PART 1: Chapter 1 - New Life
I awoke lying on a cold metal surface. I used my hands to push my body up as I looked around me, eyes wide in fear. Where was I? Who was I? I couldn't see anything, only a faint outline of a box situated in the corner. Shakily, I got to my feet and put my hands above me and I felt cool metal. A jolt threw me to the ground and I sat tightly in a corner of the strange metal box. Fear was racing through my veins, getting rid of any common sense. "Hello! Someone..please help me!" I scratched against the side of the box to no avail. My voice only echoed around me, taunting me where I sat in a ball. "Someone please" I whimpered as I wrapped my arms around my knees putting my face in between them. Only the sound of chains and pulleys could be heard along with my small breaths. Tears brimmed my eyes and one drop fell onto my cheek. I wiped it away with my sleeve and cursed myself for acting so weakly. Crying wasn't going to get me out of this mess.
My name is Marie
A single thought raced through my mind keeping my other thoughts at bay. Marie. That's..that's my name.
I wracked my brain for anything else, anything at all but was met with disappointment. I could remember people, family members? No names or faces flashed in mind. I could remember what a car was, a plane. I could remember how to calculate numbers but not who taught me. I knew this but not how I got myself into this predicament. Was this some sort of punishment? Was I a bad person? The room swayed slightly and I felt nausea creeping up on me. Taking a few deep breaths, it calmed. A groan and clonk broke my train of thought. I crouched, going to stand again when the box halted. I stumbled slightly as silence drew on. No longer could I hear the chains but only my small frightened breaths as I tried to think of any rational reason to what was happening. "H.hello? My.my names Marie" I called out but no one answered my desperate pleas. A light cracked through the ceiling and my gaze drew upward. It spread out vertically and I squinted, trying to see what lay behind it. The ceiling slid open, in two parts and I could hear something that wasn't me or this box. Light shone onto me and I closed my eyes. Slowly, I opened them and voices, clearer this time, spoke in what sounded like wonder.
"Wonder what shanks been sent up this time?"
"Guys, slim it" A voice spoke out, silencing the voices. I moved my arm away from my eyes and peered up.
"It's..its a girl"
"You better not be shucking with me"
"Let me see"
"Move it shuck face" I felt a headache building up as faces appeared from above me. I held a hand to temple and the pain numbed down.
"What did I say! Shut it" The loud voice said again and this time the boys listened. I analysed each of the faces. All boys. Teenagers; none older than 17 and none younger than 14.
A rope was thrown over the edge and I backed away but decided against it. I cautiously stepped into the loop. Staying in the box wasn't going to help. The rope was pulled up slowly and a hand reached over the top. I grabbed onto it as I was yanked roughly up and stumbled on the ground. A boy who looked like one of the oldest here, pushed his way through the group of about 15 boys who surrounded me. Yells of protest rang out as a heavily muscled dark-skinned boy approached me. He looked me up and down, as if analysing me eventually stepped forward and offered me his hand.
"Nice to meet ya shank." He said "Welcome to the Glade"