Month 14, Day 78, Year 987
Lake Colon, The New World, Planet Eden
I held back tears as my Master whipped me. Blood trickled down my back, the metallic smell invading the room. It made me gag, but that was the least of my worries right now.
I gasped as the whip lashed at an open wound on my shoulder. I didn't fall into a heap thanks to the gray blank walls.
"That's what you get when you play music, you bitch!" he screeched, spit flying onto my face.
I gritted my teeth as he whipped me again. I couldn't take it anymore. I arched my back, letting out an agonized scream. "Stop!" I sobbed. "Please!"
My Master raised his whip, making me flinch. Anger boiled in his eyes, but he did not move his hand. "This is the last time, Naomi." He stalked off, wrapping the whip in his hand.
I watched him go. Slowly, I stood up, wincing as my cuts from the shards of glass hurt like hot irons. My master gave no mercy to me tonight. He went straight with the whip embedded with glass blades. And he also made it clear that he would not tolerate my incompetence to obey rules anymore.
I limped to my room, grunting in pain. As I walked up the stairs, I checked that my Master was not in the house. He wasn't. He must be at the barn, pumping water for us.
Every toddler, child, and teenager have a Master. Once we turn 18, we become Master ourselves. Masters need to teach their apprentices everything; geography, history, math, science...as well as politics and the rules as we turn older.
My master started teaching me politics a few months ago. I thought it was dull and boring. I suggested that Masters teach politics to their apprentices later on. Instead of starting at the age of 13, maybe 15?
My Master disliked me. Whenever I made the slightest mistake, he would assault me with insults and lashes.
I wiped away tears from my dark skin and fell onto my bed. I laid on my stomach, scared of putting pressure on my whip lashes.
I fell into tormenting dreamless sleep.
Month 14, Day 79, Year 987
Lake Colon, The New World, Planet Eden
I woke up and I immediately knew today would be a bad day. My back ached from yesterday's incident, and a migraine slowly blossomed up my neck into my head.
I learned a long time ago that self-pity didn't help at all. I rolled off of my bed, groaning as some undried blood stained my covers. Screw that. I'll wash it later.
All I need is music. Music will ease my pain.
I never learned from this mistake. I was well aware that it was strictly banned. It took out 5 points on our Card.
Let me explain. At birth, we are given a Card. A Card is well...a card. It's a small slip of paper with 20 blue dots on it. Every time we defy laws and rules, a certain amount of points of taken off. Once we have no more points left, well...we Disembark.
We use the fancy term "Disembark", but to cut the chase short, we are killed in the town square for everyone to see the consequences defying orders.
I shook myself out of my thoughts. We didn't question our rules. Rules are here to protect us. And if self-preservation taught me anything, it's to not break the laws if I don't want to die.
Yet I always break one rule.
I climbed the mountain despite my injuries from last night. Trudging through the beautiful yet frozen snow, I jumped over small rocks and shrubbery. The sparkling powder that covered everything was blinding, and I cursed myself for not bringing my jacket. The wind was bitter cold and biting, so I hugged myself and shivered ever so slightly.
Finally, after ten minutes, I arrived at the top of the mountain. A small crevice under a ledge sat under piles of snow. I slowly walked there, the powder arriving at my shins. I slipped through the hole and arrived at my own personal little Bat Cave.
Groping around blindly in the darkness, I skimmed the wall. Starting there, I reached towards where the torch usually was. With a flick of a match, the walls were suddenly illuminated by a warm orange glow. Crawling through the cave as the shadows flickered with the flame, I arrived to the main chamber of the cave.
It was pretty big, about the size of a basketball court. In a small corner, there was a creek, providing fresh water. It gurgled during all four seasons, a calming sound as I stayed in this cave. On the other side of my cavern, there was a pile of food. I collected it over the years. The pile consisted of canned food and unperishable things. I usually snacked on raisins or nuts.
Planting the torch in the middle of the cave, I reached towards a velvet-covered rectangular box. With a satisfying snap, I unclipped it and opened the box.
There sat a polished violin, with the bow lying next to it. I took the violin out gently and set it on my shoulder. Taking out the bow, I strung a deep note. Sighing with happiness, I slowly played a tune. I stood up and intensified it. With quick movements of my arm, beautiful notes resonated through the cave. It trembled through everything, and pure joy blossomed through my body. This is what I'm good at. This is what I want to do. This is the last violin is existence, and I'm going to cherish it with all my heart.
I stopped playing it, then took a deep breath and started playing a calmer tune. It was nice, and I could imagine a soft piano in the background. My mother taught it to me when I was young.
As the majestic tune continued, I quickened my melody. I loved this part. It was gentle but inspiring too. My arm working furiously with the bow on the delicate strings.
Then the music slowed again. I swayed to the tune. The thing is, unlike most other things, when the music hits you, it doesn't hurt but brings all the soaring emotions.
Then it quickened again. As I played, I walked around the cave, gazing at the walls. I painted the cave sky blue with a few clouds in the corner. At the bottom, small lush green grass sprouted with colorful flowers. A few birds soared through the sky, calling out other beings. Squirrels scampered on trees, while small bunnies enjoyed the fresh grass.
I wish this was all real.
I finished the song with a long light note. I sighed with happiness.
Last time, my Master discovered my other cave. It was closer to my house and much bigger. But I knew if I returned there, my Master would not hesitate to whip me and take off the remaining 5 points of my Card.
And there were only 5 points left, from all this music I played. One more time and I'll be dead.
But I didn't care. I was reckless, and the music was my only happiness.
This last violin was all the source of my joy. And there's no way I'm giving it up. Ever.
Author Notes: Here's the music Naomi was so talently playing:
Thanks for reading!