Yay yay! Chapter two! Muah, muah, love you people for actually reading the second chapter :)
11 years passed the death of Freya Calverly.
Cynthia rolled over in her hard, narrow bed. There was a loud rapping noise on her door and she heard someone shout "Wake up!". Cynthia moaned.
"Oh man, I wanna sleep," she groaned, yawning. She rubbed her eyes and sat up. Sunlight sneaked into the tiny room through little rips and holes in her window curtain. She glanced at the calendar on the wall behind her and gasped. It was Wednesday, which meant that it was December 25. Christmas. But it wasn't Christmas that she was looking at. It was her birthday, which was on December 29. Her birthday was a horrible day for her. Cynthia looked at the end of her bed. Unsurprisingly, there were no Christmas presents there.
"I haven't gotten one Christmas present," Cynthia sighed. She swung her legs over the end of her bed and stood up, stretching.
Cynthia walked over to her closet and picked out a simple white long-sleeved cotton shirt, a white skirt, and some black tights. It was the uniform of the orphanage. Cynthia thought that it was unnecessary, like which orphanage has it's own uniform, right? But apparently, this one did. She pulled on a pair of knee-high leather boots, which was her own. She couldn't remember where she'd gotten them. In fact, she didn't know where she'd gotten all of her things including how she'd came to live here in this weird orphanage.
Cynthia did her bed and left the room, grabbing her coat from the floor as she left. She closed the door and headed down the staircase. She could see other doors opening and people walking out.
Cynthia stopped when she reached the second floor. This was the forbidden floor. Cynthia didn't understand why it was forbidden. The seventh floor was where her living quarters for 13 year olds to 15 year olds were, boys and girls in the same corridor. Sixth floor was for 10 to 12 and fifth floor was for 7 to 9. Fourth floor was for 4 to 6 and third was for kids below 4 year old. They didn't take in babies. It was a really weird orphanage. There were only a few kids. That's weird, thought Cynthia, How come the boys and girls live on the same floor? And I never remember who told me that they shouldn't. Cynthia hesitated. She'd never been to this floor before. She wasn't allowed. The caretakers lived on this floor. And the very few kids who were old enough to be educated. Education for everyone in the orphanage started after you were 15. Well, she was just four days from becoming 15.
Cynthia tapped her foot twice on the cold, wooden floor. Nobody came running towards her, no one shouted: "Who's that?" like usual, nobody popped out of one of the rooms looking furious. Why don't they allow us in this corridor, wondered Cynthia, how come they were so sensitive about this floor?
"Hmm, who cares? As if I care why they're sensitive," she said loudly, though she actually did sort of care about being discovered. No reply. Cynthia walked straight across the wide corridor and into one of the classrooms. Her boots made the wooden floor creak loudly. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
"Too loud, too loud, erg…" she whispered, "Why are these boots so loud? It's like they're designed to attract trouble." And just like that, Cynthia's nightmare came true.
Footsteps echoed all around the corridor as a caretaker raced to the staircase. Cynthia ducked behind the door and peered through the keyhole. She cursed herself silently. Thump, thump, thump. She could hear her heart beating faster and faster and her ragged breathing. She realized she was panting and she was making quite a loud sound. She quickly snapped her mouth shut and breathed through her nose, hoping the motionless caretaker outside didn't hear her. Unfortunately, she did.
The caretaker spun around gracefully and peered at the classroom Cynthia was in. Cynthia sucked in her cheeks. Oh no, oh no. Clatter. No, please don't be suspicious of this room, please. Clatter. No, no, no. Clatter. I'm dead. With the last step, the caretaker marched into the room and looked around, spotting Cynthia immediately.
Cynthia stared at her. Then she smiled sweetly and put her hands behind her back.
"Hello. Is there any problem?"
The caretaker looked taken aback for a second. Then she recovered and her face went red with rage and horror.
"What are you doing here? Haven't ANYONE told you not to come to this floor?" the caretaker roared at Cynthia with a now purple face. Cynthia gulped. Apparently, being sweet and innocent didn't get her out of trouble.
"How old are you?" asked the caretaker, still fuming. "I take it that you're not 15 yet?" She looked her up and down.
"Uh… n-no, you got i-it wrong, I'm—I'm 15 years old," she spluttered. Then she smiled like she was telling the truth. The caretaker stared down at her.
"Are you sure?" another frightening question for Cynthia.
The caretaker knelt down and felt her heart. It was beating louder than ever. The caretaker sighed. "Don't lie to me, I know you're lying," growled the caretaker. She lifted her hand and flicked it like there was a fly on it. There was a white flash of light and Cynthia's mind took a while to register it. She suddenly jerked her head downwards and stared down at Cynthia. The caretaker's eyes seemed to mold into Cynthia's, and Cynthia gasped.
She heard herself say in a flat voice: "I am turning 15 on December 29."
No! Stop, stop, and stop! What do you think you're saying?
"What's your name?" asked the caretaker sharply.
"My name is Cynthia," she replied.
Ugh! Stop! What the heck is going on?
"Cynthia…uh…"she faltered. Something stirred deep inside her, but before she could figure out what it was it disappeared.
Cynthia Uh? What am I saying? That can't be my last name!
"Last name!" said the caretaker angrily.
"I…my last name is…is…is…"stuttered Cynthia.
"I…I…my last name is…" She started crying with frustration.
Stop crying, you look stupid. *Rolls eyes*.
The caretaker clapped her hands together and there was a loud crack.
"Hmm, don't know your own name? You're coming with me."
What did she just say?
Cynthia turned and walked robot-type and followed the caretaker down the corridor. It got darker and darker. Where is this place? She followed the caretaker until she couldn't see a thing.
"Come here." The caretaker's voice was coming from beside her, and she felt something pulling her into a room. But it wasn't a room. It was outside the corridors. And outside the building.
Cynthia was pulled outside the orphanage. Her eyes took a while to adjust to the sudden light. Then she looked around and realized that there was a bunch of kids with the age range of babies to teens her size. They all had nametags with their ages on them. The ages varied from 0-14. She realized that none were above 14 years old.
Caretakers milled around and one pulled her into the line.
"Name," he said.
"Cynthia," Cynthia said.
"I don't have one."
"Nonsense, stop playing around, this is business," said the caretaker.
"I really don't have one," said Cynthia, feeling extremely confused and irritated.
"Well then, age?"
"Ryan!" the caretaker filling out her name card turned around the call of his name. Cynthia looked up too and saw the caretaker that had brought her here strolling towards them. She stopped before them and turned to the other caretaker.
"She's here for a recheck," said the first caretaker. The one filling out her name card, Ryan, frowned.
"Why? I thought we didn't have those anymore," Ryan said, confused.
The other caretaker glanced at the sky. "She doesn't know her last name. All of them should do. It's something all Ha—"
"Sheila!" Ryan interrupted loudly. Sheila the caretaker put her hand to her mouth.
"Oops," she said, smiling nervously, "I was just saying all…all…young people should be able to do. Your identity is always within you."
"I know, I know, don't you lecture me about that," said Ryan, irritated, "She can be inspected again. It won't hurt her anyways." Sheila shrugged and left.
Cynthia was silent during the caretakers' exchange and now she spoke up. "What was the other caretaker going to say?" she asked curiously. Ryan wisely ignored her and finished filling out her name tag.
"Okay, you're ready for inspection," he said while pushing her forward. Inspection? Like check me for lice or what?
About after 5 minutes, it was her turn to see the "inspector".
"Hello," she said in a cool voice.
"Hello," replied Cynthia.
"Sit down and give me your hand," she ordered.
The inspector tied a rubber string around Cynthia's arm really tightly. Then she pulled out a needle and stabbed Cynthia's wrist without warning. Cynthia yelped in surprise and the inspector hushed her. They both stared at the tiny puncture in her arm. After 30 seconds or so, a tiny drop of blood squeezed out. The inspector kept on squeezing her arm. About after a minute, another few drops finally can out. The inspector put a metal plate on the tiny puncture. She untied the rubber string and told Cynthia to go through a red door.
Another caretaker was directing the kids behind the red door. She glanced over her shoulder and saw Cynthia.
"Come here, girl!" she shouted at Cynthia. "I don't have the time to waste!" Whoa, so aggressive, thought Cynthia.
Cynthia went over to her and lined up next to the other kids in the place. Cynthia noticed that the other kids all had a bundle of their belongings with them, and that she was the only one without anything.
"Now you have all been accepted by this orphanage and have all been assigned a dorm or room," she told them. "Please go to your room straight away."
They were all handed a slip of paper and Cynthia glanced at hers. It was a room number. And the room number was where she lived.
Cynthia filed out of the room with the others and raced to her room. The other new orphans looked at her like she was crazy. They were probably thinking: she's new, how does she know where she's going?
Cynthia ran straight to her room and shut the door. She sat down on her bed and shook her head, trying to clear away what had happened. She had just been pulled from the forbidden corridor into this weird outside place and had been "inspected". Then she was sent back to her room. Such odd things had happened today, thought Cynthia, and that's one morning wasted. She glanced around and felt the blood on her arm. It had stopped bleeding. She went to her window and stared at the people outside on the street going about their businesses. Her arm hurt suddenly, like she was burnt. She glanced at the puncture. It was smoking a bit; all signs of blood and the needle were gone, like nothing had happened. This happened every time she cut herself or got hurt in anyway.
I just realized that I got my first follower! WHOOPEE! I'm feeling particularly great today. Thanks Waxing Shadow!