brain must be more addled by pain and sleep deprivation than I thought.

They must have fed me, then. I would have died by now. But I've been unconscious for most of it - maybe they fed me while I was asleep. Or maybe they fed me when I was awake - and I don't remember it.

Have they been suppressing my memory all this time? How could I not have realised?

I look at my arm to see what it is that Jed has done to me. The blood is quickly soaked up by a fragment of sleeve that is hanging down, so the picture he has drawn is clear. It is a picture of me, broken, alone, and in pain. A picture of me how I am now.

Unwanted.

A picture to show the Commander what he has done to me by not coming to rescue me.

*

The clock is ticking. I can hear it. It won't stop, and there is nothing I can do about it.

They brought me some food this morning. I ate half of it but then I realised - this is what is stopping me from remembering. So I left the rest.

My memory is back, but so is the pain.

*

The colours swirl. I cannot work out what is the real world and what is a dream any more. I cannot see.

I cannot see. I am blind.

The End

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