Author's note: I hope you enjoy reading this. It's not completed, but I'm hoping to continue it, as I really... Show full author's note »
#561My eyes opened only after a hand traced the blood stains across my cheekbones. I flinched, unused to gentle, merciful touches; nobody here had ever ceased to abuse me. A soothing, relaxed voice was the sole thing that filled my ears.
“Number six-oh-seven, what is your name?”
In this place, nobody’s title was their actual name. They did this just in case the government came looking for one of us; that way, they could keep us no matter what. Inmates, guards, and obviously Juno all called us by our numbers. They called the numbers prisoner tags, and the only way our identity could be verified was by scanning the tattooed number on our stomachs with a painful device.
Everything was painful in that place.
My voice was eerily quiet when I spoke.
The voice spoke again, but this time I could feel their warm breath on the side of my face as they talked into my ear.
“It’s not Juno. Listen, what’s your name?”
“Who is it?” I felt threatened, yet I didn’t even know where I was.
They sighed onto the side of my face.
“My prisoner tag is five-sixty-one.”
I didn’t know who it was. I didn’t even know that prisoner tags could start with fives.
“I don’t know you. You must have the wrong person.” I scrambled to get up, but my body was not responsive.
“No, no. Don’t move. Listen. I’m Adette, but please call me Dett. I’ve been here way longer than you have, hence my tag. But, that’s not the point. You don’t understand why you’re here.”
“Yes, I do. I did something horrible as a child, so my parents sent me here as a punishment. I know exactly why I’m here.” Anger was beginning to bubble up inside of me; this girl thought she knew everything about my life.
“No, you don’t. Look, I went into Juno’s office a couple of days before you came here because I knew a new shipment of kids was coming in soon. Some files from kids were just sitting on her desk, so I opened them up in suspicion.”
“Why would you be suspicious? That’s so nosy, not to mention dangerous.”
“It’s not.” I could hear her nostrils were flared with frustration. “Listen, you. Sometimes, some freeloader parents send their kids here to just get them off of their hands. And Juno, being the jerk that she is, doesn’t care. She just loves beating the kids up.”
My eyebrows furrowed, and I could feel the wounds on my face open up and blood drizzled down my nose. It was cold again. Could that terrible thing have happened to me?
“You heard me. The government doesn’t even pay attention to this place. They leave all the work to Juno because they’re afraid of her.”
I had to stifle a laugh after she said that. The government, of all people, was afraid of Juno. Wow.
“So, you’re saying that happened to this new group of kids?”
“Some. I memorized most of them after I poked through the files.”
“So, this is why you needed my name? To see if my parents sent me here when I was innocent or not?”
“Oh, well, I’m Jinx.”
“Really?” Her voice fell the slightest bit.
“That’s my name.” I squinted, trying to see her face in the darkness, but all I could see was the thick, inky clouds that surrounded me.
“Wow, then.” Dett seemed out of words; she just sat next to me and breathed slowly and deeply. “Your file was the most… depressing.”
“I hardly remember anything from my childhood. How bad was it?” I was becoming concerned. Had I really forgotten all these supposedly terrible things?
“Pretty bad, if I say so myself. Your parents named you Jinx for a reason, you know. It says so in the file.”