The Story of Eris
By Anonymous, San Diego, CA
Chapter 3- ErinChapter 3-Erin
I’m quite used to bad dreams and nightmares, as they’ve haunted my mind ever since I was a young child. They usually fall among similar lines, and I barely remember them when I awake. Yawning, I sit up, surprised to find myself on a small little bed. I distinctly remembered falling asleep on cold tile. I scratch the tip of my nose as I take in my new surroundings.
The bed is very small, and I doubt someone larger than me could have fit on it. There’s also a faucet
“You have to be more careful, Erin!”
I sit up, still holding the spot where I hit myself. “Who’s there?” I call out. No one answers. I frown, and make my way back towards the bed. As I lay back down, I try and recall where I’ve heard the voice from before, because I’m certain I have. I close my eyes and try to think of whom the voice belongs to.
“I have some very exciting news for you, Erin. You’re going to be leading Curiosity Company’s Fall Market. You’re going to be in charge of the sales, but I will send someone who will go with you to help you, as you’re also going to be scouting new additions to our dwindling staff. It’s up to you to choose who is going to the market. I will, of course, oversee your decisions, but I trust your judgment. Make your preparations by midnight. You are dismissed.” Ms. Eveleen points at the door.
Bowing low, I wait until a servant comes and takes me by the arm. I straighten and walk stiffly towards the exit, until the door shuts behind me. As soon as it softly shuts, I run down the stairs, jumping two at a time until I reach the end of the long staircase. I sprint out of the Big House to the Staff’s Quarters, where I live. Whistling a tune, I skip to my room, excited at the prospect of being able to lead the Fall Market. I’ve been to a few markets, but I’ve never lead one before. Quickly, I think of who should be going for sale. The staff going on the trip would be decided by Ms. Eveleen, but the products were decided by the leader.
There are a lot of members we could do without, especially some of the older staff. They’ve been around for a while, but I think it’s been a bit too long. The problem within the matter is that most of the older members are important parts of the higher ranking classes. Disposers, Chasers, and Sniffs are all rather hard to train. If I get rid of many of them, I’ll have to scout out a lot of others. It’s a gamble, but one I’m willing to take. I write down several names of the upper class, and send the list for Ms. Eveleen’s approval. It comes back in a few hours’ time, her signature scrawled over it.
This year’s Fall Market site is in the middle of a secluded forest. We arrive very early, but the marketplace is still swarming with people. I hum to myself as our caravan is unpacked. I walk around the place a little, but I don’t see anyone promising, seeing as none of the really important organizations have come around yet. Making my way back to our little booth, I begin to set up our station. Leading the products out of the back one by one, I line them up in order of their price and class.
Soon, several of Curio Co.’s most valued customers arrive and begin to look over our products. When the market reaches its busiest, I leave the station to scout a bit, knowing that nobody would be stupid enough to try and steal something from us. I head towards the most popular stations, knowing that they’ll have something good to offer. Whistling to myself, I examine several products, severely disappointed when nothing good is shown. I can’t even spot anyone who might be even close to meeting the requirements necessary for a high class staff member. Curiosity Company has an excess of lower class staff, like Runners, Lurers, Shakers, and Slips. What we really need are higher rankers, but I can’t seem to find anyone who has promising skills. I go through every single Invisible Organization station, even the small, unimportant ones, but there is no talent to be found.
Ms. Eveleen will be extremely displeased if I find no one, so I steel myself and walk towards the BP House stations. I hold a great dislike for BP Houses, since I came from one. They’ve been in collaboration with Invisible Organizations for quite some time, and provide top-class Lurers. But the idea of taking young children and training them to become prostitutes sickens me. I’m very grateful towards Ms. Eveleen for taking me away.
Baby Prostitute Houses often try to make their stands appealing, especially towards males. I walk straight through many of them, ignoring the sad looks on many of the little girl’s faces as they are whisked away by people. I stop when I see a young girl, her face dolled up like all the others around her, but not wearing an expression of sorrow, or even fear. Her small, pretty face is filled with contempt and hatred.
“What’s your name?” I ask. She looks at me and crosses her arms over her naked chest. Her thick black curls bounce as she shakes her head. I repeat my question until she looks up at me with scorn in her dark grayish green eyes.
“I have no name. Surely you would know that. None of us have names. Only Numbers.” Her voice is soft and careful, but she pours disdain into every word she utters.
“Your name is not something they can give you. Now, I’ll ask again. What is your name?”
“… I don’t know. How am I to know something no one has ever told me before?” She looks away, glaring at the forest scene behind her.
“Is there a problem here?” One of the saleswomen asks, hands on her hips.
I shake my head and say, “There’s no problem. I’m just trying to see if I would like to make a purchase today….”
She smiles, and with a little wiggle of her hips, tells me, “We have lots of selection to choose from. Would you like some help in making your decision? I can help you with that.”
I shake my head. “I don’t think I need your help toady; I’m fine, thank you.” She nods and turns away. I look back to the little girl and ask with finality, “What is your name?”
“Sara,” she breathes. I nod and take her by the hand. I drop the money onto the ground where Sara once stood and begin to walk back to the caravan. Before long, I reach our station and a boy taller than me grins as he hops down from the top of the van. Our stand is packed away, but a few products are climbing into the back, unsold. He walks towards me, hands in his pockets. I grip Sara’s hand tighter. As I do this, I trip over a tree root and fall to the ground. Sara looks at me, rooted to the spot. I’ve scratched myself rather badly on my knobby knees, and blood oozes form the wound. I wince, but I see Sara smiling widely. The boy runs to my side, and yells, “You have to be more careful, Erin!”
I bolt upright, recognizing the voice. But who was that? And why do I feel like I know him from somewhere? Who was he? And what were we doing there? There was also a little girl, named Sara, or something. She was… a part of an organization? Even as I try to piece together everything, it all soon becomes fuzzy and blurred. Soon, I don’t even remember anything, not even the sound of the boy’s voice.