The others fill in the seats around me as they each get their own plate of food, and start eating. I twirl my fork in the pasta and eat it. “Wow Thomas, this is pretty good!” he smiles at the compliment and replies, “we have a lot of time on our hands and one way to pass it is by cooking.” Harper pauses in eating and suggests that before they start answering questions, it would probably be a good idea to go around and give a more thorough introduction. “How about we start with you Henry, since you seem to be already finished” she continues, looking to Henry who is already scooping the last strands of pasta into his mouth, trying to stifle a giggle. I have a bit less luck with that. “Alright, I know I’m funny but surely that’s crossing a line!” Henry replies to our giggles, faking mock anger. Then get Kara in on the laughter and it takes a minute to stop to let Henry talk. “Okay okay we’re done” Kara says. Henry clears his throat and begins. “I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been here for just over 3 years. When I first came here, I was alone for about 6 months until Harper joined me.” “yep” she says, “I’m 16 to by the way, in case you were wondering” then she leans over to me and whispers “but I’m still a few months older than Henry, even if he hates to admit it” I smile at the joke and turn to Kara, “how about you?” I ask. “I’ve been here for about a year and a half. I turned 16 last month, shame I can’t get my driver’s license. I was looking forward to that before I was taken” she looks a little sad for a moment and then shrugs, “it doesn’t really matter anymore anyways, I mean, where would you even drive to in this place? How about you Thomas, I think you’re up” “I was the newbie until you showed up, even though I’ve been here over a year at this point. I’ll be 16 in a few months. How about you Piper?” “I’ll be 16 in a few days, and yeah.” I shrug and finish off my plate. “Is there anything else I should know about this place?” I ask. Henry opens his mouth to say something but is silenced by a look from Harper. “Do you have a schedule that I should be aware of? Like, what you do in the morning, or Kara mentioned something about being put into a cooking rotation?” I continue. “Yes, we do in fact.” Harper replies looking away from Henry. “In the morning the alarms on our watches,” she points to a small black band on my wrist I hadn’t noticed before “and have breakfast and do all the normal stuff, and then we do some school work. It’s not terrible, and we found that learning stuff is a good way to pass the time. Then we ate lunch and play games or read books. There’s new stuff when we run out of things to do, this place is surprisingly well stocked for what is basically a prison. Then we eat dinner and go to bed.” I nod, “that’s not too bad” I say, “Is there anything else?” “Nothing urgent” Harper says. Thomas picks up everyone’s dishes and goes to put them up. “We can add you to the cooking/cleaning rotation tomorrow, but you don’t have to worry about that for a few days” “that sounds good” I say, stretching and yawning. “Let’s get ready for bed, it’s been a long day” Kara says standing and pulling me out of my chair and towards my new bedroom. When we get there, I change into some comfortable pajamas and climb into bed without brushing my teeth. I mumble good night to the other girls, who have just returned from the bathroom. They reply to me and then yell it across the room, I faintly hear the boy’s response, but I’m already slipping back into the comfortable bliss of sleep. When I get there I’m greeted, not by a friendly dream, but by the cruel claws of a nightmare. Images of my family pop up, taunting me with a future I no longer have. I’m with my family, but I am invisible to them, I approach, hoping for a warm response, only to find they have already forgotten me. My brother says things like “I’m glad she’s gone” and “Now we can be safe from her evil”. My parents don’t chastise him, instead they agree and hug him closer. I try to protest, tears streaming down my face, but they don’t hear me, and when I try to join in the hug, it’s like I’m a ghost fading right through them into the empty air. I bolt up straight up in bed, tears coursing down my cheeks. Kara and Harper wake up and come over to comfort me but stop short at the foot of my bed. They stand there looking up at me? Their mouths hanging open. It is then that I notice that I am no longer in my bed. Or on the ground for that matter. I sit curled up in a ball, four feet above my bed, in the open air. I forget my nightmare and scream.