9678 woke up in a cold sweat. His already racing heart pounded in his chest and his lungs pumped quick, shallow breaths. They moved him to another facility; this door was a solid metal several inches thick and raised to meet the flat at the ten foot mark. His arms were bound with thick rope behind him at the shoulder, elbow and wrists; they had him hooked to the ceiling by the arms. There was a large weight attached to his feet. 9678 instantly began to pull against the ropes with all his might, but they wouldn't give.
Ami means "Saturday's child" in Ghanese, and my mother, a teacher, thinks that it's the perfect name for me for a dozen reasons, not even including the fact that I was born and conceived on a Saturday. She says that I hold the spirit of Saturday, that I'm both wild and relaxed, that I'll do anything the majority wants as long as it doesn't push my loose morals. She says that she loves that about me, she loves that I don't stress over everything like most people do and that I can find peace in the middle of a life or death situation. My father, a taxi driver, hates that about me. He says that I'm too easily distracted and that'll keep me from reaching the bright future that everyone sees for me. I agree with them both. I love the way I am, but I know for a fact that I won't achieve the future that everyone else wants and sees for me, and I really couldn't care less. I'm not doctor material; it isn't even the blood that bothers me, I just couldn't be bothered with dropping everything I'm doing to go help some stranger. I'd rather go to a Forest Fest and stay there until my vision becomes dim and my memories vague; that's exactly what I was doing when it happened.
Jilāya was the monster and she knew it. She knew that she was the creature that parents told their children about a night. She knew how they would tell children about how she hide under the beds and in the closets; and because of these tales, children were scared enough so that she could hide in the minds of the ones who were taught to fear her. She scared everyone and everything, and this includes herself. Jilāya did not look the part of a monster; if anything, she would have been seen as an angel in her sister's new town. They would have been struck with awe when seeing the twisting horns protruding from her skull and hearing her tales that were seen through her empty, white eyes.
She hadn't been here in forever. Some would call it home, but it's not that. It's a pause. A gap. A break that she's forced to take before she can press play on the movie that is her life. She watched the people, her family, through the living room window like it was a movie screen. Her mom, with the phone tucked between her shoulder and ear, taking notes with pen and paper, she's still dressed for work. Her dad sitting in his old leather chair watching his son play a video game. They were going to hate her for this, but she did it anyway. She walked to the front door and knocked. Pausing her life movie, but making their jump a scene.