Innocent Blood

June is 15. She doesn't have a family, or any life to be proud of. July is 16. He doesn't have a family, or any life to be proud of. These two young adolescents are part of a society that is falling apart around them. They are 'Innocents".

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1. June's Life

 

My name is June. I am 15 years old, and female. My eyes are the same muddy brown you get at the bottom of puddles during clean rain season. My hair is a darker brown; like the dark mahogany wood that the upper-society doors are made of.   I can't afford to live my life wearing the expensive, rich dark red clothes that the upper-society people wear. My clothes are thin and cheap. I'm part of lower society, and am one of thousands living in the 'Dwellings' of The City of Light. 

In the Dwellings, females have 3 choices to earn security; Prostitution, Slavery, or become a shadow. So that's exactly what I did. I am June. Shadow to Lady Dartworth. 

A shadow is someone who takes the place of Upper-society people (or the Ups as we refer to them) during public outings or obvious assassination attempts. We are a strong society of people who are trained to subdue, injure, and kill anyone who seeks to harm ‘our’ Ups.

We live in one building in the dwelling, the reason being our employers will know exactly where to contact us. Shadows are usually put into the 'system' at the age of 9, then after one year of training from the seniors, they begin working.

From the ages of 10 to 17 Shadows are referred to as 'Innocents', then becoming 'Expectables' until the age of 40, finally being made a senior, and given the authority to coach younger shadows and assist in the organisation of jobs and pre-prep.

 

I was woken up one morning as a few of the other innocents jumped on top of me. "Come on June! You're going to be late for your pre-prep!" one of them shouted in my ear as I sat up and allowed my eyes to adjust to the light. Today wasn’t just another job for me. Lady Dartworth was expected at an engagement ball, where her father hoped that she would find a husband. It was crucial that my behavior and appearance were as much like her as possible for events like this; because even if her family wants to protect her from assassination or kidnap, it was still expected of her to find and agree to a marriage.

 

"You're late." the female senior muttered as I sat in front of her. This senior was in charge of all of my pre-preps. It was common knowledge that she was an ex-prostitute who had changed career path after being employed by and Up to Shadow at the age of 30 due to her resemblance of the wife of her previous ‘master’. She had dark red curly hair and a heavily made up face. Her lips were coloured with dark red pigment and her eyes were enlarged by thick lines of black eyeliner. Her whole presence was intimidating and gave you a sudden respect for her past, present and even her future.

"So you've got your first engagement party? Good luck then little June; they can be tough little bastards." She tilted my chin up and plastered my face in layer after layer of make-up as she spoke. She then span the chair around to face away from her and pulled and tugged at my hair until it was pinned against my skull so that the wig of auburn curls sat naturally and securely on my skull. "Your dress will be given to you at the destination. Now get a move on you brat!" she said firmly, pushing me out of her chair and smiling at her work. I smiled back sarcastically before running out of the room as she threw a pair of scissors at my head. She was right; this job was going to push my abilities to new lengths.

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