I always hated the fairy tales where magic can be used freely and for good purposes. If only that were the reality of it. Magic is forbidden. It always has been because of its evil. When my mother saw my glowing eyes, the mark of the Magics, she handed me right over to the Authorities muttering about how she should have seen it in my father before.
My father left my mother when he found out she was pregnant. He left me to be tortured and scandalized. Of course, I only know what the guards will tell me, so I can never be certain.
The guards are afraid of me because of my high rating. All Magics have one, a number one through thirty painted on the back wall of the cell, but mine is especially high at twenty-six. They think I will kill them, but I don’t want to. I want to be free. They think my ability to speak to animals is dangerous. I don’t know why.
I glance down to see a rat scurry across the ground. When it is in the middle of the room it stops and looks at me with its round, beady eyes.
Do you have food? The rat whispers in my mind.
No, I whisper back to it so the guards don’t hear, but the kitchens are down the hall on the second right.
The rat nods a thanks and scurries back out of the cell. I watch him leave with a small smile.
“Why do you have an aura again?” A deep grumpy voice says from the other side of the cell, “You know you aren’t suppose to use your magic. That is the third time this week. You know what that means.”
I look up to see the Sargent looking down on me with an angered expression. I sigh, of course I knew what it meant. I had been here my entire life. “Yes, Sargent.”
“Good,” He says pulling down the screen to protect the guards from the heat. He pushes the button directly beside my cell and immediately I feel the heat in my room rise noticeably. Knowing it only takes fifteen minutes I sit on my bed not struggling as the heat starts to peck at my skin. Moving only makes it worse.
Minutes roll by as the heat starts to hurt worse and worse and my skin turns bright red and starts scalding. As the blisters break out across my skin a tear rolls down my face. Not a full-out sob, just a tear. This is all I ever let out, because it evaporates before its magic can do anything to hurt the guards.
When I was seven, I cried for the first time when a guard slapped me across the face. The magic from a tear is one of the strongest and nearly impossible to control. The guard was never the same. It was like he had my magic, but instead of the animals actually hearing him, he just imagined it. Now I am marked as a hostile prisoner.
Finally the heat comes to a stop and the room cools down to normal. The screen is removed and the Sargent merely walks away without another thought. This time, without thinking, I allow another tear to fall. The Sargent freezes mid-step and turns around to see the tear peel off of my skin and fly towards him.
His eyes widen as the tear hits him in the chest, but he doesn’t seem phased, instead he walks over to me and looks at me regretfully. Then he nods and walks away silently. My mind crashes and then I hear the whisper, At sunset the gate will be unlocked. You can escape then.
What? I respond to the Sargent’s voice, “Why are you letting me go?”
But he is gone.
In the next hours I try to comprehend what the Sargent said, escape? the word sounds so sweet on my tongue, and I find myself anxiously waiting until the sun droops beneath the sky.
The hours seem to surge together until finally, the sun begins to set. I casually sit on the floor of the cell next to the door and through rocks through the gates as I usually do this time tapping my foot against the gate impatiently as I wait for it to swing open. Finally, as the sun sets beneath the hills, I lose hope and go back to bed angered at the Sargent. I lie on my back staring at the roof wondering why I thought he would actually let me out.
Then I hear a small creek as the gate swings open. I launch to my feet and sprint out the door only to be caught by strong hands, the Sargent. I open my mouth to shout, but he just puts a finger up to my lips.
We have very little time. Come.
Reluctantly, I follow him only to find that he has led me to another part of the prison that I have been raised in. The room is dark but my glowing eyes illuminate some of the room. I look at the Sargent to see him takeing out contacts, and revealing glowing eyes.
Questions flurry into my mind, but only one comes out, “What rank are you?”
He smiles, at least I think so since I can’t see very well through the dark. Then he responds quietly with a gentle voice I’ve never heard from him before, “Thirty.”
My jaw drops, “What?”
“My magic is the same as yours, if you were wondering,” He says with a chuckle.
I stare at him completely speechless, “What?” I finally say.
He laughs. His voice sounds milky sweet, like something I should have known before now.
“I know you are confused, I would be too. I’m the Sargent because I am undercover. The future of the Magics rests here, where the rebellion is. One by one, we will save the Magics and then eventually make a nation where magic is welcomed,” he says like it should help me understand everything.
“Who are you?” I ask in confusion.
He frowns as if looking back on a bad memory, “I’m your father.”
I close my eyes trying to mask the hurt. He knew I was imprisoned and he waited until now to save me?
“I see,” I whisper knowing there is nothing I can do but help him, “Show me how to lead.”
And somehow, the smile he offers calms me and I know that everything will get better from here.