Lost in Silence

By: Tracie Douglas



Somewhere in the world

Every night before I fall I sleep, I make a wish to never to wake up. Death for me would be a celebration. No matter how much I beg for it, cry for it or pray for it, I wake every morning.

Disappointed to wake yet again this particular morning, I rub the sleep from my eyes, preparing myself because he’ll be here soon and I need to be ready.

Last night, he locked me in the guest room. While any normal person would be grateful to sleep in a bed, I wasn’t. I’d rather sleep in my closet with my thread bare blankets than that bed. Which is why I slept on the floor next to the bed. I was playing with fire, I knew, because he could come in to check on me at any moment. Luckily I’m a light sleeper. The key in the lock would wake me instantly, giving me just enough time to climb into the bed.

I stretch my body, feeling the heavy chain anklet weighing me down, the other end attached to the bed, reminding me of my prisoner status. I glance at the clock on the wall, willing time to slow but it never does. I don’t have much of it, so I roll over, push myself up off the floor and walk to the bathroom. My chain drags behind me, giving me enough slack to use the facilities.

I turn on the shower and step into the icy water. Since I’m not allowed the luxury of hot showers I’ve grown used to the cold. At first it was a form of torture and power, now it’s just routine. Using the bar of soap he provides, I lather my body and hair, gagging on the smell of baby powder. It used to be my favorite scent and since he was a master of manipulation, he used it against me. The scent sickens me and has become a signal, telling my body to prepare for what is to come. I shiver, the anticipation overwhelming. No matter how many times I prepare myself exactly like this, it never got any easier.

I quickly rinse the soap away, pushing away my lingering fears and shut the shower off. I pat my body down with the scratchy towel hanging nearby. I comb my hair until it is slightly damp and return the towel to its designated hook. Closing the bathroom door behind me, I walk towards the wardrobe. I’m only allowed clothing on days like this. Entertaining days. Although I wouldn’t call these outfits clothing. I felt more naked wearing these garments than actually walking around in the nude. I reach for the long white, gauzy, scrap and pull it out over my head, adjusting it as it falls down the length of my body.

Glancing at the clock again, I see I have finished with a few minutes to spare. The room is already in perfect order, something I made sure of before falling asleep late last night. I sit down and arrange myself, per his instructions, in the chair special ordered for my guest. It was an oversized, overstuffed, ornate throne. Apparently my guest has a thing for fairy tale princesses. A new one for the book of characters I’ve been instructed to play. Too bad fairy tales weren’t real.

Today I was a princess, frozen like a statue, a masterpiece, waiting for my prince charming.

It isn’t long before I hear the key slide into the lock. As usual he’s on time. The door quickly opens and closes as they step into the room. One of the men standing in front of me is my prison warden, the man I hated more than death itself. The other man is my prince charming. Both send chills down my spine and leave a sour taste in my mouth.

“Prince Valiant, there are your quarters,” my warden’s words break the silence, his cold eyes rest on me. They rake my body and the room, checking for any discrepancies. He’d use any reason to punish me, not that he needed one. “Honored sir, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Aleta, Queen of the Misty Isles.”

My blood runs cold as a wave of shock rolls through me. I was to play a role from a childhood story and not just any story, one of my favorites. My eyes meet his, something I rarely did because of the repercussions. A sickening smile spreads across his face as the recognition of my shock seeps into his eyes. This was planned, another manipulation of something I loved to further torture me.

Prince Valiant steps closer to me, a dark mask covering his face, obscuring his identity. I’m not surprised since very few of my guests ever take it off or go without one. Likely he would remove it once I’m blindfolded. I’ve grown used to being blindfolded. These men got off on the unknown and if I couldn’t see what was coming, my reaction to the physicality of it was more intense and real.

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