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Being Hidden

By Sapphire All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Prologue: Trapped

Black stars clouded her vision, as more pain pounded at the back of her skull. She could feel something wet against her fingers when she touched the sensitive spot at the back of her head.  Dragging herself off the ground, she found nothing but darkness in front of her. Her hand shook, reaching forward, trying to see if her eyes could catch an outline, seeing nothing. Her breathing quickened to the point where she thought she was hyperventilating, head spun violently like a never ending rope swing. It felt as if someone had hit at the back of the head with a brick, but she didn’t remember when.

All she saw was black.

All she felt was pain.

“Oh god,” she breathed, her words trembling. “Am I blind?”

The throbbing pain erupted again, and the girl winced, trying to remember how she exactly got here.  An iron taste mixed in with her saliva, filled her esophagus, and she coughed. Even without sight, she knew it was blood. She tried to remember what happened by closing her eyes, and taking each breath deeper and deeper, but there was nothing, just a black wall blocking her memories in her head.

The girl leaned her head against the cold floor, feeling the tears prickle at her eyes. She tried not to cry, but there was never stopping them once they came. The only sounds in the darkness were her soft pleads of help. There had to be someone, anyone around to hear her. Someone placed her in here, wherever ‘here’ was, so there had to be a living, breathing being around.

“Please!” Her voice grew louder. “Please someone help me!”

The girl’s sobs increased, trying to remember, trying to get attention of someone, and trying to find the light.

Where is the light? Please…where? “Where?” She whispered. Just calm down, try to think, what is the last thing you remember? Remember…

She curled her hand into a fist, and pounded it against the ground until it bled. Her tears increased more, her voice still whispering ‘please’ in the unknown darkness. Obviously, whoever did this her had to have some kind of intention. The girl couldn’t grasp it though, and felt she was sinking deeper into the abyss. There was no sound of wind, no breathing life around, it was all empty. She was trapped.

Then a single image appeared in her head. It wasn’t a full picture, but she did recognize it as the back of someone’s head, and their long, flowing…bright, blond hair…. She gasped…the colour of the sun…the colour of….

She opened her eyes, and saw a spark above. Light! The spark grew larger until a bright, white crescent shape formed above her through a round opening above. Her mouth turned upwards with relief, but turned back down after the pale light revealed where she was. A ten by ten foot room, the walls made out of deep, red bricks. Her hard breathing bounced off the empty walls, not like before where it felt like an unending abyss. A metal door stood across, silently tormenting her, and above, where the moon shone, a small, round skylight trapped her in. This was no ordinary room, this was a prison.

She used the wall, and stood up, legs shaking from the lack of muscle use. Ignoring the throbbing pain at the back of her head, she looked up, searching for stars—a sky map to figure out where she could be—and gasped. There were no stars, and the thick grey smoke smell of pollution from coal plants hovered in the sky. “Athanasia, the land where no stars shone,” she quoted, remembering a story she once heard when she was a child. “Only the bright, crescent moon gave light in the dark in a vast, polluted desert covering this extensive country.

“That’s impossible,” she whispered. “No, I can’t be in Athanasia.”

The clothing she was wearing was Athanasian—a white, long sleeved robe, with a red, thick cross falling in the centre, a symbol of Tarsism, their main religion.

At least I know where I am, but how did I end up wearing…?  Her eyes widened, realizing someone had dressed her while she was out. Her arms wrapped around her body, feeling violated by someone touching her. Oh gods…someone help.

The girl collapsed back down onto the floor, holding her hand against her beating heart, her auburn hair falling in front of her face, and tears streaming down her pale cheeks.

The sound of footsteps echoed from outside the room. She turned her head over her shoulder, watching the dark, metal door closely. The footsteps were rhythmic, like her beating heart, hitting at the same beat. Her breath caught as they stopped right outside and the door opened, revealing a dark, looming shadow, covering her body like an uncomfortable blanket. 

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