Marks; Chapter One | Teen Ink

Marks; Chapter One

January 30, 2019
By BookBug SILVER, Clovis, California
BookBug SILVER, Clovis, California
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Anderson, don't talk aloud. You'll lower the IQ of the whole street." -SH

We all have a tattoo. Every person on the planet has a tattoo unique to them. It is a symbol representing a part of their personality. Ironically mine is hope. Ironic because I was eighteen and the only other marks on my body were my parent’s. When somebody loves you, their mark appears on your body. I suppose it was my own fault, I’m not very social. I prefer to read and write, not talk. I sigh, tugging my sleeve back down to hide my mark. It was rare for anybody to have less than five marks. Everybody wanted as many marks as possible so everybody was as kind as possible. In other words, everybody was fake. I glanced around the café, watching as people chatted happily at the different tables –even the baristas were talking up a storm. I hate talking. My favorite words are on paper. Words that are rare, yet elysian. That means blissful, or delightful. Here is another elysian word. Logophile. It is what I am. Literally, a lover of words. And rare, just like the word. Socialization is so important, that so few take the time to study. It wasn’t difficult to tell that was what I was doing, not when I had three thick books in front of me. Which is probably why I am receiving strange looks from few people in the café. One of which who was making his way over. I try to hold back a groan. Not another one. Every so often, people got the idea that they could accomplish something by making the anti-social, logophile fall in love with them. Not happening. Besides, this man was too old for me. His hair was already turning grey, even if he did seem to be a solider. Clairvoyance was telling me he wasn’t just a normal man. I lean back in my seat, I don’t want to talk to him, I just want him to leave.
            “You’re quite the scholar aren’t you, Miss. Ruby?” He says, picking up one of my books, Frankenstein. Who was he? How did he know my name? And why did he think he was allowed to touch my books? Nervous, I frown at him and open my mouth to speak but he cuts me off.
            “Miss. Ruby, I don’t have time for questions.” He sighs, putting my book back down on the table -I am quick to snatch it up- and leans back casually in his chair. “I am Mr. X. I work with the United Colonies government and I have to say we have become very intrigued with your academically rich pursuits.” Why was the government watching me? That was a blatant invasion of privacy.
            “We have encountered a… complication that requires the involvement of somebody with highly advanced literary knowledge.” He continues. Blatherskite. “In essence, we need you. All other literary advisors are occupied with other cases, including negotiating peace with the Four Kingdoms.” Okay, so basically they want me to help them even after stalking me? I am quick to categorize my feelings; offended, defensive, distrustful and… excited. Why on Earth am I excited? There is absolutely no way I am going to agree to this! There was no sense in trusting this man, and no sense in trusting the government.

            “Mr. X,” I say, gathering up my books, “with absolutely no respect, I will not. One does not simply walk up to another when they are complete strangers and say that they work for the government and need the other’s help. Have a nice day.” I stand with the last part and go to walk out but he grabs my arm. How dare he touch me? His blue eyes are cold, even as he smiles.

            “Miss. Ruby, you don’t understand.” Mr. X chuckle’s as he stands, effectively towering over me. “You will be rewarded lavishly if you succeed, besides you don’t have a choice.” He was threatening to kidnap me. That’s it. I’m moving. Fear settles in my gut, but I know better than to let it cloud my judgement.

            “And if I chose to yell and kick as you lead me out of here?” I say, raising an eyebrow until I am certain it has disappeared into my brown bangs.

            “Then everybody in this café will die.” Wow. Simple and straight to the point. I hadn’t thought he was capable of it. I glance around. There was at least dozen people in the café. People whose blood would be on my hands. Sonder hit me. That is the realization that each passer-by is living a life as complex –if not more- as my own. I sigh, hanging my head and hoping I was making the right choice.
            “Alright,” I say, looking back up at Mr. X. “I’ll go.”

The author's comments:

Chapter One in a serialized story I call Marks

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