Please, check out my first ORIGINAL NOVEL! The Breaking of Poisonwood by Paradise Avenger. (Summary: People were dead. When Skye Davis bought me at a slave auction as a birthday present for his brother, I had no idea what my new life was going to be like, but I had never expected this. It all started when Venus de Luna was killed and I was to take her place, to become the new savior… Then, bad things happened and some people died. In the heart of the earth, we discovered the ancient being that Frank Davis had found and created and used to his advantage. The Poisonwood—)
So, at this point, everyone knows that I was forced to remove Lemon Island and its mature content due to the Eliminator Forum vicious attacking and trolling me. I'm going to move ALL my mature stories to a new website. If you're just as sick of this as I am, please join our cause to bring freedom back to Fanfiction!
Anyway, I have MOVED this story COMPLETELY to another site. You can find this STORY and all its subsequent UPDATES here: h*t*t*p :/*/ archiveofourown. o*r*g /works/823624/chapters/1561617
I have the same penname there as I do here: ParadiseAvenger
X X X
Maka Albarn supposed she would never really know what dragged her out of bed after a particularly vicious night of insomnia, but something did. She got out of bed, forced herself through a shower as harsh as going through a car wash, dressed in something plain so she would blend in with the crowd, and had half an orange for breakfast. Then, she lingered beside the front door for ten minutes—just waiting for something, though she wasn't quite sure what at the time.
The night was so long when you couldn't sleep. How did vampires do it and still make it look cool? Insomnia just plain sucked, but she supposed it was better than nightmares. Maka had been plagued with both for about five years—well, one cancelled the other out, but she wasn't sure which one she hated more.
Yawning, she felt the dark bags under her eyes. What was she waiting for? Why was she standing here, heart throbbing, feeling like something important was going to happen? It turned out only to be one of her mother's cryptic postcards, slipped through the slot in the door at exactly 6:14 am. (This time, Maka didn't tear open the door in search of the mailman. She knew by now that it wasn't the typical postman and that she was never going to catch whoever delivered her mother's postcards. She had been trying for at least four years now.) Instead, Maka plucked up the postcard from the floor, spent a moment scrutinizing the familiar blank façade of the slave warehouse downtown, and wondered why this had dragged her exhausted body out of bed with some feeling of importance.
Honestly, her mother sent her a cryptic postcard at least once a month and it always said the same things: How are you? I'm fine, a little tired maybe. The weather's nice here, but I think there's a storm on the way. How's your papa? Sorry, I'm not home yet, but I just can't leave this place. Something is calling my name. I have to figure out what's going on before I can come home. It might not be safe for me, for you, for anyone, otherwise. Hope you're doing well in school. I love you, Maka. Love, Mama. Sometimes, her mother drew a smiley face in red ink or a sad face in blue or just a face in black.
But today, her mother's monthly postcard was even more cryptic than usual, if that was even possible. Today, it had only two lines in thick red ink with a neat black skull drawn at the bottom. The blood-colored ink was dotted and smeared, as if her mother had been crying while she wrote. It read mysteriously: Maka, please, listen to me. You need to get him from the slave warehouse. He needs your help and you're going to need him to die for you in the future. Please, save him now and save yourself later. That was it. The rest of the small card was blank. Actually, Maka realized, this wasn't a postcard at all, but a photograph of the slave warehouse downtown.
Weird! Did that mean her mother had been in town to take this picture?
Maka put the postcard under a magnet on the refrigerator and took out the orange juice, not giving it any more thought. Her mother was crazy. Maybe she had smoked too much of everything during her hippie stint back in the 70s. Maybe it just ran in the family because Maka's papa wasn't all that sane either. Hell, Maka herself suffered from nightmares and insomnia. She hadn't had a good night's sleep in five years.
She yawned as she poured some orange juice for herself and her eyes slid to the postcard, to the glossy photograph it was written on.
The slave warehouse…
Maka hadn't set foot in that place. A lot of her friends had slaves and really liked having them, but Maka had just never seen the need for one. She was self-sufficient, independent, and she didn't need, want, or require anyone's help.
She finished her juice, put the cup in the sink, and filled it with water. She took the postcard off the fridge and read it again—slowly, as if maybe she had missed something—but it was just as strange the second and third times through. Should she go to the slave warehouse? Why bother, though? Her mother was nutty, after all, but Maka felt the tug in her head again, the same strangeness that had pulled her, exhausted, from her bed this morning.
What the hell! She was up. She may as well go, cryptic postcard and insomnia or not.
Maka grabbed her shoulder bag with her papa's credit card and explicit instructions to use it for anything and everything she needed form tampons to perfume to food. Maka didn't feel spoiled using her father's card. She didn't use it often—self-sufficient, remember?—but she might need it today. Quickly, she checked her face in the mirror, put a touch of concealer on the dark bags beneath her eyes, and left the house in search of her mother's weird prediction.
The morning over Death City was cool and rather bleak today. The laughing face of the sun was drooped down and melancholy-looking. Maka cast her eyes up at the Academy, looming like a great castle on the highest level of Death City. Heaving in a deep sigh, she trekked through the city until she reached the seedy horrors of downtown and compared the postcard with several vague and grey warehouses. It took her a moment to figure out which warehouse she was supposed to go into as none of them were named.
The Slave Warehouse had wobbly glass doors and was brightly lit like a hospital inside with tasteful feng-shui furniture to put people at ease. A pretty young woman in a tight red suit was sitting behind a desk, tap-tap-tapping away at her computer as she entered files for recently purchased, sold, killed, or otherwise moved slaves. A little bell jangled when Maka entered and she shuddered in the blinding fluorescent lights. The woman stopped her typing, folded her hands on the polished surface of the desk, and said cheerfully, "Hello and welcome. How may I help you?"
Maka wasn't sure what to say now, though. 'Hi, my crazy mother told me I had to come because there's someone here I need so here I am,' didn't sound quite right. She cleared her throat and said slowly, "I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I'd like to browse a bit."
"Of course." She whirled back to her computer and began typing. "Is there any way I could narrow down your category?"
Maka licked her lips and said the first things that came to her mind. "My age—seventeen to nineteen. Sex—male," she sputtered a bit. What now, she wondered?
"That's quite enough if you can't think of anything else," the woman said. "We only have seventy-five slaves here in that category. That should fit your purposes nicely if you're only looking to browse. It provides a nice mix." She stood up sharply, heels clicking on the floor. "If you would follow me please."
Maka followed the woman through one of three heavy doors. Blinding fluorescent lights came on as they walked, lighting up the cells and the slaves inside. Her heart began to thud and she felt a mean little thing in her chest like a small animal, but she wasn't sure what it was.
"They are organized by age and sex," the woman said and gestured widely with one perfectly manicured hand. "These are Male Blocks Seventeen, Eighteen, and Nineteen. Please, feel free to browse." She put a small remote into Maka's hands. "Some are rebellious. You may use this to make them move."
Maka had seen it before. The remote delivered a powerful and painful electrical charge through the body of the nearest slave wearing a collar. Once a slave was purchased, the owner was given a remote specific to their new slave. Even so, Maka felt weird holding it. It was like having a dog on a leash and waving a steak in front of its nose. It was mean, but Maka found she kind of liked the idea of having that kind of power over another person.
Silently, she peered through the bars, hoping something would catch her eyes, but nothing jumped out at her until she reached Block Eighteen, but it wasn't anything in that particular cell. It was the skirmish going on in Block Nineteen and the woman's soft cry of, "Oh dear. Not right now."
Maka snapped her head in that direction and saw what looked like all the slaves bearing down on someone small in the middle. Quickly, she marched over, relishing the power she had with this remote in her hands. She could make them do whatever she wanted!
There was a small muted scream from inside that pile and a strange ripping sound.
"Move!" She snapped at the slaves inside the block.
Dark eyes stared at her and they stopped, but didn't move. Beneath the heap of bodies, there was a little bit of escaping movement and a small pale bloody hand reached out beneath the tangle of limbs. The nails clawed into the concrete, desperately dragging. One of the slaves brought something red to his mouth and began to eat. Without another breath, the horde returned to whatever they had pinned beneath them and Maka heard the muted cries and ripping again. What was going on in there?
"Move it!" She shouted and aimed the remote at the quivering mass of bodies.
The first blast of electricity was all she needed to scatter most of them like cockroaches. Only a few remained, bravely staring her in the face and gripping the bloodstained arms of a frail young man. He was covered in blood, his face battered, and his feet scraping desperately for purchase on the concrete floor. There was a large fruitlike wound on his arm—was it a bite?
"Oh dear," the woman said. "Please, understand, it's pruning week."
"Pruning week?" Maka repeated. She couldn't tear her eyes from the bloodied young man and he was gazing at her so desperately, almost as if she was all that remained between him and oblivion. He had a strange face, maybe handsome beneath the bruises and blood, but she couldn't be sure even what color his hair was. He was just so caked with blood and covered in filth and black wounds. He tugged at his arms, trying to escape the slaves that were holding his arms, but he couldn't get away. His feet slid around on the floor, streaking blood.
"Yes, we routinely starve each block so that they kill off the weakest among them," she said but it was nonchalantly, as if it didn't matter to her at all. It probably didn't.
"Starve them?" Maka whispered and stared harder at the youth before her.
His mouth slipped open, gasping for air, and he looked as if he wanted to speak but couldn't get any words out.
"Yes, they eat the weakest."
Maka's heart skipped a beat and she saw the young man's face pale beneath the blood and bruises.
"Please, allow me to show you a different block," the woman continued and gently took Maka by her elbow. "I'm sure you will find something to your liking." She began to lead her away and Maka began to follow almost like a puppet on a string.
There was a small strangled cry and something crashed against the bars. The sounds rang out in the silence of the warehouse, echoing over the cries and murmurs of other slaves. Maka whirled around, remembering suddenly what had been happening.
Those slaves were about to eat that poor boy!
Maka was about to yell, "Stop!" and the words were on her tongue, bitter and harsh. She tore away from the woman and whirled around, ash-blonde hair flying.
But the young man wasn't in danger of cannibalism at that exact moment. He had flung his body into the bars and was reaching out one desperate bloody hand to her. His eyes were deep blood-red and rolling wildly in his skull. There were tattered strips of flesh hanging off his shoulders like macabre party decorations. "Please," he whispered and his voice was very deep and throaty. "Don't let them…" He glanced behind him at the horde of starving slaves, terrified.
A slave grabbed his shoulder from behind and pulled him back, but he desperately hung on to the bars even as that dirty hand peeled off one of the strips of flesh and brought it to his dirty mouth, chewing as if that was delicacy. The horde of starving slaves surged forward at the young man and he cowered desperately, those red eyes squeezing shut.
Maka brandished the remote. "Stop!" When she saw that they weren't going to move to eat the poor young man, she turned to the woman and said sharply, "Him. I want him."
The woman blinked. "Eater? But he's so…"
"He's about to become food and I'm offering you money for him. Are you stupid?" Maka snarled.
The woman stepped back, her face going pale and brows knitting together. "Y-yes, you're right. I'll have someone bring him around in a few minutes."
"No, take him out right now," Maka demanded.
"He's going to be eaten alive."
"I know, but—"
"Damn it! Take him out!"
"Y-yes, right away." The woman went to call someone on the intercom.
Maka remained beside the cell, watching everyone inside. The poor half-eaten boy slumped down against the bars, breathing hard and holding his stripped shoulder, and she saw his eyes slide desperately closed. He must have been like her all week—not sleeping—but, unlike her, his life depended on his ability to stay awake or else his body would be eaten alive.
"She's taking Eater," one of the slaves whispered.
"Aw, man, what are we going to eat?"
There was a small roll of laughter.
Maka felt sick and turned to snap at the woman to hurry up, but she was smiling benevolently as if she hadn't just almost witnessed someone being eaten alive. "Someone will be up in a moment to take him out and clean him up for you. Would you like to wait until they arrive?"
Maka nodded and passed the woman the remote. They didn't have to wait long. Then, the poor bloodied youth—Eater, the woman and slaves had called him—was dragged away down the hall on weak trembling limbs and Maka returned to the office to buy his life from the cannibals in this warehouse. "Disgusting," she whispered.
Had this been what her mother's postcard was talking about?
"Get naked," the handler snarled through the dimness of the preparing room. "So, Eater, I hear you were barely saved by some pretty blonde. I heard you begged, but I guess the thought of being eaten alive is a lot scarier than just begging for your life."
The moment he stripped down, Eater had been shoved beneath a spray of hard cold water that forcefully scrubbed all the filth and blood from his body. Teeth chattering beneath the freezing spray, he nodded and hugged his bitten shoulders, whimpering at the pain of the bites and tears in his flesh as the powerful jet assaulted the wounds. Everything hurt and he was starving, but he didn't dare say anything. He was just happy to still be alive, to still have his flesh on his bones, at this point. He had been prepared to die earlier, but the thought of his death had turned him into a frightened child, begging to be saved by someone—by anyone! Even still, he was happy to be alive with his poor body uneaten.
"Lucky dog," the handler snapped and shut off the icy jet of water. A stream of burning hot air was next, drying the icy water from Eater's skin and warming him slightly, but it didn't last long enough for the chill to leave him completely. Shivering, he stood naked while the mean handler fetched some fresh clothes for him. He lobbed the cotton pants and t-shirt at Eater's face and snapped, "Get dressed, you dog."
Shivering with cold, Eater did as he was told.
Maka finished signing her name to the receipts and accepted the file of papers, remote for his punishment collar, and some shiny silver shackles from the pretty woman who returned immediately to tap-tapping away on her computer. She stuffed these terrible things into her shoulder bag, not wanting to look at them any longer than absolutely necessary, and then stood to wait for her new slave.
Eater, they had called him. It was even written on his papers. What kind of name was that?
Finally, from one of the three doors, he emerged with his hands cuffed in front of him, a chain attached to his collar, and a handler jerking him meanly along by his throat like a disobedient dog. When the handler laid eyes on Maka, he became deceptively gentle and Maka narrowed her green eyes into slits. Grinning, he handed over Eater's leash and Maka jerked it from his hands, not thinking about what it was attached to, and accidentally yanked on Eater's throat. He stumbled forward, a small cry escaping his mouth.
Maka almost apologized, but the handler was staring at her so she silently led Eater out of the warehouse and back into the streets of the necropolis.
X X X
And I removed the original mature content that continued from that point due to the trolls. Please join the cause to bring maturity to Fanfiction again. Or read this story and all its updates in its original version on Archive of Our Own.