|The Revolution Trilogy|
|I Am One Of The Useless||Succeeded by:|
My character might consider circumstances differently than what most people would if the were in that situation because she sees it by comparison to other situations.
After the war, there was chaos. Everyone was fighting, for food, shelter, everything. We would have gone extinct, but then one person restored calm. He figured out a way to work everything out, so no one went hungry, or had any reason to fight. Or at least, for most of us. He was the first Leader.
The setup was simple. A Worker, a person with strength, and another Worker would have children, all with the same traits. They would become Workers as well, and so on. Men and women both were workers, if they came from that family.
Workers' jobs were to clean the streets, ration food, and build new houses. They also grew and harvested crops. Hunters' jobs were to bring home meat, and to defeat enemies, not that we had any.
Hunters were a little more tricky. If their child was male, he would join the hunting pack. If their child was a female, however, they wouldn't join the pack. Instead, they would become servants for whatever family wanted them, or paid for them. The only job the families had: Keep them alive until they have provided more males for the pack. Then the families could do whatever they wanted. "They" were called the Useless.
I am one of them. I had no purpose in the clan, other than to work for whatever family owned me, and to produce Hunters. That was my job, and my life. I am one of the Useless.
I stared out at the stars. It was more or less peaceful out here. If I ignored the fact that my wrist was chained to the stupid door, and that my stomach was empty, and just listened to the crackling fire and watched the stars, I could forget. I could forget so many things, but they were still there. I was still hungry, I still couldn't move, and I certainly couldn't go into the woods to hunt like I had always wanted to.
I wanted to run free through the woods, running silently on my arched feet, hunting. Then I would bring home the catch, a giant deer, and it would be enough to feed the whole city. Leader would congratulate me, I would smile, and then he would ask if I could stay a hunter. I would nod, say I would be proud to, and he would give me the honorary knife all hunters received.
I burst out laughing. Yeah, that was totally going to happen. "Why are you laughing?" I bit my lip and turned around towards the house. My family, it was ordered that we called them that, was comprised of a couple: male and female. They didn't have any children.
"I said, why are you laughing?" The woman, called Sara, was standing in the doorway, staring at me with distrust. Everyone is wary of me, because, although most Usless' have their spirit crushed early on, I had refused to break. I might follow every command, but that was only because of the threat. If I had the chance, I would vanish and run. I did, once, with my old family. Now, I'm just grateful to be in this one. Besides, no matter how good I might be at running, Hunters have trained their whole lives in the forest that surrounds us. I wouldn't stand a chance with them after me.
So, I just shrug, and lie back down onto the cold concrete. Sara frowns, storms back into the house, slamming the door behind her. I sigh, knowing had just signed off on some form of punishment. But, really, that didn't matter. Sara and Michael's punishments had nothing on my lasts'.
I woke up to the feeling of sunlight on my face, and someone yelling in my ear. "Get up! You know winter is coming, and we've got work to do!" I opened my eyes, and scrambled to my feet. Sarah already headed back inside, to get the key to my chain. She returned, released the chain from the doorway, and led me back inside, leaving it on me.
This was unusual, because, as a Useless, if I tried to run away I would be returned to my family or killed. However, if a captured Useless was brought back to a family, they usually ended up dead anyway... only far more painfully. In fact, I was pretty sure last night was the only reason that I was in this position.
"You should know better than to ignore like that to me last night. When I ask, you answer. Is that clear?" She barked. I nodded, dipping my head. "I thought your old family raised you better." I bite back an angry retort. She wasn't worth it. Besides, she just didn't understand. Workers and Hunters were raised to believe that we were little more than breeding stock and a handy slave-- I mean, grateful servant.
Sara smirks and turns away, locking the cupboard that contained my key and the kitchen knives, checking to make sure it was securely bolted. Please. I was too far away with my chain on to reach it. Guess it was habit.
"Just make some food." Sara purrs, evidently pleased that she had managed to quash my momentary rebellion, walking back to the bedroom. I knew that she and Michael had been trying to conceive, but with no luck. I kinda felt bad for her. After all, how hard must it be to try to have a child only to lose it?
I grab half a dozen eggs from the freezer, some milk, and a few strips of cured ham. Then, I crank turn on the water for the coffee. By the time Michael and Sara reenter the kitchen, I'm placing the ham onto the frying pan, so that it tastes like bacon-- a delicacy that is hardly ever allowed, and the coffee is sitting into four mugs. Two for here, and two in closed bottles for work.
If I'm honest, I'm hoping that Sara or Michael would tell me to grab a plate and have some food. I needed their express permission even to eat the food that I prepared. Ridiculous. Just as a subconscious reminder, I took out three plates, leaving one on top of the countertop behind me. I had my fingers metaphorically crossed.
Michael looks at the coffee appreciatively, and picks up his cup. He likes it black; she likes it with a dash of milk. I dish up the food, regretfully thinking of the plate behind me. They go to the dining room, sitting down and relaxing in their chairs, nursing their coffee. I was only permitted coffee once, when I had to pull an all-nighter for a retirement party for one of their coworkers. I found it unusual, although the aftertaste was rather unpleasant.
Sara becomes more attentive when she bites into my ham. "Delicious," She sighs, "It tastes just like the real thing." "Yes, ma'am, that was the point." I respond, trying not to display my hunger. After all, I had not eaten in... oh, probably a week or so. Actually, considering the extent of some of my periods without food, it isn't much. However, with winter coming along, it takes most of my energy to not freeze to death. It will only get worse when winter truly kicks in. I'll need a plan to sleep indoors, out of the snow. Hell, I'd even sleep in a dog kennel if it meant I could stay warm.
Michael nods in agreement, "This is quite excellent." I bite my lip, and hesitantly ask, "May I-" I change my mind mid-sentence, "Get your coats for you?" They nod, stand up, taking their plates with them into the kitchen; the dining room is too far away to reach with the chain. I help them into their coats, hand them their coffees, then await their instructions for today.
This time, it is Michael who gives the instructions. "Today, you will be cleaning out the food cupboards, checking for any signs of weevils, or spoiling. With winter coming, we will need to know our food stock. Although neighbors would help out when there was a lack of food in a household, it was deeply frowned upon, and Leader strongly disliked it.
I nodded, and turned to the cupboards. There were three: the meat, the vegetables & fruit, and the grain. I was to dispose of any and all uneatable food, and return everything to its spot. Sara and Michael would be taking inventory, so it was far too risky to try to sneak some food. The price I would pay wasn't worth an apple.
By the time I finished sorting it all out (there were only a couple bad fruits and vegetables, and a small piece of meat that hadn't been cured properly), and put it all back, it was almost noon. My family was out working, designing a new house for a newly wed couple, who, for the moment, were living at their parents' house until it was completed.
I envied them for having a place of their own to live, without people thinking they were better than you just because of their genetics. I mean, come on! It's not something we can control, and, if it was, I would most certainly not be in this position. Literally. My chain was starting to rub against my skin painfully.
So, I sat against the wall and did what I do best: dream.
I strode towards Leader's Manor, my unattached chain swinging from my hand. He looks up and frowns at me. "Useless do not go outside without-" I punch him square in the face. He staggers back, then roars, "You insolent little bitch!" I sweep my leg around, knocking him onto his knees. "Not bitch. Hunter."
My chain wrapped around Leader's throat, pulling it tight. He chokes for breath, face turning pale. His hands claw at my arms, but it's too late. He slumps to he floor, but I continue to strangle until he is truly and irreversibly dead. Only then do I release my hold, standing over his fallen body. I give a great speech about how the Useless had triumphed over the most powerful person, how the weapon used to oppress us was what was used to take him down, how we could now hunt, how we were going to make sure this never happened again...
My eyes jerked open. I was not aware of falling asleep, although it must have been somewhere in my daydreams of changing this. Exactly that, I think, dreams. All they're ever going to be. The door to the house was opening, and I realized the work day was over.
Sitting up quickly, I climbed to my feet, picking up the spoiled food and putting it onto a plate, knowing that they would want to look them over before throwing away any food. Because clearly, even after being a useless for all these years, I didn't know what spoiled food looks like.
They walked into the kitchen, and Sara took out the sheet of inventory. Michael took the plate of bad food, examining it carefully. Sara opened the cupboards, and checked of everything on the list. "It's all here. How about the spoiled food?" "Definitely bad. No one could possibly eat this stuff." Michael reported. Sara nodded, then turned to look at me. "Not bad. You didn't steal anything." She admitted.
I shrugged, then looked at Michael. Why would I? Everyone knows what happens if you steal. It's not exactly something anyone would look forward to. "Same for me. Now, cook dinner. I'm starving," Michael says, as the couple went to the dinner table, and started chatting. I bit my lip to keep from retorting. Like they know what it feels like to starve. Well, I suppose, to them, not eating every five hours was the equivalent of starving.
I cooked another meal, this time including some vegetables, and a fresh loaf of bread that I had made earlier. I reached for the plates, than turned to look at my family. Sara held up two fingers. I nodded curtly, trying to hide my disappointment. I served the food, and put their servings on the counter, as close as I could get to them. Michael rolled his eyes, but took the plates and brought them over to his wife and himself.
When they finished, I busied myself washing the dishes. When I have nothing left to do, I sit down, resting against the wall, underneath my chain. After a moment, Sara grabs a bowl, unceremoniously scraping the scraps leftover into it. Then, she dropped it in front of me on the floor. She didn't say anything, but she gestured at it, then turned and left.
I repressed a sigh of frustration, keeping my expression demure. They made it look like a dog bowl on purpose. They've done it before and will do it again; it is a reminder of my place. Like I needed to be reminded of that with a damned leash on me.
"Have you learned your lesson?" Sara asked tartly, eyebrows raised. I nodded mutely, not trusting myself to open my mouth without exploding. Really, a week with that chain on me was really starting to wear on me, both mentally and physically. "Very well. Since you've behaved, you will not go through this tomorrow. But I can do this whenever I feel I need to, and longer if necessary." Sara continued, her eyes dead serious.
I nodded again, and she slowly relaxed. "Good. Now, it's almost night, so you're going to be chained up again. Would you rather I used your other wrist? This one seems to be raw." Michael asked, looking at it with concern. "Yes please." I replied, looking at my right wrist. It still hurt, even though the chain was no longer on.
That was the strange thing about this family. They would go from heartless to kind and worried in an instant. It was rather strange. I wasn't going to complain, though. I could be -and once was- a lot worse off.
The rest of the week continued about the same, only I was no longer chained to the kitchen wall during the day. The key and knives were still padlocked shut; they always had been, and I still checked the food weekly. Anything that was going soft or starting to go stale was used for breakfast or dinner. The workers, who weren't doing building the house, dropped off the rations. They were smaller and more stringy, less meat, and almost never vegetables or grain.
With fall fading fast, and winter approaching, I often cooked smaller amounts of food, and ate even less. I was always hungry now, but so was everyone else. I knew that I would need warmer clothes, instead of the ragged, dirty dress I currently wore. However, Sara was busy making clothes for herself and Michael. The most I could hope for would be that they would chain me up inside the house, instead of outside.
One afternoon, where I was sweeping the floor, I heard a pattering sound. Glancing out the window, I realized it was snowing. My usual sleeping spot was covered in snow, and I shivered as I imagined waking up with that over me, instead of sunlight.
I had never had winter with this family before. My other family retired to the Elderly Place, where they were cared for by workers. I had been bought by Michael, and brought home as a gift for Sara. She had been delighted. I had been more along the lines of worried, since my last family, well, saying they were cruel would be an understatement. I had been sold at the end of spring, and personally couldn't wait to get away.
This family, however, had been reasonably kind to me, but they were harsh and strict when it came to rules and breaking them. And, since one of their rules was that I, a useless, would sleep outside. That had been okay during the summer and fall, but I doubted it would be okay during winter.
When my family returned home, I shook the snow from their coats outside, and hung them up so they would be dry by tomorrow. After serving them, I brought the dishes to the table. "It's snowing outside." I reported, putting down the meal, some hot soup, using some meat, meat juice, and corn. I had cut into some of the bread, and given them each a thick slice. It was one of my better dishes, but was both a delicacy time consuming. I figured "hot soup" could send little messages to their heads about the cold. Plus, it never hurts to be extra-good when asking for something.
Michael just nodded, and picked up his spoon. "This looks delicious," Sara congratulated, also taking a sip. "Try soaking the bread in the broth, so it's juicy." I suggested, then bit my lip. I wasn't supposed to tell them what to do. Sara, however, just nodded and dipped the bread into the soup. Michael did the same.
"Um, it's snowing outside, so it'll be cold outside tonight." I started, wishing I could just spit it out. "So, I was wondering if, well, I- I could, um, sleep in the house tonight?" I winced, ready for Michael or Sara to jump out their seat, and hit me in the face, then chain me outside despite the snow.
Sara and Michael looked at each other. Sara shrugged, and Michael spoke. "Very well. You will be chained to the wall of the kitchen, and will continue business around her like normal." I bit my lip. I couldn't believe it. They weren't going to lock me outside, and laugh if I get a cold, or forbid me to eat just for the fun of watching me beg... I stop those thoughts as soon as they happen; it's better not to relive the past.
"Thank you!" I gasped, dipping my head. clutching the doorframe from surprise. So, miracles do happen. "Let go. You'll damage the woodwork!" Michael suddenly snapped. I jerked my hand away from the wall, dipped my head once more, then backed away into the kitchen. Well, maybe not miracles, but, well, good moments.
It was strange waking up inside the house, staring at the cupboards rather than the outside of the house. Instead of the feeling of sunshine, or snow, I just felt cool concrete under me. It was, if anything, easier to get up and started in the morning, because I was already in my working quarters. Also, if Sara or Michael overslept, I could start working immediately instead of waiting around. It was a feeling of independence, but it didn't last long.
I had made the mistake of dropping some grain, and it had spilled onto the floor. I hadn't swept yet so it was dirty, and the glass container that was holding it broke into it. I was being yelled at, when I made a mistake. "You spilled it all over! Do you think we can just get more? What's wrong with you?" Sara had been yelling. "Nothing is wrong with me! If you want problems, go look in the goddamn mirror!" I snapped. I was so sick of people ordering me around like I was less than them because my genetics were different.
Sara's eyes had widened, and she spoke in a deadly whisper. "What did you say?" I bit my lip, but didn't look away. She let out an angry shriek, and stormed off to tell Michael. I knew I was screwed. I just hoped that they were more lenient than my old family. Yeah, right. Well, maybe this time they'll kill me... I'd rather be dead than have to go through that again.
Michael walked into the kitchen, and stared at me. "Did you really say that there was something wrong with my wife?" He asked. "I- I did, sir." I replied, looking past him at the far wall. He frowned at me, then asked me another question. "If you were in my position, what would you do if your slave just insulted your wife?" "I don't know, sir." I mumbled, glancing at the ground before looking up again. I could feel my cheeks coloring at that question.
"What do you suggest Sara?" Michael asked. "Well, it is cold outside." Sara shrugged, glaring at me. All my hope vanished into the wind. "Yes. It is." Michael replied. Then he turned back to me. His eyes were blazing with rage. "And what do you suggest?" When I didn't answer he slammed his fist against the wall. "What do you suggest?" He roared at me. I couldn't help but flinch. "I don't know sir. Maybe I would be left chained to the wall all the time, like before when I was inappropriate?" I whispered, staring at my bare feet. I think I know where this is going, and I don't like it.
"Very well. I will combine your two ideas, and add my own to the mix." Michael nodded satisfactorily. I gulped and dipped my head. "Sir, please, it won't happen again." I begged. He just chained me to the wall and left the room, probably to talk to Sara out of earshot.
Well, I deserved it. After all, useless' like me are supposed to serve. Better than death, right? It was Leader's mercy that kept us from death. We owe him our servitude in exchange. Or, at least, that was what my families tried to engrain into my head when I was growing up. For some reason, I never believed them; wonder why.
The door to the kitchen slammed in front of my face, and I was left alone. I huddled up onto the floor, and felt a single tear roll down my cheek. I wiped it off, and took deep breaths. When they come back, I will take my punishment like a warrior. I reassured myself. Like a hunter.
I figured out what Michael's idea was that night. He chained me outside, like Sara wanted, but instead of being my wrist, it was around my neck. It was the worst sign of humiliation a useless could get; it was like a leash for a dog. He also used my "idea". He had me chained to the kitchen wall during the day, also by my neck. And, of course, that ever-classical "No food." Although, honestly, that doesn't really effect me. Most useless don't get food during the wintertime anyway; it's too scarce to waste on us.
Michael and Sara kept up the regime, even when the snow set in. I would wake up covered in snow more often then not, and my ragged dress did little to protect me from it. They also locked the food cupboards, except during time to cook so there was no way for me to get to it. Not that I would be stupid enough to do so. By now my neck was rubbed raw, and it hurt every time I moved. Michael also tended to hit or kick me when I did something wrong, which, thankfully, rarely happened. I always was graceful; probably part of my genetics.
My family finally loosened up after about a month. I was chained by the wrist at night inside, and released in the morning. I was also allowed to eat again, although because of wintertime, that didn't mean much. Michael wasn't as violent, and, since I rarely made mistakes on my tasks, it became a small to nonexistent problem.
My family seemed content. Spring was coming, and I was looking forward to sleeping outside. Although I was kept inside during the night, which was good, I missed the smell of the outdoors. The wet-grass dewy smell, the crisp night air, and the sharp smell of tree wood.
I woke up one morning, lying on the cold floor of the kitchen, with Sara unlocking me. She didn't undo my neck though, just separated me from the wall. She led me to the dining room and sat me down in a chair, chaining me to it, before sitting next to Michael. I immediately feel a growing sense of panic. Whatever this was about, I was sure I wasn't going to like it.
"It's spring." Sara told me. I nodded, wondering where this was going. "That means you'll have to go to the festival." She continued. The Spring Festival was annual, and everyone had to go, even Useless'; it was mandatory. I had always just been parked under this big dirty-yellow tent for the duration, along with most other Useless' my age and younger. "And, now that you're the right age for a useless, you'll need to go to the 'roomed' part of the festival." She finished calmly.
I leaped to my feet. "I refuse to go!" I shouted, glaring at Sara. Michael shoved me back into the chair, forcing me to sit. "If you fight against us or try to resist in any way, we will use force." Michael warned me. They had made up their minds. But, I wasn't going to give up that easy.
It turned out I should've given up. Whenever I resisted something, they would just kick me or chain me by the neck for the day or night. Basically, my life became hell. The worst part was after all this, I was still going to the festival, which was tomorrow. I was to nervous to sleep, but, eventually, I closed my eyes.
The next morning, I was woken up by Sara, who, like yesterday, only unchained me from the doorway, leaving the chain to rub against my neck. Michael held onto it like a leash, which I guess it was. We walked to the festival, with Sara following behind. It was still early, so most of the places were still setting up. We passed all of them and stopped outside a small barn. Michael dragged me inside.
There were hunters of all ages sitting in groups, chatting and cleaning weapons on one side of the room. On the other were bars, with the useless' chained to one. Michael attached me to the nearest one that was available, then signed his name on a sheet of paper.
"I'll get you when the festival is done!" He called over his shoulder. Sara dropped the key to my chain in a small box by my feet, then locked it. "All the males have the same key that opens all these boxes." She explained, before signing her name next to Michael's and leaving.
The barn was soon filled. The last two workers closed the doors, then went off to go enjoy themselves. Leader stepped forward and locked the door shut, then slipped the key on a necklace around his neck. He climbed to a podium and cleared his throat.
"You all know why you're here. Now then, hunters, I'll call one of your names at a time, as I draw them from this box. Choose the useless you want, then bring her to the designated stall." Leader says, pointing to us. I turn aound and realized that I was literally chained to a door. Leader calls a name, and I turn around quickly.
"Zack." Zack was an older man with graying hair. He eyed us creepily, then picked the one with the nicest-shaped body. No surprise. I saw just about every hunter with their eyes on her. Zack went through her door, closing and locking it behind her.
Leader went through names, and I wasn't chosen. What if no one chose me? Would it mean something bad would happen? I started panicking, but the thought of going behind the door was even worse than not being chosen. I had nothing to worry about though.
"Richard." Richard was younger than most of the others, with dark hair and brown eyes. He looked me over, then chose me. He unlocked me, then led me into the room behind me. Then Richard chained me to a bar right above a bed. I had never touched one before, much less sat on it. But I was too scared to enjoy the comfort. Richard locked the door then turned around to face me.
A few hours later, I was led back to the main room. Richard chained me to the bar, then left to go to the festival. I noticed hunters left as soon as they were done, but useless' had to wait for their families. Also, the bars were attached to high for us to be able to sit. Slowly the place emptied out as the festival ended.
By the time Sara and Michael came, I was too tired to really care that I was hungry, or that my neck hurt. When we got home, they just chained me to the doorway outside and went inside. I collapsed onto the ground and realized I hated the festival. And it was still mandatory. I cried softly, and fell asleep.
Nothing interesting or different happened in my life until summer. Sara and Michael made an announcement. They would be selling me off. Sara was going to have a kid, and the couldn't afford me and it. "I can't afford another mouth to feed." Sara told me, patting her stomach. "I'll eat less! And work harder! And take care of the baby! Anything you want me to!" I pleaded, hating myself for begging.
It was pointless. I was scheduled to be "gotten rid of" the next day. I was awake the whole night.
I was begging mentally that no one would want me. Of course, a man stepped forward anyway. He and Michael argued over my price. It went something like: "She's strong, and doesn't eat much. I'll give her to you for $750." "Any useless can eat little, that's no great accomplishment. I'll buy for $200." Then the man's wife took my chain from Sara and secured it to a loop around her waist, since the two men had finally settled at $500.
The man gave Michael a wad of money, then turned and started walking away, the woman following. I turned one last time, trying to catch Michael and Sara's attention. They were to busy feeling Sara's stomach and laughing. I could not help but wish them well. Even after all the hell they put me through, they were good people. It wasn't their fault they were raised that way.
My new family was a lot more serious than my 'old' one. They were always in a bad mood, and tended to take it out on me. Typical. Attack the girl who can't run away.
They also didn't explain things to me. While Sara and Michael had given reasons for doing things, my new family would just hit me if I asked questions. However, I learned their names were Claire and Peter. I also learned my time with Richard at the festival had been "unsuccessful", which meant I wasn't going to have a kid like Sara. So that was one problem solved. The next was convincing them that I had to get my injuries checked out before they got infected. Michael and Sara would take me once a year.
I brought it up during dinner that night. "I need something." I began, bowing even though my chain rubbed against my already sore neck. Peter glared at me and put down his fork. Claire did the same. "My cuts will get infected if they're not treated." I said timidly. "What cuts?" Claire asked. "From working around the house, sleeping outside, and-" I paused, knowing I was about to lie, "my disobeying you."
That was complete BS. I hadn't disobeyed at all, it was them being rude jerks. I figured that if I said that though, I would be in trouble. "I don't think so." Peter said. "But if you don't, I'll die of infection and then you'll lose your $500." I replied, saying it in a respectful tone. Claire shrugged. "What's the harm? We'll do it eventually. Now, get out!" The last sentence was directed at me, and I quickly left the room and sat in the kitchen.
They didn't take me until a month had passed. Claire had secured me to that loop on her waist. I hadn't gotten the damn chain of my neck since I became theirs, so I was eager to get it off, even if only for a minute or two. We walked into the healer's shop. Bandages, bottles of pills, and other medical objects lined the shelves on walls.
A man was sitting in a chair, wrapping bloody bandages into a roll. He turned and threw it into a bin, noticing us as he did so. "Ah, yes. You're Claire and Peter, correct?" He asked. While Peter signed his name on a sheet of paper and told the healer why we were here, Claire undid my chain and slipped it off my neck.
I felt air flood around my raw skin and I relished the breeze that tickled the spot where my chain had been. Claire shoved me onto a chair that didn't have a back, just a seat, armrests and a footstool. I sat on it, and Claire told me to put my feet and hands onto red X's.
Immediately, the healer walked over to me and secured my ankles to the position using a sort of chain, only it just had the clasp part, which was molded onto the sides of the chair. He did the same to my wrists, only on the armrest. I tried to move a little bit, but was secured tightly.
I noticed one of my legs had an annoying itch, and I squirmed in my chair, trying to soothe it. The healer shook his head and pulled out a rope and tied my legs together at the knees so I couldn't move at all. I felt a moment of panic, but then relaxed. He wouldn't hurt me. I think.
The healer rubbed some ointment onto all my scratches, cuts, bruises, and my neck. He advised my family to chain me by the wrist at nights so my neck could heal, that I should sleep inside, and that I shouldn't wear the chain during the day. Then the healer mumbled something in Peter's ear.
Peter paid him, then secured my chain to my wrist, and undid all the clasps and rope on me. Claire took the chain and looped it to her waist. The two of them were silent, but I noticed what looked like anger in Peter's eyes. I wondered what I had done wrong.
As soon as we got home, Peter exploded. "That idiot told me you were underfed! Is that true?" I shook my head, even though on the inside I agreed with the healer. "And he told me to give you new clothes!" Peter continued. He ranted on about more stuff that the healer had told him to do.
Claire led him to a separate room, trying to calm him down. She returned a few moments later, and secured me to the wall before her explosion, only she was quieter. "You little bitch. You asked to go to him so he would tell us how to live our lives." Claire hissed.
Then she started kicking me, her eyes gleaming viciously. After a few minutes, she left, closing the door behind her. I collapsed onto the floor, and watched my blood trickle onto the tiles.
Winter slid by, and soon it was spring. With spring came the Spring festival. Claire led me to the barn again. I was the first useless there. Peter filled out his signature and left, Claire following suit after putting my key into the box like Sara had done last year.
I was alone again, with most of the hunters eyeing me with a gleam in their eye. I noticed one of them imitating something, then pointing to me. My cheeks flushed and I stared firmly at my feet, wishing I was somewhere else. Anywhere else.
This time I had been chosen by a muscular man named Carl, who had seemed to have been vey intent on what he was doing. By the time he dragged me back out and secured me to the bar, all the other hunters were gone and only a handful of useless' remained.
Soon, I was left alone with Leader. He smiled and walked over to me. "Your new family has put you in your place." He said cheerfully. I smiled weakly, then ducked my head. Leader told me to bow, but my chain made it impossible to do so.
Leader frowned and hit me in the face, the force of it knocking my head against the bar. "I'm sorry, Leader." I apologize, while resisting the urge to smack him in the face.
At that moment my family came for me. Peter saw Leader and got into a conversation. Claire took me and started leading me home, staying silent. Leader and Peter were still talking, but when I tried to eavesdrop, Claire didn't stop, and I was forced to move or fall over and be dragged along.
Claire got impatient I was taking so long and broke into a run, making fall onto the ground and drag after her. I held onto my chain so I wouldn't choke to death. Claire turned sharply and went into an alley instead of continuing home.
"We need to kill Leader, and free all the useless." She announced. I stared at her, my mouth slightly open. "Peter is onto me. We have to go now!" Claire told me. I stared back. "You're still mine, so I'm taking you whether you like it or not. Unless you'd rather live with Peter and Leader." Clare said grimly.
I thought about it for half a second, then nodded. "Okay. I'll come with you."