I was recruited when I was a child and I was brought up by them. They were a nameless creed. It was only the principles, codes and fear of a life more horrible than death that served as control. The nameless creed has only a code. All relevant communication was always verbal. All communication that was necessary for use, were coded into commonplace items. Only those who needed to know knew.
I was assigned to a young masters assignment, where I was to collect any information I could and pass it on. Nothing was too small. There was no time period defined for this assignment. I joined the ranks of maids and worked my way up. Every month, I was contacted for updates and instructions. Some tasks during my stay were related to the master while some seemed random. I was not in a place to ask questions. As I grew in my skill and experience, I was given more work and freedom to execute it my way. My word started to matter.
My life as an assassin was as real as my life as a maid. I felt like two different people sharing the same body. I also started to embody conflicting emotions about the same thing, and could often not sleep. So, I exercised. Luckily after a few months of scrutiny I had my own private chambers. It was barely enough to sleep and keep my own things, but there was privacy. No one really checked, unless we went missing. This worked well for me, because I could do what I wanted.
I was torn because of the growing reluctance to harm people, and the master whom I had come to love, if what I felt for him could be called that. Maybe it was gratitude, because I had not received such kindness. Not just from him but from people under this employ. In the temple and the school no explicit comments were made about the common people, however, there was an undertone of superiority. That sense that I had cultivated had cracked, and I could see the glory that came with humility. I could see the reward in deeds done for the benefit of humans in the most unselfish way. I started to yearn to be in that position. I started to want to clean the darkness that had filled my heart and live life with purity. But it seemed too late for me.
I wanted to save my master's life, and preserve this kindness. I wanted to survive too. I made up my mind to give a warning, but preserve the secrets of the nameless one’s. I was framed to be a conspirer, and a lone one at that. It was made out that I was love obsessed with the master, and I was mad. Everyone started to whisper about my strangeness, and there was little I could do about it. People changed and turned. There were whispers that I was not acting alone.
I was stripped and my clothes were changed for me. I was given a slaves clothes and slaves were not treated like humans. Master said it was to remind me of my place. If I changed my mind to be helpful then he would consider mercy. I had heard prisoners were treated well and I started to prepare myself to endure. At first I did not talk about the nameless one’s because I was taught to, but later I started to fear for the master's life, and I refrained from saying anything to him, to protect him, his house and the people in it. Innocent people who knew nothing about the evil that walked the earth. Their preoccupation was to dice radish right, and to make sure that the dust that master had pointed out was never to be found again. We lived like that with challenges. The servants worked hard, celebrated their meals and tried to be good people. I was not deserving of such a place, I knew that, but for a while I allowed myself to feel the experiences this life brought with it. It changed me.
I was taken deep into the dungeon. I could sense something was wrong because we walked for a very very long time. People who led me changed 3 times, before I was secured with chains near a wall. There was no cell, just a dark cave with no food, water or sunshine. I was beaten several times, because I offered resistance, and the guards eventually reached a point where they could not handle me.
I don’t know the amount of time that had passed, if it was night or day. I had been in and out of consciousness when my chains were removed. I could not go to the lavatory, and I reached a point where no amount of self discipline could help me hold it in. I was covered in my own urine and faeces, forming layers. I was unchained and taken to a cave that looked like some sort of a man made chamber. I did not care where I was or what was expected of me. When I saw the amenities I tried to get rid of my clothes but could not. The men poured water on me. When they realised that beauty was not lost on me, they insisted on giving me a bath. Why I was not raped I do not know, but I was groped.
When I was clean, they asked me to clean the chambers and perfume it. There was food on the table that I could eat. They watched me as I went about my business. When I was done, My leg was chained to a nail on the ground.
I fell asleep. I woke up feeling hands groping my woman parts, and I knew what was coming next. The pain was unbearable. I tried to fight but the more I fought the more excited the man became. I lost track of how many times or for how long this went on. After I lost count, I stopped resisting. After that I lived like a living corpse. My body was either a raw nerve, sore or numb. At some point I was taken out of the lair to the dogs.
My body was not my own, and I no longer could use one mind. My sanity shattered to madness, and a madness I could not get a grip on. I was lost in a maze of senses. When my discipline gave into anger I do not know. I was angry with God. I was angry with myself. My anger fueled hate. I hated my body in the beginning and then myself. Slowly I started hating God. I spent my time cursing myself, cursing life and cursing God.
Things had fallen into a routine. I was bathed, cleaned and fed, then the men I had started to think of randy dogs did what they wished with my body. I had learnt not to talk or to understand. I was beaten, raped, prodded, gropped, anything. Initially they would ask me to do things, but realising that I was not complying no matter what they did, they got used to the idea. Since I was a dead body walking and they could use me as they wanted. They stopped considering me as a human being. Sometimes, I would be chained to the wall and hung for display while they conversed.
I could not piece who these men were and where they came from. But some codes used were familiar, and that only meant one thing. The nameless creed was involved. If they were then maybe I could be rescued, maybe they knew who I was and would come for me. This was not the manor’s dungeon. The change of hands meant I was taken out of master's control. One time I heard that he looked for me, but that was a long time ago.
Because of lack of light my skin became prone to infection. If cleaned the skin would come off exposing the raw flesh. If I got a fever, it recovered on its own. It was amazing that I survived for as long as I did, and I was still in one piece.
In my naivety I assumed that loyalty was rewarded. We were taught that after all. Loyalty above truth, loyalty above life and loyalty above freedom. I believed if someone said something they would act on it too, and with this I kept my hope burning. Even though I sought to save a life instead of taking one I kept silent about the nameless one’s. Little did I know that the nameless one’s saw this as a threat rather than an assurance. I wanted to believe that they would see my loyalty and forgive my errors. I promised myself that if I got back, I would beg or do anything they wanted to leave and lead a simple peasant life. I made myself believe in it. I cursed God, and believed in the nameless clan.
My body was broken. Perhaps two years had passed or so I gathered through the madness I felt. Nothing made sense. Everything was a haze. The men who came had no use for it. They brought me down. I was in and out of consciousness. I could feel my hands and legs being tied to a pole. The ropes seared through my skin scraping on my flesh. Everything went dark.
When I came to, my skin was burning. I could not open my eyes as it was too bright. I longed for the cold of the darkness, as the sun burned my skin. I passed out.
My hands and legs were being untied, my body limp. I could smell the stench of corpses. I had heard of this place before. It was the land of the wasteful dead. It was the ultimate insult the people could give to life. I was left there. The stench was overwhelming. I did not want to die. Not yet. I didn’t understand why I was left there. I wanted a good meal, a warm bed and a place where I could feel safe.
The stench was overwhelming, no matter what I tried to do, the reality of where I was I could not ignore. Time passed. As there was no movement I was not passing out. I was awake, and I tried to turn my head so I could breathe. I had no energy to get up, so I did not waste it on trying to move. The pain in my body was beyond my tolerance. I would just black out again if I moved.
As I lay there I seethed in anger. I looked at my life, and I did not want to look at it. I could hear movement, and it was my handler from the first task I had completed. He had grown in ranks and was one of the best. He was an elite and was assigned only special projects. Rumour had it that he would take a seat among the elders. When he spoke, there was only objectivity. He spoke in a monotone.
My heart swelled with hope and I tried to speak. He was looking at me, and his eyes flickered. He knew I was alive. I tried mouthing “save me, help me” but no voice came. Perhaps things would be ok now. Only if he could accept my mistake, I could live again. The nameless one’s could heal me. I had the will to fight for life.
Handler's voice echoed through my thoughts and hopes. He sounded assured that there were no loose ends. He said he had been concerned when I was missing for the past two years, and if the nameless one’s identity had become known. But he had heard nothing from anywhere. Once a member wavers, it is possible for them to waver again and hence the nameless one’s do not take that chance. This will help secure the creed once again as it once was. He knew that I was in pain and it would be better if my life ended quickly.
No, no, no, No ending, I wanted to live. But I had no control. As betrayal stabbed me and the anger fueled my body, I was stabbed. They missed my vital organ. Maybe something had changed with all that my body had taken. I started to bleed profusely. I was not ready to die.
They left, sure that I had died. I lay there, whether it was for moments or for hours I did not know, trying to breathe as evenly as I could. Adrenaline coursed through my veins, as I tried to open my eyes. The light that streamed into my eyes went dark before I could see anything.
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Strong writing and revealing detail. Kept my interest throughout.