“Eighteen Himas for these two fine ladies here!” shouted the auctioneer. I snorted.
Fine young ladies? Yeah right.
I kept my gaze ahead and moved my hand to intertwine my fingers with my sister, Summer. I could feel her hands shaking, she was scared.
My gaze looked critically over the buyers: Rich people in fancy clothes that I had only ever worn at fancy parties. They must live on those things if they wore them to slave or servant auctions – take your pick, the concept is still the same.
I then remembered the day our parents disappeared.
My mother stood in front of me and looked at my face, holding me out at arm’s length while my father held Summer next to his chest as she cried.
“Ripple, whatever happens to us, you must promise me you’ll be strong. Not for us, but for your sister.”
I nodded solemnly. “I will,” I said, my voice catching. Then my mom gave me a hug and stroked her hand through my blue hair. She then pulled away and looked at me with her sad, brown eyes.
Then she and my dad pulled away and left. I wrapped my arms around my sister as she cried.
Back then, we hadn’t known what we know now. We were both born odd. But while my sister had reddish-brown hair and forest green eyes – a normal color – I had bright blue hair and ocean blue eyes.
Only a few years ago, when we reached 13, did I notice something different. At first, it was slightly pointed ears.
Then when a group of boys tried to mess with us, I felt my gut pinch, right before water burst from the sewers and drenched the boys.
I knew then what I was; I was a Fae. My sister had her ears, but I didn’t figure out her powers until she grew a vine around our last owner and flung him into a wall, killing him instantly.
“Twenty Himas!” shouted the auctioneer, bringing me out of my thoughts.
Currently, she and I wore cloaks that hid our faces and our ears that would certainly get us sent to the execution chambers.
Mine was blue, to help me hide my blue hair while hers was normal brown. Lucky her, she wasn’t as obvious as me in appearance. My blue hair was like a beacon to what I was.
Then a shout rose from the crowd. “Let us see their faces! I want to know what I’m biding for.”
I suddenly felt as if a stone had lodged itself in my throat and I held back a gasp. My sister started shaking even more, her hands became sweaty. I whispered, “Summer, be careful, don’t let them out.”
She nodded wordlessly and squeezed my hand tighter.
The man walked up behind us and I acknowledged him by turning my head and growling, “Flip up our hoods, and it’ll be the last mistake you ever make.”
He raised an eyebrow at me. “A servant defying me? Posh!” he shouted, then yanked back our hoods. When he pulled mine, he caught my hair and my head went back with his hand as I cried out in pain.
Suddenly I felt my gut clench and I grabbed onto Summer, placing my hand on her shoulder as I calmed myself. I could feel my watery powers wanting to push out, but I choked it down.
When I got a control of my powers, I looked up at Summer to see her staring wide eyed at the people below. Turning my head, I saw them staring.
I blinked and then came to realize that they were staring at me.
They must have seen my pointy ears for one of them spoke up shouting, “Fae fiend!”
Another shouted, “Send her to the executioners!”
Then more shouted other things at me, some not so pleasant to hear. One even called me a witch.
I shut my eyes and clung to my sister. This was all some horrible dream that I was going to wake from in a few minutes.
But no, it wasn’t.
I opened my eyes and looked at my sister who turned her frightened gaze at me. She nodded and I closed my eyes, calling upon my gift, or curse, whatever you consider it, nothing happened.
All of a sudden there were angry shouts and I looked out at the crowds. Opening my eyes again, I saw a group of soldiers pushing through the buyers.
A lump rose in my throat and I grabbed onto my sister. My eyes flashed with fear that for once, I show her. Her eyes widened before I whispered, “Go.”
She nodded and whirled around. The auctioneer tried to grab her but I curled my hands into a fist and punched him in the jaw, sending him sprawling onto the stage floor.
I then watched as my sister disappeared and then I felt cuffs slap onto my wrists.
I turned to look at the soldiers and lifted my chin up in defiance.
One of them, the leader I presume from his appearance – A suit of white armor and a large gray cape pinned up on his left shoulder – shouted, “Take her to the chambers!”
I glared at him, my eyes shining with defiance as they hauled me past him. We plodded along and even though I was being hauled off to the execution chambers, I lifted my head high as if accepting my fate, rejecting the hostility around me.
As we went, I glanced around me. We were in the wealthier sections of the city and I noticed several other servants who looked up from their work at me as I passed in handcuffs with a group of soldier’s around me. They took stalk of my servant outfit and gave me looks of pity.
I didn’t want their pity, so in turn I raised my head and narrowed my eyes.
But I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. Several looked worse than I did, with faces smeared of dirt and occasionally, blood; sunken in eyes; bruises; bare feet; and tattered, worn, poorly fitting clothes.
I myself wasn’t in the best condition either. I glanced down at my attire: old black boots that stretched up to my knees, torn skinny jeans, a once white shirt stained brown, and my cloak.
But for some strange reason, any cuts I had gotten recently had faded – maybe something that Fae have – the only remnants were small scars on my right arm, and left cheek.
Eventually, the guards led me to a stretch of smooth metal where a large hover plane stood.
The plane was black as night with a red and blue eagle face on it. White stars surrounded it -- remnants of the once mighty United States of America. The two wings poked out of the side of the ship where glowing anti-gravity pads resided, allowing the craft to lift into the air.
I found myself staring at the ship. It was beautiful. Then again, I hadn’t seen many ships up close before.
I followed between the guards while one of them shoved my shoulder with the point of his gun. I turned to glare at him.
“Sit!” was all he said.
I glared at him for a few seconds before sitting down on one of the hard seats that lined the ship’s interior. From then on, I stared straight ahead at the wall until I felt the ship lurch to a stop. “Alright, get out!” the guard who had hit me said.
I stood up from my chair and stepped toward the door. After a few seconds, there was a sound of steel and grinding as the door was lowered to form a ramp. I followed after the lead guard as he stepped out of the ship and onto the platform. People in white uniforms bustled to and fro, checking the ship and what not as was standard procedure.
I glanced at them as I was led off of the platform and onto another ramp made of stone which descended into the earth, seeming to get higher as we went down.
At the end of the ramp was a large door, bolted shut with a little sliding window that you’d see in those older clubs, well I guess that was still used today even. As we approached, the lead guard knocked on the metal door with his white glove. I narrowed my eyes in boredom. There was a banging noise before the window slid open. Upon seeing the leader, the door window slid shut before there were some clicking sounds of keys being put into the lock and turned.
Then the door opened and the guards pushed me inside.
Now I bet you’re probably wondering why we had to take an airship to the Execution Chambers, it’s simple: the rich folk don’t like having the Fae killed in their cities, even if that part is the slums. They cringe at the sight of a dead person, Fae or not. I ignore it, because out on the streets, it’s either we survive, or we don’t. Death is a natural thing, nothing to be ashamed of: everyone dies.
Suddenly, I was submersed in darkness as I entered the chambers. The man inside looked me up and down before turning to the leader with confusion. “Corporal,” he said, “why is she here? I don’t see anything wrong with her.”
The Corporal turned to me and spit on the ground near my boots. “She’s a Fae witch.”
The man crossed his arms. “Show me,” he said, lifting up his chin.
The Corporal nodded before moving his hands towards where my ears where hidden beneath my hair. As his hand brushed near my face I snapped my jaws at him. “Touch me, and I’ll kill you.”
The doorman laughed. “She’s feisty, I’ll give her that. But, the point remains: if you don’t give me proof, we release her and you’ll lose your position.”
Quick as lightening, the man behind me yanked my hair back and I cried out as pain shot through my scalp. My movement caused my hair to fly away from my face, revealing my pointy ears.
The doorman’s face hardened and he nodded. “Take her to a cell.”
Suddenly, my will to live and survival instincts from the streets kicked in. I started to try and get away. The two guards behind me latched their hands onto my arms, preventing me from going anywhere. But I kept lurching and kicking and fighting anyway..
“Don’t do this! What have I ever done to you! Let me go, this is a mistake!” I screamed, still fighting.
We made our way down a corridor and the Corporal took off his glove and placed it on a pad. After a few seconds, a door opened and the two guards holding me brought me to it before tossing me inside.
I flew in and landed with my face against the cold, stone floor. I pushed myself to my knees. I turned my head around as I got to my feet. Just as I rushed to the entrance, a sheet of smooth glass slid shut. I smacked my fist into the glass and shouted, “Let me go! I never did anything to you!”
The Corporal turned to me and spit on the floor again. “Sooner or later, all you Fae turn evil.”
“You’re wrong!” I shouted as they started to walk away. I pounded on the glass a little longer before I sunk to the ground. My blue hair stayed slightly above my head as I stayed next to the glass.
My eyes stung with tears that threatened to come. To occupy myself, I looked around the room. There were no beds, only one blanket and a hard, stiff looking pillow. Ha! At least they would give me something comforting before I was to be executed, as if it is supposed to make me feel any better.
Frowning, I got to my feet and walked over to the corner with the blanket. I ignored it, due to the fact that I had my cloak, and grabbed the pillow, hugging it tightly to my chest as I rested my chin on it and stared over at the door.
~ * ~
General Hiro sat in the black metal chair with his feet propped up against the wooden table as he read through reports sent to him from the Government. He reached out a hand and grabbed the steaming mug of coffee that sat on the table and took a sip.
All of a sudden his door burst open. “It’s rude not to knock,” he said, not looking up from his papers.
There was a panting sound before the person who’d entered spoke, “Sorry...sir. We just received an urgent message from President Trite that he’s sending one of his advisers. Senator Veton is on his way here.”
General Hiro put down his papers and taking his boots off the table, turned to the soldier. Raising one of his black eyebrows, he said, “And when is he coming?”
“He’ll be here in a day. His instructions were to tell you not to execute another Fae. He wants a good look at them.”
General Hiro snorted. “They don’t deserve sympathy. They’re a disease that taints the rest of the population.”
The soldier just stood there, watching his commander in silence. General Hiro shook his head. “Prepare for Senator Veton’s arrival. And I don’t want to see a speck of dust out of place. You hear me?” he said, narrowing his already narrow black eyes.
The soldier nodded and whirling around, closed the door behind him as he rushed away. General Hiro sighed, and then he returned back to the reports that sat on his desk.