So I'm taking a break from Warrior. I started flipping out because I wrote it in the wrong voice--yes, I really did. YA novels are written differently from any other genre, and I normally read middle grade or adult novels. I only got into YA recently, and really the genre wasn't really alive until Twilight. So yes, you can thank Twilight for Rick Roirdan's Heroes of Olympus, The Hunger Games, and so many more series. It changes writing for the better, even if the plot is...questionable. ;) Yes, I am a fan. And critic.
Anywho, so we I realized just how much editing had to be done, I freaked out. Then I found out most novelist write the novel, and wait for a month or more before they begin editing. Since I want to have Warrior completely done before I move onto book 2, I've been writing randomly little scenes here and there for books 5, 6, 7 or even further down. And yes, I have about 10 novels planned so far. There may be even more, if I can get this thing off the ground! :)
So here's the prologue for book 6!
Now, for what this is about. I'm not sure I've talked about who my audience is with Star Warriors. Sure, I want anyone who wants to read it. But I write for those who've had a really tough life, like Kana, Eirren, or Mabyn. Yes, characters who have that type of life are the most interesting to read, but lots of the dark experiences I write in are based on real, horrible events that I or, more often, someone I love and care about has experienced. The epilogue of Warrior was based almost entirely on things one of my best friend was told by her own mother and family, just like in that chapter.
This prologue is based on the true, horrible story behind the name of Love146. Love146 is a profit free organization that helps victims of human trafficking. If you want to know more about them, watch this vid by Michelle Phan and check out their website.
To honor the girl, I wrote this story. I had planned on writing this, but this really developed after watching this video, and reading the story. Remember The Girl.
Sixteen Years Ago
He didn’t know how long he’d been there. An eternity, maybe. Chained to the chair, put on display. The girls lined up beside him wore beautiful, short dresses. He, being the only boy, was wearing simple, dress shorts, a button-up shirt, and a blazer.
The girls’ were broken, their faces echoing their misery, staring down, defeated. He stared down too, but not because of fear, though he was afraid. No, he was looking down because his eyes reflected his anger. Showing it meant even more pain and hurt than he already suffered.
He glanced at the number pinned to his blazer. It was his new identity. That number and his body was all that mattered to them. All that he was. He was 349. Beside him was 287 and then 435. That’s all they were. Numbers. Products. Customers eyed them, then gave the number they wanted to the owner. Then it was upstairs and…
Sure enough, a worker called, “349.”
Without looking up, 349 held up his right arm, which was cuffed down. After all, he’d attempted to escaped so many times they just chained him to everything, including the bar by the toilet. The worker tsked and unchained him. Leading him out like a dog, he was pulled upstairs and into room number 6. His number was removed from his shirt and hung from the door, letting the customer know where his prize was. Then the worker chained him again to the bed.
When the worker left, 349 stared at the wall, trying to keep his mind blank, hoping he’d be numb to everything. He never really was.
The customer entered. Petting his face, whispering horrors to him before…
Screams, roars, gunshots. The customer straightened up and 349 dared to feel a tiny flicker of hope. Maybe he wouldn’t…maybe.
The door exploded. 349’s jaw dropped as his hero, The Scorpion, stepped through. The man pulled out a gun from his dropped trousers and attempted to shot him. Of course, The dodged. He moved like shadow, just as the drug kids from the street a lifetime ago had claimed. But 349 realized that he wasn’t shadow, or a demon, or anything like everyone else had claimed. He was fast, like lightning. All it took was a second before the customer was down, and then he was standing over 349. The handcuffs fell away, then the ones on his feet were gone too. Still shocked, 349 rose, eyeing his hero with apprehension. He protected people, but supposedly so did the cops that came and used the girls, or the judge and city councilor member that’d taken a liking to him.
“Come on,” his rough, deep voice called. It should’ve scared 349, but it didn’t. There was a gentleness, and deep sorrow that comforted the boy. “You’re getting out of here.”
“There’s another one,” the boy said as he put his fancy clothes back on. “Another…place like this.”
“Where?” Scorpion asked, his dark eyes studying him.
“I…” 349 racked his brain, trying to think. A bag had been over his head both when he’d arrived and left. “I don’t know,” he admitted. He hunched his shoulders. They’d beaten him for the smallest slight, real or imagined.
Instead of bashing his head, Scorpion’s large, gloved hand came down on his shoulder, squeezing it gently. “Try to remember. Give yourself time. Now, you’re getting out of here. They’ll take care of you.”
For the first time in years, 349 looked him in the eye. “I want to go with you. I want to help you.”
“You need to go with the workers. They can help you.”
“I want to help you,” he repeated.
Scorpion studied him. “What’s your name?”
349 blinked. He hadn’t been called by a name other than disgusting pet names in years. He’d been a number. First 145, then 349. But his real name, the one his mother had called him before she died…
“Jacob. Jacob Conner.”
“Okay, Jacob. I want you to go with them now. I know, you want to help, but protect the girls. They’ve been hurt worse than you. You need to help them. Then, when you think you’re ready, I’ll come for you.”
“How do I tell you when I’m ready?”
Scorpion had been headed towards the door, but stopped and looked back. “I’ll know. Then I’ll come find you.”
Jacob helped the girls who were too scared to come to the workers. He helped the smaller ones out to the trucks that took them away from that hell hole. And a few months later, when he wasn’t so scared anymore, Scorpion found him and kept his promise.