The Chosen Six
Remembering who you are
Chapter 1 – The Last Memory
I just wanted to make a couple of extra bucks by helping out a friend. I can’t even remember his name now. They drugged and tortured me until I couldn’t remember what my life was like before they kidnapped me. They: The Chosen Six.
I can’t remember the names of my parents, or what they look like. I don’t know whether I have any siblings or a significant other from before they took me. I’m not even sure if Raven is my real name, or if it’s just the name the Chosen Six gave me.
I don’t remember my age or birthdate. I think I’m in my early twenties, but I have no way to be sure. My birth certificate was not on me when they took me. Even if it had been, I’m sure they would have confiscated it along with everything else I had on me at the time.
Yet, no matter what they do, I will not allow the Six to control me or anyone else. They took me away from everything I loved and made me forget.
That last memory before the Six is burned into my brain, though. Carved so deep that it’ll never fade. I just can’t quite reach some of the details of that day…
The recollection is the only thing keeping me from giving in to their torture. This is why I hate that they made me forget the name of the friend I was helping that day. He was the reason I was in that park instead of safe at home, or whatever I would normally have been doing on a day like that. Wherever that was…
I’m not a professional photographer. I take random videos like everyone, I would even call it a hobby, but I’m kicking myself for agreeing to help my friend with this gig of his. The business partner he usually brings couldn’t make it, so he bribed me into helping.
I’m always willing to take on side jobs to help pay the bills, but I wish I had said no to this one now. It’s more than just the money. I can’t remember for sure, but I think I had feelings for him back then and that’s why I agreed. To spend time with him.
My friend has his own business. He’ll create a flawless image or video depicting a celebration or get-together that, more often than not, didn’t even happen. It’s a lucrative business, I just can’t stand the customers.
The family that hired him today to capture and direct a “perfect” family memory is way too cheerful for my taste. What’s worse is it’s all fake and over the top. Every part of this setup – the props and the people. I guess they are nervous about being filmed or something, and I don’t blame them.
I have the camera facing the family, with my friend on my side and out of the picture while I’m taking pictures.
I can’t remember what park we are in, or even what city, but it is huge and bustling with people. Picnic tables are scattered about, beautiful fountains decorating the landscape between a few trees distributed around the grounds.
There’s a wide scope of visitors ranging from businessmen on lunch wearing expensive suits, to carefree individuals playing Frisbee with a family dog.
It would be an amazingly peaceful place if the park weren’t surrounded by large buildings with buses and noisy vehicles crowding the street that separates the corporations from the park.
This is some sort of plaza next to a financial district. This spot is so familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on where I am.
My annoyance for this family, though, is drowning out the other sounds for me. The people and animals – it’s nothing more than white noise in the background.
This household has two kids, a young boy, and a girl, sitting on opposite ends of the picnic table with toys but I can’t remember exactly what – neither are paying attention to the three adults between them.
A man and woman – parents of the children – stand behind the table, with another woman to the right of them. It’s the wife’s sister and this is supposed to be some kind of farewell lunch for her.
However, my friend has focused more on directing the couple to be cutesy together, so the sister has a scowl on her face that she can’t disguise anymore. I’m not sure how my friend is going to work it so that this turns out to be an actual happy memory for them.
“Now, kiss!” my friend suggests.
The wife awkwardly plants a kiss on her sister’s mouth before doing the same to her husband.
“What the hell…” the sister spits, wiping her mouth.
“I’m sorry,” the wife insists, dropping the fake happiness momentarily. “This is your sendoff party and I wanted to include you. He said ‘everyone kiss’…”
“It’s okay,” my friend interrupts. “Part of the job is editing, so the sections you don’t want won’t have to be included.”
He does a great job relaxing the adults.
Now I get why he simply directs rather than doing all the camera work, too.
This is a two-person job. One to shoot and one to direct. My friend adjusts his footing to give another direction but is disrupted by a commotion at a fountain not far from us.
In that instant, the memory of the family dissipates into a cloud. Their part in this story is over. My friend sticks out in my head still, but he is lost among the crowd.
My feet are pounding against the grass before I realize what I’m doing. I’m running towards the growing crowd, the camera forgotten but still glued to my hand.
The fountain is near the edge of the park, with a steep, grassy drop-off on the other side of it. Only a small amount of decorative white fencing stands in front of a dangerous fall and a busy street at the bottom.
I stop off to the side with the crowd to my left. There are two women and one man backed against the knee-high fencing, looking terrified.
There is a second man, relatively short, between the onlookers and hostages, a confident grin on his lips and a large, serrated knife pointed at the small group.
None of them look important enough for an assassination, so the scene looks a bit strange and out of place. Similar to a mugging than anything else, but the intent on the knife owner’s expression is definitely murder.
Innocent park goers continue to gather – a morbid need to witness this moment compelling them closer. They must think that I’m involved, too, because the crowd stays several feet behind me.
I tell my feet to step back and join them, but I can’t move, which is extremely confusing to me. I’m scared of what I’m about to see, but not afraid enough to be frozen in place. There is something unseen keeping me right where I am.
No one moves or talks for over a minute. Everything remains still. Just a staring contest between the three by the fountain and the man with the knife.
No one moves in front of me and I don’t hear anyone within the crowd shuffling around, either. I’m beginning to think this is just a stunt until the man threatening the group speaks. He only says one word, but that’s all it takes for chaos to ensue.
“Maeve,” he breathes, barely louder than a whisper.
In the next instant, the girl closest to me, who looked like one of the hostages only seconds ago, abandons her façade. She grabs the unarmed man in a choke hold so tight he can’t move.
Even after she begins slicing at him with a switchblade and screams emanating from the crowd, she doesn’t loosen her grip on the man.
The other woman backs away a step, looking even more frightened than before. She doesn’t seem to be in cahoots with the two individuals with weapons.
The girl with the knife is swift and precise, though. There are several cuts along his chest and arms before someone finds the courage to say something and yell.
I look around to see who was brave enough to say something, but the crowd is staring at me with wide, terrified eyes. I apparently said it without recognizing my voice or feeling my lips move.
I remember being terrified that I will be stabbed next, but I don’t remember what it actually feels like now.
Turning back, the one called Maeve has stopped mid-slice but keeps the choke hold on the victim. None of the four main players look at me. I glance at the leader to see whether it’s my turn to bleed, but the only change is the grin. It’s wider. More sinister.
“Molly,” he orders, in the calmest, collected voice I’ve ever heard.
Again, spoken just above a whisper.
Immediately, the remaining hostage drops her deception for a completely blank and emotionless expression. She almost looks bored. With a pocket knife in her right hand, she lunges for the apparent target. The girl slashes at his legs several times before digging the knife into his right foot.
Still, the man says nothing and makes no noise. He remains completely at ease with his position. I look at his face to see his mouth open wide as if he were screaming, but no sound comes out. Something strange is happening.
I’m beginning to realize that this attack, or demonstration, is some sort of statement. One I don’t want to know about or be a part of. They want to be seen.
With Molly’s first slice, the crowd begins to disperse. Screams fill the air, along with parents calling out to their children. A male voice even tries to yell ‘stop’ before Molly stabs the victim’s foot, but it doesn’t work.
The attackers should have heard it, even with the commotion and panic around us. Still, the onslaught continues, unlike when I yelled for the violence to stop, and I don’t understand why. I want to cry out again, but I can’t seem to find my voice this time.
Molly doesn’t quit her attack. I want to scatter with the innocence and get lost in the chaos, but I still can’t move my feet.
Instead, my body falls to the ground without my consent while I scream. Lying on my stomach with the camera stuck to my hand, I watch the chaos continue while the leader remains calm. I can’t take my eyes off of him.
His height is what shocks me the most. He’s only about an inch taller than me but looks so menacing with his angrily bored expression. In this type of situation, I have no idea how anyone could look bored.
Only his eyes give away his emotions – the anger and want to commit murder. His short brown hair and brown eyes fit his muscular features. Even if he had a smaller knife, he could easily do a lot of damage.
Still holding the large knife out towards the surrounded man, the leader turns his head towards me. Not a lot, though. He can’t be bothered to fully turn his head towards me, not when his target is standing in front of him. I’m just a speck on his radar.
He turns only far enough to get his eyes on me. His malicious and intrigued glare is the last thing I remember before my memory goes black.
About the Creator
S. M. Risdon
A mom with a love for writing. I hope to be able to have my books published and see them in bookstores around the world!
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