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Sight of the Sightless
In a world of darkness, it becomes simple to detect the underlying tones within a common interaction. Evil is open to the ear as fire is drawn to the eye; but there are no eyes, and there is no sight. We listen, and we learn.
I am a Level Four Slave; out of five levels, I am in one of the worser positions. Here, our sight is stripped from our senses. We are slaves to entertainment and pleasure, whether that be our voices in song or our subordination in bed. This is the life of Level Four, and it is a sorrowful one.
Our eyes are cut out very young, perhaps two or three; I can’t remember. I know what colors are, and yet all I see is black. I dream, sometimes; but those are rare indeed, and when they do occur, they wisp through my fingers before I can reach out and grasp them. The dreams are always arriving. The dreams are always departing.
I am fifteen years old. Or sixteen. Somewhere around there. It’s difficult to remember anything of myself, what I look like, how tall I am, where I’ve come from. My slender body portrays me as healthy, and my smooth face is one free of scars and acne. My eyes feel small and puny, my forehead a mile long. Others tell me I am average looking. I don’t even know what “average” looks like.
My master is said to be “average” as well, but still strong and fierce for his older age. He has a wife and three children, triplets; two girls and one boy. They are all eighteen. Others have told me they are beautiful.
As a Level Four Slave, my entertainment is solely for the abuse of the females of the household. Master is often gone, while his wife and daughters stay at home. The daughters, Felicity and Autumn, receive an education that is completed from an advanced online system that allows them to participate in class from home. They sit, with what I’m sure are eyes glued to the screen, for over eight hours a day. And then, afterward, they are busily communicating with their friends via social networking sites.
It is an unexpected event when they leave their recliners.
The son is different. Quiet and frustrated, most of the time. In all honesty, he scares me the most; though he has never laid a hand on me - unlike his daughters - his pained tone of voice tells me... well, nothing. This is what frightens me; I do not know what he is thinking from his inflection. I can tell what anybody is feeling, except for him.
His name is Greyson, but everybody calls him Razor, for his sharp intuitions and intelligence. I call him Mr. Taylor.
The mother is neither cruel nor motherly. She is wrong in the head, though nobody knows what exactly her mental illness is or what caused it. All I know is that she lies in bed twenty-three hours of the day, and the other hour is filled with eating, using the restroom, and talking to her children in small conversations. She has talked to me once before. She is kind, but something in her is gone that I know will not return.
Today is one of the days she has hidden in her room, away from the distress of the household between the bickering sisters and angered brother. I am in the kitchen, feeling the clean dishes and slowly putting them away where they belong.
“You better hurry,” Cynthia whispers behind me. She’s a Level One Slave, a waitress of the house. She runs around serving people. Level Two and Three Slaves have varying levels of physical labor; Level Two is within the house, while Level Three is manual, often outside the house. Level Five is the worst and is not spoken of.
I like Cynthia. She’s boisterous and loud, and when the girls torment me, she is quick to shoo them off in a way that won’t get her punished. Only Master can do the punishing, and luckily, he is not one to divert to the poor mistreatment of his girls. He appreciates it when they are disciplined, for he is never around enough to discipline them himself. Cynthia does it for him.
“Why?” I murmur back, picking up my pace all the same. I have to be careful, though; without my sight, corners that I thought were somewhere else would suddenly be painfully wedged in my ribcage. I’ve been blind long enough to know this house inside and out, but still... there’s a high chance that I’ll get hurt by my own doing.
“The girls are in a bad mood today,” she grumbles. “One was asked out by the other girl’s crush; she said yes. Much drama.”
I roll my eyes. Their problems are petty and insignificant.
Cynthia shuffles out of the room. I can tell every member of this house by their walk. Well, except for-
“Hello,” Mr. Taylor says softly.
I jump as usual; his footsteps are dead silent. I can never tell where he’s coming from or when he’s coming until he gets here.
“Hi,” I say, turning towards his voice. I clear my throat. “Um. Hello, Mr. Taylor.” My voice has this formal tone to it that’s both small and polite.
“I told you, call me Greyson,” he snaps, seeping into his usual annoyed mood.
“Fine,” I growl back, before realizing who I’m talking too. “Sorry,” I add, my inflection voicing a different opinion.
He merely scoffs before blurting, “What’s a Level Five Slave?”
I stop drying a small plate and stand rigid, feeling but not paying attention to the warm water droplets slowly dripping down my hand.
“I’m not permitted to tell you that information.”
“Oh, shut up,” he says, clearly irritated. “I’m in charge of you. So tell me.”
I grit my teeth, hard enough to cause a headache. It comes. I close my eyes, even though I can’t see anyways.
“I can’t do that.”
“Yes, you can.”
“Why not?” He asks.
“It’s forbidden,” I say bitterly.
“Not today, it isn’t.”
It’s wrong to disobey a second master of the house. It’s wrong to speak of what a Level Five Slave is. Mostly, it is wrong for him to place me in this situation knowing I have no way of getting out of it.
“A Level Five Slave is the worst among us,” I say after a long moment. I hear a thump, and realize Greyson is sitting on top of the counter beside me. I can feel the heat radiating off his body, and I stiffen. “You can’t tell anybody else.”
“Cross my heart,” he says indignantly.
I exhale. Inhale. Exhale again.
“Just say it,” he snaps impatiently.
“They’re the ones who commit Ritual Sacrifice.”
“Wait... what?” He asks, openly shocked.
“When an owner passes away, no matter what, their slave is committed to death by their own hand. They must throw themselves upon the burning corpse of their owner as they are set to fire in a sacred temple. If they refuse, they are forced to do so; if they have family, the rest of the family must join them, no matter if they are a Level Five Slave or not.”
“Do you have a Level Five family member?” He asks quietly. But there is no masking the undeniably obvious horror at my words.
I’m quiet, but if I don’t speak, I know I’ll regret it later.
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
Another long hesitation on my part.
“My twin sister.”